Piecoro: The agony of rational rooting

From SABR member Nick Piecoro at Baseball Prospectus on September 18, 2012:

When the week began, 18 of baseball’s 30 teams either had a hold on a playoff spot or were within 4 1/2 games of one, meaning the final two weeks could provide as much entertainment for fans as last season’s exciting finish—and maybe more.

And yet here I am tangled up in a world of justice and rationality and reason, searching for balance between my head and my heart.

It comes down to this: I don’t know what to root for.

There are the things that the fan in me wants to see happen. Then there are the things I think ought to happen.

Part of me loves what the Baltimore Orioles have been able to do in giving their passionate fan base reason to care for the first time in 14 years. But another part of me sees the way their season has unfolded and considers it patently unfair that they’re in the hunt for a playoff spot.

It’s nothing against the Orioles, Buck Showalter, or Dan Duquette. It’s just that following the game closely—and spending much of the year talking with like-minded people in the industry—I want to see not only the best teams win, but the ones that have gone about it the right way.

So, as nerdy as this might sound, I guess I’m rooting for positive run differentials and good process. I’m not sure the Orioles have either.

Read the full article here: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=18374

Originally published: September 18, 2012. Last Updated: September 18, 2012.