Jonathan Schoop, 2013 (photo by Keith Allison, via Wikipedia)
So, the National League Division Series (NLDS) begins today. And the American League Division Series (ALDS) begins tomorrow. Even though my favorite teams might not be playing this postseason, I can always pretend.
For starters, if you’re an O’s fan looking for an excuse to root for the Brewers (and former Oriole Jonathan Schoop), the two teams share a common lineage. The Orioles were, in fact, “born” in Milwaukee. The 1901 Milwaukee Brewers, who finished eighth in the American League that year, moved to St. Louis in 1902 and became the St. Louis Browns. Five decades later the team moved again, this time to Baltimore, where they became the Baltimore Orioles. (Of course, the current Brewers team started out as the Seattle Pilots before moving to Milwaukee after the Milwaukee Braves departed in 1965 for Atlanta (after first moving from Boston to Milwaukee in 1953).
If that’s too complicated, just think about all of the former Orioles who will be playing in the NLDS. The series features the Dodgers v. the Braves and the Brewers v. Rockies. How many former Orioles will be playing? Quite a few, actually:
- Matt Albers, P, Brewers
- Wade Miley, P, Brewers
- Jonathan Schoop, IF, Brewers
- Manny Machado, IF, Dodgers
- Justin Turner, IF, Dodgers
- Brad Brach, P, Braves
- Kevin Gausman, P, Braves
- Ryan Flaherty, IF, Braves
- Nick Markakis, OF, Braves
And let’s not forget about my other favorite team, the Washington Nationals. The Brewers have two former Nats, including one of my all-time favorite pitchers, Gio Gonzalez (the other being Matt Albers, who also is listed above as a former Oriole). In addition, the Dodgers have Ryan Madson, the Braves have Kurt Suzuki, and the Rockies have Ian Desmond.
For the ALDS it will be the Indians v. the Astros and the Red Sox v. the Yankees. A handful of former Orioles will be playing (Eduardo Rodriguez, former Orioles minor leaguer; Steve Pearce; Andrew Miller; and Zach Britton), as well as a few former Nats (Sandy Leon, former Nats minor leaguer; Oliver Perez; and A.J. Cole).
Even if you aren’t an O’s or Nats fan, you can use the same logic to determine which teams to root for this postseason if your favorite isn’t in the running. If that doesn’t work, you can always fall on classic reasons like rooting for a city you like, the team with the best uniform colors, the underdog, or even the team with the best players, best record, etc.
So, if your favorite teams aren’t playing this postseason, you have options for finding another team to root for.