As you all probably know, I'm a huge Cincinnati Reds fan. Unfortunately, my beloved Redlegs are predicted by most experts to be one of (if not the) worst team in MLB this year. And so, what does a baseball fan do? I suppose I could simply give up caring about the sport around mid-May when it's clear my Reds out of contention...or I could say that I'll continue to root for my Reds but that I'll also pick a "secondary team" to root for.
I'm obviously going for the latter - so let's see who I end up with as my Team to Follow in 2016.
I'm going to go through my various team selection rules and criteria and we'll see who is left over at the end!
1. My secondary team cannot be one of the Reds' main rivals.
This rule is basically redundant because there is not way that I could root for one of the Reds' main rivals even if I had to...I mean, rooting for the Cardinals to win all year long? No freaking way that happens. Teams eliminated: Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, Indians, Braves (from the old NL West days)
2. My secondary team cannot be a team that will challenge the Reds for the title "worst in baseball" in 2016.
First of all, it would be pretty stupid for me try and pick a new team to root for that ends up being even worse than my Reds. I'm not up on all the prognostications this year, but I think there are two teams in the National League that I can safely rule out now. Teams eliminated: Brewers, Phillies
3. My secondary team can't be a team that has recently given the Reds trouble in the playoffs.
I refuse to root for the enemy...there's not "forgive but don't forget" when it comes to who you root for. In fact, if anything a few of the Reds' recent losses actually made me hate teams more than I ever did before (see Phillies for an example, but also the next team eliminated from contention). Team eliminated: Giants.
4. My secondary team cannot be a team that I have other family members who actively root for them on a regular basis.
This is more a case of me not wanting to be a "bandwagoner" on someone else's parade... The members of my family mainly root for teams that I've already eliminated via previous rules, but there are a couple of more casualties. Teams eliminated: Yankees, Rays, Tigers, White Sox
5. My secondary team can't be a team that I see as having no shot at winning their division this year.
Let it be known, I'm probably going to include a team that does end up winning the division...but this is how I see it as of the time of the start of the season. Teams eliminated: Marlins, Rockies, Padres, Twins,
6. My secondary team can't have a player on it that I truly dislike.
This one is pretty easy - when you root for a team your whole life you are more or less stuck with whoever that team signs (see Corey Patterson for an example for me). However, when picking a secondary team for a single season, the actual players on the team make a difference! Teams eliminated: Angels (Pujols), Nationals (Harper),
7. My secondary team can't be a big money spender.
As a Reds' fan, I am naturally drawn to the small market mentality. I don't see how it is even fun to root for a team that has the means to go out and buy whoever they need, whenever they need them. Teams eliminated: Dodgers, Mets, Red Sox, Rangers
8. My secondary team can't be a team that will play other teams I hate 60 times a year.
Basically, I don't want to be stuck watching a team play the Yankees or Red Sox 60 times a year simply because that is the team that I adopted. Sorry AL East teams who made it this far. Teams eliminated: Orioles, Blue Jays
9. My secondary team must play the majority of its games before my bedtime.
That's right, rule 9 is basically East Coast bias in black and white. I don't care - I'm staying up until 10:15 every night with the hopes of catching an inning or two before I have to go to bed. Some of us have to get up and go to work in the morning. Teams eliminated: Mariners, Athletics, Diamondbacks
10. My team can't be a team that went to the World Series in the past couple of years.
After all, what fun is it rooting for a team that's already won the Series lately (or at the very least, played in the World Series lately)? Team eliminated: Royals
And with that, we have my adopted team for 2016!
Did you follow along, do you know who is left over? There's only one team that fits my ten rules...and that team is....
The HOUSTON ASTROS.
That's right! Dimwits everywhere rejoice - I'm adopting the 'stros as my secondary team this year. Now, I won't be actively collecting their cards (nor will I inactively collect their cards...so don't think you can now dump all your Astros on me). No, instead I'll simply watch a bunch of their games and root for a scrappy, young, exciting team that is considered to be a relatively small market club (despite playing in Houston).
As an added bonus, I have Jose Altuve on my fantasy team which makes rooting for the Astros that much better!
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