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Who To Root For In The 2008 Playoffs

When the postseason rolls around and your team is packing its bags for the winter, sometimes it's hard to decide which teams to root for. As often as not, I find myself rooting against particular teams, so the teams I root for are just a byproduct of my loathing of other teams. For instance, though the Brewers are a nice story, I hate the Phillies and that's the main reason I'm rooting for Milwaukee.

Another way to go is to identify your rooting interest based on a team's players, specifically those who played for the Mets at some point. Here are my thoughts on some of those players. I've intentionally left out guys who only very briefly played with the Mets (Gary Matthews, Jr., Paul Byrd, Chan Ho Park) or who were in the farm system but never reached the big leagues in New York (Jason Bay, Scott Kazmir).

  • Octavio Dotel - White Sox

    He was a product of the Mets' system, and even though he wound up with the Yankees a couple of years ago it's tough not to root for him. Still, when you play for a team with the most unlikeable manager and catcher in the game you've got a tough row to hoe.

    Verdict: Against.

  • Jeff Kent - Dodgers

    Came to the Mets in the deal that send David Cone to Toronto and spent parts of five seasons in New York. His laid-back west coast style never really fit in here, and he was shipped to the Indians in the horrible deal that netted the Mets Carlos Baerga. Kent went on to have a brilliant career with the Giants, mostly, and despite having a mustache (awesome!), he's considered a douche by almost everyone around him. You know things are bad when you get in a fight with Barry Bonds and you look like the crazy one.

    Verdict: Against.

  • Guillermo Mota - Brewers

    !@#$ that guy.

    Verdict: Against.

  • Chad Bradford - Rays

    Mets picked him up off the scrap heap in 2006 and he pitched remarkably well. I've always been entertained by sidearmers, ever since I saw Terry Leach throw for the first time. Plus, the Mets could have really used Bradford these past two seasons, even though they had a very similar pitcher in Joe Smith.

    Verdict: For.

  • Mike Cameron - Brewers

    I always liked Cameron. He was so committed to the pursuit of defensive excellence that he would run through wall or man to make a play. His trade begat Xavier Nady, who in turn begat Oliver Perez. Cameron wasn't so much fit for right field anyway, but I'll always appreciate his effort and will always consider him one of the good guys.

    Verdict: For.
  • Darren Oliver - Angels

    Oliver was great as a swing man for the Mets in 2006. He would often come into games and pitch four or more innings of relief to keep the Mets competitive, including that awful, pathetic start by Steve Trachsel in the NLCS. He picked up the win in one of the most memorable games that season, when Carlos Beltran sent everyone home happy with a leadoff homerun in the bottom of the 16th at Shea.

    Verdict: For.

  • Dan Wheeler - Rays

    He was so-so for the Mets in two partial seasons, but then was traded to the Astros for nothing (read: Adam Seuss) and decided to become one of the better relievers in the game. I'll never forgive him for that.

    Verdict: Against.

  • Cliff Floyd - Rays

    It's hard not to root for Cliff Floyd. He was super excited to sign with the Mets in 2003 and, after we consider injuries, had one-and-a-half good-to-great seasons at Shea. He's a good guy and was BFF with David Wright.

    Verdict: For.