Even the most optimistic fans knew the White Sox weren’t going far this year. As the season ended and my top teams were eliminated, I chose some comfort teams to root for, from both leagues; these teams ranged from young and fun, or, quite simply, teams that didn’t have any major controversies attached to them. The playoffs advanced, and those teams started being knocked out of the race; I even found myself stuck during the ALCS and NLCS championship series.
Arizona Diamondbacks: National League Champions
The Diamondbacks are one of the newest teams in Major League Baseball, alongside the Tampa Bay Rays. Both teams were established in 1995 and played their first seasons in 1998. After placing fifth in their inaugural season, the Diamondbacks were able to acquire some big names, like Randy Johnson, who won four consecutive Cy Youngs during his first four seasons in Arizona. The Diamondbacks won the World Series in 2001, defeating the three-time defending champion New York Yankees. Since their debut, the Diamondbacks have also won five NL West division titles, two NL pennants, and two Wild Card games.
The D-backs became quite the underdog story this season, starting hot, faltering, then catching fire again and finishing second in the NL West behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their season ended with a record of 84-78. They are most often referred to as scrappy, and are looking to show the world that they are more than just that. Let’s figure out if this team is right for you.
Why should you root for the Diamondbacks?
- Overall, the team is likable. They have built a team of solid players and coaches, especially with the recent acquisition of Paul Sewald and Ketel Marte.
- They are not from Texas.
- Chase Field might be a dump, but they have a pool!
- Corbin Carroll has been fun to watch. It might truly come down to Carroll and Marte fighting for World Series MVP.
- A big part of that is Arizona’s success comes from the top of their starting rotation, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly.
- White Sox connection: Seby Zavala is a catcher on Arizona’s 40-man roster (though not active for the World Series) and Allen Thomas, former White Sox director of conditioning for 17 years (through the 2021 season), has a son (Alek) on the team.
- Tommy Pham? I don’t know if I’d consider that a reason to not root for the team overall, though.
Texas Rangers: American League Champions
The franchise was established in 1961, as the Washington Senators, an expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the original Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. After the 1971 season, the new Senators moved to Arlington and debuted as the Rangers the following year.
The Rangers have made nine appearances in the postseason: Seven following division championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2015 and 2016, and as a Wild Card team in both 2012 and again this season. The Rangers finished with the same season record as the Houston Astros the just vanquished in the ALCS, at 90-72.
Why should you root for the Rangers?
- Honestly, it’s a good F-U to the White Sox and one annoying “insider.” Seriously, it’s fun to just drag this guy.
The Rangers spent $556M on Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Jon Gray.— Slavko Bekovic (@SBekovic) May 19, 2022
That what you guys want?
- Starting with the players mentioned above, this team is stacked with talent.
- One player, however, really rises above all: Adolis García. His story is one that should inspire everyone. García was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals for cash considerations in 2019. Now 30 and known as “El Bombi,” he just won the ALCS MVP.
- White Sox connection: Dane Dunning is a starting pitcher, and Marcus Semien was drafted by the South Siders and reached the majors first through their system.
- They beat the Astros in the ALCS, and that alone is a pretty good reason.
- The Rangers are the oldest MLB team to never win the World Series and, at 62 seasons, have the second-longest active championship drought in MLB behind the Cleveland Guardians.
- They have Max Scherzer. I realize this could be good or bad, depending on your stance.
- BetMGM data analyst John Ewing said the preseason odds of a Diamondbacks-Rangers World Series were +175000 (bet $10 to win $17,510 total).
Unfortunately, there are a few.
- Aroldis Chapman is somehow still in the league and happens to be a relief pitcher for Texas. But Chrystal, that was so long ago, and Hal Steinbrenner wants us to just forget. No thanks! I donated to domestic violence organizations every single time [redacted] pitched for the White Sox season, so I don’t just let that stuff go.
- George W. Bush is throwing out the first pitch.
- They are named in tribute to a law enforcement agency as inspid as the KKK.
- They are the only team out of 30 who do not host a Pride Night. When asked about it, they continue to say things like the following: “Our commitment is to make everyone feel welcome and included in Rangers baseball. That means in our ballpark, at every game, and in all we do — for both our fans and our employees. We deliver on that promise across our many programs to have a positive impact across our entire community.” Uh, OK.
If you would like to learn about what happened in the Diamondbacks-Rangers season series, WFAA put together a great breakdown of each game.
Watch the first game tonight at 7:03 p.m. CT, on Fox or Fubo.
All that said, who are you cheering for? And why?
Who are you going with?
This poll is closed