With the Marlins out of the race, I'm auditioning playoff contenders to decide who I'm going to back.
First, let's eliminate a few. The Cardinals are too boring, efficient, and effective. I can't root for them. Nick Punto plays for the Dodgers. So they're out. I hate the Red Sox because everybody used to like them for not being the Yankees even though they essentially were the Yankees. I just don't like the Braves. And as a Marlins fan, I'm not sure I can cheer the Nationals too much.
Beyond that, I can argue a case for most of them. The Pirates are the obvious bandwagon choice. They even have a former Twin excelling when freed from Twins Way. The Royals are another trendy pick. And I love TV color man Rex Hudler. Cleveland is winning me over with boneheaded plays like completely losing routine fly balls. Unfortunately that also loses games. Detroit features the only manager whose name doesn't rhyme with Dawn, Card, and Fire who couldn't win a championship with that roster. Texas manager Ron Washington usually doesn't wear the windbreaker. Baltimore is the little engine that could. For all the hype about Baltimore, KC, and Pittsburgh everybody forgets that Oakland and Tampa have been winning resourcefully for years. The A's are the last stand of football stadiums and Chili Davis is their hitting coach. The DBacks coaching staff is straight out of Parker Brothers Baseball. The Yankees are winning with spare parts while their high priced talent most valuable contributions have been their injuries. And I keep forgetting about the Reds.
On the other hand, I'm not sure I can stand the racket at A's home games. I'm not watching 5 hour AL East games and Tampa and Baltimore seem to have joined Boston and NY in that. I watched the Pirates tonight and they seemed really boring. I think we're down to Texas, Detroit, Cleveland, Arizona, KC, and Cinci. I guess I will have to figure it out this weekend.