orioles 2 MLB Playoffs: Who I’m rooting for with the Bucs out of it

Now that the once oh so promising Pirates season has mercifully drawn to a close I’ve picked myself back up after a few days of sulking to return to the game as an unbiased observer—but what fun is that?  Everyone has to have a horse in the race, and the great thing about sports is that if yours comes up lame around the third turn you’re well within your right to hop on board someone else’s to get the feeling of what it’s like to charge for the finish line.  That said, here’s who I’m rooting for, in order, as the 2012 baseball playoffs kick off later today:

1. Baltimore Orioles

They represent everything the Pirates could have been this season.  A once-proud yet long-struggling franchise with a fan base starving to get back to the postseason after their last run ended with one of the more infamous moments in baseball history (so Jeffery Maier and Sid Bream walk into a bar—yes, Maier, the then-twelve year old who didn’t dare throw back the Derek Jeter 313-foot out that he turned into a home run is old enough to throw ‘em back as he pleases now, which illustrates just how long it really has been since the O’s were playing beyond the first few days of October.)

2. Cincinnati Reds

Yes, you read that right.  They’re my wife’s home team, and I know that the longer they play, the more baseball watching there is for this home team.  Hey, I’m smarter than I look.

3. Oakland A’s

The quintessential proof that high baseball IQ in the front office can trump a low payroll.  Winning the division on the final day of the season against the very team you trailed by as many as 13 games is strong, strong enough to get you my support. Read more…