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Who should Marlins fans root for in the playoffs?

An incomplete guide to the playoffs.

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As a fan of team(s) long accustomed to occupying that famous couch that non-playoff teams sit on, I’ve long made it a habit of taking up a temporary rooting interest in those teams that do have the good fortune of making the playoffs. Perhaps you do the same! Or maybe you’re baseball’d out for the year (which would be understandable given the way the season ended). Maybe, you want to have a rooting interest but you have no clue who to temporary bandwagon.

You’re in luck my friend! I present to you a brief, but entirely fact-based guide for Miami Marlins fans on who you should root for...or not.

San Francisco Giants (87-75)

Last World Series Title: 2014

Last World Series Appearance: 2014

Last Playoff Appearance: 2014 World Series

The Giants were one of the hottest teams in baseball in the first half, and then, one of the coldest. Still, they managed to sweep the nemesis Dodgers and creep into the playoffs to keep the hope of #EvenYearMagic alive, though they’ll have to win a do-or-die in New York against the Mets to keep the streak going.

Why root for them:

Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, and Jeff Samardzija form a fearsome head of the rotation for the Giants and should provide the opportunity for great pitching matchups throughout the playoffs should the team get deep.

Why root against them:

Four titles in six years are you kidding me?! Save some for the rest of us!

Baltimore Orioles (89-73)

Last World Series Title: 1983

Last World Series Appearance: 1983

Last Playoff Appearance: 2014 ALCS

The Orioles clinched the 2nd wildcard spot on the final day of the regular season, and by virtue of their inferior head-to-head record against the team they tied with, the Toronto Blue Jays, they are forced to play up north tonight at the SkyDome Rogers Centre.

Why root for them:

The Orioles, much like their counterpart across the field, features some serious pop up and down the lineup. They came mighty close to breaking the single season homerun record and had six players with at least 22 bombs apiece. If Miami fans can appreciate anything, it’s a majestic dinger.

The O’s haven’t won in so long that their last championship preceded the Marlins’ very existence by a decade. That seems long enough to have waited to have earned some empathy.

Buck Showalter has helped raise two previous teams into title contenders (‘96 Yankees and ‘01 Dbacks) but had to watch someone else steer them to championships. I bet he’s ready to be the bride.

Why root against them:

Their starting rotation is terrible, and the deeper they go, the more we’re going to be subjected to the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez and Dylan Bundy taking the mound. Fish fans took in quite enough suspect pitching as things stood. They have an ace at the back end of their pen in Zach Britton, but how many times is he really going to get a chance to electrify us?

Toronto Blue Jays (89-73)

Last World Series Title: 1993

Last World Series Appearance: 1993

Last Playoff Appearance: 2015 ALCS

The Blue Jays faltered late in the season but still came away with the first wild card and will be hosting their AL East rival Orioles later this evening.

Why root for them:

They have a legitimately talented squad from top to bottom and sometimes you just want to see the best team win, right? Also, while not having waited quite as long as their opponent, 23 years is still a long time to go between titles. Not to mention, much like the Marlins, there was a substantial wait to even get back to the playoffs after winning back to back titles in ‘92 and ‘93.

The 39 year old ex-Marlin Jason Grilli is lingering in the pen if you’re looking for a shred of sentimentalism. He has never won a ring despite playing since 2000.

Why root against them:

As Canada’s only team since the Montreal Expos were magically transformed into the Washington Nationals back in 2005, the Blue Jays have been heavily marketed as such, and they are, perhaps, an under-the-radar franchise ready to explode into baseball’s next evil empire aka most annoying fan base should they win it all. I can attest to the hordes that invade the Pacific Northwest when their team is in town; it will only grow worse, for everyone, should they find themselves a crown in modern times.

Boston Red Sox (93-69)

Last World Series Title: 2013

Last World Series Appearance: 2013

Last Playoff Appearance: 2013 World Series

After a couple of tough years in Beantown, the Boston Red Stockings are back at it in familiar territory once again. This year, they find themselves traveling to Cleveland on Wednesday to face the Indians in the ALDS.

Why root for them:

Hanley Ramirez really had a nice bounce-back year, putting up 2.6 fWAR as compared to -1.8 fWAR last season. If you’re a HanRam fan, it was a good sign that he can continue to be a productive ballplayer moving forward. Maybe you’d even like to see him come away with a ring, for all those years he spent anchoring the Marlins line-up.

Some people have mixed feelings about David Ortiz; I’m not one of them. I’m sorry to see him go as I think he’s a great ambassador for the game of baseball and a colorful personality both on and off the field. As far as retirement seasons go, Ortiz had one for the ages, and if you’re an Ortiz fan, as I am, then perhaps you’d like to see him go out on top.

Why root again them:

Last I checked, "more insufferable Red Sox fans" was not on the shortlist of desirable things in life.

Texas Rangers (95-67)

Last World Series Title: Never

Last World Series Appearance: 2011

Last Playoff Appearance: 2013 World Series

The Rangers weren’t much of a pre-season darling; nevertheless, they ended up with the best record in the American League on the strength of a solid front end of the rotation and excellent offensive contributions up and down the lineup. They will host the winner of the AL Wildcard game.

Why root for them:

Adrian Beltre is one of the most entertaining players in baseball.

They also have a couple of great pitchers near the top of the rotation, Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels, perhaps you’ve heard of them?

Beltre has never won a ring, Carlos Beltran has never won a ring, and the Rangers as a franchise have never won a title.

Why root against them:

Maybe you hold Cole Hamels former career as a Marlins killer while a member of the Phillies against him. I don’t (but I do hold it against Chase Utley. Didn’t say this would be logical).

Los Angeles Dodgers (91-71)

Last World Series Title: 1988

Last World Series Appearance: 1988

Last Playoff Appearance: 2015 NLDS

The Dodgers will travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Nationals for Friday’s NLDS game one.

Why root for them:

For being one of the storied franchises in major league baseball history, it’s been a longggggggggggggggg time since the Dodgers won a title. Clayton Kershaw is always fun to watch. Yasiel Puig is entertaining and re-energized after his brief minor league stint.

Why root against them:

I dunno...it would be kind of unfortunate for Donnie baseball to leave and for the team to immediately win the title on him ala Buck Showalter. Would probably remind him of that time he retired and the Yankees subsequently won four titles without him.

Chase. Utley.

New York Mets (87-75)

Last World Series Title: 1986

Last World Series Appearance: 2015

Last Playoff Appearance: 2015 World Series

The Mets overcame a slough of injuries to both sides of the ball to capture the wildcard and will host the San Francisco Giants tomorrow night in a one game playoff.

Why root for them:

Noah Syndergaard is a delight to watch, as is Bartolo Colon, for entirely different reasons. In a field with many long-time title droughts, 30 years is near the top.

From a purely Marlins standpoint, the Mets were a class-act organization top to bottom in the way the handled the tragedy of ten day’s past, and that earns them some respect in my book.

Why root against them:

Then again, they are a direct division rival and the Mets winning anything is bad for business, long-term.

They also employ Jose Reyes.

Washington Nationals (95-67)

Last World Series Title: Never

Last World Series Appearance: Never appeared

Last Playoff Appearance: 2014 NLDS

The Washington Nationals took the NL East lead early and never really looked back, performing up to pre-season expectations. They will host the Los Angeles Dodgers on friday in game one of the NLDS.

Why root for them:

Not even an appearance on the main stage? That’s pretty rough.

The Nationals, like the Mets, deserve credit for their handling of the unique circumstances surrounding the end of the Marlins season, displaying a moving tribute prior to the start of the last three game series.

Why root against them:

Division rival, Bryce Harper, they exist because the Expos do not. If they win/reach the World Series, it’ll be one less thing the Fish can hold over their heads.

Chicago Cubs (103-58)

Last World Series Title: 1908(!)

Last World Series Appearance: 1945(!)

Last Playoff Appearance: 2015 NLCS

The pre-season favorites lived up to the hype and then some, winning the most games in the National League (and baseball). They will host the winner of the NL wild card game on Friday.

Why root for them:

We’re coming up on 100 years between titles for Chicago’s north-siders, making these 30-something waits for the other contenders seem like child’s play.

Jake Arrieta is a true stud, as are Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo. This is perhaps the most solid team fundamentally in the field, and Joe Maddon runs a fun and innovative ballclub.

Why root against them:

Curses are a fun part of baseball lore, especially if they’re not your own. The Marlins have a unique role in one of the Cubs more famous disasters that would be diminished, historically, were the Cubs to triumph this season.

Also, do you really want to see how un-lovable the Cubs fan base can become?

Cleveland Indians (94-67)

Last World Series Title: 1948(!)

Last World Series Appearance: 1997

Last Playoff Appearance: 2013 AL Wildcard game

The Indians entered the 2016 season often projected behind the defending World Series champion Royals and the Detroit Tigers, but they outlasted both and will host the Red Sox on Thursday in game one of the ALDS.

Why root for them:

1948, good lord that’s a long time. At least the Cavaliers won finally.

Andrew Miller turned into an elite reliever, but you might recall he was a pretty poor starter for the Fish circa ‘08-’10. Maybe you like redemption stories. I dunno, I’m reaching here.

Why root against them:

1997 was a rather magical time for the Marlins and that championship series remains a rather bad memory for the Tribe and their fan base. Let’s keep it that way.