With the Cubs beating the Dodgers in the NLCS, it was all over except the waiting. It meant the Indians and Cubs would be waiting to face each other in Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night.
As with any match-up of this magnitude, there’s really only one question on anyone’s mind. Who do I want to win the Series?
This year, that decision is trickier than some. There’s no clear cut winner. If the Red Sox are playing, that’s an obvious one. If the Yankees are playing, just as obvious. Sometime my rationale is stupid. I would probably cheer against the Giants because I don’t want them to have more championships this century than the Red Sox do. I’d probably cheer against the Rays because the Devil Rays were so annoying, and for the Phillies because I’ve always felt a kinship with their fans. I would have cheered for the Dodgers because Adrian Gonzalez was cheated out of his 2013 ring with the Sox. Or the Blue Jays because so many Blue Jays fans seem to be fans of this blog.
But, for this match-up, things are a bit murky. Both teams are littered with ex-Red Sox. Both teams have gone a long time since winning their last World Series championship. Neither team is a particular rival of the Sox. I would have expected that I’d be rooting for the Cubs, as sort of a “long championship drought” kinship. And, a few years ago, that probably would have been the case. But, not this year.
I’m rooting for the Indians.
The first reason why is Joe Maddon. While it has slowed a bit since his move to the Cubs, but I’m already annoyed by the treatment Maddon gets from the media. His “genius Joe” routine is beyond annoying. The fact that he makes his team dress up in ridiculous costumes is maddening. For a guy who hasn’t won anything, he’s treated like god’s gift to managing. Imagine if he actually had a ring on his finger to go along with it? I shudder to think. From there, a couple other minor reasons. Jon Lester made a decision to not sign with the Sox. He could have chosen them, but he didn’t. Likewise, Theo made the decision to abandon the team to fit his desires. I figure they deserve to go winless more than other players.
Like the ones on the Indians, for instance. Mike Napoli was ditched by the team. Same with Coco Crisp. It seems to me that Tito Francona was tricked (by Theo) into leaving the Sox before he might have wanted to. I don’t been bad cheering for them. They’re still “one of us.” There’s also the marginal reason to root for the AL team. Keeping it in the League. Or, rooting for the team that beat the Red Sox. It’s slightly easier to swallow if the Sox are swept out of the playoffs by the eventual World Champions.
Now, I admit, I’m not thrilled about hoping for Cleveland to win another championship this year. I’m not comfortable with them becoming a sports powerhouse to rival Boston’s glory days. But, then I look at the Browns, and don’t worry about that too much. I’m also not all that eager to open the “What if the Sox had traded for Miller instead of Cleveland?” line of questioning. But, those are minor issues in comparison. When it comes down to it, I can’t cheer for Joe Maddon.
Let’s go Indians!