I have been absent for a little while, fun and crazy time at work and home with a new job, the new school year getting into full swing along with kid activities like martial arts, fall baseball and Scouting. I have been trying to keep up on the other blogs but that hasn't exactly happened either. I am typically an optimistic person so I will say that the "good" news is that both my football teams (SF 49ers and USC Trojans) are terrible this year so I should have some free weekend time throughout the fall and winter.
If I were getting this post out prior to the wild card round I would have had the Pirates as the team I most wanted to win. I like their uniforms (hence the Dave Parker as only a Pirate collection), a number of players on the current team led by Andrew McCutchen and the way they play the game. I am hoping they can keep this streak of nice seasons alive and maybe play the Giants in the NLCS next season.
I have given some thought to who I will be cheering for in these playoffs. I won't be watching them as intently as if the Giants were in it but I am baseball fan so I will be watching and following.
Let's start in the AL.
I really like the aggressiveness that the Blue Jays displayed at the deadline. Things aren't looking good for them down 2-0 to the Rangers so they probably won't be advancing. They aren't my team of choice anyway, while I like the moves they made and a few of their players, there is a team I like more.
The Rangers surprised me a bit, I didn't think they would make it into the playoffs this year. They have a few nice parts but didn't seem playoff caliber to me. I like the fact they made it fairly easy on the Giants to win the 2010 World Series and with that being the first in my lifetime I was very happy with the outcome. No real hatred of the Rangers but I am also not a big fan.
To me the Astros are the feel good story of 2015. They have built their team up from the ruins in a remarkable way and have a ton of young talent and a deep minor league system. This is a team that should be good for years. I like the youth, I really like Jose Altuve as a player and he seems like a great guy, and they have a couple of really strong pitchers. If I were to rank the teams I most want to win, this team would come in #3.
My top choice for the American League is the Royals. My company has a pretty big hub in Kansas City and I have a number of friends and co-workers who love the Royals. I really like that a majority of their fans have been unwavering fans for years as years, well before the team was any good. They play ball hard and gave my team a hard fight last year. I am really hoping they make it back to the World Series this year, they are my AL pick.
The National League is a little easier for me, while I don't have much ill will towards any of the 4 AL teams, there are a couple of the NL that I just plain hate.
The first and most obvious choice is of course the Dodgers. I hope they get swept, I hope they don't fire Mattingly (I think he is a bad manager and perfect for the Dodgers) and I hope Greinke decides to leave and sign with the Giants. Enough said.
A fairly close 2nd on the hatred scale are the Cardinals. My ill feelings towards them goes back to a fight with the Giants back in 1988. Will Clark goes in with a legal but hard slide and while he is on the ground Jose Oquendo kicks him and hits him. Clark gets up and starts swinging connecting a couple times with Oquendo. The Wizard of Oz tries to hit Clark a couple times and I believe only connects with his teammate Oquendo. Four Cardinals quickly converge on Clark before Candy Maldonado comes sprinting from first and connects with a flying punch to the jaw of Ozzie Smith that ended up needing stitches - it was beautiful. The Cardinals have great fans supposedly and the number of injuries they have overcome definitely shows they have a strong and deep organization but you will never see me cheer for them unless they are playing the Dodgers.
Next up are the youth laden Cubbies. As a baseball fan it would be a great story to see the Cubs win the World Series and it would make Back to the Future somewhat of a prophet. However this baseball fan thinks it makes an even better story to have the Cubs find some miraculous way to blow it again, some sort of Bartman 2, and keep the curse of the Billy Goal alive.
So my pick for the NL is the Mets. I am not a huge fan but I do like all their young starting pitching. I also think David Wright is a class act. It would be fun to see them win. I did like the 1986 version of the team as much as a Giants fan could and I think it might be fun to see them get to the World Series.
So my choice for the World Series using my heart and not my head would be the Royals vs. the Mets. I would like seeing it be a close series, going 6-7 games with the Royals coming out on top. It would make quite a few people including quite a few friends at work happy, and I would enjoy the lifting of spirits. So Go Royals!
P.S. All the cards shown in this post are available for trade if anyone is interested.