I’ve always been a sucker for anything if you put it into tournament form. And I think I’m far from alone in my silly bracketology-love. Each March, every idiot and their brother suddenly becomes a college basketball expert despite not watching a game all year and filling out their March Madness brackets. Last March at the old home, I even did a 64-person bracket to decide the best Tiger player of all time. Fun was had by all.
So what else can we decide in brackets? How about the best team name in Major League Baseball? Trouble is, there are thirty teams and we need thirty-two to get a full bracket. My simple solution is to bring back the last two teams I can think of that were moved to a new city, the Senators and Expos. That’ll get us to thirty-two and supply a talking point for those of us that are sick of “Do We Trade Rick Porcello For Anything With A Pulse For Some Reason” talk.
I’ll separate by league and go in alphabetical order by city.
NATIONAL LEAGUE BRACKET
Atlanta BRAVES vs. Arizona DIAMONDBACKS
“Braves” is a term referring to Native American warriors and is probably the least racist of sports team names that come from Native Americans. “Diamondbacks” are venomous pit vipers. That’s just awesome.
Chicago CUBS vs. Cincinnati REDS
“Cubs” are baby bears. Hardly intimidating. “Reds” comes from the team’s former name, the “Red Stockings”. As you will continue to see throughout this, I think naming your baseball team after your smelly foot coverings is just plain stupid.
Colorado ROCKIES vs. Los Angeles DODGERS
“Rockies”, of course, comes from the nearby Rocky Mountains near Denver. It’s also a great selection of films featuring Sylvester Stallone. As you may know, the Dodgers originated in Brooklyn. What you may not know is that the team name came from the term “Trolley Dodgers”. Whatever. Rocky III was my favorite movie as a kid.
Miami MARLINS vs. Milwaukee BREWERS
A “Marlin” is arguably the coolest looking fish in existence. A “Brewer”, however, is someone who makes beer. This may be the world’s most important profession and is worthy of our respect.
Montreal EXPOS vs. New York METS
The defunct “Expos” were named after the Expo 67 World’s Fair. French folks aren’t very creative, I guess. “Mets” is short for “Metropolitans”. New York is a metropolis, get it? Ugh. Rough one. But New York wins because “Expos” is almost as dumb as being named after footwear.
Philadelphia PHILLIES vs. Pittsburgh PIRATES
The term “Phillies” does not refer to horsies. It is the shortened version of the “Philadelphias”. Yes, plural. The Philadelphia Philadelphias. Good gawd. Meanwhile, in the late 1800’s the Pittsburgh team signed some players under some shady terms. A baseball official referred to it as “piratical”. The name stuck and they became the “Pirates”. Pirates are fun.
St. Louis CARDINALS vs. San Diego PADRES
“Cardinals” are red birds that eat seeds and have strong bills. “Padre” is Spanish for “Father” and it refers to the Spanish Franciscan friars that founded San Diego. That’s nice. Better than a bird, at least.
San Francisco GIANTS vs. Washington NATIONALS
Originally in New York, the Giants got their name from when their manager stormed into the locker room after a big victory over the Phillies and exclaimed to his players, “My big fellows! My giants!” That led to them going from being the “Gothams” to the “Giants”. “Nationals” comes from DC being the nation’s capital. Weak.
DIAMONDBACKS vs. CUBS
Badass snake kills baby bear. Sorry, Goldilocks.
ROCKIES vs. BREWERS
Beer is made in the Rockies. But it’s made by Brewers.
METS vs. PIRATES
Pirates will pillage your silly metropolitan, fool!
PADRES vs. GIANTS
Even giants have fathers to deal with.
DIAMONDBACKS vs. BREWERS
Seriously, have you ever seen a diamondback? Awesome. And come to think of it, I have yet to see Ryan Braun actually make beer. FAKERS!
PIRATES vs. PADRES
Pirates would stab their fathers in the neck for treasure. Yeah. Good enough for me.
National League Final
DIAMONDBACKS vs. PIRATES
Wait a minute…snakes can’t play baseball! Silly me. And believe it or not, I’ve never seen any of the Jack Sparrow movies. Oh well.
National League Winner: Pittsburgh Pirates
About time the Pirates won something. On to the AL…
AMERICAN LEAGUE BRACKET
Baltimore ORIOLES vs. Boston RED SOX
The oriole is the state bird of Maryland. Weak. But anything is better than a fucking sock.
Chicago WHITE SOX vs. Cleveland INDIANS
Oh noes. Smelly footwear vs. racist logo. Hmm. Well, to be fair, “Indian” only became racist in the recent PC world we live in. It wasn’t meant to be offensive, I guess.
Detroit TIGERS vs. Houston ASTROS
Tigers are the largest cat species and are sweet looking. “Astros” refers to the space program located in Houston. And yes, they are in the American League now. Hooray, free wins for Detroit! Like this one.
Kansas City ROYALS vs. Los Angeles ANGELS (of Anaheim)
The term “Royal” comes from the American Royal, the annual rodeo held in Kansas City since 1899. “Angels” comes from Los Angeles being Spanish for “The Angels”. “Royal” may be kind of dumb, but it’s more original than the old “naming after the city” gag again.
Minnesota TWINS vs. New York YANKEES
“Twins” comes from the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Yanks were formerly the “Highlanders” and became the “Yankees” in 1913 after the nickname the media had been using for the team. “Yankee” is a term for those from the northeast part of the country. Hooray for geography!
Oakland ATHLETICS vs. Seattle MARINERS
Oakland’s team comes from the term “athletic club” that was used frequently in the 19th century in regards to teams. The Oakland “Clubs” would be a better name, in my opinion. “Mariners”, meanwhile, comes from the marine culture of Seattle. Athletics is horrible. M’s beat the A’s.
Tampa Bay RAYS vs. Texas RANGERS
Tampa can eat shit since they pussed out of the cool “Devil Rays” name and now pretend it means sun rays. I’d even give “Sox” a win over them out of principal. But for future reference, “Rangers” comes from the law enforcement agency known as the Texas Rangers.
Toronto BLUE JAYS vs. Washington SENATORS
Ugh. Another bird. Another unoriginal Washington name. Blue jays are pretty. Senators are corrupt pricks.
Winner: Blue Jays
ORIOLES vs. INDIANS
Cartoon orange bird is less offensive than cartoon red human.
TIGERS vs. ROYALS
They didn’t have any tigers at any of those KC rodeos, I’ll bet.
YANKEES vs. MARINERS
Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner > Yankee Doodle Dandy.
RANGERS vs. BLUE JAYS
Jays get shot down by the lawmen.
ORIOLES vs. TIGERS
Do tigers eat birds? They should.
MARINERS vs. RANGERS
Marine life fought the law…and the law won.
American League Final
TIGERS vs. RANGERS
Fuck tha’ police.
American League Winner: Detroit Tigers
PIRATES vs. TIGERS
You won’t find any real pirates in Pittsburgh. White trash and a majority of the population with an IQ below 70, yes. Pirates, no.
But the only tigers you’ll see in Detroit are in the zoo. Hopefully.
Who am I kidding? A tiger would totally fuck a pirate up in a fight. There you go.
The Tigers win! The Tigers win!
Finally. We're the champions of the world!