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The line between wanting to win and demanding to win

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An honest question in response to this morning’s Pinch Hitter post: Where’s the line between fair weather fan and passionate fan?

Those two seem about as different as could be — the former constantly mocked by the latter — but I’m wondering if that line has become unexpectedly blurred in the wake of the Yankees lengthy success. As Jack wrote this morning, it’s one thing when Hal Steinbrenner or Derek Jeter calls a 95-win, non-championship season a failure, but it’s something different when fans do it. Is it becoming acceptable to cheer for a team only when it’s winning championships?

I get the frustration with ownership’s financial plan, just like I understood the in-the-moment disappointment when the Yankees played so poorly in the ALCS. What I don’t understand is the lack of a big picture acknowledgement that spending $189 million and getting to the ALCS is really, really good.

Second guess the general manager’s moves? Absolutely. Regret the decision to sign Alex Rodriguez well into his 40s? Can’t help it. Boo a team that simply can’t hit in the postseason? Not my style, but I understand.

At what point, though, does a “real” fan bail on the team and declare the season an absolute, waste-of-time failure? Is it understandable and acceptable to boycott games and merchandise to send a message about the current financial plan, or is that the very definition of fair weather (sticking with the team only when it’s spending like mad and overpowering the competition with elite talent)?

Do any fans struggle with that line between wanting to win and demanding to win?

Associated Press photo