The Fan Spectrum: Realists, Optimists, and Pessimists

A few days ago I wrote about how annoying bandwagon jumpers are to me as a die hard fan. There are three types of fans on the spectrum that could be mistaken as die hards or bandwagon jumpers.

The title of this post does not exactly tell you what the three types of fans I am referring to are because the other three types of fans tend to all be part of a intersecting diagram, which is usually referred to as a Venn Diagram. It is absolutely possible to be a realist and an optimist or pessimist at the same time. It is all about how you as a fan express your feelings about the team you love; the words you choose show optimism or pessimism.

Personally I see my self as an Optimistic Realist because I always say the glass is half full and talk mostly about the positive things going on with my favorite team even when they are not playing well. Pessimistic Realists would say it is half empty and mostly talk choose to discuss the negative things going on with their favorite team until there is little or no negative to talk about.

Let me explain using last winter as the example. The New York Mets and San Diego Padres both spent an arm and a leg on superstars and made their fans believe they were all in to win a title this summer. Well, neither one will be in the playoffs after injuries, off the field issues for players, and, well, in the case of the Mets having high expectations for players who had known histories with injuries.

Here’s the thing folks: most of the fans I’ve heard talking about those two teams on the radio or social media were being Optimistic Realist up until the trade deadline back on August 2nd. At the end of the day, the moves those two teams made at the trade deadline made their fans realize that spending money will not always lead to a deep playoff run; therefore, removing their optimism for a deep playoff run.

All those teams have had the chance to do is contribute to this season as a result of spending on superstars last winer was playing the role of spoiler for teams such as the Cubs who actually still have a chance, albeit very slim, to steal the National League Central this weekend.

With that, let’s look at the Pessimistic Realist using the Cubs as the example. There is still a chance they will miss the playoffs. However, they have already exceeded expectations for this season. Could they have spent more last off season and matched or exceeded the offer Carlos Correa got from the Twins? Sure, and he’d have been a better third baseman than Patrick Wisdom or Nick Madrigal who both have been alright on defense but sucked with the bat all year.

The Pessimistic Realist always sits there and yells at ownership to fire the teams Manager, General Manager, or President of Baseball Operations. Sadly, none of those guys play the games and they are doing their job as best they can with the resources their bosses, ownership, are providing them.

As fans we are not in the clubhouse and we do not travel on the team jet. I understand the Pessimistic Realists desire to cry out to the owners of their favorite teams about what they would do but here’s the thing folks… owners hire a management team that they can trust based on what they set their financial goals at. Therefore, it is more likely that owners will listen to fans about what players to sign than what executives to hire and tell their President of Operations to go get those players.

With that… I will be writing about the two types of Die Hard fans later this week.

If you cannot play with them, root for them!

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