Choose Ye This Day Whom You Will Root For
Have No TV-Team, Will Travel

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A simple question to anyone who cares to contribute.



* You chose to cancel cable/satellite an forgo watching the Mariners on TV for the foreseeable future (never mind why), and

* You eliminated prior loyalties as a primary consideration, and

* Your MLB TV-watching was limited to, um, MLBtv, which allows you to watch every MLB game EXCEPT that of your local team, and

* You were  determined to focus on a single MLB team as your new, long-term rooting interest,


What MLB team would you choose? And why?

Have fun with it. Your contributions will help me as I consider this very choice.



I have no prior allegiances other than the Mariners, so that doesn't enter into it, except that I would be physically incapable of rooting for any team with which the Mariners have ever had any bad blood or play-off competition against.

The latter rules out the Astros, Rangers, Angels, Athletics, Yankees, Orioles, White Sox.

I also cannot and will not root for any team from California because California is evil.

Buh-bye Giants, Dodgers and Padres

As for dynamism...I am referring to a club that has many different ways to beat you and players that flash unusual skills often.  Best targets: the Cubs, Cardinals, Rays, Red Sox

From that group, I'd probably go with the Red Sox to please my wife...who hails from Boston.



Dynamism is a good word to capture what I'm looking for. 

I have ruled out any AL West rivals for the reason you mention PLUS I'd have more games blacked out because of the more frequent in-division play.

I could never under any circumstances root for the Yankees. They are Darth Vadar to me. And unfortunately, by association the Mets get tarnished as well by being from New York. Can you tell I'm not fond of the Big Apple?

re: California, I spent the first 33 years of my life living there. It was a terrific place to grow up back then. But there were reasons we moved away in 1988.


(I plan to initiate this post and update it as the process plays out through spring training.)

** UPDATED Feb 15, 2017 **


A darkhorse team has swept from far back in the field and taken the prize!

It turns out I was fooled by a whopper of a hoax, and therefore under the false impression that the Dodgers had hired Chris Berman to replace Vin Scully. That was an automatic disqualifier for me. But today I learned this fact, which I had read in an article from September 2016, was simply not true. What a relief! Instead of sorting through a bunch of teams hoping I could develop a loyalty to them, I could go directly back to the team of my youth, the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's now a no brainer. 

Thanks to all for their contributions to my quest. Like Bilbo, it was truly There and Back Again.

* * *


Chicago Cubs - If it wasn't for the facts that this team just won the World Series, is the obvious choice for front-runners, has an outstanding GM and Manager team, and features an incredible core of young, talented players... I mean, I LUV teams like that, but in the words of the FOX NFL Pregame Show, "C'mon, Man!"

LA Dodgers - Rich, determined to win, chock full of talented players, including one of the top young talents in the game, Corey Seager. Clayton Kershaw as an ace. BUT, just hired Chris Berman as Vin Scully's replacement. C'mon, Man!"

San Francisco Giants - I love the Giants organization and Bruce Bochy. Who wouldn't want to root for a team with Buster Posey as your catcher? And Madison Bumgarner as your ace? This team seems to have the "it" factor over the last five years when it comes to the postseason. 

St. Louis Cardinals - Perhaps no better organization in baseball over the long haul. Their star power is a little thin right now, and they had a down year in 2016 (wouldn't it be great to have a team that considers 86-76 a down year?!), but they've proven consistently able to develop and deploy talent.

Washington Nationals- Poised the last few years to win it all, a boatload of talent, perhaps my number one choice except I might prefer a team that has more competition in the division.


Baltimore Orioles- Buck Showalter just wins, baby. And Manny Machado. This team is not highest on my list, but any team that has an all-time great named "Boog" and nicknamed "Booger" can't be all bad.

Boston Red Sox- It would be less than socially acceptable for anyone outside of obnoxious Beantown to root for the Red Sox, but man do they have some exciting young players in Betts, Bradley, and Bogaerts. And their division is competitive as all get out. And their organization is top-notch.

Cleveland Indians- This is probably my number one choice right now. They have a great team, but still retain some of the "underdog" status I enjoy. They are not pretentious, and they've got Terry Francona as a manager. Oh, and did I say they added Edwin Encarnacion? But like Washington, they have only one potential competitor for the division title. I wouldn't want the season to get boring because my team ran away with the division. Still, the Indians have one great appeal to me, their franchise is situated somewhat like the Mariners, in that they will never spend with the big boys. And it's probably hard to lure free agents there...(Encarnacion: but having reached the World Series last year, I just might consider an offer).

Detroit Tigers- The Detroit Tigers have always seemed stodgy. But despite the fact that Justin Verlander, and Miguel Cabrera, and Victor Martinez have passed their primes, they still have an impressive array of talent. Can't rule 'em out.

Toronto Blue Jays- Have star power, GREAT up the middle with Martin, Tulowitzki and Pillar, field an MVP-level player at third, reached the ALCS the last two years. They will score, but how well will their pitching hold up?


St. Louis or San Francisco.

I love the Cards' organization and approach.

Willie Mays played for the Giants.



Yeah, Cards were one of my first additions to the list.

If I go strictly by an admiration for the long-term performance and philosophy of an organization, I'd include St. Louis, San Francisco, Chicago ('cuz with their current people the WILL sustain what they have built), and Boston.

I haven't yet mentioned this because I didn't want to prejudice the responses, but the chances of  me selecting a West Coast team go down in direct proportion to my interest (or lack thereof) in routinely staying up until 10 or 11pm. In recent years there've been many M's games that lasted longer than I did. Midwest or East Coast teams look more appealing on that score.


Daddy, I LOVE your flow-chart! (I haven't studied it yet, but I love the concept. I'll give it a good luck tonight.) 

As you are a Mariners fan, like me, and you want to be able to watch your favorite team- you missed the one solution that would allow you to avoid paying for cable while retaining access through this "M's Season of Destiny" (in February, every season is the Season of Destiny"!) Move to New England! (Or San Francisco, or Texas, or...) Alaska could be another choice- just for the season; back to Seattle for the winter, when broadcast rights don't matter so much.

Seriously- it does seem perverse that a league that encourages us to support our hometown team would charge double for the chance to watch them play... even on the road! I though the NFL had a corner on every opportunity to squeeze dollars out of fans- but this one bears challenging, asking them to justify how this encourages fans to support their local ballclub. 

Finally- if moving regions of the country is not an option for you and Mommy-O- I get a lot of satisfaction supporting the players who haven't yet touched the major leagues, down in Tacoma, or even the players who are just joining the majors for the first time, up in Everett. And it's a lot more cost-effective, if you want to attend more than 1-2 games a season!




Thanks for the suggestions. 

Unfortunately neither moving nor going to games is an option. I have not been to a live baseball game since 2005 (health reasons). Thus Tacoma is not an option either. I wish it weren't the case, but it is.

But again, thanks for thinking of alternatives.

Re: the flow chart, I found it online. It appears to be rather dated, but looked like an apropos graphic!


Grew up in San Jose CA during the sixties. Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda, Bobby Bonds and Gaylord Perry. The Alou brothers (all at the same time, once) plus Jim Ray Hart, who could swing the bat but was an adventure in the field at third.




While I grew up watching and respecting Mays, McCovey and Hart, Marichal, Cepeda, Bobby Bonds (as a 13-year-old I watched him hit a grand slam in his first MLB at bat during a 1968 Dodgers-Giants game...pinch-hitting if I remember correctly), but they wuz the enemy to my Dodgers. Still, I think a lot of the organization with Sabean and Bochy. Mucho respect.

Thanks for the contribution.

What I'd like to know is, prior loyalties aside, what team would you choose?


With all respect to OBF, since half my family is from Canada, I'll go with Blue Jays. Plus if the Blue Jays win the AL East, that means the Yankees don't.

I don't think Bonds' homer that game was a pinch-hit; he started the game and the homer was in the latter innings if I remember correctly. I was listening to that game on the big stereo in the living room with my Dad (if he wasn't there, it was transistor radio in my room - the living room was for company, not mere children of the household) and I remember my staid, buttoned-down father going absolutely nuts when he hit it. 

I can't say I respected the Dodger organization then, but at that time what did I know? I was an elementary-school-aged kid whose team just couldn't quite beat them (or the Cardinals) out for first place. I lived and died with them. It taught me later in life that something is seriously wrong with hero-worship when a young boy thought that Roseboro must have done something to deserve getting hit with a bat... because my heroes could do no wrong. Late in his career, when Marichal put on a Dodger uniform I was dumbstruck. How could he??? Ah, youth.

SSI has helped me understand why the 60's Giants couldn't get over the top. Stars and Scrubs works when the scrubs are at least sort-of average; not gaping black holes on offense. 


I am winding down a four-year project playing out every game of the 1966 MLB season using Diamond Mind Baseball (created by Tom Tippett, who worked for the Red Sox for a decade until recently moving on to other endeavors. 

The 1966 Giants were a case in point for what you are talking about. In real life McCovey, Mays and Hart had their usual stellar seasons, Tom Haller hit 27 home runs, and they had a terrific starting rotation headed by a dominant Marichal and including Gaylord Perry and a good year by Bob Bolin. They also had a deep, quality bullpen. (Oviously you know that, I'm saying it for the benefit of others reading this). But the black holes in their lineup were such that they finished second to the light-hitting Dodgers.

My replay has given me a deeper appreciation of why that team finished second. Totally agree with your assessment.

Checking out Baseball-Reference, it looks like your memory is correct that Bonds started the game in question.


Starting with Rickey Henderson teams.  During the Wood/Zambrano/Clement/Prior era of the Cubs I got into them.  Despite the fact that I don't like red they'd be a top choice.  A young interesting team with leadership that seems trustworthy, which kind of makes the Cubs a paradox currently. 

Although since I can't get Billy Hamilton to come to Seattle, maybe I'd start watching the Reds. I love the base race.  Maybe enough to wear red.  And with Phillips now gone Peraza should have an everyday spot, racing along with him.  They're another young interesting team and in fact could be like picking the Cubs last spring.  Or they could struggle, this is baseball.  The rotation is the big question mark now but there's intriguing youth just around the corner. 


Thanks, Wishhiker.

Now that's a criteria I didn't think of-- whether or not I like red (laughs).

I'll grant you it helps you like a team if you like their uniforms and logo.

I'd LOVE to pick the Cubbies. The current organization is fantastic, and I love John Madden as a manager. The team is one to drool over. But it seems too "easy" to pick the team that won 103 games last year.

Re: Cincinnati Reds, I was VERY familiar with them until we moved from LA (where they were a long-time rival) to the Northwest in 1988. I'm not now. If you'd care to, I love to hear your explanation of why you feel they might be poised to break out. Right now they aren't on my radar, but perhaps I can be persuaded to consider them.


If you're excited by speed(it's my favorite tool) , there probably isn't a team with a better top 2 burners and they're young.  The bullpen failed them last year but should be improved.  The rotation is very Athletics, relying on youth and breakout.  But the lineup could carry a decent rotation a long way.  It's probably more likely that they're still too young or just never come together.

Hamilton had a breakout 2nd half last year.  194 PA between the All-Star break and a strained oblique Sep 4th he hit .293/.369/.333/.703 with 36 SB/4CS, a 162G/Avg of 130/15.  The biggest difference is in him hitting the ball on the ground quite a bit more (finally).  He had the highest BA on GB this year at .368 and it's obvious that's where he needs to put them but the previous 2 years he was 15th in NL at 37.5%flyballs.  He's finally becoming more patient posting his highest PPA and BB% last year as well, despite nobody wanting to give him a free pass.  There's a championship caliber leadoff hitter in there, I swear.

Joey Votto.  What more do you want? 

Cozart is good production from SS, as has been discussed.  Suarez, Duvall, Peraza, Schebler, Ervin and Herrera are all quality young hitters who've produced some at the ML level and could, imo, bust the offense wide open.  Mesoraco could have a healthy comeback season.  Winker might fit in there somewhere. 

They're fairly similar to the M's in the quality youth and close in pitching depth but don't have as much of the veteran production anywhere.  That's what makes it much less likely.  Nobody seems to be predicting over about 73 wins, so maybe I'm way off base.  Or maybe I'm just mentioning them a year early. 

OBF's picture

So I would root for the Giants or the Rockies.

I am a Denver Bronco fan so the Rockies would be adopting my already adopted football teams little brother.  And the giants have recent success and are physically located the closest to me besides Seattle (I live in the Willamete Valley so it is actually not that much further than Seattle).

OBF's picture

Clearly the rest of the AL West is out...  

            A pox on you Rangers, Astros, A's and Angels!

And you can't root for giant evil empire teams who have way more money than everyone else...

            Be gone Yankees, Red Sox and Dodgers.

We are muricans so got to root for a murican team

             See ya Blue Jays

And who wants to root for an NL club...  gross Pitchers hitting, yuck...

So, that leaves you with:

  • Indians (boring and the constant drumming gives me a head ache)
  • Orioles (fun team if you like offense I guess, but east coast...)
  • Royals (Hey you would get to root along with Bill James!)
  • White Sox (Chicago has a team other than the cubs????  Who knew!)
  • Twins (I fell asleep just typing their name...)
  • Tampa Bay (At least you would get to experince most of the mariners former team, seems like we traded half of last years team to them!)

Or you could just stay a fan of the Mariners and listen on the radio!

I actually enjoy listening better anyways and is the way I tend to imbibe in a Mariners game (I am too cheap to buy cable and also live in the black out area)


Thanks, OBF. Several great comments.

Re: NL team and no DH, as someone who grew up watching NL baseball, I've got to admit that I've grown accustomed to the DH. It would indeed be hard to go back. 

Re: Rays, the bloom is off the rose since Madden left.

Re: Royals, that's actually one I should add. They dropped to .500 last year, but they could bounce back.

Re: Orioles, honestly the only two reasons I can think of to watch them are Showalter, who I like as a manager, and Machado. Adam Jones is good, but I can take or leave him.

Re: Radio, no sale here, sorry. The older I get it's hard enough to not wander off mentally while watching the games. As a young man I used to be able to do two things at one time, listen to Dodgers on radio and do something else. No can do any more.

Re: White Sox, Twins, agreed.

Re: Toronto and muricans, another great point I hadn't considered yet.


As of today, if I had to choose two teams for top consideration, it would be Boston first, Cleveland second.

1. I'm persuaded that transitioning back to the NL game with pitchers hitting would be difficult for me.

2. Boston gets the edge over Cleveland because they play in a perennialy competitive division, and the East Coast time zone might work best with my schedule. Doc's article today helped persuade me that it's cool, not snobby to adopt the Sox.

3. But I'd be very satisfied with a Cleveland choice. I love their talent and their manager. I love that they're a lunch pail town and carry the mantle of "upstarts."


I would like to recommend the Orcs as an honorable mention.  The Orc payroll is $73 million which is exactly half of Seattle's payroll.  The stadium is best known for housing Raider's fans and having sewage problems during heavy rain.  The uniforms are remicient of green slime and bile.  There is no actual "bullpen".  Instead the relievers warm up on the foul grass, presumably because the City of Oakland couldn't afford a pen.  No respectable free agent will play there, and the ones that do, tank so they will be traded or cut.  

The AAA farm team, the Sacramento Rivercats, dumped the Orcs like an ugly wicked stepsister for the Giants in 2014.  The new AAA team, the Nashville sounds, is a convenient 1900 miles away.  

Homegrown superstars such as Josh Donaldson and Mark McGuire play better once they leave, presumably from the bat out of Oakland effect.  To the extent that there are home grown superstars, the fans can't enjoy them, because they are about to be traded for five scrubs at any time.  Any edge that Oakland had at baseball or analytics was lost in 2004 when Billy Beane, overcome by hubris, spilled all of his beans in "Moneyball".  

The team itself hasn't had a recognizable outfielder in about half a decade, and the two pitching stars, Sonny Gray, and Sean Doolittle, seem to have regressed, negativing their trade values for teams who don't believe in bat out of Oakland.  

In 2016 the Orcs were third to last in runs, at 649, and OPS, .699.  The pitching was eighth to last in allowing 718 runs, and in 18th place in OPS against at .744.  That's a run differential of 69 points.  

You like escapism, I like pain.  With hobbies like being an Oakland fan, who can say that his problems are that bad?  



Being an Orc fan has brought LONG stretches of great joy (early '70's- if you go back that far, late '80's, early 2000's, 2012-14). Hopefully it makes up for the pain.

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