Even though most baseball fans could not tell you one player on the Oakland A's, people are going bonkers for this year's major league playoffs. Of the four teams left (the Cardinals, Dodgers, Red Sox and Tigers), all are legitimate clubs with rich histories, dope uniforms and no Chad Durbins. It's nice that we get to see October baseball without any of those newfangled weirdo teams like the Diamondbacks, Rockies, Marlins and Mets.
Who should we root for? I have no idea. Absolutely no idea. Up until a week ago I would've said the Montreal Expos, but since then I've seen a couple walk-off homers, a near no-hitter and a guy that looks and plays exactly like Shane Victorino. After a 162-game regular season snooze-a-thon, postseason baseball has roped me back in. So let's break down each club: analyzing their fans, their cities, their history and the guys who actually play baseball -- and then finally let my wife decide who we should root for because let's face it, she makes all of my important life decisions anyway.
Fans: The self-proclaimed "Best Fans in Baseball" are always optimistic, eternally loyal and absolutely insufferable. Every person from the Midwest is so nice it's disgusting. This lady Beverly who I work with (originally from Iowa, or Indiana, or some place where people drink milk with dinner) constantly brings baked goods into the office and leaves these little notes that say stuff like, "From my kitchen to your belly! Have a Terrific Tuesday!" and "Got the working week blues? Here's to a Wonderful Wednesday!" WHATEVER BEV, YOU NYMPH.
The City: I don't know one human being who has technically been to St. Louis -- except for the Griswolds ("Roll 'em up!") who passed through on the way to Wally World. The town is a total snooze. Besides the Gateway Arch, the Mighty Mississipp and Anheuser Busch's headquarters, what do they have? NOTHING. Actually, they have really good ribs there too. And Darius Miles. Wow, St. Louis might be amazing. No wonder Scott Rolen wanted to go back there.
Celebrity Fan: Jon Hamm is originally from St. Louis, but he's currently recovering from throat surgery so I doubt he'll make it to any of the games. Behind him on the Cards' fans depth chart is Maya Angelou (borrrrinnngggg), Scott Bakula (amazzzzinnnggggg), Chuck Berry (still alive!), Nelly (corny), Andy Cohen (nope!) and Tina Turner (BING BONG).
Coolest Cardinal Ever: Obviously Ozzie Smith is the man, but Vince Coleman and Keith Hernandez did way more coke than The Wizard and we all know that doing tons of coke = being really cool. But the coolest Cardinal of all time, despite his lack of a coke habit, is Willie McGee. Two-time batting champ, 1985 NL MVP and the closest thing the game has ever seen to a half-man/half-anteater. Love you Willie! Love those ears! Love that you wore #51! What a stupid number.
People Who Actually Play Baseball: The Cards are loaded with players you've actually heard of: Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Oneofthe Molinas, as well as the person with the shortest name in the history of names, Jon Jay. Try saying his name out loud: "JonJay." It's even shorter than Mark May. "JonJay." "MarkMay." "JonJay!" "MarkMay." "JonJay!" "MarkM'okay that's enough." Also their first baseman Matt Adams easily weighs over 400 pounds. This team is super adorable.
Let's kick it over to my wife to see what she thinks of St. Louis.
My Wife's Take: "Never been there, it's probably a fine place. Whatever. But I never liked how people who went to Washington University thought they were so great. Maybe it was just one person. It’s been pointed out to me that Jon Hamm is a fan, and any reason to see more of him is okay with me, so I’m pulling for St. Louis to get to the World Series and lose."
Fans: An entire population of good-looking idiots trying to break into reality television. (SHAMELESS PLUG WORTH CLICKING ON). I was in LA last March and while strolling on the boardwalk/promenade/whatever they call that thing along Venice Beach, I overheard this ridiculous conversation between a chick rollerblading and a dude doing pushups with no shirt on:
CHICK: Oh, hey Brad.
DUDE: Oh, hey Jen. Whutt're you up to?
CHICK: Oh, y'know, just rollerblading.
DUDE: That's cool.
I honestly don't remember what happened next. My mind was so blown away by how stupid their conversation was (PLUS THE FACT THAT SHE WAS ACTUALLY ROLLERBLADING) that I just stood there for ten minutes with my mouth open, catching flies. And Venice Beach has a lot of flies (and a lot of homeless people). Californians are nimrods. Mexicans are cool, though. I'll give 'em that.
The City: If you can overlook the glitz and the glamour and the fact that Californians use the word "rad" unironically, LA is actually a pretty cool town. It's got loads of palm trees and a beautiful ocean and the tacos are absolutely insane. Still, all that sun can't be good for anything. Look what it did to Will Smith.
Celebrity Fan: Alyssa Milano has dated like 50 different baseball players. Frankly, I always thought she was a bit overrated (not during the Who's the Boss days, obviously she was dope during the Who's the Boss days). But recently she's been getting out-Alyssa Milano'ed by Brooke Burke, who is essentially the same person. I also have no idea how Magic Johnson is still alive.
People Who Actually Play Baseball: Do you have any idea how low Clayton Kershaw's ERA was this year? Do you have any clue? 1.83. ONE POINT EIGHT THREE. Is ERA still a thing? Because that's really low. Since 1964, only Greg Maddux, Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, Ron Guidry, Vida Blue and Pedro Martinez have posted lower ERAs. (SOMEONE SHOULD PROBABLY FACT CHECK THAT BUT I'M PRETTY PROUD OF MYSELF FOR DOING ACTUAL RESEARCH.) The Dodgers also have Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, that Cuban guy, Zack Greinke, Brian Wilson, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, GEEZ THEY SURE DO HAVE A LOT OF GOOD PLAYERS, and Nick Punto.
Coolest Dodger Ever: It's Kirk Gibson. No doubt. His spiky, balding hairdo? Unstoppable. Forget about his walk-off blast vs. Eck, only he and Bruce Willis could've pulled off that hair. Also that walk-off!
Back to my wife!
My Wife's Take: "Eh, it’s LA. A place I would never want to live, and philosophically can’t support. So I can’t really get behind the team. But more importantly, the combination of sounds in Yasiel Puig’s name really gets to me and I don’t want to listen to people making those sounds with their mouths."
Fans: Amazing how in one short decade, Boston fans went from lovable losers to intolerable pricks. "Boston Strong?" Shut up. Between their stupid accents and this dude I know who posts pics on Facebook of his fat, dumb baby, Boston fans might be (and I said "MIGHT BE") worse than Cowboys fans. HOW ABOUT THAT, 700 LEVEL READERS?
The City: Beautiful city! Clean, colonial cobblestone streets, extremely walkable downtown, charming parks and gardens -- it's a shame it's filled with so many blowhards.
Celebrity Fan: You do realize that at some point in the next few days we're going to see Ben Affleck and his kids on TV, right? I don't know why Ben Affleck has such a bad rep, he seems to be a nice guy, makes semi-decent movies and genuinely likes baseball. But why doesn't he ever hang out with Matt Damon? Something's not right there. And what's the deal with Stephen King's ENORMOUS cranium? Something's not right there either.
Coolest Red Sox Player Ever: Shane Victorino.
People Who Actually Play Baseball: Big Papi, Victorino and those two Japanese relievers are the only cool guys on this team. Everyone else -- especially Dustin Pedroia -- can take a shit. Also, I don't care who pays his salary, Jonathan Papelbon will always be a Red Sock to me, and that guy sucksssssssss.
Let's hear from Mrs. Evster!
My Wife's Take: "Obvs, ugh. Full disclosure, I’m a Yankees fan. And not a bandwagon Yankees fan. My dad grew up next to the stadium, I’m from NY, and I own a Yankees (and Knicks) Barbie. So, no I don’t want to watch the Red Sox and they annoy me. But it really comes down to their sloppiness, sartorially speaking. They pride themselves on being the anti-Yankees when it comes to beards, hair length, uniform tightness, etc. But you know what? That doesn’t make you cool – it just makes you look dirty and gross. And I have nothing against beards, in fact I prefer them. But these beards, and greasy hair, and stupid rope necklaces need to go."
I agree, honey. Sartorially of course.
Anyone else have to look that word up? Who am I even talking to?
Fans: AN ENTIRE CITY ON SUICIDE WATCH.
The City: The Motor City has become the undeniable armpit of America. There's a chance Detroit has been on fire for the last six months and no one is doing anything to stop it.
Celebrity Fans: It's a shame the A's lost, because Oakland has a major hip-hop triumvirate: MC Hammer, Del tha Funkee Homosapien and wait for it ... Tony! Toni! Toné! Detroit of course has the most embarrassing musician of all time, Kid Rock, as well the best rapper alive, Jalen Rose.
Coolest Tiger Ever: No disrespect to the original Beastie Boy, Hank Greenberg, but Miguel Cabrera is the coolest Tiger ever. I know, I know, "BUT WHAT ABOUT LOU WHITAKER, EV?" Sure, Sweet Lou and his little dipsy-do double plays were unbelievable, but Miguel Cabrera WON THE TRIPLE CROWN last year! I do not understand why we're still not talking about that. Every single day the lead story on The 700 Level should be "Hey everybody, remember when Miggy Cabrera won the Triple Crown last year?" HE LED THE LEAGUE IN ALL THREE MAJOR STATISTICAL CATEGORIES. Not even Hank Greenberg or Ty Cobb or RECORD SKIP -- (fact check shows that Ty Cobb won the Triple Crown in 1909) -- WHATEVER, TY COBB! No one could stand you when you were alive! So stick it!
People Who Actually Play Baseball: Am I the only person who is fascinated by Max Scherzer's two different colored eyes? The other night they showed him in the dugout and I paused my DVR for like a half an hour to stare at him. I would also pay big bucks to watch Prince Fielder eat a meatball hoagie. And Justin Verlander has the tightest little apple butt I've ever seen.
Over to you, honeybutt!
My Wife's Take: "Now here's a team I can get behind. Great history, like a “real” baseball team from days of yore. Great hats. Sad city. That's who I'm goin' with. The Dee-troit Tigers."
ME TOO, LOVEBUG.
Let's go Tigers!
Hooray for baseball!
Hooray for marriage!
Sorry, Tony Toni Toné, Motown Philly back again!
Follow The Evster @TVMWW.