Playoff rooting interests

By Jason Wojciechowski on October 3, 2010 at 4:20 PM

With the Giants having just finished off the Padres in the last game of the 2010 regular season, the playoff matchups are set. Who I'm rooting for:

Reds vs. Phillies: This is probably the easiest of the matchups, since A. and large numbers of my law school friends are all Mets fans. I am duty-bound to root against the Phillies, much as I like certain of their players (Halladay, Oswalt (I have a bobblehead!), and Utley come to mind). I also like Ryan Howard, but as someone who generally enjoys smart management, I don't want to see his contract pay off. I don't have any particular reason to root for the Reds, as opposed to against the Phillies, beyond that Joey Votto is awesome.

Braves vs. Giants: I don't hold any of that typical A's-fan animosity toward the Giants. It's always struck me as a silly "rivalry", and it's not entirely clear that it flows the other way. I'm all for class wars, but teams don't represent the actual denizens of their cities in any meaningful way. Plus, I love Tim Lincecum. That said, my support for Jason Heyward over Buster Posey for National League Rookie of the Year (more on that later) along with Brian Wilson's remarkable doucheitude decides this one -- win it for Bobby Cox, Braves!

Rays vs. Rangers: The Rangers are another team I don't have A's-fan animosity toward. I hate the Angels, but I'm pretty ok with the Mariners and Rangers. Maybe if the Rangers and A's battle for West dominance over the next decade the way the A's and Angels did in the last one, my hate will switch allegiances. But as it stands, the Rangers are cool with me. (Doesn't hurt that two visits to their stadium to catch the A's were very pleasant. Nice fans, neat stadium, cheap parking.) Between that and their huge underdog status against the vastly superior Rays, you'd think I'd root for them, but I can't help myself with Tampa. They have a tiny payroll and yet have used smart analytics and good drafting to build a true powerhouse. How can an A's fan not root for that team?

Twins vs. Yankees: You can't honestly think I'd root for the Yankees. Plus Joe Mauer is the rock of my Nerd League AL fantasy team. Easy call.