I won’t mince words: I love the MLB playoffs. I’m a Pirate fan, but I’m a baseball fan, too and the playoffs give me a chance to do some guilt-free rooting for teams that aren’t the Pirates (at least until the Pirates are in the playoffs, at which time it’ll be more than enough fun to root for the Pirates and I won’t want to root for another team).
Anyways, here’s a quick guide to who this particular Pirate fan is rooting for in this year’s playoffs and why, in order of preference.
Tampa Bay Rays- The small market gold standard. These guys got it right, and they’re living, breathing proof that any well-managed baseball team can succeed despite circumstances.
Cincinnati Reds – Yeah, the Pirates and Reds used to be pretty serious rivals. But rooting against a small-market NL Central team made good in the playoffs is bad karma. Plus, they play the Phillies. Anyone that plays the Phillies is one of my favorite teams.
Texas Rangers – It sucks that the Rangers are Rays are playing each other in the first round, because I really like the Rangers. They’re another great rebuilding effort with a surprisingly good pitching staff. This team is the sleeper of the whole playoffs, especially if Josh Hamilton is healthy.
Minnesota Twins – If you don’t like watching Joe Mauer hit, you don’t like baseball. If you don’t like Carl Pavano’s mustache, we probably can’t be friends.
San Francisco Giants – Tim Lincecum is one of those people that I just like to watch pitch. Also, I’m pulling hard for Freddy Sanchez. Frankly, I think it’d be awesome for him to have a pennant or World Series to hold of Jack Wilson’s head.
Atlanta Braves - Not the same Braves team of the 90s, but still the franchise that broke my heart repeatedly. I’m never going to forgive them for that. That’s how being a sports fan works.
Philadelphia Phillies – From Philadelphia. Next.
New York Yankees – Self-explanatory.
If you’re looking for more playoff stuff, I’m more than happy to toot the MLB FanHouse horn today; we’ve got reporters all over the place and lots of good content. I wrote the Reds/Phillies preview capsule and will be manning the live chat later this evening for the second and third games.