Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Monday, October 02, 2006

Playoff rooting guide for Braves fans

Ok, the playoffs are here, and for the first time since 1990, you can't root for the Braves. What do you do? If you're like me, games aren't as fun if you're not cheering for a team, and a World Series that includes two teams you hate isn't even worth watching. Well, help is here. I've taken time out of my super busy schedule to help you out. Here's a team by team breakdown of the playoff rooting possibilities. I've got the teams listed from most reprehensible to most rootable, as my eyes see them.

1. NY Mets: this wasn't particularly close. Not only do they have a ridiculously ugly orange and blue color scheme, but they have some of the most annoying fans in baseball. Now, there are a lot of reasons to hate this team. They come from NY. They play in our division. They ended the streak. Mike Piazza played for them. I could go on all day. But, there is no bigger reason than the fact that Braves fans all over would have to listen to their BS until the Braves win their next World Series, and I can't deal with that.

2. NY Yankees: being a Braves fan from way back, the Yankees were closer to the number 3 team than it might seem, but they pulled it out in the end. It came down to the fact that if the number 1 and 2 team met in the world series, I wouldn't watch, which is always a telling factor. I sure as hell didn't watch in 2000. I think I saw one inning during a party in someone's dorm room I was in on a Friday or Saturday night. That's it. I really, really don't like the Yankees, and there are a lot of reasons for that. Derek Jeter. Gary Sheffield. Jason Giambi. Did I mention Derek Jeter? The thing is, the Yankees already win any argument over who was the best team for the past 15 years, so there's no rooting factor there, and really, one more championship isn't going to make Yankees fans any more insufferable, and it might actually shut up a few of those annoying Red Sox fans who came out of the woodwork when the Sox won two years ago.

3. LA Dodgers: this isn't entirely rational, and younger fans might not understand, but it all comes down to Tommy Lasorda. If you just started watching the Braves in 1995, you may not remember the man, but he was the bane of my childhood. Back when the Braves were still in the NL west (that's right youngsters, ask your grandpa about it) the Dodgers always beat the hell out of us, and that pain lies deep within me. I may still need some therapy. We've handled them recently, but I still can't ever cheer for them, and I still don't want to see the numerous camera shots of Tommy Lasorda that I'm sure would accompany any Dodgers World Series appearance. The only reason, and I do mean only, they are ranked higher than the Yankees is that I have a little soft spot for Maddux and wouldn't mind seeing him winning another championship. Some might say that it'd be nice to see Furcal and Drew do the same, but I disagree. They left (Maddux did too, but he gave me a championship first), and they are dead to me. Plus, Jeff Kent? You wanna see him celebrating? I don't think so.

4. St. Louis: Tony Larussa.

5. Oakland: their shoes upset a friend of mine, and I really don't want to receive 7 calls from her during the World Series complaining about them. That, and an Oakland WS appearance would start a bunch of flamewars over at baseballthinkfactory, which I don't feel like dealing with. Some might say that it'd be nice to see Frank Thomas contribute to a WS championship, but I have never really liked Frank. I don't know why, but he annoys me.

Now, we're getting to teams I'd actually be able to cheer for, not just root against.

6. San Diego: back in the halcyon days of the Braves being in the NL west, we'd share the cellar with the Padres quite a bit, so I never minded them. Also, most years, the only games I'd get to go to would be the July 4th games, with fireworks afterwards, and the Braves seemed to always play the Padres in those games. Now, the Padres aren't perfect. They do employ Mike Piazza, and I'd hate to see him win a ring, but they are an eminently rootable team. I advise all of you to take them as your NL team. Just ignore Kahlil Greene's hair and concentrate on seemingly good guy Trevor Hoffman finally getting a ring.

7. Minnesota: if you're still harboring ill will from '91, I can't help you. I certainly have no ill feelings left over from that year. I think they all disappeared somewhere around October of '95. This Twins team is young and fun, like all Twins teams since they can't keep anyone in free agency. They've survived a contraction plot. They've got a nice crop of pitchers for whom to cheer, and the longer they go the better chance that Brad Radke will be able to sew his arm back on and contribute, which will lead to the chance of viewers actually being able to see it fall off and hit a batter. However, I went to school in MN, so I might be a little of a Homer. I'll forgive the rest of you if you switch this team and SD.

8. Detroit: this team hasn't made the playoffs since '87, which is a long time. People born in '87 can vote now. The Tigers also bring lots of exciting possibilities to the table. Will Jim Leyland smoke in the dugout during a tense game? Will the Yankees sign all of the young Tiger's pitchers after they become free agents? Just a few? Anyway, the ballpark is beautiful, the team plays hard, and if you watch a few of their games, you will begin to like them. I can't come up with any better reasons, because I haven't had to do this so early in a long time, and I'm rusty.

Next year, the Braves need to be back, so that I only have to think about this stuff after the first round.

5 Comments:

  • And because Jim leyland reminds me of my stepdad, damnit.

    By Blogger Byrd, at 3:56 AM  

  • I would switch the Twins and A's, personally. I don't have any friends offended by their footwear. And I don't like Carl Pohlad at all.

    By Blogger J Lεεds (oi!), at 10:33 AM  

  • Not going so well for you so far there, byrd.

    By Blogger J Lεεds (oi!), at 1:55 PM  

  • Hey, I never said that the teams I wanted to win would. Historically, the teams I'm rooting for rarely win it all. I don't take odds of winning into account when deciding who to throw my heart behind.

    Plus, the tigers won today, so maybe they'll pull it out.

    By Blogger Byrd, at 5:57 PM  

  • Historically, the teams I'm rooting for rarely win it all.

    Obviously. You're a Braves fan.

    By Blogger J Lεεds (oi!), at 10:54 PM  

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