[Between the posting of the rankings on Twinkie Town and the publishing of my list, the folks over at Purple Row did the same thing. The Colorado-centric rankings can be found here.]
So here is my take on all 30 teams with the rationale behind each ranking. It is a long post so buckle up, enjoy the list, and let's argue in the comments.
|Courtesy of New York Times|
30. St. Louis Cardinals - A few years ago, this spot could easily have been taken by the Red Sox (insufferable winners), Yankees (pompous winners), or Cubs (fanatical, excuse-laden perpetual losers). At this point, however, the Massholes have calmed down their obnoxious World Series drought schtick (at least in Colorado), the Yankees have not been relevant for a while, and the Cubs hired a manager that I greatly admire and amassed a roster that I cannot dislike (despite my valiant attempts). Through their tiresome "Best Fans in Baseball" mantra, their insistence in their successes being a result of the "Cardinal Way," their overzealous love of a Molina, and their obnoxious overvaluing of utility role players, the St. Louis Cardinals have shouldered their way into the position of my least favorite team. If you think my claims are off-base, head over to @BestFansStLouis and you will understand my hatred completely.
29. San Francisco Giants - Being a consistently competitive division rival of the Rockies should be enough to place the Giants at the bottom of this list. Employing perma-jerks like Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent should also place them here. But that is not the major reason why the Giants are mired in my dislike. No, they are here because any poor performance against the Rockies is accompanied by an excuse. The base runners are tipping pitches. A organization employee in the outfield is stealing signs. And the worst of the excuses - the Rockies are swapping out juiced, dry, humidor-free balls when the Giants take the field at Coors. To this day, I have been unable to figure out how the Rockies could have actually executed this plan. The Rockies would have duped the MLB staff monitoring the humidor, successfully swapped out balls at the right time, and correctly predicted how many balls would be wasted each half inning to only take the juiced balls to the mound in the bottom of the inning. Also, they could not take too many juiced balls to the home plate umpire because if the inning ended then the Giants would get some of the juiced balls in the top half of the next inning. To any reasonably intelligent person, the past few sentences are ridiculous. The Giants are apparently neither reasonable or intelligent.
|Courtesy of CBS Boston|
27. New York Yankees - Years of mediocre baseball have softened the repugnance surrounding the blue pinstripes, but not enough to pull them out of the dredges of this bottom group. Plus Joe Girardi wants to ban the shift, which is asinine. Isn't every defensive play a shift to some extent? If you anticipate a bunt, the third baseman moves in. Runner on first with less than two outs? Double play depth. Small lead late in the game? Outfields adjust their position based on the batter to prevent extra base hits. The idea by itself is so stupid that it deserves a Pond Scum category nomination, much less the fact that it came from the Evil Empire.
|Courtesy of ChicagoCubs.com|
25. Arizona Diamondbacks - I could probably just post a picture of their 2016 jerseys and their position on the list would make sense. Or I could post the original turquoise and purple ones. Instead, I'll post a video of Eric Byrnes grounding out to give the Rockies a berth in the 2007 World Series. I hate the Diamondbacks.
24. Los Angeles Dodgers - Yankees West. Division rivals. Chase Utley. (Although I do love B-Mac and Kershaw)
23. Detroit Tigers - The Tigers are a division rival to my Twinkies. As a native of Minnesota, you tend to avoid anything related to the state of Michigan.
22. Philadelphia Phillies - They paid Chase Utley a ton of money and he is a jerkwad. Plus, Philadelphia sports fans hate Santa Claus.
21. Cincinnati Reds - As I compiled the teams for this list, I listed out the teams division by division. For some reason, I could not remember the fifth team in the NL Central and embarrassingly had to look it up. It was the Reds. While the Big Red Machine was a dynasty and Marge Schott was a crazy person, this team is not memorable at all. Therefore, they are relegated toward the bottom of the group of meh.
20. Kansas City Royals - Another team that I do not have too much of feeling either way. Even though they are division rivals of the Twins, they had been so bad for so many years that they were completely irrelevant. The reason that they are ahead of the Reds? Their sweet powder blue jerseys.
|Courtesy of ESPN|
19. Tampa Bay Rays - This team would have been higher a few years ago as they challenged the Red Sox and Yankees for the AL East title with Joe Maddon at the helm and Evan Longoria (Tulo's fellow LBSU Dirtbag) dominating the hot corner. But now Longoria has declined, Maddon has left, and all the familiar players like David Price, Ben Zobrist, and Carl Crawford are long gone. I cannot find a connection between me and this franchise.
18. San Diego Padres - Talk about complete irrelevance. The Padres are just... there. Their most famous player, Tony Gwynn, was a hitting machine beloved by baseball fans, but his unassuming personality was overshadowed by the others of his time - Ripken, Canseco, McGwire, Bonds, Henderson, Clemens, Schmidt, Dawson, etc. The most notable things about this team are their ridiculous pitchers park and their camouflage jerseys.
17. New York Mets - The Mets have a lot of things going in their favor. Their rotation is the one of the best in the league, they are the cross-town alternative to the Yankees, and they embraced old man Bartolo Colon. However, this team has historically had a couple successful seasons followed by brutal stretches of ineptitude. Plus, after the Rockies decided that wife-beating Jose Reyes was not worth the roster spot, the Mets happily picked him back up. Throwing people through sliding glass doors is not okay, dude.
16. Atlanta Braves - A perennial powerhouse for my entire youth, the Braves should be way lower on this list. They were the foil to the 1991 Twins World Series victory, so I should not like them one bit. But my wife is a Colorado native and she was one of the few who spurned WGN baseball for TBS baseball. Her fandom has softened my feelings on the team, just not enough to get into the top half of the league.
|Courtesy of ESPN|
14. Los Angeles Angels - Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. But they once called themselves the Los Angeles California in Anaheim North of Mexico Close to the Pacific Ocean Angels. Super embarrassing for them.
13. Seattle Mariners - Ken. Griffey. Junior.
|Courtesy of CBS Sports|
12. Chicago White Sox - It might seem weird to see an AL Central team this far up the list. Their open dislike of the Twins should force them much further down the list. I may have a special spot for the Pale Hoes because they are the anti-Cubs, but the real reason for their position lies in a huge piece of my childhood - baseball cards. For some reason, I had a ton baseball cards depicting White Sox players, none more than Carlton Fisk. While I have touched on this before, baseball cards and a hand-me-down Black Sox hat that I wore all the time made Fisk one of my all time favorites.
11. Cleveland Indians - Well lookie here... another AL Central team?! And one with a super racist logo? How dare you?!! As terrible as Chief Wahoo is and as much as a division rival should be hated, the Indians have one of the best social media accounts in all of sports. The work that their social media team does is just fantastic. In addition, the Indians remind me of Major League and that makes Jobu happy.
|Courtesy of Yahoo Sports|
9. Washington Nationals - Contrary to the opinions of baseball purists, I love the swagger and chaotic game of Bryce Harper. I love how he will run through a wall to catch the ball in the outfield. I love his violent and powerful swing. I love his "Make Baseball Fun Again" hat. And let us be real here - a baseball purist is just an old cranky sourpuss that hates millenials, fun, and sabermetrics. Add in some of the other players on the Nationals' roster like Stephen Strasburg (a phenom that actually has translated into a quality starting pitcher), Max Scherzer (with his different color eyes), and Trae Turner (a 15 year old boy undercover as a professional baseball player) and you have a young, fun, and talented roster that slides into the top ten of my rankings.
|Courtesy of USA Today|
7. Texas Rangers - The Rangers have been in existence since 1961 when they were the Washington Senators. They currently have as many World Series championships that I do. Zero. You would think that the futility of the organization would result in fans like the Cubs or Red Sox. But I have never met a Rangers fan that is a petulant whiner or excessive excuse maker. Plus the Rangers of late are fun. Adrian Beltre is a future Hall of Famer (just do not touch his head), Elvis Andrus makes ridiculous plays look routine, Rougned Odor landed the best punch in baseball fight history, and Prince Fielder just retired after a long stint in Arlington (I will chat about Prince later). I feel like every time I see Rangers highlights, you see shenanigans from Andrus and Beltre that are completely endearing.
6. Baltimore Orioles - When you are in the same division of the Red Sox and Yankees, you default to a favored team in my world. When your history includes the Iron Man, a legendary ballpark that now shares a name with my son, and a cool cartoon logo with a black-white-orange color scheme, you rise up even further. Just look at that lid on that man.
5. Toronto Blue Jays - When I was in college, the Lids store in the Foothills Mall was having a clearance sale. For $5, I picked up a Toronto Blue Jays cap as a tribute to the last bastion of Canadian hardball (RIP Montreal Expos). Like the Orioles, my love for the Blue Jays is an offset for my hatred of their rivals in Boston and New York. But the Blue Jays have Jose Batista (professional dinger smacker), Jason Grilli (former Rockie), Josh Donaldson (Bringer of Rain but not as good as Nolan), Melvin Upton Jr (my favorite Upton brother), and Troy Tulowitzki (still one of the greatest Rockies of all time).
|Courtesy of Whirl Magazine|
3. Milwaukee Brewers - When one of your parents was raised outside of Milwaukee (the Good Land) and the other is a native of St. Paul, you tend to get pulled multiple directions on the sports front. It is hard to explain to people that you do not hate the Packers OR Vikings. In baseball, it is way easier - the Twins are in the American League and the Brewers are in the National League. They are not natural rivals, unlike their collegiate and NFL affiliates. I grew up adoring baseball because of my mom's dad. He lived his entire life in Wisconsin and loved the Brewers. Therefore, I will always be a fan of the Brew Crew.
One of the years that Sarah was in school in Arizona, I went down to visit her during Spring Training (convenient). It was early enough that games had not started but the whole roster had reported and they were practicing. Since Sarah had class that day, I took her car and rolled over to the Brewers' camp. I got there before any baseball activities had started and I was lingering in the parking lot when the players came out of their locker room to head to the fields. At this particular facility, the players had to walk across the parking lot to get from the building to the fields. Professional autograph seekers (meaning a bunch of creepy retired old guys) had lined the path between the two locations in an attempt to get some signatures on their binders of baseball cards. I saw which field the players were heading towards, so I started walking that direction. As I converged with the players walking across the parking lot, I looked to my left and saw Prince Fielder walking a couple feet from me. He looked at me, looked down at my hands and saw they they were without any pens or memorabilia, and gave me a big old smile. I chatted with this surprisingly short MLB superstar for a minute or two as we approached the practice fields. He was such a nice dude. As the players walked through the gate, I found a great spot to watch practice and then proceeded to call my grandparents to give them the report for the upcoming season. I remember my grandpa being so excited that I was watching his team and he quizzed me on what seemed like the entire roster on their progress. Memories of those baseball conversations with my grandpa solidified Milwaukee's position at the top of these rankings. Plus, their old logo is the best and needs to be returned in a full-time capacity.
|Courtesy of CBS Sports|
|Courtesy of Otto Greule Jr.|
|Courtesy of Star Tribune|
1. Colorado Rockies - When Colorado finally reaped the rewards of their efforts to get an expansion team in Denver, I was only a couple years removed from a Twins World Series victory, I had just recently moved with my family to Littleton, and I gladly accepted the insertion of local baseball back into my life. From the moment they began playing games in Mile High Stadium in 1993, I had the access to a baseball team that I no longer had with the Twins. My close proximity to the Rockies allowed me to forge a connection with the players, coaches, and ballpark. A connection that is strengthened each subsequent year.
|Courtesy of Denver Post|
|Courtesy of Mile High Sports|