As the lone San Diego Padre fan in the state of New Jersey (or so it seems), I made my decision this week who I'll be rooting for this MLB postseason. And my decision, certainly confounding to fellow Padres fan, especially those fortunate enough to live in Southern California, is to root for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, this post comes the day after the sweep and advancement to the NLCS, but you have to believe me, I'm not jumping on a bandwagon. There's a life I have outside of fannation (which by the way I am becoming less and less thrilled about coming to each day).
Last year, after the Padres were robbed of a play-off berth in that bogus play-in game with Colorado - we're still waiting for Matt to touch home plate by the way - I could not even pay attention to the postseason. In 2006 and 2005 of course, we had my Padres in the postseason, so you know where my postseason rooting interests were. But now in 2008, still fully engrossed in the season, I had to find a team to hope the best for. I am still a Padres fan first and always will be, but for the next weeks I will follow with interest a sworn enemy of ours in the NL West, the Dodgers with a surrogate rooting interest which then vanishes once the off-season begins. (Plus, for a few more weeks, I am trying to avoid what I realize will be a San Diego offseason where I'll be seeing many of my favorite Padres veterans bidding farewell to make room for next year's Triple A lineup at Petco Park).
Why the hell would I want to see the Dodgers succeed? In case you are unaware of my profile here on fannation (which leads to incessant abuse and mockery), I am a lifelong resident of the Jersey Shore, who despises all things New York City/New Jersey. I hate our pace of life, our impatience, our ignorance and arrogance. Yet my work and economic situations have me in Jersey for the unseeable future (making trips to Petco Park in the summer even more precious). While hating the NYC Tri-State area, I of course also despise everything NYC Tri-State area when it comes to pro sports. Mostly, as is quite clear to many fannation veterans, I hate the Yankees, and everything they stand for. So with that made clear, here are the main reasons I am rooting for the Dodgers, and confounding my fellow Padres fans as well as my fellow Northeasterners...
1. NL West Represent! Our NL West was abused, mocked, and made fun of all year, and with reason. There was even the suggestion bymany writers and Darth vader himself, Hank Steinbrenner, that which ever team stumbled to the division title should not even get to be in the NLDS. For full disclosure, those who hate my guts here could go through my comments and point out I suggested leaving the NL West winner out too. But hey, division pride is the theme here!
2. Anything to make the Steinbrenners and those Yankees fans who think like they do sick to their stomachs is fine with me! Remember the way Joe Torre was treated by this pirate ship organization last year? The press conference? Some members of the NYC media? One of the few class-act faces in New York all those years, and Torre was treated like garbage. Hank's ignorant, misinformed comments recently about the Dodgers are coming back to bite his silver-spoon pierced butt now. Nothing could piss off the Yankees ownership now like seeing the guy they spit out win the World Series with the first relaxed, happy face in the last 20 years. Yeah, I like Torre - and even better out of New York.
3. Seeing all the Manny Ramirez haters in the northeast shocked at his success, and class in L.A. is a woderful thing. I always have been a Manny fan and always will be. First it was defending him to stupid Yankees fans, and now it's the same to Boston fans. Manny is one of the most misunderstood human beings in sports today, and has been wrongfully portrayed by a Boston media that just like NYC writers, cover sports in a most despicable, form and fashion. I was in San Diego for a Padres series when Manny arrived in L.A. and saw how different media markets react to these huge transactions. Remember how classy New York was at Randy Johnson's arrival in New York? A little different in Southern California, a little more class, a little more perspective. GO MANNY!
So that's it folks. For the rest of the month only, here's hoping the Dodgers win it all at Fenway Park. Then it's back to full panic mode with my Padres offseason.