A few days ago I gave you some reasons to keep watching baseball if your favorite team is out of it. The playoffs look like they’re going to be exciting. There are some great young stars in the game. Even if your team isn’t going to win the World Series this year there are still reasons to watch.
Let’s be honest though. Baseball is always more fun when you have someone to root for. There’s nothing quite like October when you care what the outcome is. The knot you feel in your stomach in between every late-inning pitch. Going outside and talking to yourself about what “we” need to do in order to win this game.
So let’s say your team is out of it. Who should you root for this October? Sure you’re jumping on a bandwagon, but there’s a reason people are always wanting to get on those things… it’s fun to be a winner. What follows is the list of teams you should be rooting for this October from least likable to most likable.
10. St. Louis Cardinals
I’m sure some will blame the fact that I’ve ranked St. Louis as the least likable playoff team on the fact that I’m a Reds’ fan. However, there are lots of reasons not to like this team. The only reason they’ve won so many games is because they hacked into another team’s computer (I can’t wait to see the comments section). They’re the self proclaimed “Best Fans in Baseball.” I’ve heard BTTP writer Alex Crisafulli refer to the fanbase this way NUMEROUS times. They have “The Cardinal Way.” They’ve been very successful in recent years. You will find no joy in jumping on this bandwagon, unless you like rooting for the guy who has it all… because he stole it all from you.
9. New York Yankees
I don’t really have a good reason to hate this year’s Yankees team. I actually love watching A-Rod do what he’s done this year. Losing Jeter has made them a little more likable in my eyes, but I grew up watching baseball in the 90’s. For the better part of my childhood the Yankees were Darth Vader. They were the team that “bought” their championships (now that I’m older I realize there was more to it than that). Sure I don’t hate these Yankees like I did previous versions, but do you really want to root for them? Do you root for Tom Brady to win more Super Bowls? Do you root for Jonathan Taylor Thomas to be on more covers of Teen Beat magazine? (I feel so old.) Don’t be that guy.
This feels like a good moment to share one of the happiest moments of my childhood…
8. Los Angeles Dodgers
I really struggled with where to put the Dodgers on this list. Individually there is a lot I like about the Dodgers. I love watching Puig. Kershaw and Greinke are can’t-miss television. Other than my wife’s voice, I’ve fallen asleep to the sound of Vin Scully more than anything else (IMPORTANT UPDATE: As a helpful reader pointed out, this is not a reference to being bored by talking to my wife. I’m simply saying at the end of the day I’m either with her or up late listening to Vin. That’s all I was saying here. I PROMISE!). But they’re spending close to $300 million dollars on their payroll this year. They have a lot of advantages, and they finally have a front office that realizes how to use them. You can root for the Dodgers, but it’s a lot more fun to root for a team that shouldn’t be there.
7. Texas Rangers/Minnesota Twins
Yes you should want to root for an underdog, but you also want to root for an underdog that has a chance to do something. The Twins and Rangers have been nice stories this year, but no one really expects them to do much this October. You can become a Twins or Rangers fan, but you’re probably only going to be rooting for them for one game in the playoffs. Rooting for these teams would be fun but short lived.
6. Houston Astros
I don’t think people expected the Astros to make the playoffs quite so soon. Astros fans (if there were any) had a miserable few seasons. They’ve sat through some horrendous baseball, and they really do deserve something good if they stuck with the team this far. They made some additions at the trade deadline to bolster their rotation, and they have a lot of exciting young position players on the roster. Again, this is a case of a fun team to root for, but one that might not be primed to go very deep this year.
5. Chicago Cubs
Look Cubs fans I get it. I know you should probably be higher up on this list. You’ve gone longer than anyone without winning a World Series. But you already have one of the most passionate fan bases in baseball. You’re not hurting for people to get behind your team. It could be fun to root for you, but there is a little part of me that actually enjoys watching you fail a little more. I watched the Steve Bartman game with a die hard Cubs fan and it was one of the most pleasurable experiences of my life in some sadistic kind of way. Plus, there are a few more reasons not to root for you.
Who wants to hear this for a month?
4. Pittsburgh Pirates
There’s something I like about the Pirates. I read Big Data Baseball this summer, and it really gave me a newfound respect for the organization. They’ve been willing to adapt to new ideas in order to compete. They have a lot of likable guys on the team. It really does seem like a fun fan base to be a part of. You would enjoy rooting for the Pirates, but you wouldn’t reach your optimal joy.
3. New York Mets
Here is the dilemma you’ll have rooting for the Mets. Why would you want anything good to happen to this ownership group? The Wilpons and Mets fans have had a consistently rocky relationship to say the least. So why is this team ranked so high?
Seriously, how could you not root for this guy?
I want him to become president. I want him to be king of America. Whatever it takes to make the tears go away. I haven’t seen a grown man cry like this since I watched the end of Toy Story 3 after I had kids of my own. I could definitely see myself rooting for the Mets this October.
2. Toronto Blue Jays
There’s not much to say here other than, this is just a fun team. In an era dominated by pitching they’ve decided to party like it’s 1999. One of their players has a pretend parrot that follows him around the base paths. They went all in at the trade deadline. As a fan that’s all you can ask for. What’s not to like here?
The Team You Should Be Rooting For: The Kansas City Royals
Look I get it. The Royals were a fun story last year, and then they were a bit too much to take early in the season. They decided to fight everyone. They had enemies everywhere, but think about how much fun you could have this October rooting for this team.
You could watch a team avenge a game seven loss in the World Series last year.
You could watch Johnny Cueto “wobble” multiple times in October.
Look how excited Salvador Perez gets over EVERY win.
Beyond that this is a fan base that was in baseball purgatory for a long time. Every time they got a young star they were traded away. They were the forgotten team in baseball. I had my fair share of $1 hotdogs and Coke at Kaufmann which was an attempt to try and get people in the ball park. I want to live in a world where the Kansas City Royals have won a world championship. You want it. Let’s hop on the bandwagon… together… and make it happen.Next post: Trailing 30 – 9/1/15
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