It’s been 2191 days since the Phillies’ last playoff game – six years since Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals broke our hearts. While I’m sure any Phillies fans would give their right arm for the Phillies to be in the postseason, don’t let their absence deter you from watching some pretty good baseball.
But who should we root for?
There’s a few options and a few obvious no-gos.
Not at all
Let’s just get the no-gos out of the way first. Imagine a world where the Nationals are World Series champs. Nope, can’t happen. For one thing, it’s just not natural to root for a team in your division. Also, it’s still pretty nice to be the last NL East team to win a championship. Besides, if Bryce Harper wins the World Series, the chances of him being in red pinstripes shrinks considerably.
Along the same lines, no respecting Phillies fan can actively root for the Dodgers. Yes, they have Chase Utley and if anybody deserves two rings, it’s him. But I’m selfish. He belongs to us, not Los Angeles. Plus, it’s always fun to see the team with the best record go down – except when it’s your team (see above).
The other two teams who I just can’t get behind are the Yankees and Red Sox. Are the Yankees entertaining? No doubt. Am I over the hype surrounding Aaron Judge even though its well-deserved? For sure. Am I just slightly jealous? Maybe. And the Red Sox? Does Boston really need another championship? I promise I’ll stop with the questions now.
The best options
That leaves us with who we should root for. It has to be the Houston Astros, right? (Last question, I promise.) Not only did they lead the league in nearly every offensive category – hello, Jose Altuve – but they are an incredibly likable team. Unlike their National League counterparts in the Dodgers, this is a team you don’t want to see lose and frankly, just can’t see losing.
Not to mention, it’s hard not to see a little bit of the Phillies in them. It may be wishful thinking but to see a team go from 51 wins in 2013 to 101 just four seasons later is extremely encouraging. It’s what every team going through a rebuild hopes and dreams of and makes the seasons of suffering worth it.
Cleveland is set up nicely for another deep run, and much like the Cubs last year, it would be good for the sport to have the Indians win their first title in nearly 70 years. But in order for that to happen, they have to get through the Astros. Good luck with that.