Almost time for the Fall Classic as Major League Baseball's postseason draws near.
Just a few days to go until the end of the season and the rebuilding A's have left me without a team to root for in October.
But, being a baseball fan, I need a team to rally behind for the month. Let's take a look at the candidates:
Los Angeles (don't call us Anaheim) Angels - I've hated this club since I was a kid, ever since the team got into a brawl against the A's when Jim Todd drilled Bruce Bochte in the coconut when Bochte was crowding the plate. A longtime AL West division rival, I won't root for this team.
Tampa Bay Rays - A true Cinderella story. Probably the team to rally behind just for the rags to riches story. Outside of fantasy league players, it is hard to name more than a handful of players from this perennial doormat.
Boston Red Sox - Never.
I did marry into a Red Sox family, but I'll only go so far to suck up to the in-laws. They ruined my 1975 when they beat the A's in the AL Playoffs, ending the three-year World Series run of my childhood heroes.
Chicago White Sox - Ozzie Guillen is annoying, but the White Sox are a contender to become my team of the month. The fans are nuts and the team plays in some exciting games.
Minnesota Twins - Another nice story unfolding here as the Twinkies are somehow contending, even after trading Johan Santana in the offseason. Great stories are nice, especially with a small market team. With Mauer and Morneau, this is a fun team to watch and definitely an overachiever.
Philadelphia Phillies - Another fun team to watch. They have plenty of offense with Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and could do some damage in the postseason. Not sure about the depth of their staff, but they could make some noise. Biggest problem with the Phils, living in the northeast, is the 9-6 games they tend to play. A long postseason run by Philly could interfere with my beauty sleep, and I need all the help I can get.
New York Mets - As of this writing, they are tied for the Wild Card so I'll include them and Milwaukee. Straight to the point, I hope they miss the playoffs. I have access to the Mets' games here and I never watch them. For all the marquee players, they bore me. Do me a personal favor and stay home for the playoffs.
Chicago Cubs - No World Series wins in 100 years. Hard not to root for. I was behind the lovable losers in '03 when Steve Bartman became Public Enemy #1 in the Windy City. The Cubbies have all the ingredients to finally win. A great offense, stud starting pitching and a solid bullpen. Lou Piniella has won a title as a player and a manager. If only fate could break their way.
Milwaukee Brewers - Being just a hair on the heavy side and possessing a liking for a few cold brews from time to time, I can relate to a club from Beer Town that has Prince Fielder and CC Sabathia on the roster. This town hasn't seen a playoff team since Harvey's Wallbangers hit the postseason in '82. Let's hope they get hot over the next few days and crash the postseason party.
Los Angeles Dodgers - Good for Joe Torre. I agreed that his time in New York had run its course, but the way he was dismissed for all his efforts and results were shoddy. Manny Ramirez is still a quitter, but he can hit when motivated and he is motivated.
And the winner is...............
As much as I'd like to root for the Cinderella Rays, their fans were not selling out games late in the season so they lose my support.
How can you not root for a team who's fans are starved for a title?
I've been to Wrigley Field and it was like going to a cathedral, complete with the rowdy, shirtless party-goers in the Bleachers.
I'll put my A's cap down until spring training. For now, let's go Cubs!