I've been told that it's a good idea to take stock once a year. Evaluate your financial situation. Your health situation. Your family situation. All of your situations.
For me, that includes examining which teams I like and which teams I don't. You may remember that I did that at this time last year. And before that, I have made a list of the teams I like from the most to the least about every couple of years.
I've decided to make this an annual exercise. Because knowing every single year which team is my 14th most favorite team is of the utmost importance.
So, this is the updated list. I'll try to keep the commentary short because the last time I did this I went into a lot of detail about why I like certain teams and why I don't. I'm trying not to repeat myself.
Also, there's not a lot of change on the list from year-to-year. Maybe next year I'll dig out some of my old lists -- if I can find them -- to show exactly how much some teams can jump or drop over time.
OK, teams, listen up. This is what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. According to me.
1. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (last year's rank: No. 1): History plays a huge part in why I love the Dodgers so much. I couldn't be a fan of a team that's existed for only a decade or two. I need Ebbets Field, the Brooklyn Robins, Dazzy Vance, Van Lingle Mungo, Sandy Amoros' catch, Jackie, Pee Wee, Campy, Sandy, the Big D, Bleeding Dodger Blue, the Dodger Sym-phony, Garvey, Cey, Russell, Lopes, the Impossible Has Happened, Fernandomania, the Tornado, Piazza, Game Over. All of it.
2. BOSTON RED SOX (last year: No. 3): The Red Sox move up a spot. It's not that I like them any more than I did last year. They're a big part of my family background, so they'll always place high. It's just that another team dropped a little bit.
3. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (last year: No. 4): Every year I hope that the Pirates shock everyone and become a playoff contender again. When I was young, the Pirates were perennial contenders. Now, every year that they do poorly is another reminder that I'm getting older. How's that Pittsburgh? Not only are people getting on you because you stink, but they're blaming you for them growing old, too. It sucks to lose, doesn't it?
4. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (last year: No. 5): Same deal as Pittsburgh. They were good when I was young. They're bad now and have been for awhile. I have a little more hope for them than the Pirates, but not much more.
5. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (last year: No. 2): Beat my team in the playoffs once, and I'll give you a pass. Beat them two years in a row, and I don't like you much anymore. The Phillies have a lot of work to do to get back up to their customary No. 2 spot.
6. DETROIT TIGERS (last year: No. 7): They're making a lot of wacky offseason moves but I've always liked the team, so getting rid of Curtis Granderson isn't going to make me like them less.
7. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (last year: No. 6): I'm still feeling the playoff matchup with the Dodgers last year. I know the Dodgers won, but there was enough there about the Cardinals that I didn't like in the short time they played. I'm ready for La Russa to retire.
8. OAKLAND A'S (last year: No. 8): Oakland is forever putting players on the field that I never knew existed. I guess if they're in my top 10, I have to start paying attention to them a little more.
9. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (last year: No. 11): The White Sox take a jump and I'm not sure why. Maybe because Ozzie Guillen's on Twitter? No, that can't be it. I just like the fact that they're not the Cubs.
10. CINCINNATI REDS (last year: No. 9): Every time I see photographs of the Reds' stadium (don't ask me to tell you what its name is), the stands are empty. It's depressing. So, I'm dropping them down a notch.
11. CLEVELAND INDIANS (last year: No. 12): There are plenty of Indians fans with corresponding blogs, and all of them are pleasant people. Consider them emissaries for their team. They do a good job. Indians move up one.
12. MINNESOTA TWINS (last year: No. 13): The Twins debut their new open-air stadium this season! Woo-hoo! No more Metrodome! They can count on moving up again next year just because of that.
13. TEXAS RANGERS (last year: No. 16): I think I've mentioned how much I liked the Rangers when I was a kid. Operating the 1975 Topps blog has connected me with my childhood a little bit and made me appreciate the Rangers more. Now, Texas, it's time to learn how to pitch. This season.
14. FLORIDA MARLINS (last year: No. 15): They're going to call themselves the Miami Marlins soon! Awesome. It's about time. Plus, I like a team that will give the Mets and Braves fits. Keep doing it, Florida.
15. MILWAUKEE BREWERS (last year: No. 10): The biggest drop from last year. Prince Fielder needs to tone it down. As much as I like his card from this year's Topps set, he's way too excitable, and he's bringing his team down. Get him on meds or whatever you have to do.
16. HOUSTON ASTROS (last year: No. 14): The more time that passes since Houston last wore rainbow uniforms, the less I appreciate them. Getting endless Carlos Lee cards isn't helping matters either.
17. BALTIMORE ORIOLES (last year: No. 17): I'm liking the Orioles more and more. If they would start beating the Yankees once in awhile, I'd like them a LOT more.
18. TORONTO BLUE JAYS (last year: No. 18): See above.
19. SEATTLE MARINERS (last year: No. 19): The Mariners really seem to have made a concerted effort to improve their team this year. I'm going to remind myself to pay attention to them more because as it is now, it may be the team I ignore the most. Maybe if I knew what they were doing I'd appreciate them more.
20. TAMPA BAY RAYS (last year: No. 23): A nice jump for the Rays. The Collective Troll can take credit for that. They've got to get out of that stadium though.
21. NEW YORK METS (last year: No. 21): This team has caused me a lot of pain in my baseball-rooting life. They really should be down farther on the list than they are. But it's because they've suffered so much lately that I take pity on them and look at them in a somewhat favorable way. So, Mets, if you want to get a higher ranking on my list, all you have to do is keep losing.
22. CHICAGO CUBS (last year: No. 20): What is this, year No. 102? I hate ineptness.
23. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (last year: No. 22): Still wish they were the Expos. I attended more games in Montreal than in any other MLB stadium. Now the closest ballpark to me is four hours away, and if I want to go, I need a passport to get back into the country.
24. ATLANTA BRAVES (last year: No. 24): Remember when there used to be Braves fans behind every tree? That's not the case anymore. But I'm still not over it.
25. ANGELS (last year: No. 25): Like Topps, I'm refusing to refer to them by their idiotic full name. If the team goes back to the Anaheim Angels they'll win special Night Owl Bonus Points!
26. COLORADO ROCKIES (last year: No. 26): I think I made it abundantly clear how much I dislike the team when I was mowing over their players' cards in October.
27. SAN DIEGO PADRES (last year: No. 27): Another year of obsessing over beating the Dodgers, another year of forgetting that there are about 19 other teams that they need to beat, too.
28. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (last year: 28): Not a fan of the 2001 team. Stop smiling, you two.
29. NEW YORK YANKEES (last year: 29): Thanks to last season, the Yankees very nearly plunged into the last-place spot. The only thing that saved them is I had a sudden flashback of Barry Bonds' giant head. Also, I don't care what anyone says, I am not happy that the Yankees won the World Series because that means "we have a bad guy to root against again." Listen. I root against the Yankees whether they win or lose. I don't want them to do well no matter what the situation. It's very simple. I just want them to lose. Got it?
30. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (last year: 30): Let's just say I wish this was a list of 29 teams.
OK, that's the update for 2010. I guess I babbled a little more than I wanted.
As always, feel free to make your own list, whether you post it on your blog or not. Just remember, no matter what that list says, mine is the master list. And it's always right.