Baseball Season is Over for Me

As a Mets fan, the season ended a few weeks ago. As a baseball fan, I was still watching, and enjoying. The way teams play in the postseason is what baseball is all about, and what it should be about for the 162 games of the regular season. Somehow, though, it doesn’t always work out that way.

This year, the Wild Card games and divisional playoffs were exciting — how often does every series go the maximum number of games? Further, there were a number of underdogs and feel-good stories to follow.

Mainly I was pulling for the Orioles and Reds; the former because they had no business getting this far and the latter because, well, I’m not entirely sure; partly because of a longstanding man-crush for Joey Votto, partly for fascination for Aroldis Chapman, partly because they used to have a player with the last name of Janish, and partly because my nephew now lives in Cincinnati. My third-favorite team in the playoffs was the Nationals, mainly because of Davey Johnson, partly because I genuinely like most of the players, and also because I feel some kind of geographic / familiarity-based loyalty to the NL East.

(By the way, how did the O’s — who may have had a worse offense than the Mets and a no-name pitching staff — get so far? Is it all Buck Showalter? If so he should not only be named Manager of the Year, but they should name the award after him going forward.)

Now, however, the season is over, as there’s no one left for me to root for. I hate the Cardinals, hate the Giants, hate the Yankees, and don’t care one way or the other for the Tigers, so, there you go.

Did I mention I hate the Cardinals? I may hate them more than the Yankees. Truly. If it comes down to Yanks-Cards in the World Serious, I might be slightly less indifferent if the Yankees win.

If you pinned me down and asked me for my preferred WS matchup, based on the teams still competing, I’d go for Giants and Tigers. I MIGHT root for the Giants if only because they play actual baseball, whereas the Tigers play the commercialized, short-attention-span rendition in the Adulterated League that I despise fiercely.

But from this point forward, it’s complete indifference. Just thought I’d share.

How about you? Were you rooting for any teams that are now eliminated? Will you watch the NLCS and/or ALCS? Who are you rooting for now, and why? Post your notes in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Steve October 13, 2012 at 1:27 am
    Us mets fans can now move forward. After seeing what happened to Texas and now the nationals we realize God does not hate the Mets and if we can find a way to win 88 games and get to wildcard anything can happen.
  2. NormE October 13, 2012 at 9:15 am
    Joe, I read your piece last night and had no answer until this morning. It’s kind of weak, but here it is:

    If you hate Tony LaRussa as much as I do for the way his managing screwed up the game, then you should root for the Cards. If a rookie manager can win with this team it would show the baseball world that LaRussa was no genius.

    Sorry Joe, but that’s all I’ve got.

    • argonbunnies October 14, 2012 at 6:07 am
      I like it! After the Cards’ victory, I was actually thinking, “Maybe it is just the players, Tony.”

      Though, honestly, I thought La Russa’s pitching changes last postseason absolutely did win the Cardinals games. Regular season, maybe not so much.

  3. DaveSchneck October 13, 2012 at 11:27 am
    Joe,
    Strongly agree with you on the Adulterated League. Not as strongly on Cardinals. I don’t care for them, but I would root for them over the Yanks due to Beltran, who I caonsider a class act. Also, I must say that I did not shed a tear seeing the Nats blow that one last night.
    • AC Wayne October 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm
      I’m with you whole-heartily, Dave, watching the Nats go down in a ball of flames was quite enjoyable, Davy went to the well too many times w/Storen and it eventually bit him in the ass, #2 organizational misstep for the Nats in 2012, why take Clippard out of the closer role so late in the season, #1, pretty obvious, the shutdown of Strasberg
      • AC Wayne October 13, 2012 at 10:48 pm
        damn, *Strasburg
  4. Dan B October 13, 2012 at 12:45 pm
    Like Joe, I am not thrilled with the remaining teams and I told myself I wouldn’t follow the playoffs. Much like how my wife gets amused when I pretend to run the household, I think the baseball gods were amused because I find myself still watching the games. As the great philosopher Joe Torre once said, “even bad pizza is still pretty good.”
  5. friend October 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm
    “I hate the Cardinals, hate the Giants, hate the Yankees”

    Naturally, it is your choice, but embracing hate does little but rob you of the opportunity to enjoy some extraordinary baseball.

    • Joe Janish October 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm
      True, I will miss some extraordinary live baseball. What I’ll do instead is watch DVDs of World Series ’75, ’77, ’79, and ’86.
      • Joe Janish October 14, 2012 at 11:17 pm
        Oh and as much as I hate these teams, I do admit I will be “peeking” at the games here and there, every few innings. But, I have no investment/care as to the outcomes. Except when the Yankees and/or Cardinals lose. ;-)
  6. Ben C. October 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm
    Joe, maybe you’ve written about this before, but I’d be curious to know why you feel so strongly about the Cards. As a younger Mets fan, the only thing I have against them is Beltran looking at strike three in ’06. Are you just thinking back to the ’80s when we were both good teams and division rivals?

    As always, love the spot-on characterization of AL baseball. New Yankee Stadium is an admission than AL critics have been right all along.

  7. Mike October 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm
    I have lived in the STL area for the past 2.5 years. I know exactly why Joe hates the Cardinals. There is no more of a pompous fanbase in baseball outside of Yankee-land. It is so obnoxious to deal with these spoiled fans. Honestly I have never gone out of my way to say anything bad about the Cardinals other than that I’m not a fan, and it results in nothing but vitriol and heckling from these louts. They bully Cubs fans and nobody outside of Cardinals fans like more than half of the team. Molina? Nobody likes “neck-tats” outside of STL.

    I recently discovered the perfect way to describe my life having lived near Yankee and now Cardinals fans: it is like going to the wedding of two people you hate on the same day your dog died. I’m surrounded by happy idiots, and nothing can make me happy right now.

    • Joe Janish October 13, 2012 at 7:49 pm
      Thanks Mike. That’s at least one reason why I hate the Cards, and you’ve described it aptly.

      And yes, another reason was the 80s, set off by the Terry Pendleton grand slam.

      Albert Pujols’ smugness never helped, either.

      Part of it too is St. Louis getting hot at just the right time, as it seems to devalue the 162 regular season games.

    • argonbunnies October 14, 2012 at 6:10 am
      Totally gonna steal that wedding analogy. Brilliant.

      From their in-game behavior on TV, I actually thought Cardinals fans were the best in baseball. Tons of team spirit, plenty of baseball knowledge, and no hatin’. I’m sorry to learn the truth about the hatin’.

    • argonbunnies October 14, 2012 at 6:17 am
      I root against the Cardinals, but at least I respect the way they play. There is no contest between them and the entitled celebrity zoo from the Bronx. Donning a Yankee uniform is a free pass to the post-season surrounded by All-Stars, and the only way the rest of the sport has a shot is if they all choke in crunch time. Which they often do. Ha ha! Nothing but contempt for that team.

      The Cardinals are at least playing the same sport as 28 other teams. Can’t really hold it against them for coming up clutch. (Though this was the way I felt about the Phillies for quite a while too, so maybe I’m a heretic.)

      As far as 2012 rooting interests, I’m rooting against the Yankees, and don’t really care beyond that. If the Tigers lose, I’ll root for the Cards, as they have a much better shot to beat the Yanks than the Giants do. In a Tigers-Giants world series, I’d root for the team that didn’t just win it 2 years ago, from the city that could use a little good news.

      • Joe Janish October 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm
        The Yankees are pretty damn obnoxious. Raul Ibanez was the Phillies’ #5 or #6 hitter in their starting lineup last year; this year, he was the Yanks’ #5 or #6 outfielder. Ibanez is a better hitter than every Mets starter other than David Wright, and he’s the Yankees’ third- or fourth-string DH. Heck, Andruw Jones would have started for the Mets, and he’s completely forgotten on the Yankees’ roster. Oh, and what other team can bench The Greatest Player Ever in an elimination game and not even blink?

        So yeah, I’m rooting against the Yankees too.

  8. Joe October 13, 2012 at 11:19 pm
    I can relate to the OP & am left with tepid support of Detroit (who should get to the WS if the Yanks continue to score like the Mets are still playing, though admittedly, scoring 2-3 runs would be a bit much to hope for many a second half game) and the Giants (oh look! it’s Friday 13th XI: Jason, I mean the Cards live). I really don’t care about the Giants. I still am amused Kenny Rogers beat the Yanks for Detroit a few years back. And, “Fister” is a funny name.

    Tigers/Giants have that bland feel to it that allows you to watch it just to watch it, not upset if someone doesn’t win. It’s like one of those TNF games or something that don’t matter as compared to hoping Ben R. loses.

    • Joe October 14, 2012 at 11:01 am
      See … always go with Dotel.
    • Joe Janish October 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm
      Fister? I barely even know … oh, never mind. Gotta keep it family friendly …
  9. chris October 16, 2012 at 10:03 pm
    I’m rooting for the Giants. One of the teams the Mets replaced, cool city, good stadium, National League, not a division rival. Why not? I am still a Beltran fan, I’m hoping he does well and the rest of the Cards crumble. Giants over the Tigers in the WS
  10. Florian October 18, 2012 at 1:21 am
    Hi Joe,

    bit surprised you don’t care much for the Tigers. How can you not like that great starting pitching, DH or not? Fister coming out of three bases-loaded jams in game #1 of the ALCS, the closer shitting the bed, then coming back and winning the game in extra innings?

    There are some feel-good stories in Detroit as well, and the atmosphere at Comerica Park truly fantastic – good fans. Not too bad of a team to root for.

    Do you genuinely find them boring, or is the AL Central just somehow not on your radar?

    • Joe Janish October 18, 2012 at 9:05 am
      Florian, you have good points. Not sure why I have no feeling for the Tigers. It may be that I avoid AL “baseball” like the plague and so haven’t had much of an opportunity to watch them. I do enjoy watching Miggy and Verlander, but the rest of the team is a mystery to me.

      I can tell you that I’m pleased they’re up 3-0 on the Yanks.

      • Florian October 19, 2012 at 1:41 am
        Thanks… you forgot Prince Fielder? This team could be a mystery because it is built around power-hitting, combined with a good rotation. But the regular seasons only saw power-hitting from position #1 – #4. So after Miggy (#3) and Fielder (#4), the offense was often non-existent.

        Today’s 8-1 was unreal, though, since the Yankees managed not more than TWO hits and ONE run in an elimination game. The bullpen no-hit them, ironically without the regular closer. I guess good pitching does get you far in the postseason.