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Other Than The Cubs, Which MLB Team Is Your Favorite?

A thought exercise.

Al Yellon

We’re all here because we are Cubs fans. (Obviously.)

Do you have another team you root for? Or at least follow and enjoy it when they succeed (at least if it’s not against the Cubs)?

When I was growing up in the 1960s in the Chicago area, people I knew were either Cubs or White Sox fans. Unlike today, though, most didn’t hate the team they didn’t root for — they generally followed the other squad and were at least tolerant when they succeeded. The Cubs/White Sox hatred that’s the general rule today stems, I believe, from the 1980s when both teams won division titles, polarizing the fanbases to some extent. From the standpoint of a Cubs fan, it appears to me there’s a bit of jealousy involved, "little-brother syndrome," which was encouraged by White Sox ownership and management.

I’m not one of those White Sox haters, though they are not the team that I would consider anything close to my "second team."

When the Brewers came to Milwaukee as an A.L. franchise, I started following them to some extent, especially when they got good in the early 1980s. I used to go to a couple games there every year and went to two of their World Series games in 1982. It was easy to root for them in that Series, as they were playing the Cardinals.

But once the Brewers moved to the N.L. in 1998, that was it for them. They became a division rival, so scratch them off the list.

I once had a soft spot for the Red Sox, because I viewed them as kind of the Cubs’ "big brothers," the team that would get to the World Series but never win it. After they won in 2004, and again in 2007 and 2013, though, that fanbase seemed to undergo a change, becoming a bit insufferable. I hope we as Cubs fans don’t do that. We were tagged "lovable losers" for a very long time. While none of us liked that name, we did suffer through a lot of losing, and I hope that turns us into gracious winners. But in any case, I don’t really follow the Red Sox anymore.

The team that I’d choose as my "second favorite" is the Detroit Tigers. Like the Cubs, they’ve gone through long periods of time without winning, or even appearing in, the World Series. Since the Cubs and Tigers met in the 1945 World Series, Detroit has appeared in the postseason 10 times — just one more time than the Cubs have in that span. They’ve been in four World Series since 1945 (1968, 1984, 2006 and 2012), winning two of them. Overall, since 1900 they have 11 pennants and four World Series titles — the Cubs have 11 pennants and three WS titles since 1900.

So these teams are quite similar. The Tigers have had many players over the years easy to root for — Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera among the best. I’ve been to games at Comerica Park and found it a fine place to watch a game.

Plus, they're in the American League, so unless they're playing the Cubs in interleague play or the World Series they're not in direct competition. So, I choose the Tigers as my "second favorite."

Do you have another team you like besides the Cubs? If so, how did you become a fan of that team?