I've always been a fan, in theory, of the idea that a fan ought to keep his World Series allegiances within his league, but in practice I've found it incredibly hard to do. Sometimes, as in 2005, the National League representative happens to have just eliminated this fan's team; other times, as in 2008, the American League champion is just more interesting. The Texas Rangers, having just clinched a spot in the World Series, are the latest team to test my league-solidarity faith.â†µ
If the Philadelphia Phillies win out in the NLCS—well, in that case I might as well turn in my sacrifice-bunts-are-great card and go over to the AL cheering section full-time. Chase Utley is one of my favorite baseball players, and Roy Halladay is just a joy to watch, but after a certain point the same team just becomes boring to watch. I admit that it's odd to complain about that, as a St. Louis Cardinals fan from 2000-2006, but there it is.â†µ
The San Francisco Giants are my last hope for a no-DH team deserving of my vague rooting interest. They've got Tim Lincecum, who pitches like nobody else in the Major Leagues and also looks like a member of one of those second-tier boy bands from the late nineties. There's Buster Posey, who's incredibly fun to watch, and Pablo Sandoval, who's incredibly fun to watch if you're not a Giants fan. Cody Ross turned into a cult icon, which is one of the best things that can happen in a playoff series, and Edgar Renteria, who's somehow only 33, is filling gaps on the infield.â†µ
But it'll be tough to top the Rangers, who have Josh Hamilton in full Natural Mode, Vladimir Guerrero somehow hitting when he can just barely stand up anymore, and a history filled with—well, nothing at all. With the Dallas Cowboys reeling it's exciting to see one of the largest markets in the United State so excited about baseball.