Psychological Fan Study: Playing Favorites

"Don't worry. I'll see you soon!" -I'mGivingYouARaise creepily says to the photo in the box above

Mood Music - T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You) by Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth

As we've discussed before, sports can be very emotional for a lot of fans out there. Every year you put your faith, your heart, your passion, your angst, and probably many other emotions and feelings into your favorite teams. It can be a year long thing, depending on how many sports you actually follow. Personally, when it comes that, I really only have the Yankees. I mean, there are other sports I love watching year round, but when it comes to having a favorite team that I really root for and put my emotions and feelings into, the Yankees are it. They are who I grew up with and the only team I really feel any connection to. However, there is more to sports and putting your emotions into them than just the team itself.

So far in my Psychological Fan Studies, I've mainly asked questions dealing with the negative nature of baseball and Yankee fandom, dealing with worrying about the team and how people deal with the team losing. After hearing that my favorite current player on the Yankees, Gritty Gutty Brett Gardner, should be back on May 3rd, I decided that it was time for another Dr. IGYAR PFS, this time dealing with something a bit more positive in regards to baseball fandom, favorite players. Like I stated above, you may not have a certain connection with a team or anything like that, but even without loving the team you can have a connection with a player. It does nott mean it has to be any kind of deep, emotional connection, or something completely crazy like in the movie The Fan, but it could just be someone who excites you when you watch him play. As with all my Psychological Fan Studies, after the jump I will pose some situational questions and I hope you respond with as much detail as possible. Remember that even though I am always judging you, these PFS's are meant for PSAers to get to know each other better as well as have some fun.

Lay on my couch after the jump...

Situation #1. The Yankees come first. Since this PFS deals with favorite players, we might as well get the basic questions out of the way first. Who is your current favorite player on the Yankees? What is it about this player you like so much? Was there a time you decided he was your favorite player on the team? Was he your favorite player before he even came to the Yankees or is he a home grown boy?

Situation #2. Baseball comes next. Like I said above, you may not have a connection to a team, but you might have a favorite player who plays for that team. Does your favorite current player in baseball play for another team besides the Yankees? If so, who is this player and what is it about him that you like so much? How long have you followed this player? Do you wish this player was on the Yankees?

Situation #3. Minor questions. Many baseball fans follow the minors as well and watch players grow from the beginning of their hopeful journey to the major leagues and beyond. Are there any players in the minors right now who could be considered your favorite player, or a potential future favorite player? Are there any players in the majors right now you really like that you watched come out of the minors?

Situation #4. Former favorites. I don't know about you, but I'm old. Over my lifetime I've had a few favorite Yankee players. Do you have any former favorite Yankees who are now retired? If so, who are they? Are there any former favorite players who are now retired that never played for the Yankees? What did you like about these players so much?

Situation #5. Business time. As we know, baseball is a business and sometimes your favorite player just isn't in the budget, or could be worth better players. How would you feel if your current favorite Yankee player was let go or traded? Would you continue to follow their careers if they played for another team? To follow this...

Situation #6. Player vs. team. As Yankee fans we are fortunate enough to have an organization that has the resources to keep players for a long time. However, there is never a guarantee certain players won't be traded or let go. Would you cheer for them if they played well against the Yankees? What comes first; your love of your favorite player or love of your team?

IGYAR's answers

#1. Everyone should know my answer to this, but my current favorite Yankee is Brett Gardner. I'm a fan of his because I love how patient he is at the plate plus how insanely good his defensive skills are, but what really helped me become a big fan of his was his speed. Being the nerd that I am, super speed was always my favorite super power so I like fast players. I'll never forget that game in 09' against the Twins when he rounded third and tried to score the winning run and was just tagged out by a perfect defensive play by Joe Mauer. That game made me a huge fan of him. Yeah, he's a home grown boy!

#2. I have no favorites like Gardner on other teams, but there are lots of players I like to watch. Andrew McCutchen, Ike Davis, Paul Goldschmitt, Ryan Zimmerman, and recently Desmond Jennings just to name a few. I'd really like McCutchen or Ike Davis on the Yankees, but I also like teams to have their own stars to root for. If they did wind up Yankees though, I wouldn't complain.

#3. I honestly don't follow the minors all that much. I have been a little bit more since joining PSA though.

#4. I have two former favorite Yankee players. The first was Don Mattingly, the Yankee star I grew up with when I was little. I loved watching him play and hit. i was so sad in 94 when it looked like the Yankees would make it and the strike happened. After, and somewhat during the Donnie Baseball era, my fandom focused on Bernie Williams. Bernie was a really exciting player for me to watch growing up. Even though he couldn't steal, I loved watched him round the bases and his spin move when he got up after sliding into home was awesome. Such a great hitter as well. RETIRE HIS NUMBER!

#5. With Gardner, I would not be surprised if he was traded one day. I'd love for him to be a life long Yankee, but anything is possible. Sure, it'd be a sad day in IGYARville, but I'd get over it. I'd still follow his career no matter where he went though.

#6. The Yankees will always come first. Mind you, if Gardner is traded to another team and comes back and hits a HR or gets a lot of hits, I'll probably smile a little bit, but I'll still root for the Yankees to win of course. Still though, I'll never stop rooting for a player I like.

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