I'm assuming the Royals will beat the Jays in the ALCS and advance to face the Mets. If that doesn't happen, this post never existed.
If it winds up being the Royals and the Mets, who should a Twins fan pull for?
The Mets have Michael Cuddyer, one of the nicest and most versatile Twins of all time. The Royals are the most obvious roadblock between the Twins and future playoff appearances.
Ex-Twin or Twins rival?
I'd rather see the Royals win.
Cuddyer could have stayed with the Twins and helped turn the franchise around. Instead, he left the Twins, then the Rockies, before signing with the Mets. I don't begrudge players the right to sign with the highest bidder. I'd do the same thing. But it's not exactly endearing.
The Royals are, well, kind of endearing. They stuck with their plan to build with their farm system, decade after decade, until the right players finally matured. Now they play a beautiful form of baseball reliant on power arms, dynamic fielding, aggressive baserunning and chemistry.
I have a soft spot for teams that invest themselves in making every possible play in the field. Fielding skills is what makes the game beautiful. The Royals have been a joy to watch for the last few years.
As for Cuddyer, well, I still like the guy, but he has left one franchise where he was beloved and another where he became remarkably productive in the hopes that the Mets were ready to win. He performed poorly this season before a knee injury sidelined him.
Cuddyer has said he made the right choice in joining a team that was ready to win. He wound up being right. But between the two, I'll take the Royals' story.
Roy Smalley, Michael Russo, AP Timberwolves writer Jon Krawczynski, Viking Update publisher Tim Yotter and my latest interview subject, Detroit News Lions beat writer and former Gopher Josh Katzenstein all up at MalePatternPodcasts.com