The 2012 season is over for the Cleveland Indians, but with six teams still left in the playoffs there’s still a few weeks more baseball left to be played. So, in this edition of the Weekly Wroundtable, we asked our panelists: Who are you rooting for in the playoffs?
Note: Some of our contributors sent in their answers before the A’s and Reds were eliminated.
Lewie Pollis: Two words: Jim Thome. Now that Omar Vizquel has retired, I think I speak for all Cleveland fans when I say that Thome is my favorite player in the game excluding the Indians’ roster (and maybe even including it). I’d root for him no matter what so long as the opposing pitcher isn’t in a Tribe uniform, and that he doesn’t yet have a World Series ring is an absolute travesty.
Seeing Thome win the World Series with another team would be bittersweet, but the sweet would outweigh the bitte. So, from here on out: Go Orioles!
Ed Carroll: There are lots of good narratives for baseball fans to choose from this year, especially if you’re an Ohio Indians fan, with the Reds among the legit contenders in the NL. Personally, I have a soft spot for the Nats (big Bryce Harper fan) in the NL.
In the AL, they may be eliminated by the time you read this, but if they’re still around, get on the Oakland A’s bandwagon. A love able underdog team who’s season is probably the closest thing we’ll ever get to a sequel to Moneyball. They fact they’d have to knock off the Detroit Tigers and their bloated payroll to win it all is just icing on the cake for Cleveland fans.
Brian Heise: In the National League it’s pretty simple. I’m rooting for the Reds all the way. I know a lot of Clevelanders hate the Reds and consider them a cross state rival, but they’re still from Ohio so I feel some loyalty there. Plus, I already admitted to thinking about moving in with Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto so long as they could cover the deposit. It only seems right that I root for them to win the whole damn thing.
As for the American League, it’s a bit trickier. I can’t root for the Tigers or the Yankees. Actually, I refuse to root for either of them out of principle. Before the playoffs started, I was really looking forward to the A’s making a run, but given recent developments, an 0-2 hole, it seems like their ship is about sunk. That leaves the Orioles. They’re a great story and a really fun team to watch. Not to mention, Orioles fans have dealt with a lot of losing over the past 15 years and really hate their owner so I feel as if I can relate. I would love to see them make a run towards a title. I also feel like the A’s and Orioles making a run for a World Series title would give me hope as an Indians fan.
Steve Kinsella: I root for the St.Louis Cardinals every year regardless of how the Indians finish. As a kid I fell in love with Whitey Herzog’s St.Louis Cardinals and more specifically the Wizard of Oz Ozzie Smith and his acrobatic back flip. Needless to say I was ecstatic when the Indians traded for Omar Vizquel who was a relative unknown to many Tribe fans but to the fans of Ozzie Smith we recognized the second coming.
I’ll admit to being one of the ones who laughed at the Yankees hiring of Joe Torre who I blamed for the Cardinals poor showing between Herzog and LaRussa. The Cardinal organization under LaRussa and now Mike Matheny doesn’t make excuses for injury or losing players to free agency nor does the front office over extend itself on any player. Outside of the Rays the Cardinals organization is one that the Indians should model.
Evan Vogel: As a Cincinnati native, I was rooting for the Reds until their demise on Thursday. I’m jumping onto the Oakland A’s and Washington Nationals, just so long as it isn’t the Yankees or Cardinals ever again, I am good. I tend to root for the underdog once the teams that I truly like are eliminated.
You can’t help but fall for the story the A’s present. Pat Neshek overcoming his tremendous loss (one that hits close to home for me, having buried a child myself), Brandon McCarthy’s scary injury, and Billy Beane rebuilding and winning with rookie pitchers and mediocre talent in so many spots.
As far as the Nats go, they’re playing the Cardinals, so that is one reason. The other is for the fans in Washington, who hadn’t had a team to root for in the postseason in baseball for over 70 years. Davey Johnson deserves a lot of credit for the job he has done there, too.
Katie Hendershot: I was pulling for the Cincinnati Reds, but that didn’t last long. At college, Reds fans surround me, and honestly, I couldn’t help but feel bad for them, walking around with Reds gear, watching as their dreams were crushed. Plus, it would’ve been nice for Ohio to get some glory in the sports world.
Now, moving on, I don’t know which team I want to root for. I look at the Washington Nationals and like what they’ve been able to do. I feel the same way about the Baltimore Orioles.
In the end, I guess I don’t have a particular team in mind. I just want to see some good, exciting baseball. But really, I just don’t want it to be the Yankees.