Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Baseball Season Cometh

The start of the baseball season is four days away, and I can't wait. I'm getting my fantasy teams in order and looking forward to the games in which my favorite teams crush my hated teams. Which teams are those? Well, I'll tell you. Here are three teams that I want to succeed this year and three teams I want to fail.

Teams I Want to Succeed
1 - Texas Rangers
This should be no surprise to anyone who read my blog post from October 22nd last year. I have followed the team for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop. And now they have an American League pendant to show for their efforts. But even if they had finished in the cellar last year, they would still top this list and many more in years to come. Here's hoping they go all the way this year.

2 - Los Angeles Dodgers
I freely admit that this is a choice of convenience and a bit of bandwagon hopping. I officially moved to the LA area in 2004. During that time the Angels were enjoying an impressive streak of success atop the American League West. Most of my friends were Angels fans. It would have been easy to switch allegiances and only my family would have thought less of me. But I held my ground. But there was this other team in town, one that played in the National League. Much like the Angels, though to a lesser degree, they were enjoying a nice run of success. Having no official ties to any other National League teams, I decided to officially pledge allegiance to Dodger blue. And it sure didn't hurt that their best player has the same name as me.

3 - Tampa Bay Rays
For their first ten years of existence, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays were the laughingstock of Major League Baseball. They were bad. Really bad. But in the spring of 2008, amidst the hoopla of them exorcising the Devil from their name, I took a long hard look at their roster. To my surprise, I realized that they had quite a collection of quality and intriguing young talent across the board. I figured that at this point they had the experience to put it all together and finally play some serious baseball. I was right, and they went to the World Series that year. Ever since that Spring I have enjoyed pulling for the David in Tampa Bay to defeat the Goliaths in New York and Boston.

Teams I Want to Fail
1 - New York Yankees
They are the Evil Empire. They beat my Rangers the first three times the Rangers made it to the postseason. They overpay for players which drives the market up and takes players I want for my teams. And then if these contracts go sour due to poor performance, they are not handcuffed financially and can go out and make more overpriced acquisitions. And the attitude I get from the Yankees Nation is one of entitlement - as if they deserve to win the World Series every year, and when they don't it is as if they have been denied their birthright.

2 - San Francisco Giants
They are the sworn enemies of my Dodgers, going back to the days when they both played in New York. They beat my Rangers in the World Series. At this point I'm pretty much contractually obligated to hate them. Besides, giants are for slaying and are always bad guys. (And anyone who tries to bring up my favorite band to counter my argument, I should point out that they are not giants, they only might be.)

3 - Milwaukee Brewers
I actually don't have anything personal against the team. However, this year is a now-or-never year for them. They have several key players who will be free agents at the end of the season, so if it looks like they won't make the postseason, they are going into selling mode. Players they might be willing to trade to my Rangers: first baseman Prince Fielder, pitcher Zack Greinke, pitcher Shaun Marcum, and possibly pitcher Yovanni Gallardo. I also wouldn't mind it if the Florida Marlins floundered for similar reasons, as they have the wonderful pitching duo of Josh Johnson and Ricky Nolasco.


Katie K said...

Matt, I'm so glad I can count on you to tell my why this whole baseball thing is such a big deal. I probably won't ever follow the sport or be a die hard fan of any particular team but I appreciate having a small window into the drama that is professional baseball.

Sherida said...

At least we agree about the Yankees and Giants. We don't like the Dodgers around here. :)