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OTM Roundtable: Who do you want to see win?

It won’t be the Red Sox, so we have to find someone else to root for.

Wild Card Round - Cincinnati Reds v Atlanta Braves - Game Two Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

This week in the baseball world it has been all about the postseason, which will be the case all month since, ya know, it’s the postseason. That’s how these things work. But alas, the Red Sox will not be participating in said postseason, so we as fans of the team have to look for other rooting interests. That is the question I posed to the staff for this week’s roundtable. Simply, for whom are you rooting for this October? Note that some of these responses came before games started and before teams were eliminated.

Mike Carlucci

When my wife and I were looking at wedding dates for the fall of 2018, two weekends stood out: October 27th and November 3rd. The October date was available at the venue we liked and that seemed like the one to pick for slightly better Boston weather. However, my then-fiancé asked when the World Series was. This was in January. I looked up the dates. “What if the Red Sox are in the World Series?” I said that’s highly unlikely in any year, we don’t need to plan our wedding around the Red Sox. But she insisted. November 3rd it was. And the Red Sox won the World Series the weekend before. There was a big parade and then we got married a few days later. My wife is a lifelong Twins fan from Minnesota and believed in the Red Sox 2018 chances. So I’m rooting for the Twins this postseason. They aren’t playing the Yankees in the first round, which is a very nice change from 2019, 2017, 2010, 2009, 2004, and 2003. Plus, they’ve got a great team song: We’re gonna win Twins, we’re gonna score! We’re gonna win Twins, watch that baseball soar! Knock out a homerun, shout a hip-hooray! Cheer for the Minnesota Twins today!

(Ed. Note: Sorry to Mike’s wife.)

Michael Walsh

I’m definitely rooting for one of the surprises of this year, my hometown team, the Miami Marlins. I was raised a Red Sox fan by my folks, who are originally from Boston, but growing up in south Florida, most games I’ve attended have been at Marlins Park. Cheap tickets and an air-conditioned stadium don’t make for an experience like Fenway, but it’s given me the opportunity to see countless Giancarlo Stanton bombs and Jose Fernandez strikeouts. Despite finishing with an abysmal 57 wins a year ago, they’ve become quite the intriguing team, with lots of talented young pitchers. I’m hoping they string a few wins together and make a run, because Marlins fans who have stuck out numerous rebuilds since ‘03 sure deserve it.

Shelly Verougstraete

With no dog in the race, I’m really pulling for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Most of it has to do with Mookie Betts, but they have a bunch of really great players. Clayton Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball and it would be a shame for him not to win a title. The Dodgers have been a front runner for many years now and it would be a shame for all of that talent to not win a title at some point.

Brady Childs

I’m going to bandwagon the Dodgers. They’ve lost two World Series to teams implicated in cheating scandals, they actually try and win ballgames, and now they have my favorite player, Mookie Betts! It’s not good for the sport that one team has a 20% chance of winning a title, but what’s even worse for the sport are teams that feel like they can cut corners and fluke their way to a championship. Organizations should strive to be the best and desire to do more than merely get to the dance and hope things break their way. Sport functions best when every team is trying to be competitive in one shape or form and the Dodgers are doing their best to hold up their end of the deal. Maybe if more teams put their best foot forward and MLB bothered to do anything to remedy an enormous cheating scandal I wouldn’t feel so inclined to root for Goliath. Since they haven’t, I’m backing the boys in blue.

Phil Neuffer

I wouldn’t say I’m rooting for any single team above all others, but — and you can roast me and call me a frontrunner all you want — I have a bit of a soft spot for the Dodgers. My dad is a Dodgers fan and I’d like to see Clayton Kershaw win a title. Plus, Mookie Betts is just too fun to watch and too good at baseball to root against. Wouldn’t it be cool if the Red Sox had someone like him? Of course, I wouldn’t say no to seeing San Diego or Atlanta make a run so we can see more of Fernando Tatís Jr. and/or Ronald Acuña Jr. On the AL side, as I’m sure everyone else on this panel will agree, it’s really just anyone playing the Yankees.

Jake Kostik

In the playoffs, I am rooting for the Padres for as long as they still draw breath. This is because the Padres have Don Orsillo, and Don Orsillo deserves nothing but happiness because we are stupid idiots who didn’t keep him. Boo NESN, and whoever signed off on that bad decision.

I also really like Fernando Tatís Jr.

Bryan Joiner

I’m rooting for the Padres and the Dodgers in the playoffs. The Padres are very cool, and the Dodgers have Mookie Betts, who deserves every good thing he gets. Also I’m sick of the Dodgers losing the World Series and, every year, reading stories about how this may or may not be the year they finally pull through. In the AL I’m partial to the A’s, because who isn’t? I suppose I’d actually like A’s/Padres more than anything. Just not Rays or Yankees. That’s the important part.

Matt Collins

I talked about this earlier in the week, but my second favorite team has long been the Braves because my grandparents were big baseball fans and spent most of my childhood living in Atlanta. That the Braves also happen to have Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman certainly doesn’t hurt either. More than rooting for the Braves, though, I’ll be rooting against the Rays, Yankees, Astros and, to a lesser extent, Cardinals.