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Yes, you should root for the Yankees in the first round of the playoffs. And a host of other suggestions that might seem incomprehensible at first ...

... but you don't want to root for, can't conceive of rooting for the Yankees? Tough, because as distasteful as that idea may be to you, this next one is to me: you also need to suck it up and root for the Red Sox.

In fact, in an ideal world, the Cubs would have held off the Astros in the NL Central and the Giants would have nabbed the NL Wild Card. Can you imagine one week in which at least two of the three greatest historic rivalries in baseball -- and arguably in all of North American sports -- played out in a playoff atmosphere? A second round of playoffs featuring Red Sox/Yankees and Cubs/Cardinals or Giants/Dodgers for a trip to the Series?

Sure, Vladimir Guerrero facing Johan Santana in the ALCS might pit the league's MVP against its Cy Young winner, but it lacks the drama of Nomar Garciaparra in a Cubs uniform striding to the plate at Fenway, wondering now that he's on the other side if Pedro Martinez really is crazy ...

Sure, it's nice to think about Biggio and Bagwell riding a Rocket to their first ring, but does it have the poetry of Enter Sandman facing CorkBoy in Wrigley? Of the Cardinal trinity of Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols seeing if they can combine to be greater than The One Barry?

Yankees/Red Sox ... can you even think it without picturing Bucky F'ing Dent and Aaron F'ing Boone? Without the terminal heartbreak of the Sawx fan, without wondering if this is the series that will finally kill Bill Simmons' father or the one where the Curse of the Bambino falls quietly into the shadows along with Anaheim's Curse of the Cowboy?

Do you really want Twins/Angels? Some of you will surely say "Yeah! Anyone but the MFY and MFRS!" But honestly, why do the Angels get a free pass for spending $800 billion on Vlad, on Colon, to retain Percival and even the Mondesian overpaid Darin Erstad. but the Yanks and Sox are vilified for same?

Baseball requires villains; the A.L. gives us two. Baseball thrives on history and rivalries and on great storylines. There is none better than the one that featured Williams/Dimaggio, Fisk/Munson and Varitek v. A-Rod. You want this series to happen. Admit it. You want to see Kevin Brown throwing behind Manny, David Ortiz bowling over Derek Jeter, Derek Lowe's face just as he's realizing with certainty that he's about to throw a historic home run ball to Miguel Cairo.

Alas, ye Cubs and Giants. You could have doubled our fun this month.
Playoff Rooting Interests: The Rivalries | 43 comments | Create New Account
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_Paul D - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:43 PM EDT (#28646) #
Rooting Interests in Order:

St. Louis
New York

Houston would be way higher if Clemens didn't pitch for them. Boston also has the potential to move up... I like to cheer for whichever team has gone the longest without winning anything, it's just that in Boston's case it's so hard to do.
Craig B - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#28647) #
St. Louis
New York

If any of MIN, HOU, StL win I will be relatively pleased. If Anaheim of LA win I won't be angry. If Atlanta, New York, or especially Boston win I will be very angry indeed.
Craig B - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:52 PM EDT (#28648) #
In fact, in an ideal world, the Cubs would have held off the Astros in the NL Central...

Are you kidding? The fingerpointing and recriminations from Chicago have been hilarious to watch. Far more entertaining than the extra slight bit of aggro that a Cubs/Cards series would have generated.

(Besides, how can Cubs/Cards count as a "rivalry"? Is it a rivalry if one team always beats the other's brains out? Do the Globetrotters and the Generals have a rivalry?)

Do you reallywant Twins/Angels?

Honestly? More than anything I've wanted in baseball all year.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:57 PM EDT (#28649) #
Rooting order:

Red Sox

Really, I don't care who wins as long as it isn't the Yankees or the Red Sox. It's probably misanthropic of me, but I really like the fact that the Red Sox, Cubs, and White Sox haven't won in the post-World War I era. It's one of the more enjoyable traditions that major league baseball has.
_Elijah - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#28650) #
1. Houston
2. Minnesota
3. Anaheim (b/c I live in SoCal and I want to see WS games)
4. Atlanta (I don't root against this team as much as I've rooted against the Braves in the past - this team feels different)
5. Los Angeles (see #3 - but my Dodger fan friends are insufferable)
6. St. Louis
7. Boston
8. Yankees

I don't mind a Yanks/Sox ALCS if I can be guaranteed that one won't win it all. =)
Craig B - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#28651) #
I really like the fact that the Red Sox, Cubs, and White Sox haven't won in the post-World War I era. It's one of the more enjoyable traditions that major league baseball has.

[Simpsons] ...and it wasn't long before this yearly custom became an annual tradition. [/Simpsons]
_Elijah - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#28652) #
About the Cubs/Soxes losing, true that, Mike.
_BCMike - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#28653) #
St. Louis - Always liked the Cards, and they are my favorite N.L. team now that MTL is no more.

Anaheim - I became an Angel's fan(mainly because of my dislike for the other A.L. teams) during their post season run.

Minnesota I have hated the Twins ever since they beat the Jays in the post-season, but since they have a couple Canadians, I suppose I like them more than the rest.

L.A. - I am pretty indifferent when it comes to L.A., but since they have Gagne, they rank 4th.

Houston - I have rooted for Houston in the past, but my dislike of Clemens makes them hard to cheer for.

Atlanta - Once upon a time I rooted for Atlanta in the playoffs. That was until 92...

New York

I hate the Yankees and Red Sox equally, but since the Yankees win so much anyway, I would take them over the Red Sox simply to keep the Sox' streak alive.
_Nolan - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:26 PM EDT (#28654) #
I'll be cheering for:

Atlanta- while it seems many here have a distinct hate for them, they have always been my favorite NL team...

Houston- I like Bagwell as he came and signed a ball for me once after a Houston coach asked went and asked him if he'd take a break from hitting to sign my ball. Plus, I like Clemons...I know he's a jerk but I've still always liked him (same with Griffey)

Minnesota- go underdogs! go Canadians! Plus, Santana is amazing (would the Twins take Hinske for him in a trade?...) *groans at bad attempt at humour*

I'm indifferent to: (meaning i'd cheer for them enthusiastically against the Yanks and BRS)

St. Louis- I like Walker



Loathe-Worthy teams:

NYY- I do like Olerud, but he already has a ring so...

Boston- If I was forced to chose, they would get my cheers over the Yanks in a series pitting these two...For some reason Manny went from annoying to almost likable this year
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#28655) #
When it comes to other teams... I usually have to watch them play a few games and then I find out who I want to see win.

Or, just as often, who I want to see lose.

Until that happens, my only guides are: a) general principles, and b) favourite players. These can often conflict. Greg Maddux is possibly my favourite player of all-time, and I have what amounts to a fetish-like worship of Mark Prior. But I hate the Cubs...

1. Minnesota. On general principles - if a team with their payroll can win, so can we. Gives us hope. And how can you not like Johan Santana? How can you not like a Latin player named Johan?

2. Atlanta. Like Elijah says, this team feels different. That's because they are different. Bobby Cox rules. And if there's one guy in the playoffs I want to see get a ring this year, its Julio Franco.

3. Los Angeles. Because it will be loads of fun watching Eric Gagne in October.

4. St. Louis. They're a great team, and its good to have great teams. I can stand watching Pujols and Rolen play every night for a while. And it will make Cubs fans crazy....

5. Houston. Because Craig Biggio is so great. I don't much like Clemens, but I like to watch him pitch.

6. Anaheim. Normally would rate higher, but they just won one a couple years ago. Vlad is always easy to cheer for, though.

7. New York. You've got 26 championships. You don't need another.

8. Boston. Baseball's most sacred traditions must be preserved. Curt Schilling is one of my favourites, and if he didn't have a ring, this might be complicated. But he's got one. So screw the rest of ya. (Even Manny and Damon, who I do like. And Timlin, but he's got a ring too.)
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:52 PM EDT (#28656) #
I have lots of Yankees tidbits to pass along today. (I'm working with yesterday's press box notes.)

The Yankees won 100+ games for the third year in a row this year. No big deal, right? Even if they haven't won a WS during this span (so far.)

Its the first time in Yankee history that they've had three straight 100+ win seasons. Which amazed me (but much of their great run came before 1961, when the season went to 162 games.)

Until the current run, Torre's only 100+ win year was in 1998.

Billy Martin, Bob Lemon, and Dick Howser made it three out of four from 1977-1980, but they missed out in 1979.

Ralph Houk had two out of three (1961 and 1963) but settled for 96 wins in 1962.

Casey Stengels' Yankees - ten pennants in twelve years - made it 100 wins just once (and, incredibly, finished second by seven games.)

Joe McCarthy's Yankees won 100+ five times in seven years (1936-1942), but never together three in a row because they fell short in 1938 and 1940.

Miller Huggins' teams had a back-to-back in 1927-28, but that was all.

It turns out that 3 straight 100+ win seasons has now been done just five times since 1900.

That would be 15 pretty good teams, you would think. They've combined for five world championships (this year's Yankee's could make it 6.)

The Philadelphia A's (1929-31) won it all in 1929 and 1930.

The St.Louis Cardinals (1942-44) won it all in in 1942 and 1944.

The Baltimore Orioles (1969-71) won it all in 1970.

The Atlanta Braves (1997-99) were shut out.

The New York Yankees (2002-04) have been shut out so far.

Like I said, trivia...
_Jonny German - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#28657) #
St. Louis
New York

I don't mind a Yanks/Sox ALCS if I can be guaranteed that one won't win it all.

True dat. I'll agree with Mick in that last year's ALCS was a great show.

my dislike of Clemens makes [Houston] hard to cheer for.

True dat. It's unfortunate, because they've got a number of players who are worth rooting for. Meh, I guess I'd rather cheer for the Clemens Astros than the Loria Marlins...
_Rob - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#28658) #
I gotta go with the Twins first. Blame it on Gleeman or Morneau. ;)

Red Sox

Basically, anyone but Red Sox/Yankees/Escobar.
Mike Green - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#28659) #
the four NL teams (I half-like 'em all)

I guess that makes the AL series more interesting to me.
Mike D - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#28660) #
Dodgers -- Monsieur Gagne and Mr. Green. Plus, I like Steve Finley and Milton Bradley -- each in their own way -- and Beltre's had a great season.

Cardinals -- For Larry Walker, Woody Williams, Mike Matheny and Chris Carpenter. Renteria, Pujols, Edmonds, and Rolen all seem to be perfectly good guys. And no J.D. Drew! Only LaRussa keeps them out of my rooting top spot.

Astros -- Now it's really just coming down to "no A.L. rivals, and not the Braves."

Braves -- Strictly because of their Senior Circuit affiliation.

Twins -- A likable bunch whose success continues to constitute spit in the face of the would-be contractors.

Angels -- I like Vladdy and Garret Anderson, and their brand of baseball is fun to watch when they're firing on all cylinders. But their free-agent binge and their 2002 rings make for something less than a feel-good story.

Yankees -- A fellow Bauxite put it best: At least I have learned to deal with them winning. And having been knocked down a few notches over the last three postseasons, I won't have to put up with the "something must be wrong, we only won the Series in five games" nonsense of 2000...truly the perigee of a Yankee hater's existence in New York City.

Red Sox -- I cannot conceive of Fenway Park on the verge of a championship. Talk about the crucible of obnoxiousness. Yikes!
_Brian W - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#28661) #
Red Sox

I don't necessarily have reasons for this order.
_Wildrose - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#28662) #
Its the Twins for me:

- They have 2 Canucks.
-Gotta like the small market underdogs.
- If they actually win Gleeman would be the happiest guy on the planet, plus in the ensuing mayhem he might even get lucky!
_braden - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#28663) #
St. Louis
New York
_Rob - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#28664) #
Its the Twins for me:

- They have 2 Canucks.

What, no hot Canadian love for Crain? :)
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#28665) #
1. Minnesota - Love Johan Santana, love Justin Morneau. Gleeman's blog was the first blog I ever read.

2. Los Angeles - Been rooting for them ever since the mainstream media bashed them for "handing the pennant to the Marlins" at the trade deadline.

3. Anaheim - Love K-Rod

4. Houston - Don't like Houston, but better than the alternatives...

5. St. Louis - See above. Houston/St.L are interchangeable.

6. Atlanta - Ugghhh...if I have to see/hear that God damn tomahawk thing ...

7. Yankees - It really sucks that the (F'n) Yankees are only the second to last team on this list.


Red Sox. I won't cheer for them, so I'm not even going to put a number next to them. I will cheer for whomever they are facing, the whole way through.
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#28666) #
Gleeman would be the happiest guy on the planet, plus in the ensuing mayhem he might even get lucky!

That would be some pretty special mayhem... tee-hee. Are we liking his chances? Who is Jessica Alba cheering for, anyway?

God damn tomahawk thing ...

Oh God. I forgot about the bloody tomahawk...
_G.T. - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#28667) #
Personally, I think the "rivalry" stuff is way overblown.

The 1991 World Series is still the best World Series I can remember (I was a tad young in '75), and there was pretty much no "intrigue", absolutely no history between the teams, and I can't imagine who considered either the Twins or Braves to be a "villan" at the time.

(I suppose there may have been some Metrodome haters, and a few who were "ahead of the curve" in hating the Tomahawk Chop, but still).

For me, it's the Twins all the way, even if I can't see how they're anything other than a favourite against the Yankees. (Jon Leiber starting Game 2?!).

In the NL, it's got to be the Cards. The world's best baseball city deserves another pennant, if only so they can stop complaining about Don Denkinger.

I like the fact that I think a St.Louis-Minnesota WS series would give guys like Santana, Pujols, Rolen, et. al. the chance to shine on the "big stage". Larry Walker certainly deserves a shot at the World Series, too. (Or a LCS, at the very least).
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:10 PM EDT (#28668) #
Oh damn How could I forget about Larry Walker?

The Cards move up into 3rd.
_John Northey - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#28669) #
For me the Cards are the ones I want out the most due to LaRussa (can't stand him, glad that Cito has one more ring). Atlanta is a close second (some of it is due to the name and the old mascot). Hmm, I think the fact both LaRussa and Atlanta were old Jays enemies in the playoffs doesn't help either teams cause for me.

To me the Red Sox winning it all would be fun, just because what would the Sox fans have to do if they actually won? Especially if they did it via beating the Yankees in the playoffs?

The Twins and Astros are my big hopes though. Always liked Houston and the Twins are a hard team not to cheer despite their owner.

The others are a collective 'eh, whatever'
_Jordan - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:29 PM EDT (#28670) #
First Division

1. St. Louis: great and storied organization, and Rolen is one of those guys you can root for with no mitigating circumstances. I don't love them, but they're the best of the lot.

2. Houston: because (a) I predicted it pre-season and (b) I basically feel sorry for them. It won't matter, because they're facing Atlanta, which means 3 games and out, again.

3. Boston: Yes, you read that correctly. Partly because I predicted it too, partly so I never have to hear "Curse of the Bambino" again, but mostly because a Red Sox World Series champion instantly becomes a less desperate and less dangerous opponent for Toronto long-term. Think about it.

4. Minnesota: Meh. I hate their owner, I hate their stadium, and I hate how their stadium stole a World Series in '87. Otherwise, they're great, and Santana's a terrific story, but I can't get worked up about them.

Second Division

5. Anaheim: As has been pointed out, they've spent tons of money and they won a Series recently, so they're far from underdogs. Plus, no way I'm pulling for Escobar.

6. Atlanta: They are and always will be The Chop team, arrogance personified. They've been so close so often and let it slip away so often that I have no more sympathy for them.

7. Los Angeles: I refuse to root for this team the same year the Expos are lost to us forever. The Dodgers are insufferable until proven otherwise, Gagne notwithstanding.

8. New York: Sorry, I just can't rank them higher. I admired the late-'90s Yankees squads; I deeply dislike the current gaudy collection of big names. Organizational mid-life crises are never fun to watch.
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#28671) #
The 1991 World Series is still the best World Series I can remember

Hey, I'm as old as the hills... so let me see...

Well, sonny, the 1912 World Series was the greatest of them all. No question whatsoever in my mind... but alas... I wasn't there... go rad about it.

I can actually remember the 67 and 68 WS happening, but I don't really remember the baseball. Guess I really was too young...

I remember Herb Washington coming in to pinch run in 1974 and Mike Marshall promptly picking him off... I remember '75. But not very clearly.

My first true, vivid, wow-is-this-ever-great WS memory is Reggie Jackson in 1977.

Since then...well, the whole 1986 post-season - all of it - was fabulous.

The 1991 WS, of course.

The 1992 WS was very good - five close games, a couple come-from behind wins, several leads lost in the 9th. Only one blow-out, and even that game was close until Morris threw one last bad pitch... Would have been a true classic if it had gone seven.

The same applies to 1995 - all but one of the games were decided by a single run. It was all tense, tightly played, low-scoring. Almost a little too low-key. No explosiveness. It did feature one of the great deciding-game performances by Tom Glavine.

1997 did go seven, and the seventh game was a dandy, but the first six games were generally not very interesting.

But 2001 - the saga of BK Kim and Luis Gonzalez - that was one for the ages. That was wild. That might have been even better than 1991.

The Barry Bonds show in 2002 was pretty good.

Last year... no rooting interest. Jeff Loria vs The Evil Empire? Hard to care...
_Rob - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:35 PM EDT (#28672) #
Oh God. I forgot about the bloody tomahawk...

Damn, I knew there was a reason I shouldn't have put them so high.
After thinking it over..

1) Minnesota - all because of Gleeman. It must be great for him to see Johan Santana kick ass after he was pushing for him so long. The Twins are now my second-favourite team, with the Expos gone and all.
2) St. Louis - Walker deserves something for playing in Colorado all those years. Also, I've hardly ever seen them play this year, I hear they were pretty good. ;)
3) Los Angeles - That whole "giving the Marlins the pennant" stuff. I always liked DePo better than Beane, anyway.
4) Houston - my original preseason pick, before I threw it out the window and went with a Larry Bowa team. I would also like to see some revenge (in a sense) against One-M.
5) Anaheim
6) Atlanta
7) New York
8) Boston
_Rob - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#28673) #
mostly because a Red Sox World Series champion instantly becomes a less desperate and less dangerous opponent for Toronto long-term.

True, I never though about that.
I guess if it's Atlanta vs. Boston, I'll pull for the Red Sox. But only because it opens a door for Toronto. I will never cheer for them, under any circumstances. Even if they were playing the Leafs.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#28674) #
Red Sox -- I cannot conceive of Fenway Park on the verge of a championship. Talk about the crucible of obnoxiousness. Yikes!

And you wonder why I root against the Leafs? :)
Thomas - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#28675) #
Rooting interest

1. Minnesota - 3 Canadians, Johan Santana and Shannon Stewart. There's nothing here to dislike really. Once you get past those 5 I'm somewhat impartial towards the other players, but it's a pretty nice upside and there's no real negative.

2. St. Louis - Great baseball city. Larry Walker. Scott Rolen. Jim Edmonds and Albert Pujols don't seem as personable as the first two, but there's nothing there to dislike. Edgar Renteria's a solid player and I know I'm in the minority, but I have a soft spot for Tony LaRussa.

3. Houston - If it wasn't for Roger Clemens they'd be at the top of this list I think. I'd love for Biggio and Bagwell to get a ring. Beltran is a great ballplayer and a fine individual and Berkman doesn't get the respect he deserves either.

4. Anaheim - Love their bullpen, from K-Rod to Donelly. Eckstein gets overrated, but he's still great fun to root for. Guerrero is Guerrero. No pitch is safe when he comes up to bat. But cheering for Colon and Escobar leaves me with a bit of a sour taste.

5. Los Angeles - Gagne's cool. DePodesta's getting flak he shouldn't. But I don't really like the components of the team very much save Gagne and Lima. Maybe Steve Finley and Brad Penny.


6. Atlanta - Blugh.

7. New York - Blugh.

8. Boston - Blugh.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#28676) #
I'm gonna pull for Houston this year for all the absolute wrong reasons. At the start of the year I found a Houston jersery for sale for 20 bucks in the bullpen store. Now I have an excuse to wear it alot in public and cheese off my friends.
Leigh - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#28677) #
Rooting Interests

1. Boston - The Red Sox have always been the unyielding seductress in my otherwise monogamous Jays fanship. I'm sorry. Flame away, but Fenway is magic and their fans deserve a World Series win. There is a part, in the eigth "inning" of Ken Burns' Baseball documentary, where historian Doris Kearns talks about the Sox fans' heartbreak that simply compels me to root for them.

2. Minnesota - Yeah, if the Twins can do it the way that they have done it, then we can do it too. I like that.

3. St. Louis - Because hitting rules, and I have a man-crush on Larry Walker.

4. Los Angeles - My favourite character from Moneyball at the helm.

5. Houston - To come all the way back.

6. Anaheim - They tried to buy it; booo.

7. New York - Yankees Suck. Yankees Suck. Yankees Suck. Simple, yet poignant

8. Atlanta - Hate the team name, the logo, the cheer, and TBS.
Coach - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 07:54 PM EDT (#28678) #
Cards over Dodgers is easy; I've been pulling that way for well over 40 years. I also root for anybody (with the possible exception of the Cubs) over Atlanta, so go Astros, at least until the NLCS, where I look forward to Larry Walker putting a couple of Rocket offerings into orbit.

I picked the Red Sox in the spring, and see no reason to abandon them now. My heart says Twins over Yankees; my brain isn't so sure. It really wouldn't disappoint me to see a rematch of last year's ALCS, which was incredibly dramatic. But I don't care who wins the AL, except for how interesting they will be as opponents.

Cards-Red Sox would be an exciting, high-scoring Series. That's definitely my first choice. Cards-Twins would be fun, with no real "bad guys," and there's nobody a St. Louis fan would enjoy beating more than the Yankees. Even the Vatican series (Cardinals-Angels) would be fine. If anyone else represents the NL, I guess I could get behind the Red Sox or Twins, but not with the same passion.
Mike Green - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#28679) #
Cards-Red Sox would be an exciting, high-scoring Series

Plus the memories would be unbeatable. '67 was a fine year: Davey Keon when hockey was good, Expo 67, great music and of course, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Yaz and Lonborg.
_John Northey - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#28680) #
Hmm, what would be the most fun from a rivalry standpoint? Sox vs Yanks then Yanks vs Dodgers is probably the dream of tv networks. Sox vs Dodgers (NY connection) would be second (hmm... similar to '86 with a similar torture at the end?).

Worst WS matchup for networks? Probably Anaheim (no longer a fun story, just a good team) vs St Louis (small market, no players who have caught the imagination, no big stories). No real disaster combo for tv though.

Minnesota is always viewed as a fun team imo, from '87 and Puckett through today and the underdog label. Houston has Clemens (big name) and Biggio and Bagwell, all with stories for tv. LA, NY, Boston are obviously good for ratings. Atlanta I think has a following in the states although I never could get behind them even when they had ex-Jays Bobby Cox, Jimy Williams, and Fred McGriff plus a few guys I always enjoyed watching play, such as Smoltz.
_Mick - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:30 PM EDT (#28681) #
Nah, the disaster matchup for TV has nothing to do with "fun" and everything to do with "market share," so Fox is rooting hard for anything but Twins-Braves?

Why? Because Minneapolis-St. Paul is the smallest municipality in the playoffs (remember, the Angels are petitioning MLB to re-re-name themselves the "Los Angeles" Angels) and despite the fond memories fo 1991, I can tell you that Rupert Murdoch would rather endorse John Kerry than line Ted Turner's pockets.
_Ron - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:07 PM EDT (#28682) #
Here's my order:

1. Red Sox
2. Yanks

Way down the list now....

3. Twins
4. Angels
5. Cards
6. Dodgers
7. Astros
8. Braves

If the Red Sox or Yanks win it this season I will be very happy!
_Andrew S - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#28683) #
What's the deal with the Red Sox hatred? Was there some secret early 80s rivalry going on I missed while I was learning to read? I mean, by the time I was old enough to appreciate such things, the Tigers were the only team that I really regarded as rivals to Toronto.
_Jobu - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#28684) #
Well I can only speak for myself, but I imagine some of my feelings must overlap others reasons for not liking the red sox

1) In their hatred for the Yankees they just became the Evil Empire-Lite and have a huge payroll
2) Alot (certainly not all) of their fans are known to be almost as bad as MFY fans.
3) The team consists of alot of punks and prima donnas
4) We're being sick of being told to like them because they haven't won in a while.
_G.T. - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#28685) #
What's the deal with the Red Sox hatred? Was there some secret early 80s rivalry going on

Well, the Sox did win in '86, '88, and '90, though I only really remember there being a true "race" in 1990. Tom Brunansky's sliding catch sticks out in my mind.

That, and Rocket Roger, was enough for me to dislike them back then. I always thought Clemens "stole" Jimmy Key's Cy Young Award. While the rivalry with the Tigers always seemed friendly, probably mostly due to Sparky, the Sox never had anyone I particularly liked, as much as I certainly respected Boggs, Clemens, Evans et. al. So, I got a bit of pleasure out of the Sox finishing last in '92.

Now that I think about it, there was that Bruce Kison-George Bell game... the one that also featured my second-favourite Ernie Whitt grand slam off the Red Sox.

That was then, though.

Now? In many ways, several of which made Jobu's list, they really seem like the Toronto Maple Leafs of baseball... which might be a compliment, if I wasn't a Senators fan. :)
_Paul S - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 04:37 AM EDT (#28686) #
The Sox hate is making me want to post here less and less. :)

1. Boston - I've only been following baseball really closely again since 2001. When I had to start from scratch and pick a team all over again, it was obvious to me that I should pick the Sox. Always pretty good, but never amounted to much but heartbreak for those who believed in them. Reminded me of me. Since I'm new to this, I have only faced Sox-related heartbreak once. I wasn't as affected as many were because I saw it coming. Not only did I see it coming and braced myself for it, but I held out hope that once Rivera's two or three innings were up they'd face the dregs of the bullpen while we had Wake to go as long as was necessary. We all know how that worked out. Anyway, I've only faced pain and heartbreak once, so me wanting to see the Sox win isn't so much about seeing them win before I die as it is about shutting up those annoying voices in RSN like Shaughnessy and Affleck. It's about Fox announcers and the general public shutting up about a "curse" created wholecloth in 1990 to sell books. If Sox fans went on the run that Yankees fans did, they'd be entitled jackasses to a far FAR lesser degree. I don't see how their fans are at all similar in terms of obnoxiousness. Hell, Patriots fans can scarcely believe that they are as good as they are right now. I don't hear about them sending taunting emails to Colts fans. Also, the Sox have the payroll they do to compete with the Yankees, not only in terms of getting players, but to avoid a PR disaster if they ever went cheap. Lucchino was wrong to whine about it (as he has been wrong with a lot of what he's said in public. He's like the alcoholic uncle of the Sox FO) but no matter what, they are not the freaking "Evil Empire Lite." They wouldn't spend nearly as much if they weren't in direct competition with a team that grossly overspent everyone else. And they still aren't even close. Since the winter of '00 (going as far back the Yankees' first big signing of this team) they have bought three highly sought after free agents. That's not exactly snapping up everyone in sight. A lot of money was tied up in guys they got through trades or their own products or guys they signed as FAs who ANYONE could've had. They have one grotesque contract. The Yankees have many. Anyway...

2. Los Angeles - I like DePo. I'd love to see that trade work out for them in terms of Penny coming back to toss a gem in the NLCS and Choi mashing everything in sight. I like Green (although I really shouldn't) and Perez. Beltre stands alongside Konerko for guy who I hate for breaking out a year after I had them on my fantasy teams, but I still like him. And I really like Bradley. If you had to deal with all the crap he's had to deal with in life, you'd be a powderkeg too. Maybe I like latching onto the guys no one else likes if there's a reason to like them (like Barry.) Also, there's Gagne.

3. Houston - I predicted good things for them before the season. Well, they made the playoffs despite all hope being gone at one point. I have man-crushes on Lidge and Beltran. I'd love for them to stick it up Ol' One M's ass. Docked somewhat for Clemens' involvment.

4. Anaheim - I like Glaus, Vlad, K-Rod, and how they got an owner who opened his pockets to give them the 3rd highest opening day payroll to shake them out of the doldrums. I pulled hard for them two years ago, so I'm sort of guilted into slotting them here. I still hope they go down - wicked hahd. But, I won't piss and moan if they go all the way again... too hard.

5. St. Louis - And here I thought I hated the NL. Mashing is always fun. Morris and Renteria were fantasy disappointments for me this year. I think I'm over it. I hate LaRussa too. I'm so conflicted. I really don't like any teams from this point on.

6. Minnesota - I hate their stupid dome and their stupid fans (obviously excluding real fans like Aaron) for the ridiculous playing environment it provides and for no-showing most of the year only to wave hankies like chimps and shatter eardrums in the postseason, respectively. It's like this team is of two different cities: the one whose densiens make the dome feel like a tomb for 81 games, and the one whose citizens fill it and yell and scream and behave like they should have all freaking year. I don't respect that. I also dislike both of their titles. They ruined everything for everyone. They were the last team I wanted to win both years. At least they deserved to be there in '91. '87 was a joke. Like a 7th seed winning the Stanley Cup when the 2-6 seeds were DQed. I don't know whether to blame them or Candiotti for the Jays' ALCS loss, but I'm more apt to blame them.

7. Atlanta - They have to go somewhere. The likes of Charles Thomas and Eli Marrero coming up big all year deeply disturbes me. The Jaret Wright Revival disturbes me. This whole team feels like it's held together with stick tack and scotch tape and I thought this was the year we were finally rid of them. I guess the NL East just sucks that much.

8. New York - Everybody knows.
_Jordan - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 09:18 AM EDT (#28687) #
I always thought Clemens "stole" Jimmy Key's Cy Young Award.

Perhaps so, but to be fair, George Bell stole Alan Trammell's 1987 MVP.

610 AB, .308/.352/.605, 111 R, 188 H, 32 2B, 4 3B, 47 HR, 134 RBI, 5 SB, 1 CS, 39 BB, 75 K , 146 OPS+

597 AB, .343/.402/.551, 109 R, 205 H, 34 2B, 3 3B, 28 HR, 105 RBI, 21 SB, 2 CS, 60 BB, 47 K, 155 OPS+

Trammell played a very good shortstop in 1987; Bell played his usual indifferent left field (Trammell made 19 errors at shortstop, while Bell made 11 in left field). I'll admit rooting for Bell to win the award back in the day, but in hindsight, Trammell was clearly the deserving candidate.
_G.T. - Tuesday, October 05 2004 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#28688) #
Yup, Bell certainly wasn't the best player in the league in '87. Not only Trammell, but guys like Boggs, Evans, Molitor, and McGwire had more productive seasons. Boggs, especially -- that was his big HR year, .363/.461/.588 - 173 OPS+, though he did miss 15 games. (I love that, looking at Boggs' Baseball Reference card, his pitching stats are at the top)

Looking at the voting, it surprises me to see that Puckett finished third, but I guess he was on a winning team... with Trammell getting 12 of 28 first place votes, the voting was also closer than I remember it being.

I remember rooting for Bell to win, though thinking that the team's "real" MVP that year was Tony Fernandez. It's okay, though Bell's choice wasn't nearly as bad as Dawson winning the NL with his .328 OBP, playing for a last-place team. Did Tim Wallach really get a 1st-place vote? Wow! I'd completely forgotten that Steve Bedrosian won a Cy Young Award with a rather unimpressive season. Ugh.
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