In response to a recent post asking us to rank the MLB teams from favorite to least (or vice versa) I have done it. Ranking baseball teams, a task that should be easy for me because I follow baseball. But what I didn't realize is that I enjoy the sport with a singular favorite team, some others that I like, and a few that I don't. When I started my list it was easier for me to go from the teams I liked the least to the team (Rockies) that I like the most. This is primarily because I don't pay attention to a majority of the teams in baseball and I am indifferent to many of them. As such, below is the list of teams from least to Rockies. Let's get started:
30. Braves - In an era of limited baseball coverage (early 90's) a team that not only dominated the Rockies but dominated the cable waves was annoying to me, much the same way the local (Colorado) football team is today. The Braves continue to beat the Rockies, although less so lately, but they are still one of my most disliked teams in baseball (the fact that Galarraga put up the 1998 season he did with them lessons this a little bit.
29. Cubs - Much the same as the Braves they were always on TV (WGN) and they were constantly talked about in the 90s, although not much for what they had done but that they were the lovable losers. The fans tend to be obnoxious, especially on the road. In 1998 they had a young pitcher take the ROY award away from the player who would become my all-time favorite (to be fair he did have a great season but one 20K game basically gift-wrapped him the award).
28. Yankees - Constantly in the news, in the highlights, and winning. As a fan of the Rockies I am jealous of what the Yankees fans get to have. They have had 4 losing seasons since 1988, to go with their championships. They have the money and an expectation that they are the best, or should be. The history of the franchise is incredibly fascinating though, so they do receive a lot of points for that.
27. Red Sox - They lose forever and then they are good. Constantly outshining the forgotten time zone team and even beating them in the World Series. The media attention is annoying and the fact that they (along with the Yankees) seem to get all of the prime time nationally televised games bothers me more than it should.
26. Giants - Honestly I don't know why I have them this low other than their players in the early 2000s were hot heads and not particularly likeable. The fans are less than tolerable at Coors and the run they've been on with WS recently has been annoying. They are one of the reasons the Athletics can't get a new ball park, or move in general. Any time the Rockies can beat them in a close game is a blast.
25. Phillies - A team that was bad, then was really good, and now has to rebuild. I coached an 11 year old baseball team in 2011 and asked the kids who their favorite player in all of baseball was. Almost 1/3 of the answers, from kids in Colorado, were players on the Phillies. Don't forget they play in a hitters park, even if it isn't talked about.
24. Marlins - They came into the league at the same time the Rockies did and have two World Series championships. They don't draw fans and their ballparks look empty, even the brand new one. They've had some good players but nothing really stands out. People, go support your team.
23. Dodgers - They are in the NL West, with a ton of money. Sure, they haven't won a championship in a while but there have only been two years (2007, 2010) where the Rockies have been above them in the standings. Chanting beat LA is fun. Kershaw is my favorite non-Rockies player, however.
Middle Tier of Mediocrity: this group of teams all kind of run together with no real like or dislike.
22. Reds - For some reason I've never liked the Rockies going to Cincinnati. Especially now that they play in a band box when the national media constantly down-play Coors. The artificial turf the used to have was strange, but all artificial turf is.
21. Mets - The forgotten team in big market city. Well, sort of. When things are going well they get attention but when they are just a middle of the pack team they are ignored. David Wright is cool and I like the young pitching.
20. Brewers - I like the ballpark but I don't really care for the team. Maybe it's the color scheme or the fact that they went away from the mb baseball glove logo. It could also be the fact that it seems the Rockies open in Milwaukee every season.
19. White Sox - The South Side doesn't appeal to me much and never has, aside from Frank Thomas. I really don't know enough about them to comment further.
18. Tigers - Money spent isn't money earned. I love the fact that their script D is still in style but they just haven't really gotten it going. I enjoy Cabrera and Verlander but I wish they would get farther and more fans, and maybe the city could straighten up too.
17. Padres - Another NL west team that is constantly in limbo. They have a nice ball park in a nice city but they can't seem to get anything together. Of all the NL West teams I would say I'm more indifferent to the Padres than any other.
16. Angels - They had a re-make of a movie made for them (the original 1951 version was better). Disney Land is cool from what I hear, even if the lines are long. I enjoyed watching them beat the Giants in 2002.
15. Indians - In this string of American League teams I can say that I think that Kenny Loften was overlooked when it came to the HOF. I enjoyed their run last year and I hope they can have another interesting season.
14. Athletics - I think Moneyball is overblown a little bit. The idea is great with OBP and optimizing the roster. However, the book and movie barely talk about the leading force on that 2002 team - the pitching staff of Zito, Hudson, Mulder. I kind of wish they could be more consistent, mostly because I like to see competitive divisions and the A's aren't competitive regularly (not that my favorite team is either). Also, their coliseum is horrible and other teams don't like playing there. Get them a new ball park or let them move. (Also my girlfriend's favorite team growing up. She moved to Colorado and has changed her allegiances but still follows her old team. They should probably be higher for this reason).
13. Blue Jays - More American League. Teams from Canada are cool because we get two National Anthems. They play in a tough division and are frequently forgotten about (much the same as the next team). The fact that they've been playing better the last few years has made it a lot more fun to follow the AL East.
12. Orioles - Everything I said about the Blue Jays applies here as well, except the Canada part. I'd love to get out to Camden Yards to catch a game as I hear it is a nice ball park.
11. Mariners - It starts with Ken Griffey Jr. because he was "The Kid" when I was a kid. My teammates wore their hats backward because of him. Then they had Ichiro and King Felix. I hope Dipoto knows what he's doing because seeing the Mariners come to Colorado this year could be fun.
10. Rays - A team that is constantly changing and making adjustments. They made it to the World Series after they dropped the Devil (in their name). Get them a new ball park so fans can actually go and enjoy the game. When they compete in the AL East the division is fun. When they don't, they are a forgettable team.
9. Twins - I don't know why but the Twin Cities has always piqued my interest. Since the new stadium was built I've wanted to go to a game there. Maybe it's also the fact that they were a transplant DC team. They were good for a while but have recently been rebuilding so I'll take what I can get.
Close to Upper Tier: Teams I have consistently rooted for (sometimes unknowingly)
8. Nationals - They moved from Montreal and I thought it was a good idea. I've been to a game at Nationals Park and it was fun. Add in the fact that Washington DC has a lot of stuff to do and the setting is good. They struggled but added good players with personality and they are fun to watch. Injuries aside and they are my NL East pick in 2017.
7. Pirates - This team struggled mightily for two decades. They couldn't get anything going, so for some reason I pulled for them. PNC Park is one of the nicest in the majors and I want to go there. I love Clint Hurdle and I enjoy watching them play.
6. Diamondbacks - The Rockies swept the purple and teal Diamondbacks in their first ever series in 1998. They then added some key players (Randy Johnson) and went on to win the division the next year. I like the fact that they are at a higher elevation and have an extremely dry climate which makes putting a team together a little more difficult. For some reason I've generally pulled for the Diamondbacks (2007 playoffs excepted).
5. Royals - First and foremost they play in Kauffman Stadium, which is my last name. I like the blue colors they wear. As a Chiefs fan I have also pulled for the Royals more often than not.
4. Rangers - I have family in Dallas and they are Rangers (and Braves) fans. For some reason I haven't been to go to a Rangers game but I will, for the first time, when I go to my cousin's wedding in April. Ivan Rodriguez was really fun to follow growing up.
3. Cardinals - I don't know why but I've always admired the Cardinals. They win and win but don't get the same media attention as the teams at the bottom of the list (or so it seems). Larry Walker, Matt Holliday, and now Dexter Fowler playing there help as well. I have enjoyed Adam Wainwright's curveball for years and I would say the Cards are my #2 National League team.
2. Astros - For similar reasons as the Rangers I have family in Houston. I've been to both the Astrodome and Minute Maid Field. Watching Bagwell and Biggio growing up was fun and then Berkman. The young kids they have now are a treat and I hope they continue to get better for a World Series showdown with the Rockies.
1. Rockies - I moved to Colorado in 1991 at the age of 3. My dad wasn't a big baseball fan so when the Rockies came to town in 1993 we started to get into the sport. I grew up watching Rockies baseball and learning the nuances of the game with dad. From there my affinity for the baseball took off and I love the Rockies.