Let us all thank the baseball gods for the Tampa Bay Rays and their survival this deep into the playoffs.
Not only do they have the coolest logo of the remaining four teams*, but by making it to the ALCS, they’ve saved us all from a hideous fate.
* Seriously. No, not the “TB” one, the so-called “Alternate”. Check out the version on their caps.
Consider the teams we’d be watching now if the Rays had dropped out of the playoffs:
- The Atlanta Braves – Ted Turner’s legacy, the team he billed as “America’s Team” in defiance of all common sense and geographic sanity.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers – For some reason, MLB and their media partners keep trying to promote them as everyone’s favorite (provided you don’t count anyone on the East Coast). Sure, they’ve got a legacy of winning, but how much of it is due to their willingness to throw money at their roster?
- The New York Yankees – Speaking of throwing money at the roster…The Yankees are the reason Rule One exists. While I don’t quite hold with the average Red Sox fan, who believes Yankee Stadium should be nuked from orbit and the crater sown with salt, I do believe MLB and baseball in general would be well served if the Yankees were forcibly relocated to someplace less visible. Tazmania, perhaps, or better yet, Antarctica.
- The Houston Astros – Admittedly, the Astros’ place on baseball’s shit list is likely to be temporary. If they manage a couple of winning seasons to show they can succeed without cheating, followed by a few losing years to establish a corporate baseline of humility, they’ll likely be redeemed in the eyes of most fans. But right now they’re the team everyone hates.
Playoffs featuring the Four Loathsomes. A championship series with no rooting interest? (Mutual Assured Destruction is, unfortunately, off the table–somebody will win the World Series this year, as all the evidence to date suggests that Games Will Be Played, even if the final out isn’t recorded until 2021.)
So, thank you Tampa Bay. A 3-0 lead over the Astros is a good start on the ALCS; I look forward to you completing the sweep tonight, or at worst, wrapping up the AL tomorrow.
And may your logo swim to victory in the World Series.