Fly Over Country Baseball Pride

Even though we've been unable to watch all of the thrilling game 5 madness the last few days, Stinky and I have been reveling in the Midwest's October Glory.

For once, we don't just mean the fall foliage that dots the landscape of the upper midwest, though--certainly--writing this blog from a coffee shop in a quaint Wisconsin lakeside village, with elms and maples turning orange and golden and faded green in early afternoon light is pretty awesome. No, we mean the fact that our preferred play-off teams all managed to do pretty well. Sure the Rays got bumped off by the Rangers, but everybody else we were rooting for: the Cardinals, the Brewers and the Tigers, pulled out big series wins.

It's nice to know that our cheering for a team does not doom them to suckitude, and nicer still to know that we are blissfully free from three more weeks of "pinstripe mystique" and "four aces of the apocalypse" talk. Sure, some people will talk about low ratings and the fact that very few people beyond the Milwaukee city limits cares about the Brewers, but that misses the point.

The point is that, right now, the best baseball is being played in our neck of the woods. And it's being played by a bunch of guys who used to wear the Twins Blue and Red. So even though Delmon Young will be nursing an oblique through the ALCS, we'll keep chearing for the Tigers and our supractalicious ex-left fielder whose tattoos and glower seem to suit the hardened blue collar edge of the Motor City.

And even though the Cardinals have won more World Series' than any team whose name does not start with a "Y" and end with an "ankees", we'll cheer because there's little Nicky Punto scooping up grounders and flipping them to a glacier sized first baseman between the beer signs and the red brick facades of a classic old stadium in a classic baseball town.

And even though they're our border war neighbors, we'll keep cheering for the Brew Crew and the home run slide and Bob Ueker calling a World Series game, because last night there was our hyperactive ex-centerfielder careening across home plate with a giddy slide and popping up in a fit of glee to "BEAST MODE" it up with the vegetarian first baseman and goofily bearded closer.

Forget the big markets and the big budgets and the big names. Let's keep this ride going on to November! Let's relish the chance to see champagne corks get popped alongside bottles of Bud and buckets of cheese curds and gallons of axel grease. Let's root, root, root for fly over country and the parts of America where fandom isn't written off as a business expense and stars are nurtured over years rather than bought up during the offseason.

It's a great time to love baseball, and a great time to love the midwest. (Luckily for us, we love both!)


Root, Root Root for...? (Our Extremely Biased Guide to the Postseason)

Well, we're a few days into the playoffs but better late than never! We know you've been waiting with bated breath for us to instruct you as to who you should cheer for in the post season...but we're not going to. Instead, we are going to make logical (hah) pro and con lists for each matchup, tell you where our hearts lie, and let you pick from there.


Rangers - PROS
- Everything's bigger in Texas...so...make of that what you will.
- I dare you to find a cooler name than Yorvit Torrealba.
- Josh Hamilton
Rangers - Cons
- I really have nothing against the Rangers, but I traveled to Dallas once for work and wasn't a huge fan.
- ...it's Texas.

Rays - Pros
- I know they're this big power hitting team now, but in my mind the Rays will always be the ultimate underdogs, which makes them cool in my book.
- Their late-season run to eliminate the Red Sox was quite glorious, and very Twins-Circa-2006. Reminds me of when times were good.
- They play in an incredibly ugly dome, which also reminds us of good times.
Rays - Cons
- Johnny Damon

This one's kind of a toss-up. I think I'd feel good either way - but for some reason my heart seems to lie with Tampa.

ALDS: NYY Vs. Detroit

Yankees - Pros
- I'm super excited for the Verlander/Sabbathia matchup tonight after being cruelly robbed of it on Friday.
- Derek Jeter
- Mariano Rivera
Yankees - Cons
- Nick Swisher
- A-Rod
- Smug and obnoxious Yankees fans
- Emperor Palpatine
- Lord Voldemort

Tigers - Pros
- AL Central Solidarity
- Delmon Young... that trade made no sense to me, and I miss my Delmon. I hope he gets a better shot with Detroit than he did with us.
- Justin Verlander
Tigers - Cons
- I make fun of Tigers fans all year (except this year)... it's hard to go from cheering against them to cheering for them
- Detroit

As my dad would say, "Go Delmont!!" I wish to see him prance to a World Series Victory. Go forth and prosper, Detroit Tigers.

NLDS: St. Louis Vs. Philly

Cardinals - Pros
- Albert Pujols
- Nick Punto
- We visited St. Louis on our baseball road trip two years ago: it's a nice city and the fans seem like cool people.
Cardinals - Cons
-.... I honestly can't think of any

Phillies - Pros

- Delicious Cheese Steak

- My friend Lewis lives there

- Amazing pitching rotation of awesomeness

Phillies - Cons
- I once got lost in Philly trying to get back on the highway after stopping for a cheese steak. It was miserable - we were lost for probably an hour and got stuck in ridiculous traffic. You fail, city of Philedalphia.
- High payroll. Pinstriped jerseys. Eastern division domination. Remind you of anyone else we know?

I'm gonna go with St. Louis, more because of how much I like the Cardinals than because of any bad feelings towards the Phillies.

NLDS: Milwaukee vs. Arizona

Brewers - Pros
- Prince Fielder
- Ryan Braun
- If you haven't heard Bob Uecker call a game, you're missing out
- Neighborly love
- New Glaurus
- Cheese
Brewers - Cons
- Neighborly hate
- Constant drunkenness: we also went there on our baseball road trip and saw people passed out on the concourse.
- Strange phallic hot dog races

D-Backs - Pros
- Scrappy young underdog of the NL
- I dunno...I'm generally a positive person
- ...that's about it really.
D-Backs - Cons
- D-Backs sounds suspiciously like D-Bags?
- Douchey Fans: D-Backs hit a home run over Ben Revere's head and a fan yelled "YOU SUCK REVERE!!" When interviewed after the game and asked what he had yelled the fan proudly repeated the sentiment. So apparently Ben Revere sucks for not owning a jet pack? Bad form, D-Backs fans.

We'll give our support to the cheeseheads next door!

Well, that's all we have for now. If you'll excuse me I have to try to stop the cat from eating Ben's tie and shirt buttons.