2014 has come and gone, and it was certainly a fantastic year in the baseball world. I attended several parks for the first time including Fenway and Safeco Field. There’s much to talk about for the 2015 Marlins season, but I will save that for the spring. Instead, for this final post of the year, I am ranking all 30 MLB teams in order of my allegiance. Which team would I pull for over which other teams?
Throughout the season, these may change game-by-game or inning-by-inning. For instance, I was pulling for the Nationals and Jordan Zimmermann during the no-hitter for the final game of the 2014 season (over the Marlins). Otherwise, this order should remain fairly constant.
1) Marlins: If you did not know this, I’ve never met you.
2) Nationals: Home team! I’ve visited Nationals Park more than any other sporting venue. It might be slightly weird since Miami and Washington are likely to vie for the NL East in the coming years. But that just means I can’t lose, right?
4) Padres: PETCO Park is my favorite stadium I’ve visited, and it’s always good to root for underdogs. San Diego is even a cooler city than Seattle, and the Padres have decently slick uniforms as well.
5) Reds: In Dayton, they’re kind of another home town team. Great American Ballpark is really cool, and Reds fans are refreshingly passionate.
6) Diamondbacks: I played on two Diamondbacks teams as a youngster. Also, I like purple. I remember watching part of Randy Johnson’s perfect game against Atlanta when he was flame-throwing for Arizona. They used to be a really fun squad to watch.
7) Rays: I generally root for Florida teams because, until I was 11, Florida was more or less my home state.
9) Rockies: Purple. Mountains. Underdogs. Why not? I’d like to visit Denver. Colorado is one of the healthiest states because of all the outdoor and adventurous activities in which its citizens partake.
10) Cubs: I figured if the Cubs made it to the World Series, I’d pull for them over every remaining team on this list.
11) Orioles: They were the home town team for me until 2005. My dad grew up in southern Maryland. Camden Yards is also an exciting environment. It was the building that really set the trend for the new baseball parks of the last two decades such as San Diego’s, Pittsburgh’s, and Minnesota’s.
12) Astros: I really like Minute Maid Park. And again…underdogs. I also like the nature of Houston’s nickname, alluding to the NASA mission control at the city’s Johnson Space Center.
13) Twins: Target Field looks really cool and I’m looking forward to visiting. Minneapolis has got to be a lovely city between April and September. The rest of the year? I’d rather be a Cubs fan than live in Minnesota.
14) Rangers: I named my parakeet “Ranger” when I was in first grade. Also, they reside in the great state of Texas. And Yu is fun to watch. No, not me. Yu. Yes, Yu (pictured right).
15) Blue Jays: The 2013 Blue Jays were basically the 2012 Marlins, right?
16) Tigers: Miguel Cabrera and Anibal Sanchez were two of my favorite Marlins to ever play.
17) Athletics: Underdogs. Moneyball. The Oakland Coliseum is dreadful, however.
18) Angels: I like the water and rocks in center field. Mike Trout is one of my favorite players to watch. He’s basically Giancarlo Stanton with a little more speed and a little less power.
20) Brewers: Other than their underdog-ed-ness, I have no reason to really ever pull for these peeps. Bernier Brewer’s center field slide is a nifty stadium feature, though.
21) Dodgers: Dodger Blue. LA lifestyle. Neither are good nor bad. I consider them underdogs because they seem to have a habit of always choking as soon as it appears they will be in the World Series.
22) Cardinals: If they weren’t so good every year, they’d be much higher on the list. I love the baseball fans of St. Louis, and (don’t ask) I root for the Rams in the NFL. I also played on a Cardinals team when I was in elementary school. The Marlins share the Roger Dean Stadium complex in Jupiter, FL with St. Louis for spring training, so I’ve seen the redbirds in action a fair amount.
23) Indians: Cleveland…Name the last time you were made to think Wow, I should really visit Cleveland. I’ll be honest, I did like watching Travis Hafner play in the 2006-2009 range. I in fact traded for him in my Marlins franchise on the video game MLB 2K7. He hit behind Miguel Cabrera, and it was the best lineup I could have imagined.
24) White Sox: They wear black socks. I don’t get it. Their home park is U.S. Cellular Field, and is the least distinct ballpark in baseball. There is essentially nothing about it that makes it memorable.
25) Braves: Chop shop. Death music. No me gusta. I did use to live in the Atlanta area, however briefly, and I do like the city. That’s about all the Braves have going for them. I must admit, the spectacularly and laughably dreadful experience I had at Turner Field in April made for a fun post. And when the Braves open up their new stadium in 2017, I’ll visit as soon as I can.
26) Mets: I guess the fact that they aren’t any good makes them underdogs in my book. Therefore, they rank ahead of the rest. I had a dream about catching a Gaby Sanchez home run at Citi Field one time, although I have still never been to the stadium.
27) Giants: Kind of like St. Louis. Had they not won three of the last five World Series, they’d be much higher. AT&T Park is spectacular. But, I’ve never been.
28) Red Sox: I do like Fenway Park. But the Red Sox are just too mainstream. They’ve also won three World Series in the last 11 seasons.
29) Yankees: I hated the 2009 World Series. It was the only time in my life I ever rooted for the Yankees. During my younger years, my dad was an O’s fan; therefore, even before I picked a favorite team, I had a least favorite. They’ve since been leapfrogged, but every baseball fan that doesn’t support New York is by default against them.
30) Phillies: (The team the Yankees beat in the 2009 World Series) They won the NL East for several seasons at the onset of my Marlins fandom. They’re at the bottom of this list because I am not fond of the city of Philadelphia, and the Phils are just a nuisance to play. Even if Philly is at the bottom of the division, they’ll still be at the bottom of this list.