I've gotten a couple of questions about this so I'm going to announce my preferences and biases to the world. Feel free to praise me for my excellent judgment or call me whatever dirty names you can think of as you wish. These are not who I think will actually win in the playoffs, These are the ones I am rooting for and why. I'm going to list them in order from the least favorite team to the one I'm rooting for all the way. That way if your team comes up first you can curse me as a fool and move on.
Least Favorite: Chicago Cubs
I make fun of the Mets a lot. That's kind of a rivalry thing. If I had grown up on Long Island instead of the suburbs of Atlanta I'd be a rabid Mets fan. Hell, two of my all time favorites, Casey and Yogi were their managers at one point. So I hate the Mets, but it's kind of a college football rivalry kind of hate. I loathe the Cubs. I will always loathe the Cubs. It's kind of sad really, because I was a big fan back in the day of Ernie Banks and Ron Santo and Andre Dawson and Leon Durham and Ron Cey and Harry Caray singing Take Me Out To the Ballgame after about a half dozen Budweisers. I absolutely can't stand 'em now though. I have a good reason for it, but I'm not going to talk about it so don't ask.
#7 Boston Red Sox
I don't hate the Red Sox, it's just that they've already won two this decade. Let someone else win for a change. Dynasties are boring unless it's your team doing the dynasticising. Hey, I just made up a new word!
#6 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
I can't possibly enjoy an Angels World Series victory simply because it would be just one more page in Scott Boras' book on why Mark Teixeira should get Eleventy Billion Dollars a season and not a penny less. I guess a silver lining would be Casey Kotchman getting a ring, but I'm still not too excited about the Halos this year.
==================line of demarcation==================
If any team below this line wins the World Series I will ultimately be happy with the result. Unfortunately all the favorites are above the line. This will all end in tears, I know it.
#5 Tampa Bay Rays
This almost was my #4 team, but at heart I'm an NL guy and I couldn't do it. Great story, awesome young team, I hope they can stick it to the Sox and Yankees for years to come, but... they're the Rays. I'll probably watch more Rays games this postseason than I will have seen my entire life before now.
#4 Los Angeles Dodgers
There's a lot of reasons for me not to root for the Dodgers. High profile team. Spends a lot of money on washed up players. Left Brooklyn 50 years ago. They were a big rival of my Braves back before the divisions changed. Manny Ramirez. However, This could be Greg Maddux's last shot at a second ring. So I have that to root for.
#3 Philadelphia Phillies
I like the Phillies. I know, I know, it makes no sense that I pick on the Mets like they are a red headed stepchild but like the Phillies. The Phillies utterly stomped the Braves' guts out this year too. There is no logical reason why I should like the Phillies and hate the Mets as a Braves fan. Ah, but actually there is... The very first card in my collection is a 1980 Topps card of Michael Jack Schmidt. The Phillies were reigning champs when I really got into baseball and collecting cards. I have a lot of family in Pennsylvania and a cousin who was a big Philly fan took me to a bunch of Braves games when I was a kid. I rooted for the Braves and he got drunk off his ass and cheered on the Phils. The first cap I bought at a Braves game was a Phillies cap, and I wore it obsessively for months. Finally, their history has been bad. Really bad. That team stunk a lot. I like rooting for underdogs and the Phillies franchise is definitely an underdog.
Well, here is my dream 2008 World Series matchup. Fans of these teams can start yelling at me now, as I have certainly put the whammy on your entire franchise.
#2 Chicago White Sox
I've been a Fisk fan ever since I pulled his card out of an '81 Topps pack. I really liked Ron Kittle because he hit lots of home runs and had big clunky glasses like me. I was always saddened by the 1919 scandal and Joe Jackson getting kicked out of baseball. I also had one of the old three color caps from the '80s for a while. I always kind of liked them, then when they changed the logo to the current black caps with the SOX on them I really started to like them, I followed the team with Black Jack McDowell, Frank Thomas, Fisk, Lance Johnson, Tim Raines and Bo Jackson almost as closely as the Braves. I played a Sox - Braves World Series on Tecmo Baseball many times on my Super Nintendo. Like I said before, I'm an NL kind of guy, but if I was an AL guy, the Sox would likely be my team. Plus Ozzie Guillen just rocks. I hope he manages the Sox for 30 years.
That means the team I'm rooting for to win it all is...
#1 Milwaukee Brewers
Thorzul just had a heartattack. I know, I'm sorry! This is the team I genuinely want to win! I can't help it. Sorry. There's a few reasons why I feel this way. First of all, Atlanta stole your team. You guys stole it from Boston so I don't feel all that bad, but we stole it all the same. Milwaukee fans are passionate and it's not nice to take teams away from passionate fans. So there's kind of a Braves connection going on there historically. They are the underdoggiest of underdogs in these playoffs. Their history makes the Phillies look like powerhouses. Except for 1982, they've been really really bad. I have fond memories of that '82 series, and I was rooting for them back then too. I am upset at the firing of Ned Yost, but Dale Sveum is one of those guys you can't really get mad at so that didn't really alter my feelings that much. The thing that puts them over the top though is that Prince Fielder and CC Sabathia are large, large men, and I see them dominate and can dream that my fat ass could actually play in the league. And you gotta have your dreams.
There it is, Steve and Thorzul are weeping over my inevitable jinx, but that's how I feel. This is going to be a good October for baseball.