Who do I root for, now that the Blue Jays are eliminated from the playoffs. Who do I want to see win the whole dang thing, out of the possible choices. Well, it used to be mostly intuitive. Hate the AL East teams, get a feel about the history of the other teams, what kind of baseball town they are. And follow any favorite players that may be on other teams.
Eventually, I just started rooting for ex-Blue Jays that were on other teams. As long as I liked them, anyway. If they were considered traitors in any way, they were off my radar. Then I started factoring in how long the team had waited to win a World Series.
This year, though, it has become a mathematical equation. I have four factors that I am considering when choosing who to root for. 1) How long HAS it been since they won a World Series. Sorry, new teams, but not winning one doesn't mean the same thing as waiting 86 years to win one. 2) How many ex-Blue Jays DO they employ on their roster? Keeping ex-Blue Jays in the game almost always makes me happy. 3) Did I visit their stadium this year? I've sort of been rooting for the Phillies and Nationals all along on a secondary level this year. It'll be interesting to see how this translates to my New York trip next year. 4) Are they still alive in my World Series Survivor? Look, I want to have some success with this new concept. I've gone out on limbs here, and I want to look good and have the kind of success that will make me want to continue it next year.
1) The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series in 99 YEARS! It's called the Curse of the Goat for a long and silly reason, but that makes them the team waiting longest for World Series Championship in all of baseball, let alone in the playoffs. The team that has been waiting the second-longest amount of time is also in the playoffs, the Cleveland Indians. They won their last World Series way back in 1948. From there we jump all the way to 1980 and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Rockies have never won a World Series, but they've only been around since 1992. The rest of the teams have all won a World Series in this decade: The Yankees in 2000, the Diamondbacks in 2001, the Angels in 2002, and the Red Sox in 2004.
2)The Boston Red Sox actually have FOUR ex-Blue Jays on their postseason roster: Mike Timlin (who was standing on the mound and got the save when the Jays beat the Braves in '92), Eric Hinske, Kevin Cash and Bobby Kielty. There are two other teams that have two ex-Blue Jays each: the Angels (Kelvim Escobar and Justin Speier) and the Diamondbacks (Doug Davis and Gold-Glover Orlando Hudson -- who is actually injured but a big favorite of mine). There are three teams that have only one player: Ted Lilly is on the Chicago Cubs, Jayson Werth is on the Philadelphia Phillies and Roger Clemens is on the New York Yankees. There are no ex-Blue Jays on the Cleveland Indians or the Colorado Rockies.
3) I went to Citizens Bank Park and RFK Stadium this year and bought the requisite Phillies and Nationals hats as souvenirs. Thus, the Phillies deserve a special bonus.
4) There are four teams I have not eliminated from the World Series Survivor competition: The San Diego Padres (blarf), the Cleveland Indians, the LA Angels, and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The last three deserve compensation.
So... After all this is done and said, this is the order in which I (and you, for that matter) should be rooting for teams in postseason 2007:
Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
Of course, between the time I started writing this post and actually posting it, my top 3 teams went 0-5. Maybe this will help.