In a Matchup Between Cheaters and a Division Rival, I Guess We’re Pulling for Dusty Baker

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Oh good, it’s cheaters vs. division rival in this year’s World Series.

Are you watching Braves/Astros tonight? I’d rather blow my brains out. Imagine willingly tuning in for seven games of Jose Altuve and Joc Pederson and their ilk. No matter who wins, Phillies fans lose.

It’s almost impossible to justify cheering for a division rival. Can’t imagine there were many Phillies fans pulling for the Nationals in 2019, nor were they pulling for Terry Collins and the Mets in 2015. That was a super easy one, because the Royals hadn’t won it in forever and didn’t have anybody on that team who was truly dislikeable.

The pro-Astros argument would be cheering for Dusty Baker to win it all. Finally. He has a World Series ring dating back to his playing days, but despite taking his teams to the playoffs ten times over the course of 23 years, he’s never won it all as a manager. That’s more than 3,700 games in charge.

This tweet basically sums it up for me:

That’s what we’re weighing here. Is Dusty Baker getting his first ring as a manager worth seeing the remaining cheaters win again? I guess that’s a “personal choice,” as they say.

The alternative is cheering for Atlanta to win it all for the first time since 1995. If they do get the job done, then we can no longer call them postseason chokers. That kind of goes out the window. All of the NLDS and NLCS failures are rendered moot. It would be like the Cowboys finally winning the Super Bowl again, and then we can’t make fun of them for falling short year after year after year.

Keep in mind, this isn’t college football. It’s not like LSU cheering for Arkansas to beat Michigan in the season opener because “it makes the SEC look better.” There’s no strength of schedule argument. The Phillies and Marlins didn’t benefit from the Nationals winning it all two years ago, and they won’t benefit from the Braves winning it this year. There’s no “rah rah let’s go National League East” type of thing happening. If anything, it shows you how regular season baseball doesn’t matter, because the NL East was baseball’s worst division and nobody had Atlanta making the moves they made and then beating the Dodgers/Giants winner to get here.

At the end of the day, I’ll probably be pulling for the Astros, simply for the Dusty Baker storyline. He’s a good dude, and has been a great servant to the sport for decades now. It would be a fantastic storyline to see him reach the very top again.

And if you remain on the fence, this is what pretty much put me over the top:

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