Who I am following in the Playoffs

         NL Division Series Logo                                           AL Division Series Logo

I have to admit, that I have been a bad, bad baseball fan the last couple of days. I have only seen a few innings of a few post season games and have not been as intensely into the playoffs the way I have been in the past. Some might consider since my team was eliminated early from any contention that I have lost the zeal to watch baseball, but that is not the issue.  So what if the Tampa Bay Rays will not be making beautiful memories for my lifetime in 2009, I will survive.

And it is not matter that my second favorite team (Seattle) also did  not make any head ways into the 2009 playoff picture after the Rays canceled their own ticket with a rough start in September. So with neither of my top two in the post season, it is time to adapt temporary arrangements to throw my support towards another team on their ride through the 2009 post season.


Rob Carr / AP

With that in mind, I might not make any new friends with my announcement that the teams, one in each league that I plan to follow in the 2009 playoffs, will consist of teams that are situated in the American League East. And the fact I am about to shun the Red Sox and Yankees is not due to any internal forces or even extreme pain against either of these teams that our season quickly dissolved in September. The Rays lost the chance to cash in their ticket to the postseason with their respective series against these two teams. the better teams won in 2009.

So I am going to have to develop a new set of criteria to decide who will get my cheers and jeers in 2009. Maybe I will use a formulated plan of attack based on offense, defense and pitching statistics. Or I could go the way of visiting a Psychic and see what team she sees in the aura around me, or what the Tarot cards have in store for any of the teams in the playoffs. Or maybe I can just go the simple route and decide the team by looking at the post season rosters and deciding it all based on the ex-Rays currently on their rosters.

And for some reason, I like the way that last suggestion looks on the computer, it just seems to jump out off the page and tells me to “pick me! pick me”.  So I think that will be my measure of calculating and deciding the  one AL and NL teams I will root for in this post season carnival. And as I take this road, there are two clear choices that I will lean towards and follow until the last out of their last game in this playoff season.


Mel Evans / AP



But my decision on the team I am going to follow in 2009 will be based on a few criteria that most people might not have considered before now.  Way back in 1991, when the team was first awarded to the Denver area, I did not want to follow anyone else but the black and purple of the Rockies. But there was a solid reason behind this selection that still to this day makes me not want to root or even hope for any prosperity for the Florida (Miami) Marlins. And it was a simple case of money over community want that sealed the deal for my fish vendetta.

You see, the Tampa Bay community was in a fight with local cities Orlando and Miami for a chance to be the first expansion team in the state and might of had a better chance at securing that first Florida team if not for the deep, deep pockets of former Blockbuster Entertainment head honcho Wayne Huizenga. So my instant alliance went to the team that would play almost one mile above sea level and far from the sandy beaches of Tampa Bay.

But there is a secondary reason why this team is being considered as my “team ” for the 2009 playoffs. Since the Rockies sacked their old manager, they have played more inspired ball and have come a long way both in their record and in their team concept. For that reason, they give me a slight feel of the atmosphere and the thrill that I felt with the rays in 2008. But more of the reasoning might have come via ESPN’s talking heads. You see, when the Rays were making their run last season, the announcers kept reminding people they were that season’s ‘Rockies”. 

As much as that was funny at the time, now I hope the Rays can be next season’s “Rockies” for the second time in a row and follow the same path (minus the manager firing) and get back on the playoff train in 2010.  So I will be following the Phillies and Rockies series with extra motivation. But the fact that the Rockies have been there before, and have gotten as far as the Rays did in 2008 boast a weird similarity that entices my support. The Rockies fought back the doom and gloom disillusion of so many around the league this season to secure a playoff berth and then go on and challenge to overtake the mighty Dodgers in the last series of the season shows the heart of a champion again.


Mel Evans / AP

It brings up a lot of the same emotion I felt in 2008, and so this is the team I have decided to follow in this season’s playoffs. Granted, they have been labeled a long shot, but I remember so many who said that the Rays would not go far either in 2008. And the added bonus that former Rays Jason Hammel is on the post season roster gives me more of a reason to want to see “Hambone” take the mound and throws laser beams. And Hammel will get a chance to leave his impression on the NLDS when he gets the start Friday night because of the unexpected injury to Jorge De La Rosa late in the season.  

So that is it, that is my team for the playoffs. No wishy washy wavering between teams, this is my solid choice and one that I will live by even if they do not get out of the first round of the playoffs. I am not a bandwagon fan. If I make you a pick of mine, I stick by you even in defeat. but that is not the case in so many sports fans in this country. So no matter what happens from today on, the Rockies will have my attention, and my support to try and again get back to the World Series this season. And it would again be a great surprise, or even a great honor in 2010 to have the Rays be considered “this seasons Rockies”…..again.

  

20 Comments

interesting choice…and for me I hope they don’t make it out of the first round, but obviously I have alterior motives…
good post, like how you came to the descision…
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Interesting, I wonder who will win. I hope the Rockies and Twins go to the WS, but that is HIGHLY unlikely. Life is over as we know it. Just ask Jeff of RSBS. :)

http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

You may be disappointed again. I’m glad you have picked still another team. I like reading your blog. Too bad you didn’t pick the Dodgers. It may have been more exciting for you.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Peter,
I understand totally your decision, but you know what, that is why we have 30 teams, so we can all have our favorites.
It is like Mickey D’s and Burger King. You might like both of them, but sometimes you just want some Taco Bell (lol).
My only other true option was to support the L A Angels, then i would have all the AL bloggers wanting to know why I picked them…….Angel……Devil connection maybe?

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Ted,
I am afraid of asking Jeff anything right now even about the color BLUE.
Twins are an interesting bunch, and might have a shot if they get to the Yankee pitchers early in the ballgames.
Colorado, besides being a beautiful setting to watch a baseball game has always been a place where I have wanted to travel and check out for an extended stay.
Maybe there is an ulterior motive there, but I do not think so…
Indians will get a chance to try it all over again in less than 180 days………..We always have that!

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Cat,
I really thought about the Boys in Blue, but they are just not my style of ball club right now.
Not saying they will not go far, or maybe win it all, but it was a hard decision.
I based some of it on the last weeks activities, and you have to admit, you never thought it would take 160 before the Dodgers were ready to celebrate.
That did not discount them on my list,but the late season drive by the Rockies to almost steal that title from LA did open my eye a bit………..to be totally honest.
I stayed away from the major city ( as you can see) because they already have legions of fans.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Renegade, I’m sorry but I have to take exception with your choice. I can understand your reasoning though, so we can “agree to disagree”. I do think it will come down to game 5, though, I think the two teams are pretty evenly matched. The Rockies definitely have the edge bullpen-wise, given the current state of the Phillies bullpen.
Sue
Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

Sue,
I am fine with someone not supporting my decision. And thank you for voicing that………..seriously.
That is one of the great things about the game, we all have our favorite teams, favorite players, and maybe a favorite moment that made us adore that team.
Not trying to dog Philly, but I am just not feeling them this year.
But I would not, and could not change your mind, and I do not want to……”agree to disagree” is one of the best phrases in the baseball world right next to sacrifice bunt.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

While that was a well thought-out and very interesting explaination, can I interest you in a cheer or two for my Phillies? LOL Ok, I admire your conviction…but am hoping you are wrong of course :O)

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Jenn,
I will give you this……..
I will throw some good Mojo and support behind who ever wins this series.
Not that I dislike any of the team I have not mentioned on here, I just made a decision for myself that supports an ex-teammate (Jason Hammels) and a team I have a kinship with since 1991.
Too many games a year against the AL East teams to split the heart and root for them. But I do not want any injuries or injustice to come to them either.
Just some good-hearted competition where the best teams wins………..hopefully it will be that simple.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Sounds like a fine choice. If the Cards were in a better position I’d chide you for not jumpin’ on that wagon, but since our backs are against the wall, I totally get it.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Ray.. if you haven’t been watching.. .My oh my have you missed some fabulous baseball! Jump in.. the water’s fine : )

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

Jeff,
As much as you could try and evoke the “past” link between the St. Louis Cardinals to their St. Petersburg, Florida roots via Spring Training here for years, and also still having three parks in the region having Cardinal backgrounds, I am not a fan of that squad.
I may of had lunch with Stan Musial as a kid, and met Joe Magrane as a young pitcher in this town, but I admire your drive to think I can, or will change my mind.
The door is never closed until that final out………Teams have come from 0-2 before and have survived to reach the NLCS. Never fret until it is too late to pray, hope and want a different result.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Buz,
Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on if you are old friends who will see me more now, or the zombie squirrels I left still eating my cable wires. I have been on an quest this week to move my baseball collection and the rest of my goodies back to my hometown.
It might only be a 30 minute drive, but it feels like a trans-continential trip.
I am planning to again hit the television screen for the 9:37 Rockies/Phillies contest and get back into the swing of things.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

The Dodgers do have many loyal fans who support them no matter what but they were the underdogs going into the playoffs. They just never get any respect. If you saw the sweep that just took place, you will agree that the Dodgers are very hot now. The Rockies are cooling off in the snow. It may be the Phillies that play the Dodgers so you may have to pick another team!!
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Cat,
I made my choice, and I will stick with it.
Unlike some people I know in the Tampa Bay area, I do not waver or pick by popularity.
My pick is solid in my mind, and that is the end of it for me. If they get defeated, then I will just watch for the joy of baseball and not pick a side for the rest of the playoffs.
It is that simple to me. No bandwagon for me…….period

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Rays,
Good for you! I like fans that stick with a team no matter what! Other than root for my beloved Dodgers, I like to root for the underdog! “Hi Five” to you!
The Dodgers have not made a World Series appearance since 1988 when they won. That is 21 years that I’ve been saying next year, next year.
Good luck to the Rockies.! And they just tied the game!Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

Emma,
Thank you for understanding.
We do not have to be on each others sides to want the best for the team fighting it out on the turf in front of us.
I just hate it when the Rays fans put on their “NY” pinstripes or big “B” jerseys, then take them off and wear Rays gear for the rest of the games.
It is almost like you have to pick a side.
I was watching it and hoping for snow by the 9th inning so the fans could have a snowball fight (lol)

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

It is interesting why we all make the choices we do when our teams are out of it. The Rockies are a good team. and pending another Snowout they need to kick it into gear if they want to beat the Phillies.
Good Luck to them, and hope you take a few minutes to watch the game!
Ginny
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

Ginny,
I think I remember hearing that the weather would be better today and tomorrow in Denver, but we all know that weather has a mind of its own sometimes.
I caught all of last night’s game, and I am sorry that “Hambone” only lasted into the 4th inning, but with that extreme cold, maybe besides the hits and runs, a bit of cramping might also have begun for both pitchers.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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