Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Who to Root for in the World Series?

At this time of year, fans of 28 of Major League Baseball's teams are forced to take on the rooting interest of a team other than their own. Sometimes the decision who to root for is an easy one, like when the Series involves the Yankees (everybody hates the Yankees, except Yankees fans), or the Red Sox (almost everyone hates the Red Sox, except Red Sox fans and people who don't yet realize the same reasons to hate the Yankees pretty much apply to the Red Sox. Except the having won 1/4 of all World Series thing, of course).

Other times, it's a much more difficult decision—see 1986: seriously, who in their right mind was a fan of either of those teams? I'm sure the same could be said about 2009, but not by me, of course—or simply that one is indifferent to both teams. This year is certainly closer to the latter than the former for me, so I had to go through the following exercise to decide who I would root for.

Reasons to root for the Tigers:
  • Haven't won a World Series since 1984. Not the longest drought there is, but certainly more time has passed compared to the last time the Giants won it.
  • If your team has to lose, on some level, it's a little more satisfying when they lose to the eventual champion.
  • There might be another Leaping Laird Internet phenomenon.
  • I predicted Tigers over Giants in a contest on another blog, so I could win some kind of prize.
  • The Giants' Brian Wilson is about as likable as the Beach Boys' Mike Love.
  • The American League hasn't won a World Series since 2009.

Reasons to root for the Giants:
  • My childhood best friend lives in San Jose and is a Giants convert. Considering he grew up a Yankees fan, I'm sure you'll approve.
  • Marco Scutaro is on the Giants. Have I mentioned I used to be a big Scutaro fan (and may have once even created a MySpace page for him)? That is, until he signed with the Red Sox. I could easily return to being the President of his fan club.
  • There are a few Tigers who either rub me the wrong way (Jose Valverde, Jim Leyland, Phil Coke, Miguel Cabrera) or are just genuinely unlikable (Delmon Young).
  • I'm getting a little tired of teams who didn't even win 57% of their regular season games (2011 Cardinals, 2010 Giants, 2008 Phillies, 2006 Cardinals) winning the World Series.
  • Cabrera's going to win the AL MVP and he might not even be the second most deserving candidate in the league (or the most deserving on his own team, for that matter).
  • It would be rooting for the underdog and the team that had a more championship-worthy regular season all wrapped into one.
  • Melky Cabrera's on the Giants.
  • The American League hasn't won a World Series since the Yankees in 2009.

I guess I'm leaning towards the Giants, but I won't be crushed if the Tigers win it, especially considering my prediction. So, as has been the case with the last two World Series, I'm basically playing it by ear, and ultimately pulling for an exciting series. If one team falls behind by a couple games, I'll likely root for them to come back and make things interesting. Or, perhaps something that occurs during the series will make my mind up for me.

Happy World Series everyone!


  1. Good stuff. Interesting you should mention 1986. About 100 miles north of you in upstate New York, the seventh World Series of my life was the first I was really cognizant of. My parents didn't have any real rooting interest, but most people I knew who did care were either Mets or Red Sox fans. I think I changed allegiances every night of that series, probably sometimes during the games. I left that series a Mets fan (that's what unencumbered six-year-olds do, right?), but that only lasted a few years.

    Looking back today, I feel all the anguish in that Game Six that I would have felt if it happened during the Red Sox chapter of my life. Glad I was so fickle then.

    1. Your last comment is funny. I rooted for the Red Sox in 1986 because I disliked the Mets more at the time. Nowadays, I'd definitely root for the Mets vs. the Red Sox in the World Series, but it still took me a long time to get over the way the Red Sox lost that one.