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The Sox Suck, Now Who Do We Root For?

What a surprise, the Boston Red Sox suck. You mean to tell me a team that didn’t make the postseason last year, and now are without the likes of Chris Sale and Mookie Betts are a bad team? No way…

Despite all of the “Don’t let the Sox get hot” tweets at the beginning of the year and talking ourselves into a 60 game schedule, and 16 playoff teams as a reason as to why the Red Sox could pull off something magical. The Red Sox pitching staff has turned out to be even worse than we imagined.

And with no real relief in sight. Who knows if Eduardo Rodriguez will be back after his complications with COVID-19. And the Sox don’t exactly have a future ace in the making, tinkering with his stuff down in Pawtucket.

Plenty of fans believed the offense would be good enough to get this team by. But in reality, the offense is Martinez, Devers and Bogaerts. Three very good bats but nothing earth shattering. Past those top three, there isn’t much in the way of double digit run production that many came to expect.

There is my obituary on the 2020 Boston Red Sox season. It was slightly tolerable while it lasted for all of five games.

Which brings us to the point of this blog, since the Red Sox suck, who should we collectively root for now? I will be picking a team from each division with a simple rule. They could not have made the playoffs last season. That way what ever team you end up choosing you cannot be chastised for bandwagon jumping.

AL East: Toronto (Buffalo) Blue Jays

As I write this today, Wednesday afternoon, they are above .500 with a 3-2 record.

This isn’t so much a “World Series sleeper” pick as much as it is to just have a team to have fun with. There are zero expectations for the Blue Jays this season. It’s a young team with budding prospects all around the diamond.

We all know about Vlad Jr. and he makes half of this case, his at bats are worth watching Blue Jays games alone.

Throw in other guys like Cavan Biggio and Bo “Bro” Bichette.

And you have a pretty damn fun team to root for.

Plus they are basically a travel team this year. Scrappy underdogs in every sense. Wouldn’t that be a hell of a story to tell your grandkids someday.

“The year 2020 sucked except for when I was a Buffalo Blue Jays fan and we won the championship.”

AL Central: Cleveland Indians

I so so so sooooooo badly wanted to put the Minnesota Twins here but they made the playoffs last year. Still Twins are a fun pick, lots of homers and the pride of Woonsocket/Cumberland, Rhode Island at the helm, Rocco Baldelli.

So this might get you called out for hopping on a bandwagon a bit because the Indians have been a good team for a few years but they didn’t make the postseason in 2019 so it counts!

Shane Bieber is a bonafide ace, he struck out 14 batters in his first start of the season. FOURTEEN. Carlos Carrasco also had a great outing his first time on the bump, we all know his story from last year, the dude deserves your support. Mike Clevinger can also mow them down with the best of them. A team that traded away Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber somehow improved their rotation, go figure.

Francisco Lindor is a superstar with the leather, with the legs, with the lumber it doesn’t matter he does it all.

Terry Francona is still the manager, so there is a small Red Sox tie for you as well. It makes this team an easy choice.

And their twitter account is arguably the best in all of sports.

My god this team is fun. As well as talented, and just good at baseball this is a rock solid pick in my opinion.

AL West: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 

This one was a little tougher, just three teams to choose from in this division. The Mariners are destined to just let you down, so I will not tempt you down that path of misery. The Rangers were semi cool heading into this year but with Corey Kluber all but finished who cares about them. So I don’t know, let’s go with the Angels.

You get to root for the best player on the face of the earth Mike Trout. They added Anthony Rendon who we all saw last October is an incredible baseball player. And their new manager Joe Maddon always has good teams and keeps it loose and fun.

But the real draw to the Angels is Shohei Ohtani. Yes I know the stats looked dreadful in his first start of the season. But remember the guy hasn’t pitched in basically two years. And did not get much of a warm up, spring training or simulation leading into this weird season. So let’s not get too carried away with what that throw away outing looked like.

And he’s a great teammate!

This is the type of wholesome content we need right now.

NL East: Philadelphia Phillies

A popular bandwagon to jump on last year because of their multiple big off season acquisitions. And they slightly disappointed in what turned out to be a tough division.

Which leaves you open this year to hop on said bandwagon without any ridicule!

And the main reason for your fandom is the guy they gave all of their money to. Bryce Harper. I get it he is a polarizing guy, but you can’t help but admit that he is entertaining. If the rest of my summer is spent watching Harper moon shots then that is fine by me.

And he can play small ball with the best of them.

And he already won the category of “spikes of the year” without anyone knowing such an award existed.

NL Central: Cincinnati Reds

While they sit here with a 1-4 record on the season just like the Red Sox, and lost a series to the Detroit Tigers (yuck) I still love this team.

For a relatively irrelevant team over the last few years the Reds have plenty of recognizable names on their roster.

Let’s start with one of the more outspoken ones, Trevor Bauer. An incredible talent for racking up punch outs is Bauer and he showcased that in his first start with 13 punchies. Which then included some fun anti-dramatics from him.

I can always appreciate someone who can laugh at themselves as Bauer shows here. Mimicking the event that sent him being shipped all the way from northern Ohio, to southern Ohio.

Last season was up and down for Bauer who in 2018 was an absolute ace and stud for the Tribe. If the Reds can get that Bauer, they won’t be 1-4 much longer.

And they still have Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo who were both dominant in their first starts. Castillo is the ace no one has heard about yet, his changeup is Pedro-esque.

Joey Votto, remember him? He is off to a hot start this year. The Red also have Eugenio Saurez and Mike Moustakas, two power, and I mean POWER hitting bats in their infield.

And a sort of personal hero of mine from my fantasy baseball teams, Nick Castellanos. I owe that man so much. But he is now a Red Stocking, so happy opening day to him.

NL West: San Diego Padres

Don’t look now, but the Padres are in first place in the division and 4-1. With how short the season is and with half of the league making the playoffs, they’ve basically earned themselves a sport already.

I know it might be hard for many of you to root for Manny Machado or the over dramatic Eric Hosmer. But this is a young team with budding super star talent.

Fernando Tatis Jr. is basically a carbon copy of Francisco Lindor. He is stupidly talented and a ton of fun to watch.

The Padres use to be so incredibly irrelevant and I attributed some of that to their uniforms. They sucked. But they have undergone a major, and I mean major glow up. They are now one of the sharpest looking squads in the league. You gotta enjoy looking at the team you’re rooting for.

Don’t forget this team also has Chris Paddack a potential young ace and possibly in waiting in the wings MacKenzie Gore, remember that name folks.

And of course, for we sad Red Sox fans the best reason to root for the Friars, is the voice of San Diego, Don Orsillo.

I’m not here to harp on Dave O’Brien, he is a very capable play-by-play broadcaster, he was fantastic as the radio guy, something changed when he went to NESN.

But we all miss Don Orsillo. San Diego doesn’t even understand how badly they lucked into getting that man on their television every night during the summers but they did. And for what’s already a lost season, let’s all vow to stay up late to watch Padres games and Don Orsillo, it will be worth it.

Anyways, here is some Don Orsillo content to cheer you up.

This was the greatest two minutes of television. The fact that Orsillo can’t stop laughing, it gets me every single time.

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Connor Ryan (@connoryan68/@PodVerbalCommit)

 

 

 

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