Well, now you've done it, baseball. You done took the last likable team and squished them. Now we're left with an evil team, a hated team, an unlikeable team, and the Tigers. So, cool. Tigers, then. I always thought Doug Fister was something of a badass for taking a line drive off the face and staying in Game 2 last year. I like Austin Jackson, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander … really, the most objectionable thing about the team is where Jhonny Peralta puts his "h."
I do have a Tigers hat from a Magnum P.I. costume I had a while back. Guess I'll have to dig that thing out. I also have an A's/Giants split hat that I was keeping in a glass case in the event of a Dodgers/A's World Series. Part of me is relieved I don't need it, actually.
This, of course, means the Tigers are going to crash and burn at some point because every team I've rooted for up until now has failed. There's a 75-percent chance of an absolutely gross World Series champ. Why aren't we watching Andrew McCutchen? Could we filibuster until he gets loaned to the Tigers? A McCutchenless existence isn't what the country wants, which is more Andrew McCutchen at all times.
While It's easy to pick which of the four teams you're rooting for, what about the specific match-ups? Here's a ranking of the preferred World Series pairs, from loathsome to mostly acceptable.
4. Cardinals vs. Red Sox
The only good thing is that we wouldn't have to worry about the Dodgers in this scenario. But the downside is that we wouldn't have the Dodgers to root against in this scenario, either, so it would be a dull, dull affair. I dislike the Cardinals and Matt Holliday. I dislike the Red Sox and Shane Victorino. But I can't summon the fan-rage of the eternal undead against either, like I can with the Dodgers.
Both of these teams have won two championships in the last decade, too, so it's not like you can even feel a smidge empathetic for their respective plights. I'd watch it because baseball is awesome, and you could look at it glass-half-full and remember that at least one of them would be sad. But it would still be the dullest match-up possible.
3. Dodgers vs. Red Sox
In which you're forced to root for the Red Sox. Hands touching hands. Reaching out. Touching me. Touching you. Inappropriately. Stop it, hands. I didn't sign up for this. This is horrible.
"Come on, Shane. Stick your elbow out and get on base."
Try to say that out loud. You can't. Too distasteful. But you'll be thinking it in this scenario.
2. Dodgers vs. Tigers
This is a high-stakes match-up, with great potential rewards and horrifying alternatives. The Tigers haven't won since '84. They've suffered through one of the worst professional sports teams in history. Think of how bad the Astros were this year. Now picture a team that was eight games worse. That was the Tigers just 10 years ago.
And the city has suffered through economic downturn and Matt Millen. They could use a pick-me-up. So rooting for them would be easy.
Picture, then, if they didn't win it. If the Dodgers, what with their fancy Hollywood money and orphan-flavored hot dogs, got to celebrate in front of them. So sad. Think about all of the things Mike Ilitch and the Tigers have done for you. The Tigers didn't win the World Series last year, and one time I ate a Little Caesar's pizza that didn't make me sick. That's a lifetime worth of good deeds, and it would be horrific to see the Dodgers ruin that.
1. Cardinals vs. Tigers
In this matchup, you can relax. There's a clear rooting interest. There's the possibility of a distasteful champion. But you can relax. This is a good compromise.
Plus, this is a classic match-up that makes us think of one of the greatest World Series ever. More Bob Gibson is never a bad thing.
Though … wait … the catcher for that '68 Cardinals team was … oh, wait, no, no, no. Homeland Security recommends duct tape and plastic sheets as possible solutions to prevent unwanted anecdotes from entering your home, but you know that wouldn't work. You'd just have to sit there and take it.
But then you could think about Magic Johnson being really sad and confused. So this is the best pairing possible.
At any rate, go Tigers. I grew up thinking Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell were kind of cool. That's more than I can say about the rest of these teams.
missin u mccutchen