Just like the bad old days, there won’t be playoff baseball in Toronto this fall. It’s something we had become used to after back-to-back years with amazing playoff runs, but this fall will be stress-free as we watch other fanbases cripple under the overwhelming weight that is playoff baseball anxiety.
If you want to know who’s most likely to win the World Series, consult a sportsbook like Bodog. But if you want to know which bandwagon to jump on, I have you covered.
The Twins are a gritty, endearing, likeable underdog story largely because they’re completely terrible and somehow managed to be one of the five teams in the American League that didn’t finish under .500. Since they aren’t a division rival or a team that beat the Jays in the ALCS last year with a racist name and logo, they seem like a defacto bandwagon team. But the Twins are also bothersome because they represent what could have been this fall. The Astros, Clevelanders, Red Sox, and Yankees are all strong teams, but it’s hard not to think the Blue Jays could have been in Minnesota’s spot heading to New York if everything didn’t go wrong. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me, but every time I see the Twins in the playoff picture I don’t think about a cute Cinderella story, I think about a missed chance.
New York Yankees
Uhhhhh. No? The Yankees have
bought won the World Series 27 times already. For their standards, the Evil Empire has been pretty meh over the last decade and it’s been really refreshing. This team is loaded with young talent and they’re going to throw a bunch of money at Bryce Harper, Clayton Kershaw, Manny Machado, and *gasp* maybe even Josh Donaldson in a few years. There will be many more Yankees championships, so they can piss off for a little while longer and let someone else have a turn.
The Clevelanders are a likeable team. Outside of massive dipshit and man-child Trevor Bauer, this teams is loaded with likeable players. At the forefront of that is our old pal Edwin Encarnacion, who I hold no bitterness against for leaving the team in free agency. Part of me is saying I would love to watch Edwin win a World Series, coming up with a big bomb in a key situation like he did for us in 2015 and 2016, but then I actually visualize it and it’s damn fucking heartbreaking. It was hard enough watching Edwin take the parrot for a walk wearing that I-words jersey back in April, imagine watching him win a goddamn World Series in anything other than blue. Gah, that’s tough. Still, despite the fact Cleveland beat the Jays handily in last year’s ALCS, I don’t dislike this team at all. They certainly don’t have a Kansas City Royals bullshit vibe to them, so you don’t have to sit there and shake your head at the idea of them advancing to the 2016 World Series. I wouldn’t judge you if Cleveland was your bandwagon team.
Boston Red Sox
Uhhhhh. No? Unless you’re, like, really a big David Price fan, I guess? I don’t know. I can’t think of many reasons to pull for John Farrell and the Massholes, personally. We had to watch them inexplicably win a World Series in 2013, which was fuckin’ gross, and the endearing shine of their 2004 curse-breaking miracle squad has certainly worn off.
I personally think the Astros are the easiest team in the American league to pull for. They have a juggernaut offence and a band of exciting players who mash. That makes them fun to watch. On a more sentimental level, the Astros will also be representing a city torn apart by the devastating Hurricane Harvey last month. Much like the New Orleans Saints who won back in 2010 a few years after Hurricane Katrina, the Astros going all the way would be an excellent rally for the city. Another thing we Blue Jays fans have in common with Astros fans is a shared hatred of the Texas Rangers. Astros fans have consistently shown support for the Jays when they spank Texas in the playoffs, so it’s reasonable to return the favour.
The Rockies are the National League’s version of the Twins, but they aren’t terrible so it isn’t bothersome. Colorado is a pretty likeable team, I think. I mean, you have to search pretty far and wide for reasons to dislike the Colorado Rockies. Don’t you want to see 500 foot homers and whisper Coors to yourself well into mid-October?
For a franchise that appeared to be in shambles this time last year, the Diamondbacks had themselves a pretty damn good season. Their 93 wins would have been enough to win the NL Central this year, but Arizona was slammed behind the very good Dodgers and never had a prayer of winning the NL West. Like the Rockies, the Diamondbacks are fun to watch largely because they hit a lot of dingers.
I still can’t bring myself to pull for the zombie Montreal Expos. It feels wrong. I mean, if you don’t associate them with the Expos anymore, or fault Jeff Loria exclusively for the demise of Montreal’s franchise and don’t feel this team should have negative karma for that then fine, the Nats are a decent team to pull for. The only issue with jumping on a Nationals bandwagon is that they never win in the playoffs. They haven’t won a playoff series since moving to Washington, meaning this franchise’s last playoff series win came in 1981. Another con: they also stole their logo from a grocery store. But also: Adam Lind! Blue Jays legend!
I feel like the Cubs are quickly trending down the Red Sox road of being an endearing team that broke a curse and became annoying as shit very quickly. Everyone was on board with Chicago breaking the curse of the Billy Goat last year, though it did ultimately signal an impending armageddon. I think this team’s novelty has worn off and they can go back to being forever losers again.
Los Angeles Dodgers
This is personally who I’m pulling for. The Dodgers are my National League team for no other reason, really, than their beautiful stadium and their beautiful looking uniforms. Everything about the Dodgers’ aesthetic, from the palm trees in the outfield to the classic blue on white tops, is excellent. They’re also damn good. When the Jays became unwatchable, like, a week into the season, I started paying attention to the Dodgers because I live in the Mountain Time Zone and West Coast games are nice to have on at night. During their historically-good run, L.A. would mount these insane rallies, hitting back-to-back-to-back solo homers in the ninth to somehow win games. I mean, that isn’t a great reason to you to cheer for them, or anything, but I can say from experience the 2017 Dodgers have been a worthwhile follow. Also: Brandon Morrow! Blue Jays WOKE legend!