The Yankees are off playing golf somewhere while the Blue Jays, Royals, Cubs, and Mets enter the Championship Series round to determine who will play in the World Series. Just because our team is out, though, doesn't mean we can't still watch or can't find a rooting interest. There are no laws against that (yet), MLBAM can't outlaw fun (yet). If you're having trouble figuring out who to root for and who not to root for, here is a helpful guide that has reasons as to why you should root, or not root, for the four remaining teams. Read, choose, enjoy:
Why you should root for them: Do you like bat flips, home runs, and really really long home runs? If so, the Blue Jays might be the team for you. Yes, during the regular season we all wanted Toronto to stop being so good and to stop winning so damn much, but instead they just kept winning. But don't have hard feelings, feelings are bad, just appreciate the fact that you're watching an entire generation of Blue Jays fans get into baseball for the first time and think that's pretty neat. Sure, they're the team in the playoffs that has won the World Series most recently, but they're also the franchise that people likely cared the least about even just last year. Yes, they're a division rival, yes they beat the Yankees, yes we all hated them just a few weeks/seconds ago, but let them have this. For all we know, Canada could cease to exist next year. They're really good, Jose Bautista has become easier to ignore, they likely have the MVP in Josh Donaldson, and Brett Lawrie is no longer on the team. You don't have to root for Brett Lawrie. Hate them next year, but it's ok to root for them right now. We won't tell anyone.
Why you should root against them: The Blue Jays were bad for, like, half the year. They make some trades and somehow finish the year something like 59-1. The Yankees had a commanding lead of the AL East, and even though they were bad in the second half, they would have been fine if not for the zombie outbreak that came out of Toronto. They might not be as hatable as the Red Sox, but who is? Jose Bautista never stops whining, Edwin Encarnacion does that dumb bird thing, and their fan base could not be more aggressive about informing you that they've never watched a baseball game in their lives. To root for the Toronto Blue Jays is to root against America, will make you pro-Canada, and get you reported to HUAC. If they win, Jays fans will never let you live it down.
Why you should root for them: The Royals were so close last year. They got all the way to the World Series and then got stomped on by Madison Bumgarner and, miraculously, here they (almost) are again. Everyone but San Francisco wanted Kansas City to win last year, but now the entire country–nay, the world–will root for them against the Blue Jays. No one can trade for Madison Bumgarner anymore, so now it should finally be safe for the Royals to come out of the clubhouse. For a fan base that has been through so much garbage, who are we to say they shouldn't win it all? Yankees fans can never know what it's like to root for the Royals and we never have to learn why they continue to do it. That's a victory in and of itself. Let these people have their time in the sun because who knows how much longer they have until it all goes boom. Remember the Texas Rangers from a few years back? This could be their last shot for awhile.
Why you should root against them: In what seems like a world record, Royals fans have already used up all the good will they had built up from last year. Remember earlier in the year when the team kind of went crazy and started fighting everyone on the field, on the street, and in air? The fans did that too. After years of painful memories, Kansas City Royals fans turned into the worst kind of Internet troll in a matter of months. Plus, rooting for the Royals is like rooting for small ball. Do you really want to support a team that was terrible at hitting dingers? Also, remember when Kauffman Stadium broke Mo? Do you really want good memories to play out on that field now? I didn't think so.
Why you should root for them: There are two reasons you should root for the Cubs: 1) They're the Cubs. They have been so unbelievably bad for so long that it can't even be offensive if they win the World Series. Not even the team they beat would get mad. They'll lose and the Cubs will be celebrating, and all they'll say was oh man finally. Because OMG 107 years. Imagine 107 years of losing and still being a baseball fan. I can't. 2) Back to the Future II said they would win. A movie made 30 years ago exclaimed that the Cubs would win the World Series in 2015 as a joke because they knew that we'd all be dead by then because of Y2K or 2012 Armageddon. But here we are, and when the Cubs win, Doc Brown will come out and say we knew it would happen, we told you.
Why you should root against them: They're the Cubs. They're supposed to lose. What will baseball be like if the Cubs actually won a World Series? It wouldn't be baseball anymore. No one really cares about the Indians, who would be the team with the biggest World Series drought then, but people like mentioning how bad the Cubs are. Even non-sports people know the Cubs aren't good. In the 1986 action-comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off, they end up at a Chicago Cubs game and Ferris proclaims, and I quote: "Cubs suck." They actually have Fernando Rodney on their roster. Come on, this is an easy choice.
Why you should root for them: OMG the Mets are good. It's been a while since anyone could actually say that. They have everything going for them, both on the field and in narrative after Wilmer Flores cried and Ruben Tejada had his leg broken by the Batman villain known as Chase Utley. Chances are you're a Yankees fan who lives in New York or is at least originally from New York, so you probably know some people who, for some reason, like the Mets. You probably know a neighbor who secretly hates themselves for liking the Mets. They probably own an orange and blue bucket hat and you've probably seen it at some point in both your lives. It's time to let that Subway Series animosity go, because who really cares what the Mets do anymore. They aren't going to Take Over This City because it's going to take a lot more than one World Series to take ANYTHING from the New York Yankees. Root for the exciting young arms they have, root for Curtis Granderson, congratulate a Mets fan if you see one on the street because you just might brighten their day. Tell them welcome to the club and tell them how three rings is a lot, if you're into that sort of game.
Why you should root against them: LOLMets. If you're unfamiliar with LOLMets, become familiar with LOLMets because LOLMets has always been the best and most reliable part of baseball and I miss it a lot. What would be fantastic is if they got all the way to a Game 7 in the world Series and then Luis Castillo'd their way out of a championship. Maybe David Wright does whatever Elvis Andrus did the other night and Mets fans will have something new to be tortured over for the next 10 years. Their pain is what has powered baseball for so many years; they're like our renewable energy and without them baseball is dying, you guys. Also, we're Yankees fans. Let's not pretend to enjoy seeing the Mets in the playoffs. We own this town, we collect the taxes, we choose the human sacrifices, not Mets fans. It's time they remember that.
What about you? Who are you rooting for/not rooting for?