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Monday, October 10, 2011
A woman without a playoff team

By Amanda Rykoff

New York City-based Yankees super-fan and espnW contributor Amanda Rykoff shared her thoughts on the Yankees' playoff run. Monday she asks for help deciding who she should root for during the remainder of the MLB postseason.

As you know, my beloved Yankees were knocked out of the MLB playoffs by those feisty Detroit Tigers last Thursday, leaving me without a team to root for during the rest of the postseason. We're one game into each league championship series and I'm still looking for a team to support.

The general rule is to root for the team that knocked out your team in the hopes that your team lost to the eventual World Series winner. Note, of course, that the rule doesn't apply to Yankees fans with respect to the Red Sox. Don't forget that our favorite team is the Yankees and any team that's playing the Red Sox.

If I follow the rule, I -- like all Yankees fans -- should be rooting for the Tigers as we proceed through the playoffs. But should we? Sure, I really like Justin Verlander (except when he's pitching against my team), and Miguel Cabrera is good at hitting baseballs. But the Tigers also have Jose "enough with your stupid dance just do your job" Valverde. I confess to having a soft spot in my heart for the city of Detroit and, with the Lions starting 4-0, it's a great story in Motown.

What about Texas? It has Ian Kinsler -- he's adorable, wears high socks, is half-Jewish and is really good at baseball -- but it also has Michael "trade me or else" Young. And the Rangers knocked the Yankees out of the American League Championship Series last year, so why should we hope for more success? Is Naptober (a phrase used by Rangers fans to show support for slugging catcher Mike Napoli) enough to get Yankees fans on board the Rangers' bandwagon?

Or should we consider switching leagues? With the Phillies out of it, the Brewers and Cardinals are slugging it out in the National League Championship Series. Should Yankees fans jump on board with the Brew Crew or with Tony La Russa's boys from St. Louis? My first thought was to root for Milwaukee, with Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun crushing baseballs and John Axford and his awesome mustache getting saves. But the Brewers have Francisco Rodriguez, and every Yankees fan hates K-Rod, dating back to his days with the Angels.

The Cardinals have Albert Pujols in perhaps his final season with the team. The Redbirds also have former rent-a-Yankee, Lance Berkman (where was this production last season, Lance?). They also get bonus points for knocking out Cliff Lee -- nope, not bitter at all, why do you ask? Is that enough to outweigh the La Russa factor?

Tigers, Rangers, Brewers and Cardinals fans, give us your best pitches in the comments on why Yankees fans should throw our support behind your team as we continue through October.