I hate posting this topic as much as everyone hates reading it, but with the Reds 99 percent eliminated from postseason discussion, it's time to take a slight rooting interest for or against other specific teams for the 2006 playoffs.
Who would you like to see win the 2006 World Series, and why?
Who would you like to see not win the 2006 World Series, and why?
In 2004, I took an active rooting interest in the Boston Red Sox, and it was thrilling to see them come back amazingly in the ALCS against the Yankees, only to follow that up by beating the Cardinals in the World Series. Last season, it was the White Sox that I wanted to see win it all, and they didn't disappoint either as they caught fire at the right moment and showed us what it was like to watch outstanding pitching.
For me in 2006, there will be two teams that I'd like to see do well with the hopes that one of them ultimately wins the World Series, and those teams are the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers.
The A's have mastered the ability to put good teams on the field through the work of Billy Beane and his creative front office work, and they do it with a limited budget each season, just like the Reds.
The Tigers have been a very poor team since the early 1990s, and while they have a semi-recent World Series championship in 1984, Detroit fans haven't had much reason to celebrate baseball season ... until this season. The Tigers also have some excellent young pitching to be excited about, and while I believe Sean Casey was overpaid as a Red during his final years here, I'd like to see him do well and win with Detroit.
The A's and the Tigers may meet immediately in the LDS, and if that is the case, then I will hope for a good series and root for whoever wins that series to go the distance. If they do not meet in the LDS, then my hopes will be for them to meet in the ALCS, and again with that series winner being my choice for the World Series.
Three teams I'm indifferent on are the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. While I'm not a fan of Twins ownership or their stadium, they've got some excellent young talent that's exciting to watch. Out in the NL West, I don't have anything against the Dodgers or Padres, but they don't excite me either. If the A's or Tigers are bounced early, then I'll pick someone leftover from this bunch to root on.
Now, teams I do not want to see win the World Series, or even reach the World Series for that matter:
- New York Yankees: No explanation necessary. However, while they are the last team I'd like to see come out of the AL, if they faced off against any of the Mets, Phillies or Cardinals, I would actually root for the Yankees in those World Series matchups.
- New York Mets: I will never forget you, 1999.
- Philadelphia Phillies: Phillies fans are even worse than Cubs fans.
- St. Louis Cardinals: I hate the Cardinals for 162 regular season games each year, and I'm not going to start liking them now.
What would be the worst possible World Series matchup, IMO? None other than Yankees vs. Mets. That may actually be a good matchup, but I'm not interested in seeing it.