Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Root for Nobody

Sometime on Thursday night, when I was watching the Phillies pound C.C. Sabathia, watching Shane Victorino hit a grand slam and watching the fans in Philadelphia have a collective mass orgasm, it hit me.

I can't watch this shit. I can't even root for any of these stupid teams.

Particularly in the National League, this was really the case. I just didn't want to root for any of these teams. It all came down to who did I hate less, and I guess that's why I sort of halfheartedly threw myself behind Milwaukee and LA, because I was still fuming at the Cubs fans for acting like they'd already won the World Series last week at Shea, and the Phillies, well, that needs no explanation. So, when the Dodgers rolled into Chicago and promptly kicked the Cubs in the nuts, I have to admit I did feel a little better, even if it is somewhat taboo to root for the Dodgers in these parts. Here's a short list of good things that it accomplished:

1) Schadenfreude
It's nice to know that, in Cubs fans, there is, in fact, a fan base that is more miserable than the Mets fans.

2) Torre
Don't get me wrong, I still have no love for Joe Torre. But, Torre's success with the Dodgers has to rankle the Yankees and their fans so badly, I can't even imagine. Plus, Torre's taken some very subtle jabs at the Yankees and the Steinbrenners, saying things like "Winning feels fun again." You gotta love that.

3) Get Over Yourselves
I know I probably shouldn't be attacking the Cubs fan, because, as I mentioned above, they've suffered enough. And after the way the Mets performed, I don't have much to say. But you know what, screw them. After the way the majority of them behaved last week at Shea Stadium, walking around like they own the joint, screaming and yelling and whooping it up, and that goofball at Junction Blvd who danced and laughed at me, with their chests puffed out and acting like they were going to the World Series just by showing up, well, this is what happens when you get too far ahead of yourselves. As a team that hasn't won in now 101 years, you should know better. And the way you people acted last week made me root for the Dodgers purely out of spite.

So, OK, I could throw myself behind the Dodgers a little bit, even though I feel I'm somewhat betraying my Brooklyn roots. But, my aforementioned insane co-worker, who remembers when the Brooklyn Dodgers still existed, believes that there should be no ill feelings for doing so. Particularly considering the other Division Series.

Begrudgingly, I rooted for the Milwaukee Brewers, although there really wasn't any other choice, other than just ignore the existence of this series (not impossible, I managed to do a very good job of pretending that the 1999 World Series never happened), but given that one of these teams was going to move to the NLCS, I guess I had to pay some degree of attention. I thought the Brewers would put up a better fight than they did, however. I think Philly just pistolwhipped the Brewers in every facet of this series, only slipping up in Game 3. Hamels and Myers pitched great, they got key hits from Rollins and Burrell and Victorino, they beat up Sabathia, who was probably gassed after too many outings on short rest (Where was that last Sunday when it would have helped!?), they beat up Suppan (still a twitchy-faced jackass, and rooting for him was like chewing on a flourescent bulb) and I jabbed an ice pick into my eyes repeatedly. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?

So, it sets up an NLCS that I really don't particularly want to watch very much. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver announcing the Dodgers and the Phillies. Boy. Can't wait for this one. It'll be a good series, I think, and like most series, it's going to come down to which team's starting pitchers can rise to the occasion. The Dodgers beat the Cubs because they got solid outings from Lowe, Billingsley and, surprisingly, Hiroki Kuroda, who went from crying on the mound at Shea Stadium to shutting down the Cubs lineup. They also seemed to beat the Cubs by singling and doubling them to death, which is in stark contrast to the Phillies, who basically won because their starters held the line, the Brewers didn't hit, and the Phillies hit a few HRs, like they usually do. Lidge also recorded a couple of hairy saves. This is why I'm picking the Dodgers to win. The Phillies basically didn't unveil any new wrinkles, and they didn't do anything that surprised me. The Dodgers seem to rally around Manny; clearly he makes the players around him perform that much better, and they seemed to get contributions from everyone in their lineup throughout the series. Usually, when a team clicks like the Dodgers suddenly did, that's the team that does the most damage in the Postseason. So, I'm going with the Dodgers, and I say they do this in 5 games. Split 2 in Philly, and then go to LA and win all 3 at home. It sounds a little too lopsided, I know, but you have to consider the team with the hot hand in the postseason trends to win and continue to win, even in close games. Boston did this in '04, the White Sox did it in '05, and although they lost, Detroit and Colorado did this the past two seasons. There's always one team in the Postseason that gets overlooked, and then suddenly turns it on and goes way farther than anyone thought. The Dodgers are that team this year. Which means we'll get more Joe Torre, and more Billy Crystal. WHAT A PUNIM!!!

Coming tomorrow: ALCS Preview.

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