The Cardinals missed the playoffs for the first time since 2010, so what are you supposed to do?
It’s been a while since the Cardinals have not been in the postseason. Nevertheless, there is still baseball to be played in October, and if you’re a fan of the sport, you’ll be watching. If you’re a Cardinals fan thinking, “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS,” then you’re in luck because I’ve made a quick guide looking at all teams from a Cardinals fans point of view to help you decide who to root for.
From a Cardinals fan’s perspective you have to feel a little bad for the Rangers. The Cardinals stole their first World Series away when they were one strike away, twice. The Rangers are also yet to win a World Series, as you probably know. Adrian Beltre is endless entertainment and Roughned Odor punched Jose Bautista this year, which could be a bad or good thing depending on your perspective. On the other hand the Rangers have been on the right side of a lot of good luck this year, which can leave a sour taste in your mouth knowing the Cardinals were a couple of good bounces away from being in this postseason. Still, the Rangers would be a pretty solid pick as a baseball and Cardinals fan.
Toronto Blue Jays
Another team that has hit a rough patch over recent years. They recently ended their 21 year playoff drought, which makes it pretty easy to pull for them. The Jays also have a lot of fun players like Edwin Encarnacion, Marcus Stroman and Josh Donaldson, although some people do not like them because they’ve been breaking some “unwritten rules.” I for one, think they’re all awesome. However, the Blue Jays are from Canada, and after this election season Canada doesn’t need to beat the U.S. in anything else right now. The go-to rule in sports is root for the team that hasn’t won much in the past, and by that logic the Blue Jays would be a safe pick. Still, the sometimes over the top actions of their players can be a turn off for some.
The Orioles are a very fun team! They have Mark Trumbo and Zach Britton who both had otherworldly seasons this year. The Orioles hit a lot of dingers so if you’re into the long ball then this would be your team. They also continue the trend of having a recent string of World Series futility, with their last ring coming in 1983. Another fun fact is that the Orioles once played in St. Louis, but if the Rams are any indication that would be a con more than a pro. There’s still a bit of bad blood from back in 2014 when John Lackey made some comments about then Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz, but neither of those players are on those respective teams anymore. If you’re the forgiving type and you like raw displays of power, perhaps the Orioles would not be a bad pick. EDIT: As I wrote this, the Orioles were eliminated. If you were planning on rooting for them, I’m sorry.
Boston Red Sox
Oh boy. There is not a lot of love between the Cardinals and the Red Sox over the past couple years. The Red Sox are the only American League team that have won more World Series championships this century than the Cardinals. It’s especially bothersome because two of those wins came against the Cardinals back in 2013 and 2004. Both of those points are pretty condemning for the Red Sox, but if you’re looking for some redeeming qualities, Mookie Betts is lighting it up this year and for David Ortiz finishing this career with a ring would be pretty cool. I think the only thing that could get a Cardinals fan to root for the Red Sox is the fact that they have the best chance of beating another team in the National league (hint: it rhymes with Albino Rubs). Boston has won enough championships in the past as it is, they probably don’t need Cardinals fans support this go round.
More Championship futility! Cleveland finally broke it’s citywide championship drought this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t root for their baseball team. Cleveland hasn’t hoisted the trophy since 1948, and they have a pretty solid team coming in this year. Corey Kluber is really fun to watch and maybe the Indians can bring in Lebron to pinch hit a couple of times. If Tebow can I don’t see why Lebron can’t. The only bad thing is that the Tribe ranked near last in attendance despite fielding a playoff team. Seeing empty seats at a playoff game would not be ideal. Still, if you’re a fan of feel good stories and fun baseball, the Indians would be a safe pick.
No. Next team.
Ok, fine. I don’t think Cardinals fans can say “going to root for the Cubs” unless the words before are “I am not ever, even if the sun was about to crash into the Earth and the Cubs had to win a baseball game to prevent it,” In fact, to convince any Cardinals fan to root for the Cubs in the postseason would be a whole other article, which conveniently Rohan has already written. I suggest you give it a read if you really want to be convinced. If you’re into good stories, the Cubs would probably be the best in baseball considering that haven’t won a World Series since the Ottoman Empire was around. On the other hand the Cubs are the Cubs, and they have noted bad person Aroldis Chapman. If you’re planning on rooting for the Cubs, more power to you, but you’re definitely in the minority.
New York Mets
From a casual baseball perspective, the Mets might be the most popular team to root for this postseason. Even though they lost their entire starting rotation to a devastating slew of injuries, they still have a lot of fun players and personalities. They would certainly be one of the feel good stories of this year if they pulled it off. Yoenis Cespedes is a joy to watch, and the legend of Bartolo Colon keeps growing with every season. The Mets also have the chance of knocking out both the Cardinals and Giants, which would be quite the treat. Some Cardinals fans have reservations about picking a National League team, but if you had to pick one, the Mets would be a great pick.
San Francisco Giants
Here we go again. The Giants are the only other team that have won more World Series this century than the Cardinals, and two of those wins came at the expense of the Cardinals. The Cubs are the Cardinal’s rivals, but until recently they haven’t been able to compete with the Cardinals. The Giants have been there, squashing their hopes every other year. The Giants couldn’t even have the decency to beat them soundly. They Barry Zitoed and Travis Ishikawaed their way to victory and then attributed it to “perseverance and hard work.” In reality the Giants have been one of the luckiest teams in the past decade, and seeing them finally lose in an even year would be pretty sweet retribution for Cardinals fans. I haven’t even mentioned noted Cardinals enemy Johnny Cueto. If you’re looking for redeeming qualities, there aren’t many. Bruce Bochy is a great manager which would be a nice change of pace for Cardinals fans, and they have a chance to beat the Cubs, but that’s about it.
Behind the Mets, the Nationals may be the second easiest team to root for in the National League. They haven’t won anything except their division since moving to DC, and Bryce Harper is really fun to watch. Daniel Murphy’s meteoric rise is awesome and makes no sense. As I said earlier with the way this election is going it feels like DC should at least be winning in some way. The Nats are a fun team to watch, and there’s not a lot of reason to hate them. If you don’t like showiness or fun, Bryce Harper is probably not your favorite player, but other than that the Nationals are pretty neutral in Cardinals fan’s eyes simply by not being the other teams.
Los Angeles Dodgers
How about that, the Dodgers finally found a way to eliminate the Cardinals from the postseason. #STLCards
— Brenden Schaeffer (@bschaeffer12) October 2, 2016
This may finally be their year, seeing as the Cardinals can’t eliminate them this year. A lot of Cardinals fans are not happy with the Dodgers’ inability to take one game from the Giants in the final game of the series to help the Cards get into the playoffs. I don’t think the Dodgers threw the series, but it is disappointing that they couldn’t pull out one win. On the other hand the Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988. Then again, they couldn’t beat the Giants in a game the Dodgers started Clayton Kershaw and the Giants started a rookie with one major league start. There’s also been a lot of bad blood between the two teams in the past, especially in the playoffs. If you can find it in your heart to forgive them, Corey Seager is having a rookie season that has shades of Pujols and Kershaw is again one of the best pitchers the world has ever season. The Dodgers will always be the ones who cost the Cardinals the postseason, so it may be difficult to pull for them this year.
Photo Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports