The MLB playoffs begin tonight. Sad to say the Minnesota Twins, um, didn’t exactly make the cut. But that’s okay! There’s always next year.
As for this year—who are you cheering for? Are you watching the playoffs at all? If you are and are still undecided, here’s a little Twins-slanted primer on the teams participating this October.
AL East Champions: Boston Red Sox
Former Twins: David Ortiz, Fernando Abad
A lot of people will probably be cheering for the Red Sox this October. Call in the Big Papi factor. As much as I love David Ortiz, and how he helped our merry band of fellows beat Money Ball back in 2002, I am over it. What is with these farewell tours? Torii Hunter really had the right idea about this stuff, if you ask me.
There are some Abad jokes to make here, though, if you are into that kind of thing.
AL Central Champions: Cleveland Indians
Former Twins: Jeff Manship
Want to root for our inter-division rivals? Really? Are you even a Twins fan?
I mean, the only good thing I guess here I guess if Cleveland won is it would make the Twins look better, since we did beat up on them quite a bit this year. And the whole Derek Falvey thing.
AL West Champions: Texas
Former Twins: Carlos Gomez
Yep, this is where Go-Go is playing these days! Texas actually finished the year with the best record in the American League, and tied for the second best in baseball. They’ve never won a World Series, despite being one strike away back in 2011. That has to hurt, so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if Texas finally got their championship.
Plus, Adrian Beltre and Carlos Beltran are on the team. They both deserve rings, right?
AL Wild Card Team #1: Baltimore Orioles
Former Twins: Brian Duensing, J.J. Hardy
I really see no reason to root for this team. Sorry.
AL Wild Card Team #2: Toronto Blue Jays
Former Twins: Francisco Liriano, R.A. Dickey, Chris Colabello
The Blue Jays were really fun in last year’s playoffs. Remember when they had to have a position player pitch? There are a lot of former Twins here, so if you are dying for a little more Colabello in your life, root for these guys.
NL East Champions: Washington Nationals
Former Twins: Wilson Ramos, Ben Revere (Jacque Jones is their hitting coach)
Former Twin Jacque Jones is their hitting coach. You have no idea how much joy this brings me.
NL Central Champions: Chicago Cubs
Former Twins: None
The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908. They aren’t going to win one now, despite having the best record in baseball and being the heavy favorite. That is way too much to live up to, and it’s just not going to happen.
Cheer for the Cubs if you like disappointment (and as a Twins fan, heck, maybe you do).
NL West Champions: Los Angeles Dodgers
Former Twins: None
Casey Fien was on this team, but he’s not anymore. There are no former Twins, but if you know anything about me, you know how much I love Vin Scully. Wouldn’t it be kind of cool if they won it all for him?
NL Wild Card Team #1: New York Mets
Former Twins: Rene Rivera
The Mets made it all the way to the World Series last year, only to get bounced out by the Royals. Somehow, Rene Rivera is on this team, if you would like to root for him.
I think the biggest factor here is just watching Bartolo Colon pitching in the World Series.
NL Wild Card Team #2: San Francisco Giants
Former Twins: Joe Nathan, Denard Span, Eduardo Nunez
The Giants just narrowly avoided a monumental collapse to squeak their way into the playoffs. I would like to think that is thanks to Eduardo Nunez, whom the Twins traded over there back in July. The Giants also picked up old friend Joe Nathan around the middle of this year, bringing him back to the organization he began with, which is kinda sweet. Denard Span is over here these days too.
If you’re an Eduardo Nunez helmet-flying-off fan, this is your team.