But for Mets fans who will be watching the postseason, here is rooting guide, with teams ranked in order of most palatable to least palatable…
The Rays, who have been postseason stalwarts for years, have yet to get over the final hump and win the World Series.
And although the Rays have played like a juggernaut at times this season, they have done so with a payroll (just shy of $67 million on Opening Day) that ranks among the lowest in baseball.
The Rays feature budding star Wander Franco, have persevered after losing ace Tyler Glasnow, and are in prime position to win their first title. Tampa winning it all would also twist the knife for Yankees fans.
2. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers, with a rotation that includes Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta, rose to the top of the NL Central and clinched it before the St. Louis Cardinals‘ insane late-season surge threatened them.
As far as their playoff history, Milwaukee had a near-miss in 2018 when they fell to the Dodgers in the NLCS in seven games, but they haven’t been in the World Series since 1982.
That ’82 World Series appearance is the only one Milwaukee has ever had, and they remain one of six MLB teams to never win it all.
The White Sox last won the World Series in 2005, when they broke an 88-year drought.
They entered this season as title favorites for some pundits, and weathered a bunch of key injuries — including to Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert — as they won a putrid AL Central.
With Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Craig Kimbrel, Liam Hendriks, Carlos Rodon, and others, the Sox are a ton of fun. But do they have enough to go all the way?
The Sox winning it all would be a tougher pill for Yankees fans to swallow than the Rays doing it, and if the Sox are in position to do so, it means they will have eliminated the Yanks in the Wild Card game.
Despite having won a lot recently, Boston is a fun team to root for, featuring young stars including Rafael Devers and Alex Verdugo.
It’s also always fun to watch late-October baseball from the cathedral that is Fenway Park.
5. San Francisco Giants
The Giants have won three titles over the last decade (2010, 2012, 2014), so they’ve had enough to celebrate lately.
They also helped derail the Mets’ 2021 season, and ended their season in 2016 when they won the Wild Card Game at Citi Field.
San Francisco has former Met Wilmer Flores, who remains likeable, but they’re only this high on the list due to the nails-on-a-chalkboard nature of the teams below them.
6. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have been a thorn in the Mets’ side going back to the mid-80s, and the leader of their rotation — Adam Wainwright — is the guy who was on the mound when St. Louis beat the Mets in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS at Shea Stadium.
Also still with the Cards is Yadier Molina, who helped put the nail in the Mets’ 2021 season in a sweep at Citi Field in September.
Like the Giants, the Cards have won the World Series enough recently (in 2006 and 2011).
It should also be pointed out that their fans, often lauded as the best in baseball, are not.
7. Houston Astros
There would be a lot to like about the Astros if they hadn’t just been involved in one of the worst cheating scandals in the history of baseball.
But, even though the Astros are seemingly doing everything above board right now, they remain detestable.
Part of the reason why the Astros are still so hated is because current anchors Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman showed very little remorse for their roles in the sign-stealing scheme.
8. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have drafted and traded incredibly well while becoming one of the best teams in baseball, so they are not simply a team that has spent its way to success.
But the spending has put them over the top, with Los Angeles having a payroll this season near $250 million and having had payrolls exceeding $200 million for all but one season since 2013.
The recent spending by the Dodgers — after winning it all in 2020 — included signing Trevor Bauer (who is on administrative leave after being accused of sexual assault and will not pitch again this season) and absorbing the contract of Max Scherzer via trade after Scherzer used his no-trade rights to help force a trade there.
9. Atlanta Braves
The Braves, with Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Max Fried, and emerging star Austin Riley, are actually kind of likeable.
And Atlanta should get credit for succeeding this season after losing Ronald Acuña Jr. for the year after an ACL injury and losing Mike Soroka for the year while he was rehabbing the injury that kept him out for most of 2020.
But these are still the Braves, the team that has tormented the Mets for most of the last two decades, and whose fans still do the Tomahawk Chop. It should be nearly impossible for Mets fans to root for them, unless they’re facing the…
10. New York Yankees
If you’re a die-hard Mets fan, rooting for the Yankees should only be done during in-season situations where the Yanks are playing an NL team in competition with the Mets for a playoff spot.
When it comes to the postseason, a World Series matchup between the Yankees and one of the Mets’ NL East rivals (which happened in 2009 when the Yanks beat the Phillies) presents a bit of a dilemma. But the enjoyment of watching the NL East team get vanquished by the Yanks would be outweighed by the misery of being trash-talked by every Yankees fan you know for the next year.
And if you work in Manhattan and/or near those who would be traveling to a Yankees parade, you’ll have to deal with that, too.
Source: Yahoo Sports