Favorite Franchise Rankings: Baseball

With the Major League baseball playoffs in full swing, I thought it a fine time to codify—and provide definitive order—to my favorite baseball teams. Some of this list (the crème de la crème and its lowest dredges) was extremely easy to elucidate but for all the other squads these rankings are very likely to fluctuate wildly, depending on circumstances as varied as style of play (loving the Royals right now!), managerial changes (the Twins, like the Indians with Terry Francona, could help themselves immensely by naming Paul Molitor as their next skipper), fantasy impact, or even the arrival of a generational superstar.

Without further ado, my favorite Major League Baseball franchises, ranked from best to worst:

  1. Milwaukee Brewers—Hometown team. One true love.
  2. Boston Red Sox—Huge fan since 1984, Roger Clemens’ rookie year. Fenway Park is the greatest stadium in baseball.
  3. Baltimore Orioles—Love Oriole Park at Camden Yards and—most importantly—it’s my wife’s favorite team.
  4. Washington Nationals—Tough to live in the District and not root for the Nats.
  5. Detroit Tigers—Huge Red Wings fan and supporter of the Motor City. Natural, then, that I’d think highly of its baseball team.
  6. California Angels—Two words: Mike Trout.
  7. Cleveland Indians—I’m sure Major League (and now Tito) has a lot to do with this high ranking.
  8. Kansas City Royals—Their blend of speed, aggressive baserunning, and propensity for small ball makes for a fantastic product. More like a National League team than most Senior Circuit squads.
  9. Miami Marlins— Plucky underdogs who never stop competing. Despite ownership’s best efforts, they are contenders nearly every season
  10. Seattle Mariners—Ken Griffey Jr. casts a long shadow.
  11. Atlanta Braves—Very much enjoyed the Bobby Cox era. Their direct lineage to Milwaukee cannot be understated.
  12. Los Angeles Dodgers—Something about the uniforms and seeing Fernando Valenzuela pitch in Chavez Ravine as a ten-year old. Would be higher on this list were they still in Brooklyn.
  13. Pittsburgh Pirates—Lone sports team from the Keystone State for whom I can root; loved the mid-90s outfield of Bonilla/Bonds/Van Slyke.
  14. Minnesota Twins—Only squad from up north that is at least somewhat palatable.
  15. San Diego Padres—Tony Gwynn. Tony Gwynn. Tony Gwynn.
  16. Tampa Bay Devil Rays— Best farm system in baseball every year. Incredible.
  17. Houston Astros—Their ascension up this list started when they switched to the American League and will forever more be measured in Altuves.
  18. Chicago White Sox—The high ranking belies my dislike for all Chicago sports teams. But as long as they continue to win more than their counterparts on the north side, I’ll be pleased.
  19. Colorado Rockies—Love Tulo. Just wish he could stay healthy for a whole season.
  20. Toronto Blue Jays—Undoubtedly there is still lingering resentment over their incredible success with Molitor.
  21. San Francisco Giants—A beautiful ballpark but never found myself rooting for its inhabitants.
  22. Oakland Athletics—Huge Bash Brothers fan as a kid; still can’t stand Kirk Gibson because of Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. But growing up changes things: Now I hate Mark McGwire.
  23. Philadelphia Phillies—If you have nothing nice to say . . . actually I do find their mascot quite entertaining!
  24. Cincinnati Reds—Maybe Billy Hamilton can elevate their standing. For whatever reason something or someone—Marge Schott, maybe?—just always rubbed me the wrong away about the Reds.
  25. Texas Rangers—Everything is worse in Texas.
  26. Arizona Diamondbacks—I hate snakes.
  27. New York Mets—Ray Knight jumping (like a giddy school girl) down the third base line in Game 6 pretty much ruined this team for me forever.
  28. New York Yankees—Tradition is impressive, but can never stomach rooting for them (unless they were playing the . . . )
  29. St. Louis Cardinals—Mad respect. Immense enmity.
  30. Chicago Cubs—Most overexposed team in professional sports. Absolutely nothing loveable about a loser.

Have your own list? Disagree with mine? Feel free to leave your comments below!

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One Response to Favorite Franchise Rankings: Baseball

  1. milwaukee pete says:

    I very badly needed a laugh this morning, and this clinched it. when i read it, i pictured you sitting at stetsons playing cards rattling off each one, and when i got to ‘i hate snakes’, i almost fell over. Perfect timing as always.

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