Choosing Sides

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 16: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a solo home run in the top of the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers during Game Six of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on October 16, 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

I watch baseball until the end of the season, every season. The winter is long, and I need the last days of summer to linger as deep into the chill of October as possible.

This year though, I can't really choose sides.

I'm still angry about the Yankees' loss to the Rangers in the ALCS last year, more upset than I am about this year's ALDS Game 5.

So I can't root for the Rangers.

And on the NL side, I'm faced again by Tony LaRussa's Cardinals. I don't mind LaRussa as a manager; he's not a genius, but he's good, and he assembles a coaching staff that seems to get the most out of their players. But I also think LaRussa was one of the Steroid Era's great enablers (maybe he's no different than every other manager who chose to turn a blind eye, but as manager of '80s A's, he was in a unique position to call out guys like Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire; he abdicated that opportunity).

So I can't root for the Cardinals.

The Rangers have great players like Michael Young, whose work ethic and dedication to the team, I admire.

The Cardinals have great players like Albert Pujols, whose talent and perseverance through pain, I admire.

I have to choose sides. Who should I root for?

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