"I know this is probably blasphemy to say so soon after Game 162 but, I think I'm rooting for the Giants."
The Giants?!?!?!?! I know, I know. How can you root for THAT team so soon after they crushed all our hopes in 2010. The scar is fresh from Game 162. I get it.
But, allow me a brief moment to explain why I'm rooting for the Giants in the 2010 playoffs.
1) The NL West Connection
As an alum of the University of Arizona, I spend all fall rooting against the Pac-10. Stanford playing Minnesota? Go Gophers. USC taking on Utah. Let's go Utes! But when it comes to bowl season, I throw all that out and become a Pac-10 homer. Because in the end, I want the conference to do well.
The same concept applies here. I spent all summer rooting for any team playing the Giants. This even forced me to root, begrudgingly, for the Dodgers at times in hopes that the Giants would not catch San Diego.
Of course, now we know, that was all for naught.
So the NL West representative is the Giants. As the name of this blog implies, I root for West Coast teams more often then not. I'm an NL West fan. Thus, for a month, I'm a Giants "fan." Because, just like I become an Oregon and USC fan in late December, I want the NL West to do well.
Except for the Dodgers. Because fuck 'em.
2) Players that are Fun to Watch
I'm a baseball fan before anything else. Because of this, I like good players that play a solid brand of baseball. For this reason, I like Ichiro and King Felix, Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford among others.
So, with this in mind, I find myself liking Buster Posey and The Freak. These are good young players that make the game better. Buster Posey could be a NL Joe Mauer, and The Freak just showed in Game 1 of the NLDS how dominant he can be.
So I like these players. And thus, its easier to root for them.
3) Entertaining TV
In many ways the Giants are a carbon copy of the Padres. They have excellent pitching and just enough offense. This usually leads to close games. And what are you looking for in a playoff when you have no strong rooting interest? Entertaining baseball. And a close game is always entertaining, whether it is 1-0 or 7-6. For this reason, I am more interested in the Giants games then any other series so far.
Also, the Giants have the best shot, in my mind, of beating Philadelphia. The Phillies are the run away favorite in the National League and for good reason. But they've been to the World Series in the last two years. We get it, we've seen it. Like if someone said they had a Paris Hilton sex tape. Yawn.
The Giants, with that pitching staff, probably has the best shot of beating them.
4) The Story
Every October, if San Diego isn't playing in the playoffs, then its time to jump on a teams bandwagon for a few weeks. When making this selection, I usually pick the team that has the best story. Two years ago, the Rays were my team as they came out of nowhere to win the AL. Last year, it was the Phillies to be the first NL team to win back-to-back World Series since the Big Red Machine of the 1970's (and they were playing the Yankees).
This year, some good options, story wise.
-The Twins, with their new stadium facing the team that has been their bugaboo for the last decade. Basically, the Yankees are to the Twins what the Cardinals are to the Padres.
-The Rays, who have built their team from the inside and play a brand of baseball that I like. Lot of speed and good pitching.
-The Braves, in Bobby Cox last season. But, I spent most the 90's rooting against the Braves. I have no rational reason to not like the Braves, yet I do.
-The Giants, who have not won a World Series since moving to San Francisco...in 1957. In 2002 they were 6 outs away, but Dusty Baker was their manager so you know how that went.
I choose the team that hasn't won the World Series in 50 years. That makes for an interesting story and really, at this point I'm grasping at straws.
But if they were to be eliminated prior to the World Series, I can always root for whoever is playing the Yankees.