Baseball Preference Rankings

July 27, 2009

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I hit some news stories in Saturday’s article, so I’m taking a bit of a break today, with a fun article.

I am a huge baseball fan.  I am a big Rockies fan, of course, but I am also a bit fan of the sport, in general.  If I flip a game on, I can always root for one of the teams.  In fact, I have a fairly well defined team preferences, shown below.  It does get a bit hazy in the middle, between about 12 and 20.

Rank Team Reasoning
1 Colorado Rockies I became a fan of the Rockies before they actually played a game. When the Cubs failed to resign Greg Maddux following the 1992 season, I looked for a new team and decided to go with an expansion team. Why did I pick the Rockies? Probably because I like mountains. Nearly 17 years later, I’m a die hard fan.
2 St. Louis Cardinals A week ago, the Cardinals would have probably been at #4 – but the acquisition of Matt Holliday pushed them up to #2. I like the city of St. Louis, and the only playoff game I ever attended was a Cardinals game. I got a chance to watch Albert Pujols in Peoria when he came through the minors.
3 Chicago Cubs The Cubs were my favorite team from 1983 (ish) until 1992. I was a huge Ryne Sandberg fan – to the extent that I purchased a drawing (more accurately, a print) of him from an artist at the state fair a few years ago. I’m also a longtime fan of Greg Maddux, enjoying the way he was able to excel with his brain, rather than simply dominant physical tools.
4 Boston Red Sox A brother-in-law is a longtime fan of the Sox. Interestingly, he was a fan of the Reds until the night that Carlton Fisk waved a ball fair for a home run in the 1975 World Series. This moment is also a reason why the Sox are this high on my list – just a wonderful moment (even if they did eventually lose the series).
5 Chicago White Sox Another brother-in-law is a White Sox fan (none of my siblings are sports fans, by the way – hence the influence of brothers-in-law). They are also a relatively local team, and Field of Dreams pushes them up the list a bit.
6 Oakland A’s Their mascot is an elephant – who can’t like that? I’m also a fan of the work Billy Beane has done, making playoffs runs despite low payrolls most years.
7 Atlanta Braves After Greg Maddux went to the Braves, I started watching his starts on TBS. Then I started watching their other pitchers. I grew to really enjoy the broadcast team. One of Erin Andrew’s early gigs was during Braves broadcasts.
8 Milwaukee Brewers Fans of this long-suffering team are finally seeing some success. Another beneficiary of my midwest bias. The fact that Bud Selig is no longer officially affiliated with the team is also a positive.
9 Tampa Bay Devil Rays The Devils Rays turned around a lifetime of failure with a run to the World Series last year. They are within striking distance in the wild card race this year – can they make another run? I do think that dropping the “devil” from Devil Rays was a dumb idea – and thus I still refer to them by the old name.
10 Cleveland Indians Bob Feller is a native Iowan, and his Hall of Fame career with Cleveland looms large.
11 LA Angels I like the way that Mike Scioscia runs a team, and I’m a fan of Vlad Guerrero. Sure, they made an obvious bad signing with Gary Matthews Jr. (a good player, but clearly not equal to the money he signed for), but it is nonetheless good to see owner Arte Moreno spending money to build a winner (while still showing some restraint and not going completely Steinbrenner).
12 Houston Astros I’m not really sure how the justify their spot on the list. The named is cool, and I’m partial to teams in the NL Central, since it’s the local division.
13 Seattle Mariners Cool name (“It is an ancient Mariner, and he stoppeth one of three”). They’ve also been able to draft world class talent in Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez. Both were #1 overall picks, but a lot of #1 picks bust. They also found Felix Hernandez in Venezuela and wooed future Hall of Famer Ichiro from Japan.
14 Minnesota Twins Although Twins owner Carl Pohlad was richer than most owners (richer than George Steinbrenner, in fact) he ran the team on a shoestring. Still, they managed to win. I’m a fan of Joe Mauer, and hope they can hang onto him.
15 Cincinnati Reds Good history with the Big Red Machine. I also enjoyed watching Barry Larkin and Chris Sabo when I was growing up.
16 Detroit Tigers Tigers are my favorite animals.  Also, being associated with Magnum, PI gives you style points.  Hey, I didn’t say the reasons had to make sense.
17 Philadephia Phillies Still getting some good karma from Mike Schmidt’s Hall of fame career.
18 San Diego Padres I’m a big fan of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, and he prevents my division rival from appearing lower on the list.
19 LA Dodgers Why aren’t my hated division rivals lower on the list? If I just included on-field personnel, they would be. However, Vin Sculley pushed them up – he is simply the best. I often listen to the LA audio feed when the Rockies play the Dodgers.
20 Toronto Blue Jays Rogers Centre (previously SkyDome) is a cool idea. 70 hotel rooms that overlook the field! I also appreciate that way they are playing hardball with the suitors of Roy Halladay.
21 Florida Marlins It is impressive for such a young team to have two World Series titles, although I don’t like the slash-and-burn methodology that has followed the winning years.
22 Texas Rangers Mostly, I like the name. They need to acquire a few more players with the last name of Walker.
23 New York Mets The implosion of probable Hall of Fame careers of Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry (due completely to their own actions) soured me on the team.
24 Arizona Diamondbacks They are a division rival, and have no redeeming qualities to push them any higher on the list.
25 San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds.
26 New York Yankees They would be even lower if not for the presence of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. I’m not a fan of Derek Jeter. I am also not a fan of fixing every problem by throwing money at a player, with little attention paid to team chemistry.
27 Kansas City Royals The team is actively destroying a rich team history with many seasons of losing.
28 Baltimore Orioles Like the Royals, the Orioles have dropped into mediocrity (and below) after achieving excellence in the past.
29 Washington Nationals It’s never a good sign when you can immediately assume that the Nationals are going to have the top pick in every draft from here until eternity. Hopefully they can take a page out of the Devil Rays book, and I do like the acquisition of Adam Dunn.
30 Pittsburgh Pirates The Pirates, another team with a rich tradition, have fallen on hard times, losing with stunning frequency since the departure of Barry Bonds. Their answer to building for the future – reaching and drafting players far ahead of the spot dictated by their value.  Throw in a bunch of trades where they trade their best players for prospects, and you get a never ending cycle of losing.

What about you – what are your favorite and least favorite teams? You can just list a few; it isn’t necessary to put together a complete list from 1-30 (unless you want to).

What did you miss over the weekend?

  • Friday  – Finishing up a trio of articles related to dinosaurs (including this giveaway) is the fiction short story What Really Killed the Dinosaurs.
  • Saturday Stew – A pleasant mixture of news and sports from the week.  A considerable chunk of ink is is devoted the the Cardinals’ acquisition of Matt Holliday, while the subject of necrophilia also pops up.  We also welcomed Bob Inferapels back as the weekly entertainment writer.
  • Sunday – Tyson Turner touches on some news briefs from Canada in North of the Border.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evan
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 09:10:59

    Interesting idea. My problem with sports in general is that I follow “my” teams, and am fairly indifferent towards other teams, unless they are a team I dislike (Mets, Yankees, and increasingly the Red Sox), or a team that is in a pennant/playoff race with a team I root for. There are some teams, though, that are hard to dislike, such as the Cardinals. That’s probably because they are rich in tradition, AND have really good fans who aren’t obnoxious (OK, I admit, that is quite a statement coming from a Philadelphia sports fan).

    I think other teams that drop on my list are teams like the Rays and Dodgers, who seem to have large numbers of apathetic fans or bandwagon jumpers. The Rays drew nobody until into the playoffs last year, and then everybody was a fan. And I know there is tons to do in L.A., but it was shameful to see the empty seats in the playoffs last year. In Philly, I know people who payed hundreds, and even thousands, for tickets, while my cousin (a southeastern PA transplant in CA) was able to easily get tickets for the Phillies/Dodgers series.

    Maybe the attitude of the fans shouldn’t affect my view of a team, but when we’ve waited so long for a winner, I just shake my head when I see fans not appreciate their teams.
    .-= Evan´s last blog ..Supercharge Your Firefox Browsing With Icons =-.


  2. Tyson
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 10:26:00

    For me I truly am not a big baseball fan, but the two teams I cheer for most are the two closest in proximity: Toronto (go Canada) and Minnesota. When I was younger my family and I would go to Minneapolis for a week every summer and a baseball game would be included, so the Twins became and have stuck as my favourite. Plus I admire how team management, on a tight budget, year in year out seems to be able to put out a team that competes and has made the playoffs a few times the last few years. Been tough watching guys like Santana leave though. Feels like it is happening all over again with Halladay.


  3. kosmo
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 14:16:52

    Evan – I’m that way with most sports, but not baseball, track, or luge. In the case of baseball, I’m a fan of baseball first, the National League second, and the Rockies third.

    Tyson – but the TOR GM says chances of a Halladay deal are very slim. You’re not suggesting that he’s simply trying to gain leverage by making this statement …


  4. Bruce
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 11:39:47

    I don’t know how anyone not a fan doesn’t list the Yankees #30 and the Red Sox #29.

    The constant coverage of the two teams and the detestable players each team keeps on its roster (A-Job, Damon, Jeter…Ortiz, Steroidia). They aren’t as annoying as years past but still aren’t any fun to follow.

    While I’m biased as a fan of both the Royals and Pirates, I’m not a fan of the Nationals but would root for them any day against those two teams.

    I don’t “hate” on the “winners” as I have no problem with the Phillies, Tigers, Rays, Angels, or most other recent winning clubs.

    The Cardinals don’t rank high for me simply because LaRussa’s ego combined with Pujols ego are enough to go round for all of baseball – but I’d still leave them in the teens or 20s.


  5. motocross suspension
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 13:51:57

    If you are a baseball fan, how can you not like Derek Jeter. the guy is a class act and he knows how to win. Very confident and has the necessary swagger needed to play the game. Go ahead and hate they Yankees, but Jeter is a stud!


  6. kosmo
    Feb 01, 2010 @ 20:46:19

    Well, a lot of the advanced defensive metrics indicate that Jeter isn’t a particularly good fielder (in spite of the Gold Gloves). Not a ton of power, either. Not that SS generally have a lot of power, but this generation’s crop does.


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