Personalities, rather than geographies, drive baseball fandom more than ever. Personnel moves via free agency, fantasy sports leagues, and streaming broadcasts online all make it less likely that you feel compelled to root, root, root for the home team. Better to find the one that speaks to your soul. For these 2013 playoffs, find your true match with this handy personality guide:
St. Louis Cardinals: You believe that the best Italian food is served in restaurants with at least one table full of men playing some game that isn’t poker, but it isn’t dominoes, and you’re not really sure if one of them is the owner or what. Budweiser may not be the best beer, but it sure quenches your thirst. If not from Missouri, then your home state can best be described as “a quadrilateral.”
Los Angeles Dodgers: You take great pleasure in buying things without even glancing at the price tag.
Atlanta Braves: I met the parents of Braves outfielders Justin and B.J. Upton this summer, and let me tell you: good people right there. Just downright good folks all around. And that’s what cheering for the Atlanta Braves is all about: good pitching and defense, a mix of power and speed, Ted Turner, hot dogs, apple pie, and Delta Airlines. Oh, but they still do that tomahawk chant…so, like, you probably need to be okay with that if you’re going to be a Braves fan. [Note: the Braves are now out of the playoffs, but don't worry. They never truly go away.]
Pittsburgh Pirates: Love an underdog? Sure, everyone does. We still talk about Pittsburgh as though the Rust Belt tag will never go away, but take another look. The Andy Warhol Museum, Carnegie Mellon, reasonable hotel rates. Beautiful terraced parks along not one, not two, but three rivers! A.J. Burnett isn’t even their best pitcher anymore. All right, these guys are no longer underdogs. You want an underdog, try finding October baseball in Birmingham, which was nicknamed “The Pittsburgh of the South” a hundred years ago. Think about that.
Tampa Bay Rays: You live in the Tampa/St. Petersburg metropolitan area, love baseball, and had no established ties to another major league franchise prior to 1998. Perfect, you’re a Rays fan now. Would you like to go to the beach instead?
Boston Red Sox: How do you feel about haircuts? They’re the worst, right? Close, but shaving is worse than haircuts. Shaving is for Yalies. You, contrariwise, went to school in Boston—er-herm, Cambridge—so you find that when a gentleman attends sporting matches, he does so not to identify with the athletes, but to bemuse himself over the hirsute specimens on the field. Any of this working for you? If so, you’re wicked into the Sox. If not, but you hate the Yankees, then you are also wicked into the Sox.
Oakland Athletics: The team that brought you Reggie, Rickey, and the Bash Brothers today offers scintillating OPS+ figures from a roster replete with young men, who, despite making only $2.4MM per year each, all play professional baseball pretty well.
Detroit Tigers: Bummed about the prospect of a city selling off fine art to pay debts? Would a 2013 American League Central Division Champions t-shirt cheer you up?