O, by-the-bye: PROOF I am no Bond fan: I thought the character Donald Pleasence played was Dr. No. Turns out the character's name is Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Pleasence only took the part because it was pitched to him thus: "You'll be in a Bond film spending most of your time stroking a pussy .." (<--Speaking of jokes that must be pretty commonplace by now ... but I wouldn't know because I'm not a Bond fan because Bond movies - all of them - totally suck.)
In any case, arch-villain Ernst Rizzo Blofeld's team, the Nationals, backed into the NL Eastern Division title last night against the Phillies. I say "backed into" because, first, it makes the Nationals sound totally gay not that there's anything wrong with that; and, second, because the Phils beat the Nats 2-zip last night and the Nats only won the division because the hated Atlanta Grifters (Chief Grifter: Sniffer Groans, who's gone around the league collecting gifts from every team he's played this year because he is allegedly retiring after this year1) lost and thereby took themselves out of contention for the title, like the total luuuuuzers that they are.
Also, because the Phils beat the Nats, they essentially got to photobomb the Nats moment in the sun because they got to celebrate their victory mid-field before the losers - i.e., the Nats - could come out and celebrate their successful loss.
When your team doesn't make the playoffs, spite is all you have. And I have that in overplus.
That (viz., my spitefulness) being pretty well established above, here, Baseball Fans, are the teams you should be rooting for (in descending order) to win the World Series and the spiteful reasons you should be wishing ill to the teams near the bottom:
1. The Baltimore Orioles: We want them, first, to beat the Yankees for AL East title (and if you need a reason to hate the Yankees, you're just not paying attention, you stupid fuck, and it's a wonder you haven't been hit by a truck while crossing the street), then to take it all because Baltimore is close to Philadelphia and the Balto accent is nearly identical to the Pennzer accent and they are both extremely ugly; but the main reason is Jimmy Thome is on the Orioles and he deserves a ring before he retires.
2. Tough choice, but I'm going with the Reds. Because they are an NL team and because Joey Votto is a great player and Brandon (Dat Dude) Phillips makes me laugh and they have Todd Frazier who's from Joisey.
3. The Swinging A's. Because they came outta nowhere, just like the Orioles, and they may still beat the Rangers for the AL East Title, which is a good thing, because the Rangers are from Texas and anything bad that happens to Texas is, by definition, good for the rest of the country and, indeed, the World, Also? The Universe. Plus the A's are exciting, with 14 walk-off wins this year, the most in the majors.
4. The Nationals. They edge out the Tigers because they're an NL team and because, technically, I was hoping the Tigers would be beaten out by the White Sox because I thought the 9-year deal the Tigers gave Prince Fielder was absurd. More on that below under ...
5. ... The Tigers. You gotta love Miggy Cabrera. He's the best of the roughly 5,000 Cabreras playing in the major leagues today. He'll probably win the Triple Crown and AL MVP (although Mike Trout clearly deserves to win the latter, and not just cos he's from Joisey) and, unlike, say, Hanley Ramirez, who resented being told he'd have to change positions when the Marlins acquired Jose Reyes and acted (this is Ramirez I mean here) like the total prima donna he is, Cabrera happily moved from 1st to 3rd base when the Tigers got Fielder, for the good of the team, and did it not in a grin-and-bear-it type way, but seems actually to be great friends with Fielder and Miggy also managed to have a truly standout season. Fielder also seems like a really good guy (he's always got his kids with him, which earns him points from me), and so I overcame my "principled" objection to his 9-year $200 million deal (it just stinks of This-is-how-the-Yankees-"develop"-talent-ism) and found myself rooting for the Tigers to beat out the Sox despite myself. (The Sox's Hawk Harrelson made it easier to do this. Hey Hawk ... yer team? They gone!)
6. The Giants. Because ... meh. Hunter Pence, I guess.
Now it gets hard.
7. The Texas Rangers. I actually like this team better than this but they represent the state of Texas and that is simply not acceptable.
Tied for LAST (i.e., if any of these teams wins the World Series it proves God is dead and the team among these three that wins killed Him) :
The Yankees. For any number of reasons, so I'll just pick one: I once personally witnessed a full-grown (in his 30s) Yankees fan say to a 9-year-old Phillies fan (yeah, my son Ian, 9 at the time) who was talking up his Phillies' 2008 WS ring: "O yeah - well the Yankees have twenty-seven!" I have no doubt that, had another Yankee fan been there for that, they'd have high-fived each other and said: "YEAH!!1! Way to bitch-slap that 9-year-old!" Because Yankee fans are assholes. It's like a requirement.
The Braves. If it weren't for the Yankees, the Braves might be the biggest assholes in the major leagues. The state of Georgia has a giant Stone Mountain Monument, which is dedicated to the racist "ideals" that the confederacy fought to retain, but that's not good enough for this douchenozzle team: They also have to have their racist name and racist tomahawk chop and their "Indian" chant rallying moan ... you get the feeling that if they were forced to change their racist name, they'd change it to the Atlanta Ni-CLANG!s. You know, just to be bigger racist assholes. So it would please me no end to see the final gift given to Chief Racist Kidney Stones be a first round loss in the playoffs.
The Cardinals. Because they won it all last year so ... yawwwwwn! But mostly because this is the face of the Cardinals:
I say that because Yadier Molina almost always looks like he is on the verge of tears and the Cardinals, in general, are the Biggest Crybabies, by far, of any team in the majors. I thought that might change after Crybaby In Chief Tony La Russa retired last year, but they're still a bunch of crying pussies. You may remember La Russa from such episodes as game two of last year's NLDS series, in which he went on national TV and whined that the umpire had two strike zones out there: One for Cliff Lee and the unfair one he was he was using on Chris Carpenter. Carpenter was out on the mound making the same whiny noises. At first I thought he was complaining about the calls Molina was making, and I was all thinking: It's not the catcher's fault your pitches are missing the strike zone. But turns out Carpenter - SURPRISE! - was crying about the umpire, not the calls Molina was making.
And they still do this, the Cardinals! I saw Molina almost get tossed out of a game with the Phillies because he was arguing with the home plate umpire about a call the umpire'd made in a game a week previously.
All players complain, but La Russa's students, the Cardinals, take whining and crying to a whole new level. It's pathetic to watch, at times. It's a shame. I really used to like the Cardinals organization, but La Russa encouraged an atmosphere of win-by-crying, and that has, evidently, stuck.
Technically, the Dodgers, at this point, could still catch the Cardinals, but that won't happen. If they did, and then beat them in a one-game play-in, that would be sweet, because that would be the most humiliating way for these crybabies to be eliminated from post-season play. (A play-in game would technically be part of the regular season.) But, sadly, it won't happen. Though I, for one, don't intend to cry about it.
(Apologies to BrianFlash.)
* [Title FN]: Unless they end in "-age". I like that type of Bond- film.
1 The best had to be last night, when Andrew ("Teh Awesome") McCutchen of the Pirates handed Jones a base, and I saw the video clip of that this very morning and I thought, for all the world, that Cutch was handing him a takeout pizza because that's what the base looked like: a takeout pizza box:
Whoa! Hold that pizza LEVEL, Snicker, otherwise the maize toppings will fall off, and you'll thereby end up dishonoring your Brave ancestors who used every part of the pizza because they respected it, unlike you, you tomahawk-chopping racist redneck fuck.
Even though I quickly realized it was a base, this was still awesome, because the only "gift" lamer than a takeout pizza is a "commemorative" base ... though the paint-by-numbers painting the Phillies gave Pooper Fonz (Ian and I were at that game (Phillies won) to see it, too, about three feet from Utley and JRoll when they brought it out of the dugout) was also pretty fucking lame.