And we are down to four teams. It’s the Astros against the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, and the Dodgers versus the Cubs in the National League Championship Series.
As usual, my pick to win the World Series (Cleveland) is already golfing. Standard.
Also as usual, we have a few former Tacoma Rainiers players to root for in the playoffs. This year the ex-Rainiers are all in the National League.
The Chicago Cubs have outfielder Leonys Martin on the playoff roster, and he was with Tacoma for over half of the 2017 season. Also on the Cubs roster is left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery, who pitched for the Rainiers in 2015.
Tacoma native Jon Lester is also on the Cubs. To my knowledge Lester has not pitched at Cheney Stadium since (probably) high school.
Former Mariners pitcher and long-ago (2001) Rainiers pitching coach Chris Bosio serves as the Cubs pitching coach. The Cubs third base coach is Gary Jones, who played for the Tacoma Tigers from 1987 to 1989.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a pair of ex-Rainiers in the bullpen, and another in the outfield.
Chris Taylor has been starting in center field and hitting near the top of the Dodgers lineup. He played for Tacoma for parts of three years, 2014-2016.
In the bullpen the Dodgers use right-handers Brandon Morrow (with Tacoma in 2008 and 2009) and Josh Fields (a brief stint with the Rainiers in 2011).
The Dodgers have Kyle’s brother Corey Seager in the lineup at shortstop, if you want to root for the Seager family. Their third base coach is ex-Rainiers shortstop Chris Woodward.
The ALCS is free of former Tacoma players. Houston does have quite a few players who appeared at Cheney Stadium in recent years, thanks to their Triple-A affiliate Fresno being a frequent visitor. Former Tacoma Rainiers hitting coach and all-around-good-dude Alonzo Powell is the Astros assistant hitting coach.
So, who to root for? I’ve never been a fan of any of these teams. I’ll root for good baseball and the ex-Rainiers to have some moments.