I have reasons for loving or hating any given team based on factors that range from perfectly reasonable to wildly frivolous and irrational. While I've never really stopped to consider where everyone stacks up individually, I figured I'd give this the kind of fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants effort that will do nothing more than result in a list of teams. Favorite to least favorite. Here we go:
The Teams With Reasons Section:
1. Detroit Tigers: I was basically born into this. I grew up with friends who were Cubs fans (acceptable) and friends who were Indians fans (sad bastards). I was not to be pulled in either of those directions. It always has been and always will be the Tigers for me.
2. Chicago Cubs: First, I grew up in the greater WGN footprint which meant not only did I get to watch Bozo the Clown's Grand Prize Game every morning before school as a youngster, I also got to watch a ton of Cubs games in my later years. They were kind of my National League team. Also, Andre Dawson. His nickname was The Hawk. How could I not like that. I spent a year living near Chicago and I saw a few games a Wrigley. There may be better ways to waste an afternoon than sitting in the bleachers, but not many.
3. Atlanta Braves: I spent a summer with my uncle in Atlanta when I was 14. They were in the midst of being a really good baseball team then. I enjoyed that. I was particularly intrigued by Otis Nixon and his ability to steal 72 bases all while looking like a 60 year old man.
4. Philadelphia Phillies: This is almost entirely because I live in Philadelphia. When I moved here in 2009 they were a juggernaut of a team. I got to watch them disintegrate under the management of a man who is now the first base coach for the Red Sox. The team has sucked recently, which makes tickets cheap, but has also made them a fun team to watch now that they're fully rebuilding.
The Teams That I Just Kinda Like (Mostly for the Uniforms or maybe a player)
5.Pittsburgh Pirates: I've always just kinda liked this team. Everything about them felt good to me. The name. The mascot. The uniforms. #Branding.
6. Houston Astros: I remember liking Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell quite a bit.
7. San Diego Padres: I could just say Tony Gwynn here, because I liked the husky fella, but this also a uniform pick. Not sure why, because they had some ugly unis, but I liked 'em.
Teams I like based solely on my visit to their city
8.Baltimore Orioles: I had the misfortune of watching the wheels come off the Jose Valverde bus one warm night in Baltimore. Aside from that happening it was a great evening. I had awesome seats, they have a great park, and everyone was pretty decent.
9. Colorado Rockies: I think I only paid 5 bucks to get into the day game my buddy took me to. I remember the bullpen having coniferous trees in it. They were pretty fun to watch.
Teams I like the idea of
10. Washington Nationals: It's great they got a team again. Having Max Scherzer bumped them up on this list considerably.
11. Milwaukee Brewers: I've always imagined the Brewers as a real working mans team. Plus they have the slide.
12. L.A. Dodgers: This is mostly a Vin Scully pick.
The strictly player based section
13. Seattle Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr. was the tits.
14. Oakland A's: Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. The bash brothers. Most of the kids in my grade school wanted to be these guys when they weren't wanting to be Michael Jordan.
15. Cincinnatti Reds: Eric Davis (because his Topps card got me into collecting) and Chris Sabo because he had glasses like me, and that was pretty cool.
16. New York Mets: Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry. I was too young to know about cocaine.
17. Texas Rangers: Nolan Ryan, Nolan Ryan, and Nolan Ryan. Andrus and Beltre are fun to watch too. Also, thanks for cultivating Pudge, and letting us unload Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler.
Teams that exist
18. Arizona Diamondbacks: Every time someone mentions this team my first thought is always, "Oh yeah. Arizona has baseball."
19. Florida Marlins: Florida was not made for professional baseball.
20. Tampa Bay Rays: See above
Teams I actively dislike for one reason or another
21. San Fransisco Giants: All the even year garbage and the fact that the Tigers suffered through it.
22. Kansas City Royals: It all came too fast and too easy. Couple that with the all star ballot shenanigans and it has erased any warm spot once created by George Brett.
23.Minnesota Twins: Game 163, and that atrocity that was the Metrodome. The new ballpark has them digging their way out of it, but you don't just jump up out of the cellar overnight. Earn it, Twins.
24. Los Angeles Angels: Jared Weaver and the fact that the Tigers always seem to play like dog shit on the road there which means I'm sitting up after midnight getting angry about baseball.
25. Toronto Blue Jays: Ed Sprague and the team that took down the Braves. It still sits poorly with me. Don't know why I got so invested in that World Series, but I did.
26. St. Louis Cardinals: Once at a Cubs game against the Cardinals I was sitting in the bleachers with a friend. I watched an older couple who were Cards fans start trash talking. Cubs fans gave it back to them. The woman's response was to deepthroat a hot dog. I'm still not sure where she got the idea that that was a strong or appropriate response, but it didn't do much to warm me to their fan base. That and the whole America's team thing is bullshit.
27. Chicago White Sox: Hawk Harrelson
28. New York Yankees: They're the Yankees. You're supposed to hate the Yankees.
29. Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz. After watching him rip my heart out on live television in 2013, I finished watching the game, went out and walked my dog, and then I left this comment on the BYB recap:
There are a lot of things I hate right now. I hate your team. I hate their stupid beards. I hate that they get ball four calls on what should be third strikes in full counts, and that they feel free to jaw at the ump when perfectly reasonable strikes are called at other points, and suffer zero consequences for doing so. I hate how you feel entitled to play games that seem to last 15 hours, and no one really cares to make you play at a reasonable pace. I hate your Johnny come lately, pink hat wearing, Sweet Caroline singing "Red Sox Nation." I hate your gigantic green wall, and your ancient ballpark and it’s ridiculous dimensions. I hate the way they show the replays of your home runs over and over and over. I hate the way you win. I hate all of it, but mostly I hate the fact that, as a Tigers fan, deep in my bones, I could feel that this was going to happen. I hate that aside from one or two guys, every time they went to the bullpen I felt anything but confident. I hate that I sat and watched until the last pitch, hoping for a miracle. I hate that I’ve come to love a sport that keeps me invested for 7 months only to disappoint me in some of the most soul crushing ways. I hate that I have to sit with this until spring training.
The only thing I don’t hate is that by the time April rolls around again, even though it doesn’t seem like it at the moment, I’m going to be thankful that baseball is back, excited at the prospects of my favorite team, and brimming with the hope and optimism that every new season brings. I’d wish you either luck or ill will in the World Series, but you’re playing the Cardinals and since there’s no way both of you can lose, I can honestly say I really don’t give a shit. See you next year.
It came from an emotional and partially irrational place, but it sums things up pretty well.
30. Indians: There is no way for me to accurately articulate just how fucking terrible that drum is.