Welp! So that happened. I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about the end of the Cubs season. We all saw it. I know we all have varying opinions on it. A lot of people want to throw around blame. I’m not into that personally. I will say that as disappointing as it was, it still beats the hell out of being 20 games out at the All Star break and giving up altogether by September like it used to be around here. I’m also not going to get into all the moves that we as fans think the Cubs should make, whether its coaching or player personnel. There’s plenty of time for that. For now, as someone who loves the game of baseball, I’d like to look at the teams that are remaining, and figure out who to root for.

Here are the pros and cons of all the remaining playoff teams.

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Milwaukee Brewers.  I understand this one might be a tough pill to swallow for Cubs fans, having just lost the division, and subsequently the Wild Card game thanks to the Brew Crew. I always take fan base into account, and well, they don’t really seem to have any. Cole Hamels famously pointed out that Miller Park was half filled with Cubs fans. That may be just a product of location more than fan loyalty. Milwaukee is only an hour or so north of Chicago. By the way, there were quite a few Brewers fans at Wrigley Field for the 1 game playoff too. The Brewers have never won a World Series and their last appearance was in 1982.

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Boston Red Sox. At one time, I felt a kinship with Red Sox fans. They had a curse of their own and seemed to be just as snake-bitten as the Cubs, Then they broke their curse in 2004, and went on to win it all again a few years later, and now they are just a bunch of obnoxious Boston D-bags. Plus I get so sick of hearing how Yankees/Sox is the greatest rivalry in baseball, when we all know its Cubs/Cardinals.

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Atlanta Braves. The most anonymous team in the playoffs. Off the top of my head, I can name 1 Brave, Freddie Freeman. We all know the Braves playoff history: lots of division titles, few World Series appearances, and even fewer, 1,  title. I know none of those teams has anything to do with this one, but that’s going to be their legacy until they change it.

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New York Yankees. There isn’t really much to say here. There isn’t any circumstance where I’d root for the Yankees. If they were playing the Cardinals in the Series, I’d watch water polo and pray for rain every day until it snowed.

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Houston Astros.  The defending World Champions, and a fun young team to watch. They and the Cubs kind of used the same model: be really bad for a year or 2 while making good draft picks and sprinkling in the right free agents and smart trades.  They have some star power too. Jose Altuve is a fun player, and Justin Verlander has really revitalized his career since being traded to Houston.

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Los Angeles Dodgers. No shortage of star power here either. While the Dodgers have been relevant, 6 straight division titles, they still haven’t captured the World Series since 1988 and the famous Kirk Gibson home run. The Dodgers window may be closing. Manny Machado is a free agent after the season, and Clayton Kershaw isn’t getting any younger.

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Colorado Rockies. The team that delivered the knockout blow to the Cubs. I never know how seriously to take Rockies offensive stats due to the altitude factor. As far as the fans, I’m sure they are fine, but Denver is a Broncos town. Always has been, always will be.

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Cleveland Indians. The victim of the Cubs in 2016. The Indians haven’t won a Series since 1948, so Cubs fans should be able to relate. I mean, I remember when things looks bleak for the Cubs in that World Series, and I remember thinking if we have to lose, at least it will be to fans of a team that will appreciate it. I also think Terry Francona is a good manager, and a likeable guy.

What? You didn’t think I was going to tell you who to root for did you? You have to make that decision for yourself. Or don’t. Don’t watch if its too painful for you. I did that once. In my whole life of watching baseball, I have only not watched 1 World Series. 2003. After the Bartman game and all of that fallout, I just couldn’t make myself watch the Yankees and the Marlins. The Marlins? Really? There have been studies done that say that if you are watching a game with no rooting interest at all going in, during the course of the event you will end up siding with 1 of the teams. I’ve just given you something to think about while we all wait for the hot stove league to heat up.

Photo: Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
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