With the Cardinals
out of the playoffs, I've had to decide what team I'm going to root for the rest of the playoffs. Sure, I could just watch the games impartially and enjoy the sport itself, but where's the fun in that? No, I'm one of those people who are always going to set up a team to root for and a team to root against in virtually any athletic competition. Just the way I am.
Just in case you happen to be the same way, I thought maybe we should take a look around at the remaining playoff teams and decide who our adopted squad is going to be.
First, the National League teams...
Los Angeles Dodgers
ros: Joe Torre is one of the classiest individuals in all of baseball, as well as having plenty of history with the Cardinals. Seeing him win with a team other than the Yankees would feel pretty good, I have to admit. The Dodgers have one of the most illustrious histories of any team in baseball, really great uniforms, and plenty of old footage from their days in Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. Best of all, the more the Dodgers are on the television and the further they go, the more we get to see Alyssa Milano.
Ebbets Field, perhaps the most revered baseball stadium in the game's history, and home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Cons: Manny Ramirez. Ronnie Belliard. Russell Martin makes me want to punch kittens; I don't know why. They beat the Cardinals.
Verdict: I could get behind Torre, Ms. Milano, and the history, but you know what? Fuck 'em. You beat my team, I'm not rooting for you. Just the way it is.
That's right. The Yankees keep winning, I'll just keep tossing this thing out there all day long.
Cons: I hate the Yankees. Not quite as much as I hate the Red Sox, largely because the Yankees haven't beaten the Cardinals for anything in my lifetime, but it's pretty close. If I have to see one more goddamned commercial featuring Derek Jeter, I'm going to lose my mind and just start shooting. The new stadium is a joke, and Hank Steinbrenner is making his father look like a really fun guy to be around.
Verdict: Blech. I suppose I would probably root for the Yankees over the Phillies, but honestly I would just be hoping for the stadium to collapse, taking both teams and their fans with it.
Los Angeles Angels
Pros: Spoiler alert: the Angels are my team. I like Mike Scioscia, I like the style of baseball the Angels play in general, I like seeing Vlad Guerrero hit balls after they bounce. They've done a really remarkable job of remembering their fallen teammate, Nick Adenhart, all year long. Most of all, though, I remember Jared Weaver decked out in full Cardinal regalia at Game 5 of the 2006 World Series, rooting on the Cardinals and his brother Jeff as the elder Weaver pitched the game of his life. The Angels also happen to be the only team left in the playoffs who really wear red, so they've got that going for them, too.
Cons: I can't really think of any, other than the fact if the Angels win I'm sure Joe Strauss or some other local opinion monger will point to Brian Fuentes in their 'pen and say the Cardinals obviously missed the boat on him. Still, a relatively small price to pay.
Verdict: As I already said, I'm hitching my apple cart firmly to the Angels' star for the rest of this postseason. Above all else, I remember seeing Jared Weaver in the Cardinal gear and I figure I could at least return the favor. He rooted for us in the postseason, so I'm going to root for him.
Honestly, and this feels a little weird to even contemplate, I'm sort of hoping for an all-Los Angeles World Series. I certainly like the Dodgers better than the Phillies, even after they beat the Cards in the NLDS, and I really, really don't want to see the Yankees succeed in buying another title.
So bring on Angels vs. Dodgers, and Alyssa Milano doing color commentary. It's going to be great.