The Brewers' season may be over, but there's still plenty of baseball to be played this year. And I don't know about you, but following baseball is about 10 times more fun for me when I have a rooting interest. The obvious question, then: Who to cheer for? (Or for the copy editors among you, Whom to cheer for?)
I created a handy-dandy guide, just for you.
Pros: Generally speaking, they seem like a decent enough group of guys. Jamie Moyer's old. Charlie Manuel is a stand-up guy, if a barely mobile one.
Cons: They have some of the worst fans in the league -- at least by our Midwestern niceness standards. They knocked the Brewers out of the playoffs last year. (Tell me this video doesn't still hurt.) C'mon, they won last year. Let someone else have a shot. Oh, whoops, I forgot about this guy.
Pros: They play baseball The Right Way. They saved us from having to watch the Cubs win the division. Will Leitch is a fan, and I kinda like that guy. It might actually be fun to watch a hitter as dominant as Albert Pujols when he's not hurting your team. NL Central represent!!!!1!
Cons: They're the most uptight, anal-retentive team in professional sports. If they win, your only payoff is to watch them shake each other's hands politely and head to the dugout for some warm milk. Al Hrabosky makes my ears bleed. Also, .09.
Pros: Listening to Vin Scully call the final out of the World Series would be pretty freakin' cool. Jonathan Broxton and Clayton Kershaw are a pretty amazing young pitching duo to watch. And most importantly, they take themselves about 100 times less seriously than the Cardinals.
Cons: I believe they're the only playoff team with a player who got caught 'roiding (OK, quasi-roiding) this year.
Pros: If the Twins lose Tuesday, they have the smallest payroll of any playoff team in the playoffs. They're pretty much doing what the Brewers are trying to do: Building around a nucleus of young, talented (and cheap) position players, with a rotation of good-enough young guys and some older castoffs and a pieced-together bullpen. They also have the best chance of getting insanely hot.
Cons: The altitude-inflated stats, the ridiculous streakiness, the fact that they didn't exist when I was in second grade -- something about them just smells a little flaky.
Pros: After what he did for the Brewers and the city of Milwaukee last year, karma owes CC Sabathia a World Series title. (Also, as a Nebraskan, I'm contractually obligated to root for Joba Chamberlain, the greatest pitcher ever to pass through the hallowed hallways of my wife's esteemed alma mater.)
Cons: To steal Rick Reilly's line, rooting for the Yankees to win the World Series is like rooting for Bill Gates to win the lottery.
Pros: If you like small-market underdogs, they have the lowest payroll of anyone still in this. Joe Mauer is an absolute stud. Like the Cardinals, they seem to play the game The Right Way. Unlike the Cardinals, they don't seem to be arrogant jerks about it.
Cons: Many of the same people who root for the Twins also root for the Vikings. I'm not sure I can handle any sort of outcome that leaves Vikings fans happy.
Pros: The city of Detroit could really use a pick-me-up right about now. Also, tell me you can watch this video of Ernie Harwell and still not like this team.
Cons: Their biggest celebrity fan? This guy.
Pros: After Nick Adenhart's death in April, this has been a team on a mission. It's hard not to root for a team playing for the memory of its fallen teammate.
Cons: I still can't forgive Angels fans for bringing the abomination that is Thunderstix to our national consciousness.
Pros: Because it's been a whole 16 months since the city of Boston had a sports championship to celebrate.
Cons: Because it's been a whole 16 months since the city of Boston had a sports championship to celebrate.
I'm in Rockies country, so the longer the Rockies are in it, the more baseball I get to watch with friends. Jumping aboard the Rockies bandwagon made the 2007 postseason a blast, so it was a no-brainer to do it again this time. What about you? Who are you rooting for, and why?