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How to decide who to root for in the World Series

Oct 24, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

World Series Logo

Obviously most of us are neither Tigers nor Giants fans, so how do we choose a rooting interest for the next eight days?  Just some out loud thinking:

  • If you’re a Dodgers fan or a fan of whatever team has decided that the Tigers are their big rival lately — White Sox maybe? — your path is clear: you root for the other guy because eff those Giants/Tigers.
  • The Tigers have a pretty high payroll: $132 million, which is fifth in baseball this year. The Giants are eighth at $117 million. Not a big difference, but if you like to root against a team that spends more, the Giants are your huckleberries.
  • That said, San Francisco has a larger media market than Detroit — 2.5 million TV households to 1.8 million — so they are presumably the richer, better-supported team overall, which kind of blurs the finances and changes the Tigers story from “rich team with bigger payroll” to “generous owner spending what it takes to win.” If you’re into that whole game, maybe the Tigers should be your horse.
  • I have always liked the Giants standard uniforms a lot (though I hate the orange alternates), but the Tigers are far and away the best-dressed team in the game, especially at home. If you’re a uniform junkie this is a great series, really, but you probably need to root for the Tigers.
  • The Giants big star is Buster Posey. It’s hard to find anything to dislike about him. The Tigers big star is Miguel Cabrera. He has had his past issues. If you follow the star power and if that sort of thing bothers you, go for the Giants.
  • If you’re looking beyond the biggest names, you have a bit of a mixed bag. And almost too-quirky-by-half thing with the Giants (Hunter Pence, Tim Lincecum, Brian Wilson) that can be a bit annoying. Some Tigers who are either execrable (Delmon Young) or at the very least kinda douchey (Jose Valverde and, to some degree, Justin Verlander, even if he is a freaking pitching machine). Call that a tossup.
  • The Giants play in what I consider to be the best ballpark currently in use in all of baseball. The Tigers, however, used to play in the best park to ever exist in baseball and in a current park that is definitely top five. If you care about home park optics, the Giants probably get the edge.
  • Fan bases are an interesting way to determine a rooting interest. The Giants definitely have a wild-and-crazy vibe in the park and, as I mentioned this morning, the city is currently bonkers for the team.  Detroit, however, has what I consider to be one of the most knowledgeable and sophisticated fan bases around, even if they haven’t drawn as consistently as the Giants have over the past 10-15 years. I’d caution you against going with stereotypes here — not all Detroit fans riot and burn things when the team wins and not all Giants fans are latte-drinking liberal weenies who just discovered the team in October 2010 — but I do think you have a clear choice between a lower-intensity but sophisticated fan base with Detroit and a higher energy but maybe a bit more touristy fan base in San Francisco. Pick whichever floats your boat.
  • Playing styles: The Giants get good pitching and a are an opportunistic balls-in-play kind of offense. The Tigers get good starting pitching — and have the best pitcher on either team in Verlander — but on offense they’re a slower, more power-oriented team. The Giants may be a bit more aesthetically pleasing in doing what they do if that kind of thing matters to you.
  • What’s your take on history? The Giants have had more overall success and have won more World titles, but a ton of that came a looong time ago. They certainly have the more recent title — 2010 — but since 1945 both teams have exactly two championships, with the Giants winning seven pennants and the Tigers five. Just an insane amount of overall history here regardless. Cobb, Mays, Greenberg, Matthewson, McCovey, Kaline, Bonds, Trammell and on and on. This is a traditionalists dream.

Personally: I’m not rooting for anyone. This is less a fancy media “I must remain objective since I’m here on the scene” kind of thing than it is me really being at a loss as to how to choose. When my team is out of it I tend to go for the team that has had the longest championship drought, but it’s not like the Tigers are plucky underdogs or something. There are players on each club I like and players on each I do not like, but no serious man-crush that would tip the scales one way or another.

I want good baseball. I wouldn’t mind it going seven games. Short of that, one of these guys is gonna have to win me over on the fly.

112 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Shafer's Dealer - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Phillies sweep.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      Nahh, I’m pretty sure the whole “mystery team” thing only works in the offseason.

    • temporarilyexiled - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      …golf balls across distant greens…there’s always next year…

  2. allisonhagen - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    If you were smart, you’d root for the Tigers.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      I was just about to say that it’d probably be in his best interests to be a temporary Tiger fan. It probably holds more weight coming directly from the actual reason that it’s in his best interests.

  3. randygnyc - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Delmon Young is my deciding factor. I’ll pull for the Giants to win, even though there are some tigers I’d otherwise like to see win (Verlander). Unless Delmon suffers a career ending accident before tonight’s first pitch, that won’t change.

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      A frothing-at-the-mouth wingnut rooting for liberal San Fag-cisco.

      Now I’ve seen it all.

      • philsieg - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        liberal San Fag-cisco

        Your problem is attempting to be witty when you’re only a half-wit.

      • mississippimusicman - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        Better that than a frothing-at-the-mouth hate-spewing bigot. There’s a time and place for hate speech – it’s called “inner monologue.”

      • temporarilyexiled - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM

        randy and aces:

        Thank you for your written demonstration of “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

        You should exchange contact info and troll each other ad infinitum…without copying us.

      • nategearhart - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

        Fuck you.

      • Jeremy T - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        I bet you’re a hit at parties

      • randygnyc - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:31 PM

        Craig, since when did we start supporting hate speech? How is this bigoted, gay bashing allowed to stand? At the very least, the comment should be scrubbed. I’d suggest scrubbing the commenter too.

    • seattlej - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      Opting to root for the (alleged) rapist, the pothead and PED-using cheaters over the anti-Semite and the drunk. Solid choice.

  4. philsieg - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Sorry, Craig, the Giants cream home unis without the names on the back slightly trump the Old English D. Not by much, but they’re still better. Both teams have some of the best road unis in the game (note: this refers only to the gray unis, not the various softball combos.)

  5. sdelmonte - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    I root for the team that wins with a DH.

    Well, wins without one the rest of the year.

    And only if they aren’t the Braves or Phillies.

    • sdelmonte - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      URGH. The team that wins WITHOUT a DH.

      Where is that edit function already?

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        Technically, if the Tigers win a game in SF, they will have won without a DH…

  6. Andrew Chapman - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Wow, you have thoroughly dissected this. I got my wish (watching the Cardinals suffer for what they did to the Rangers last year) so I’m good with this series.

    • beefytrout - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      Pretty much my exact sentiments, although one of the several reasons I’m pulling for the Tigers is because of the 2010 World Series outcome. Admittedly, the Rangers pretty much shot themselves in the foot at every opportunity in that one, so I don’t have an overwhelming amount of ill will towards SF.

      But it’s GO TIGERS for me.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      Wow, you have thoroughly dissected this. I got my wish (watching the Cardinals suffer for what they did to the Rangers last year) …

      You must have an extremely short memory since the Giants didn’t exactly treat the Rangers nicely the year before.

      • Andrew Chapman - Oct 24, 2012 at 10:56 PM

        No way, FC! I can remember seeing Nolan Ryan pitch as a kid and watching Pete Incaviglia’s mullet flap in the wind as he rounded the bases. I just got over 2010 a lot faster than I did 2011…

  7. Lukehart80 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Craig, what’s not to like about Justin Verlander?

    I’m an Indians fan, but Verlander strikes me as one of the easiest guys to like in baseball.

    • schlom - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      He calls Brian Wilson quirky and Justin Verlander douchey? Yikes.

  8. stex52 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I go with Craig. Seven close games of hard fought baseball. Because after that, the desert looms…………………….

    • cur68 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:54 PM

      Yep. Off season’s gonna suck. They always suck.

    • indaburg - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM

      I’m with you, Stex. Just rooting for good baseball because I can’t decide. I respect Leyland to the highest degree and I feel bad for the fan base having suffered for so long. (I am also sad that I can remember their last series win clearly. Tick tock.) Then there’s the devil perched on my shoulder, “Eff the Tigers. They don’t deserve it. Your team won more games and is sitting at home. If it wasn’t for your team’s domination of the White Sox and their weak sauce central division schedule, those tigeritos would be watching from home.” Decisions, decisions.

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        I’m thinking we should add one more team to each league, have four divisions (one per time zone), eliminate this wildcard business (no need for it anymore) and finally have a balanced schedule.

      • indaburg - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        How about screw divisions, balance the schedule, and top 5 teams go on to the post-season?

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:23 PM

        Make it top 4 and make it pure best of 7 series (reintroduce double-heards to end the season in September). None of this 1 game-playoff bullcrap. It’s going to happen anyway from time to time, when the #4 and #5 teams tie, but it shouldn’t be a season staple.

      • indaburg - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM

        Deal. Now we just have to kidnap Bud Selig and convince him, third world country style, that this is in baseball’s best interest.

  9. historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    What??? When did you have to decide who to root for in the Series? Isn’t anyone loyal to their league anymore?

    • indaburg - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      Not me. Blame Selig and inter-league baseball.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM


      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:36 PM

        “Well, now, I have to root for the Giants just to mess with your order of things.”

        Hahaha! Wonderful Inda. It will feel like I never left the house!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      With you Philiac.
      1) Team
      2) Division
      3) League

      Craig could be forgiven if he rooted for the Tigers as he was a Tigers fan as a kid.
      In fact, I am quite surprised he isn’t rooting for the Tigers for this very reason.
      I do suppose however, there is some fun in one being better aligned to give his Lady a hard time while rooting against her favorite team. But that’s just me. I can be a little pest like that at times.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        Well, then you will understand that I hope the Series ends in bitter, bitter tears for you, Woodpecker.

        I really don’t know how Craig crossed over to the dark side. Clearly, his girlfriend is nicer than I am though.

      • indaburg - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Well, now, I have to root for the Giants just to mess with your order of things. :-)

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Point taken Philiac. Not a huge starbucks fan either. There regular coffee does grow on you though.
      I have just always found it sort of funny when dudes fufu up their coffee to make it taste better.
      If you don’t like coffee…just don’t drink it. Get tea…pop/soda…water…hot chocolate…whatever.
      I mean…if you have to have fufu coffee you must not be a coffee person. Amiright?

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        Well, if you *have* to have it that way, then yes, you aren’t a coffee person — but I do like the sugary foamy stuff at times too.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      I sometimes take sips of my Wife’s fufu coffee when nonone is looking.
      Nice picture by the way! If only I could figure out how to do it…we would be set.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        I’ve been trying to figure out how to take it back down. I miss being a virtual dude and getting called a prick (although douche-ish today was fun). I only put it up because someone implied I was a gentleman — and I can’t have THAT. lol

  10. twentyofive - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    I really hoped this post would be in the form of a Flowchart.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      4:40: I gotta’ admit something. After reading your post for about the 15th time today I had to give you a thumbs up. Initially, I didn’t find it funny. But after continually seeing it all day…funny shit man.
      Really? A flowchart?

      • dprat - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        twentyofive was, I think, hoping for something similar to this:

        …only tailored for World Series purposes.

  11. stackers1 - Oct 24, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    As a Yankee fan, I always root for the American League team – unless it’s Boston.

    Go Tigers!

  12. mississippimusicman - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    I like my pitchers to bat and my batters to field, thanks.

    • vansloot - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      That first part sounds excruciatingly boring..

      • mississippimusicman - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

        …although there’s a lot of comedy value in watching a pure DH try to field!

  13. Leigh in CO - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Talk of unis, and kooky Giants, but no mention of Romo and his striped socks? Those things are awesome, especially with those cream uniforms.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:41 PM

      When you once dated Jessica Simpson and currently play QB in the NFL you can wear any kind of socks you like.

      • Gamera the Brave - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        Apparently I don’t know as much about Sergio Romo as I thought!

  14. tackleberries - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    It’s simple, I have one friend who is a Giants fan and no friends who are Tigers fans. Let’s go Detroit!!

    • sparty0n - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Love the logic – Go Tigers!

  15. toreup - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    You forgot one…the league. I despise the Arena League. Go Giants!

  16. schmedley69 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I’m rooting for the Tigers so that Magnum P.I. will be happy.

    • mazblast - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM

      That’s as good a reason as any if your team or its arch-rival aren’t in it.

      Cool show back in the day. Thomas Magnum lived the kind of life we all deep down wanted to live.

      • schmedley69 - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:55 PM

        Yes, exactly. That was the dream life for sure. Great show.

  17. professormaddog31 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    This is difficult for me, because I am primarily NL all the time. However, I hate the Giants with a burning passion, almost more than I hate the Cardinals. No amount of Ryan Theriot can ease that hate. And even though I can’t say I’m pleased about it, I do like the starting rotation of the Tigers about a 100 times more than the Giants. Factor in BWilson’s shaggy dog beard and I am rooting for Detroit this year. Although I am totally holding my nose while doing so.

  18. paperlions - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    I am rooting for whichever outcome results in more shots, photos, videos, fo Kate Upton being shown during the games. I really don’t care if Verlander needs to throw a no hitter or give up 12 runs in the first to make that happen….whatever he needs to do….that’s what I’m rooting for…can he start all 7 games?

  19. beelza - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Please help Brian Wilson find his tub of bum butter. Last known location of said tub, Nathan Lane’s house, or was it elton john?

  20. phalatek6 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    As an Orioles fan, I will be rooting for the Giants, because if the Orioles aren’t in the World Series, then I don’t want anyone from the AL to win. I’m a bit of a miser in that respect.

    Well, It’s actually more complex than that. For example, this year my favorite team was actually in the playoffs, so I wanted them to win, naturally. But then I rooted for Detroit because 1, the Yankees MUST go down, and 2 any team that just beat the O’s must pay!

    In the end, then, the NL must win because the Tigers are defacto winners over the O’s so I cannot root for them.

    • normcash - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      So it’s better that your team ends up the fourth best instead of the third best????
      I’d rather see the team that “de facto” knocked my team out win the Series.
      At least then I’d have the satisfaction of knowing my club got eliminated “de facto”
      by the best. I think you got a bad batch of crabcakes….

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        You couldn’t be more correct Norm.
        Which is precisely why I also root for the Division after my team is out.
        But under NO circumstances do I EVER go out of the League.
        Will not happen.
        Go Giants! Here’s to hoping we see a duplicate of Zito’s last performance.

    • Gamera the Brave - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:49 PM

      Truly you have a dizzying intellect…

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:14 PM

        You do realize I was kidding about the Romo post right.
        Forget it. I don’t need an answer. Your post easily clears things up for me Gamera.
        Truly surprising for sure. But that’s okay too.

    • phalatek6 - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Eh, to each their own. I can understand the argument for rooting for the team that beat you and winning the World Series, but I have a strange way with spite and (probably misplaced) bitterness.

      To me, the 3rd best vs 4th best situation concerns me very little as Id prefer my team just was the best but it doesn’t work that way often (or in my case, not yet in my 28+).

      Maybe I’m just one of those guys who like to watch the world burn. Or I could just tell people it’s because the Giants wear orange and black -but that’s not true, because I’d have rooted for St Louis if they win too. But they are birds…..

  21. lew24 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    As a dodger fan living in the Bay Area…I am hoping the Tigers kill the team that won’t die!

    I have to give the Giants credit…they are a the true definition of a team. Should be a good series!

  22. byjiminy - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    “Quirky” vs. “douchey” is a “tossup”?

    Is there some upside to being a douchebag I don’t know about?

    To me, on balance, quirky is a plus. Sure, quirky can sometimes get annoying, but douchey starts and finishes way beyond annoying, more toward loathesome. I mean, which would you rather have, a quirky girlfriend, or a douchey one? A quirky boss, or a douchey one? We must strive to be precise in our language, Craig.

    • indaburg - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      The terms aren’t mutually exclusive either. I consider Brian Wilson a quirky douche as opposed to a frat-boy douche or yuppy douche.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        I love that you have subsets of douchiness, ‘Burgie.

      • indaburg - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        I contemplate the important issues.

      • IdahoMariner - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        well said, indaburg — I was thinking the same thing, but not nearly as coherently.

      • cur68 - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        Hey, there’s Joe West Douche, ladies. That’s the worst kind of douche there can be…if we’re talking on field, officiating demographic, that is…man there’s more to being douchey than meets the eye.

      • indaburg - Oct 24, 2012 at 7:18 PM

        Joe West transcends douchebaggery. The terms that apply to him are not fit for this site.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:42 PM

        I don’t know if I could bring myself to call someone of Joe West douche though. That’s pretty cold.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      Great question Jiminy.
      If I had to choose to be one or the other…I would choose quirky.
      But as Inda stated previously…they aren’t mutually exclusive.
      Brian Wilson is very much a quirky douche.
      Not sure what Craig’s deal with Verlander is all about.
      I would like some examples of his douchebaggery.
      I suspect any problems people have with Verlander lie primarily in the fact that he is a dorky looking, lanky ass pitcher who may or may not be boinking Kate Upton.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        Why is everyone hating on Wilson? He’s the only Giant I like. He’s gonna RAAAAAAGGGGGE!!!!!!!!!

      • b7p19 - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        Not being able to recognize Wilsons douchebaggary is most likely a sign that you may be a douche. Jeff Foxworthy would put it this way:

        “If you think everything Brian Wilson does is funny and cool….you might be a douchebag.”

        I don’t know you, so I won’t call you a douche. Think of this as more of a warning or a wakeup call.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 5:44 PM

        Does it help or hurt that I like Pierzynski too…and hate Chipper?

  23. j0ey15 - Oct 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    I found something I don’t like about buster posey… Blocking the plate, getting run over (a play that’s part of the game) and complaining because he was injured then refusing to accept the other guys apology like a brat… Totally against the perception of a catcher… I’ll root for the tigers in this one!

    • paperlions - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      Just because someone is apologetic after their reckless choices have resulted in an end to your season, surgery, and months of rehab doesn’t mean dick. If I was Posey, my attitude would be to tell Cousins to go fuck himself. Just because you feel badly afterward doesn’t entitle you to any sense of atonement from the wronged party.

      Also worthy of note: Posey didn’t block the plate, Cousins had to cross from foul territory (where the plate was available for touching) into fair territory to run over Posey, who had no chance to defend himself as he was fielding the ball.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        Wow. You really do make it your business to disagree with everything don’t you Paper?

      • paperlions - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:43 PM

        Per se, not so much. But I see no reason an apology must be accepted. If you run over my dog because you were texting, I don’t care how sorry you are…I would never forgive you. Apologies don’t replace being responsible and the wronged party has no duty to easy the feeling of the offender….but that’s probably just the bleeding heart liberal in me talking.

      • byjiminy - Oct 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        I TOTALLY agree with paperlions on this!

        Cousins was 100% at fault — he did not go for the base, he left the basebath to attack and injure a defenseless player. Okay it’s not totally his fault, it’s the rules, for accepting and encouraging this. But what he did was totally DOUCHEY!!!

        In fact, I had no favorite in this series, but now I am going to root for the GIANTS, just to cancel out the effects of YOUR rooting, J0ey15!

        Posey for MVP!

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:17 PM

        Oh I certainly here what you are saying Paper. This is what I find confusing.

        “but that’s probably just the bleeding heart liberal in me talking.”

        If so…then wouldn’t you want to hug it out with the offender and have a cup of FuFu Coffee?
        You know…the kind with whipped cream and a cherry so you don’t actually taste the Coffee?

      • historiophiliac - Oct 24, 2012 at 4:30 PM

        If it’s Starbucks “coffee,” you have to put shit in it — to make it palatable.

  24. Gobias Industries - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM

    The name “Giants” is offensive to tall people. Insensitive and politically incorrect. Gonna have to root for the Tigers.

  25. offseasonblues - Oct 24, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    This should be an easy choice – the AL, and the team that smushed the MFY’s. But Scutaro was easy to root for in Boston, and I’m truly happy to see him playing the last games of the season.

    Go Tigers! Go Marco!

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