Plenty of reasons to watch

Plenty of reasons to watch

It happens to every Major League Baseball fan at least once in a while.

A postseason without your boys.

Each year, it applies to most of us, because 22 of 30 teams close up shop after the 162-game regular season. If there were any doubt about why a baseball fan still should raptly watch the October proceedings, then a familiar face around the game is coming into the homes of the downtrodden to remind them that it's OK.

Tommy Lasorda, the Hall of Fame manager of Dodger pride and the ambassador for last spring's inaugural World Baseball Classic, is starring in Major League Baseball's new postseason ad campaign. He'll be everywhere to urge fans of eliminated teams to watch the games on FOX and ESPN, and fans at will be able to interact with Lasorda by sending an e-card, watching his ads or commenting on his updated blog.

"Our goal is to make October baseball must-see television and Tommy is the perfect person to rouse the baseball fan within everyone," said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball's executive vice president, business. "His love and passion for the sport is contagious."

In the spirit of this new "Lasorda's Love" ad campaign, asked many fans of eliminated teams what inspires them to still watch the postseason. Here are some reasons, in their own words:

Maurine Allen, Royals fan, Topeka, Kan.
I like baseball. At heart, I'm an old Brooklyn Dodgers fan. I've been following the Royals since the '70s. I hope the Mets get there because of Carlos Beltran. The Royals are going to be back, though, in a couple of years.

Rob Pulsifer, Devil Rays fan, St. Petersburg, Fla.
I want to watch Johan Santana no-hit the Yankees. To watch a team with a $50 million payroll beat a team with a $200 million payroll. I could go on forever. I'll always watch the playoffs, just to hopefully see the Yankees lose.

Jim Gillies, Blue Jays fan, Cambridge, Ontario
Oh yes, I watch every year. I love baseball. I'll cheer against the Yankees, absolutely. Individual players I have nothing against, but the team as a whole I can't stand."

Connie Oehring, Rockies fan, Lafayette, Colo.
It gives me an opportunity to pay attention to all the teams I don't pay attention to during the regular season. Mostly, I just pay attention to the Rockies and how they're doing. If they're not there, I can change my focus a little and learn more about other players and other teams and still be watching good baseball.

Eleanor Czajka, Rangers fan, Arlington, Tex.
I'm not just a Rangers fan, I'm a baseball fan. I love the playoffs. There's nothing like the tension of knowing in each game, each pitch, each at-bat that one team's season could be over.

Hossein Ordoubadian, Braves fan, former Tennessean in Davis, Calif.
I probably won't watch every game as I would have if the Braves were in it. I'll watch the National League Championship Series and the World Series for sure. As far as baseball's postseason vs. other [sports], it's the culmination of a daily cycle. Checking the standings, watching games -- that takes part every day, from Spring Training through the playoffs. ... It takes more study, more attention than other sports. The playoffs and World Series mark the change in that daily ritual. I don't get the same connection with other sports -- and I watch a lot of basketball and football, especially University of Tennessee football. But neither of these sports have the same daily rhythm that baseball offers. During the playoffs, the ritual's intensified and the action speeds up.

Nick Herrig, Royals fan, Lenexa, Kan.
It's exciting. It's great for the kids to keep track of the teams and the players that'll be coming into Kansas City. It's neat to watch the Tigers, coming from where they were -- like the Royals are now.

Tom Dibble, Devil Rays fan, Riverview, Fla.
I'll watch because it's where heroes are made and where you become a legend. You can't miss that.

Greg Bell, White Sox fan, Plainfield, Ill.
Yeah, I'll watch the postseason. I'm a baseball fan. I'll watch just to an extent -- as long as the Tigers are in it, I'll watch just to root against them.

Geoffrey Ames, Rockies fan, Denver
It's just fun to have games to watch on TV at night. I don't have cable. It seems like more of a culmination than other sports, because there have been so many games leading up to it. ... I don't know the teams well enough to have a favorite, but it's impossible not to choose someone when you're watching. Even if you know nothing about them beforehand, you end up rooting for someone for no good reason at all. You come up with this arbitrary reason, and then you really care about it. Maybe you root for the underdog -- it's always something.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for Ryan Crawford, Dick Kaegel, Dawn Marie Klemish, Owen Perkins, Mark Polishuk, T.R. Sullivan and Kevin Yanik of contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.