Who would have believed a mere two months ago that we’d actually make it to the playoffs this season?
By “we” I of course primarily mean “we fans,” as only 53% of the teams made it here.
Not that I’m bitter, just because none of the teams I follow are in the anointed slightly-more-than-half.
Orioles? Missed the cut by seven games. Mariners? Five games. Mets? Three. Giants? One measly game. One more flippin’ win and they would have been in.
Not that I’m bitter.
But I do have a bit of a dilemma. Who the heck am I going to root for in the playoffs? The Rules for Rooting haven’t changed–unlike our commish, I don’t tinker with the rules for the sake of novelty–but they’re not much help this year.
As always, I won’t stoop to a violation of Rule One. So that eliminates the Yankees, Dodgers, and Braves. Given that my teams are all from either the East or West, Rule Two pretty well limits me to the Central Divisions.
They’re well represented, so you might think it would be an easy pick. The problem is that they’re too well represented.
I mean, I could go with the current Futility Leaders, the Indians, now in their seventy-first season without a World Series. But we’ve also got the Brewers, who not only have a fifty-plus year futility streak, but are also one of the two teams to make the playoffs with a losing record. (The Astros are the other; both finished at .483, one win shy of a barely respectable .500 record.)
We’ve got the Cubs. Sure, they won the World Series a couple of years ago, but they had a record-setting drought before that. Worthy of a futility hangover.
I could go on, but why bother? This is a rule-breaking and rule-rewriting year.
So I went to numbergenerator.org and got a random number between 1 and 13 (the number of teams in the playoffs, excluding the Rule One teams.)
I ranked the teams by winning percentage and picked the team that matched my number: 12.
Well, that didn’t work out too well, either. Is Number 12 Houston or Milwaukee, given their matching records? I can’t root for two teams. I mean, I could–it would only be a problem if they met in the World Series–but I’m not sure I can split my attention and have enough left to do anybody any good.
So in the spirit of random rule changes, I’m rounding twelve down and rooting for the team with the eleventh worst record. Which is also a tie, but at least there’s an official tie-breaker there; one team took second in their division and the other a Wild Card slot in the same league.
Playoffs start today (Astros vs. Twins at 11:08 Pacific Time), and I’m going to be right there rooting for the team with the second-worst record.
If you want to use the same method to pick your rooting interest, click the link above, then go to MLB’s postseason standings page to check the teams’ records.
Go Reds! Sweep the Braves right out of the playoffs!