Friday, October 16, 2015

Love/Hate Guide To the Championship Series


With the MLB playoffs down to 4 teams, it's time to take a long, hard look at who's left to figure out who's worth rooting for - and who's worth rooting against:



AMERICAN LEAGUE

Toronto Blue Jays
Reasons to Love Them
Jose Bautista's bat flip. If you need a reason beyond that, you are dead inside and I cannot help you. But, if you insist, they're bringing a knuckleballer who named his bats after the swords in The Hobbit to the LCS. They bring all the offensive thunder - if you like scoring, you want them in the World Series. Toronto is a lovely city and this is a chance to loosen the strangehold the god-awful Maple Leafs have had on it for decades. And this song
Reasons to Hate Them
The left side of the infield, with probable MVP Josh Donaldson and Colorado refugee Troy Tulowitzki, is cranky redass central. They're owned by a telecommunications conglomerate, which is never a good thing. The field at the Rogers Centre is awful. And in the worst-kept secret in sports, Blue Jays fans are basically land-locked Vancouver Canucks fans when it comes to the social airs and graces. Seriously, Philadelphia fans look at the display of arrant bullshit on display during Game 5 of the LDS and say "Chill out, Spartacus". This behavior - sorry, behaviour - should not be encouraged.

Kansas City Royals
Reasons to Love Them
Kansas City has great ribs and BBQ. It would be nice to see them win something without having a Cardinals fan immediately chiming in about Don @#$#@ing Denkinger. The redemption of Alex Gordon is a beautiful thing to see. The Royals' shutdown bullpen is glorious to watch. Did I mention the BBQ?
Reasons to Hate Them
Their owner is part of the Lovecraftian nightmare that is Wal-Mart. Ned Yost is the Chauncey Gardner of baseball managers, constantly doing boneheaded things then getting bailed out by weird coincidences. Johnny "Kumite" Cueto remains a kind of a jerk. Royals fans have, in two years of success, rapidly become as insufferable as Red Sox fans circa 2007. Come on kids, at least win something first.

NATIONAL LEAGUE
New York Mets
Reasons to Love Them
They're not the Yankees. It would be nice to see David Wright removed from the "great players who were the face of their franchise and never won a World Series" list. Bartolo Colon is, in all things, awesome. Bartolo Colon batting is double awesome.
Reasons to Hate Them
Can you say "Bernie Madoff?" Then there's the endless rending of garments by media types about how there has to be a New York team in the World Series to "save" the ratings. Oh, and let's not forget the Mets fanbase, which has a tendency to go to the nuclear option of panic every time a Mets pitcher so much as walks a single batter.

Chicago Cubs
Reasons to Love Them
108 years! Billy goats! Curses! Billy Murray! Joe Maddon is the most adorable manager ever! Theo Epstein can break both the Red Sox and Cubs' curses, at which point the media will decide he's qualified to broker peace in the Ukraine. They have all that amazing young talent, including Kyle Schwarber, who looks like he belonged on the '93 Phillies. 
Reasons to Hate Them
The unpleaseant Ricketts family did horrible things to Wrigley and didn't get the job done by Opening Day. With the Red Sox over the hump, somebody still needs to have a legendary curse. All the myth-making about Harry Caray misses the fact that for roughly the last ten years of his career, he had no idea what was happening on the field. They were going to get rid of Old Style at Wrigley. Also, cheezborger.

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