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The bitter Orioles fan’s guide to rooting for the Division Series

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The Orioles losing in the postseason was miserable, which means it’s time to figure out which fans we want to feel this same misery.

A classless Blue Jays fan throws a can of beer at Hyun Soo Kim of the Baltimore Orioles.
This can of beer, among other things, will have the Blue Jays high on the hate list.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Much to my great sadness and yours, the Orioles cannot win the World Series this year. Some other team of the eight remaining postseason teams will get to come home with the trophy and a parade in their honor. I can’t even imagine what it would be like if the O’s won. It’s yet to happen in my life. I’ll be waiting at least another year.

Maybe with the Orioles out of it, you’ve lost all interest in baseball for the year. That’s a fair stance. If the O’s aren’t in it, what’s the point, right? Sometimes I feel that way too. But I’m not ready for baseball to be gone for the winter just yet, so I’ll be watching the rest of the postseason.

These non-Orioles games are more fun when you can gin up a reason to hate-watch them. If the Orioles and their fans had to experience misery this season, then dang it, so should some of these other people out there. I hate all non-Orioles teams constantly, because they aren’t the Orioles.

There are many different levels of hate, however, and when they come in conflict, such as in the postseason, choices must be made.

The Hate List

Boston Red Sox

There’s little doubt that one of the absolute worst outcomes possible for this postseason would be the Red Sox winning it all. The farewell tour of the Vandal, David Ortiz, already insufferable, would be written in permanent marker on the pages of baseball history, much to our chagrin.

For eternity we would be forced to hear about the Ortiz mystique and how he enhanced the Red Sox chances of winning with his unprecedented-for-a-40-year-old performance. Horrible to contemplate.

Toronto Blue Jays

There’s no ignoring the beer can, which, even if someone wanted to explain it away as an isolated bad actor, doesn’t explain why Blue Jays fans, and seemingly only Blue Jays fans, are throwing crap on the field regularly. The worst of their fans on the Internet are among the worst for people who run blogs like this one to deal with. And they DID end the Orioles season, so screw those guys. And Cito still sucks.

Washington Nationals

It’s often said - derisively by Washingtonians, embraced with pride by Baltimoreans - that Baltimore has an inferiority complex towards its younger neighbor to the south, important by the accident of the federal government’s seat being there for centuries.

If the general Baltimore-Washington regional rivalry wasn’t enough, there is also the fact that the Nationals, with MLB as willing participants, are trying to screw the Orioles out of tens of millions of dollars of revenue annually, an action which the Orioles are contesting in the ongoing MASN case, for which they are continually being slighted by MLB in petty ways.

If these scumbags win a World Series before the Orioles, I will hate that about as much as anything.

San Francisco Giants

I have no particular beef with the Giants franchise, other than that they’ve won three World Series out of the last five, which is an embarrassment of riches, so shut up and go away, San Francisco, because it’s somebody else’s turn now.

The “OK, I guess” list

Texas Rangers

I’ve written in the past that the state of Texas rankles on an existential level, which I still believe for reasons I won’t get into here. However, these Rangers are an unoffensive bunch. Adrian Beltre seems like a fun guy who deserves to win. Rougned Odor punched Jose Bautista in the face. That was pretty great. The Rangers have never won the World Series at all, so their fans deserve it.

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland and Baltimore just seem like cities that should share an affinity for one another - along with Pittsburgh - and it’s probably only because of the NFL that they don’t. But football is an inferior sport to baseball so I won’t let that bleed in here.

In some small way, it would be kind of annoying to hear about Cleveland as the championship town after the Cavaliers won the most recent NBA championship. On the other hand, the Indians last won the World Series in 1948. Their baseball fans also deserve it.

Los Angeles Dodgers

A person may be bothered by the Dodgers and their $249 million payroll, seeing their victory as another triumph of the big market bullies. That may be so if they go on and keep winning. For now, though, there’s just nothing offensive about them. They’ve got Clayton Kershaw. He’s great. And it would bother the Giants fans if they won.

Deeply Ambivalent

Chicago Cubs

On the one hand, I feel bad for all of these other teams that have had long World Series droughts, because I know what it’s like to have a life-long drought. The Cubs most likely have a life-long drought for literally every one of their fans.

On the other hand, I remember thinking basically this same thing about the Red Sox and their fans prior to the 2004 season. We all know what monsters that crowd turned into. Dare I risk that the Cubs fan crowd could turn into the same? Maybe they’ll lose before I really have to worry about it much.

Rooting in the Division Series round

Well, this is easy. There are four teams on the hate list and none of them are playing one another. If I’m lucky, they’ll all lose in the first round. I’m not lucky.

Rangers > Blue Jays
Indians > Red Sox
Dodgers > Nationals
Cubs > Giants

Who are you rooting for in the division round? What’s your reason for preferring the teams that you prefer?