So, the Yankees, the team I hate the most, is out of it. And so are the Rays, the AL team I like second best, after my beloved, yet awful, Minnesota Twins. So, for whom do I root now?
In the AL, we have the Tigers vs. the Rangers. One factor is always which team features more former Twins. The Tigers win easily here, since they now have Delmon Young. The trade to the Tigers evidentially triggered something that makes him hit more consistently. Well, good for him.
On the other hand, I've had a long hatred of the Tigers stemming from the 1987 playoffs, before which Sparky said something shitty about the Twins. It was something about the Twins not deserving to be in the playoffs. And then the Twins kicked their collective asses and went on to win the World Series.
On the Rangers' side, we have a complete lack of former Twins. Plus, we have a team once partially owned by George W. Bush. Double plus, they once paid A. Rod more than the entire Twins roster made at the time. (No, that's not an exaggeration. His yearly salary was actually more than the Twins' entire player payroll.)
I guess I'm willing to forgive the Tigers for Sparky talking out his ass. Plus, the fewer games we have to see Dubya sitting in the stands, the better.
On the NL side, things are tougher to decide. I've never really seen the Brewers as rivals to the Twins, despite attempts to portray their interleague play as such. Nor do I hold any ill will towards the Cards from 1987. After all, we beat them, too. And they weren't dicks about it.
So, let's look at former Twins. The Cards have Nick Punto, a favorite player of ours, despite his lack of hitting ability. I'm, frankly, a bigger fan of good defense than I am of good hitting. And Nicky has one hell of a glove. To counter him, the Brewers have Go Go Gomez. And I love watching him play with reckless abandon and unbridled enthusiasm. Dang, it's hard to choose.
So, let's drop down to former Twin pitchers. The Cards have Kyle Loshe, who was a bit of a cry-baby with the Twins. I never really liked him, but he's done well since leaving. I was stumped regarding the Brewers, until I remembered that they have LaTroy Hawkins. Holy crap! He's still playing? Yes. Yes he is. Again, he was a bit of a complainer while a Twin and I never warmed to him, either.
Crap! Still a tie.
Okay, I'll lean towards the Brewers, solely because Prince Fielder reminds me of Kent Hrbek. It's not just that both were/are chunky, power-hitting first basemen. It's because Fielder raises the same question that Hrbek always did. The question? If either of them had gotten in good shape, would that have improved their abilities to a much higher level? Or would it have just ruined their considerable natural ability?
It's kind of like having a kid who just has a knack for playing the piano. You want to encourage that. But will making her take lessons enhance that gift, or potentially ruin it?
So, there we go! I'm rooting for the Tigers and the Brewers!
Who will I take in the World Series? Beats me. That'll be another blog post. Frankly, I'm just happy the Yankees got kicked out in the first round!
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