It’s getting to be that time of year.

It’s a familiar time for Cubs fans.  The MLB Prom (AKA, The Post Season) is around the corner and our date died a slow but much expected death somewhere around the All-Star break.

Every year, around March, we rent a tux, a limo, maybe even purchase a corsage and prepare to lose our World Series virginity.

Every year our date refuses to put out. Yes, we have actually made it to the prom.  Yes, we have hit the dance floor,  but it has been over sixty years since our last “after party” and over 100 since we went…..all the way!

That’s a dry spell!

The After Party

If the “prom” is the post -season,  the World Series is the “After Party”.  Everybody knows the payoff is in the party after the prom and not the actual prom itself.

In the past decade Cubs fans have attended the prom (remember prom= post season) three times.  All three times our date has gone frigid and asked to be driven home before making it to the “after party”.

(I am pretty sure one of those years our date threw up on the way to the prom and we turned the limo around and went home, at least it seemed that way)

So what do you do when your team denies your advances year in and year out.  You find a sure thing and get on it’s bandwagon!

The Sure Thing

Every sure thing has one quality in common; a reputation.

Be careful here, if you choose an obvious slut things could backfire.  You don’t want to be the person that is obvious in their search for a happy ending!  You also don’t want to be the chump who jumps on the “sure things” bandwagon and gets kicked off  (i.e. fails to make it to the after party)……you basically sold your soul and contracted god knows what disease during the foreplay only to fall short of the payoff.

Who might be an obvious slut?  The Yankees for one!

They have been to the World Series 40 Times!  In those 40 after parties they went all the way 27 times!!! This is as sure as sure gets.  They have been to six of the last 11 after parties and went all the way four times!!!

Where baseball is concerned that is promiscuous!

Which brings us to the next quality of a sure thing; desire.

How bad does a team want it? The Reds, Twins, Rays, and Rangers all exhibit this as a top quality. Why? Well, it depends on the team…..

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds haven’t been to the prom in 15 years!!!! Can you imagine that Cubs fans, no post-season at all for 15 years!!! That is something even we can laugh at…..sort of.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins have been to the prom five times in the last decade yet the last World Series was 19 years ago, and yes they went all the way.  However, when you go fives times in a decade and don’t close the deal you start to wonder if it will ever happen again.  Have you lost your mojo?

Plus, the Twins have a brand new dress called Target Field they would like to show off in the national spotlight.

Tampa Bay Rays

They are the relative new kid on the block.  In the league 12 years and a doormat for most of the American League in that time.  In the last three years they hit puberty and grew into themselves nicely. Their first and only visit to the Post-Season came in 2008 where they made it to the after-party only to get sent home early by Philly.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers look like a formidable date for the dance. They are a bit of dark horse in my book and it could take some serious luck to make it to the Series.

If you want to back a team that swims in a similar sea as our beloved Cubs, the Rangers would be your closest bet. Since their entry into the league in 1972 they have managed three playoff appearances and have been a no show at the World Series.

With the injury to Josh Hamilton, their marquee slugger, and his questionable return this may make the Rangers an act of desperation.

If you don’t like any of those…….

………. there is always the Phillies.  Four years ago they would have been a quality choice.  Lately however, they have been quite slutty.

This was a franchise, more or less a city, starved for a championship.  They finally got one in 2008. It had been almost three decades since a professional Philadelphia sports team had won a championship.

The Phillies have taken the NL East crown the last three years and are looking good for a fourth. They have made it to the after-party the last two years and won the big prize in 2008.

This makes them a sleezy choice, but if you are looking for that sure thing, and the Yankees are just too filthy for you, then Philly is your girl (or guy).

My only problem with Philly is that damn Phanatic!  I am not sure what it is supposed to be but it creeps me out.

*I know I have failed to mention the west coast teams but believe me, they are all fake. Go figure, huh?

You could always stay home……

Well, there you have it.  This years best bets to go all the way.  If you are the type of person who can wander from mate to mate then we have given you a salad bar of easy dates for this years post-season.

Of course if you are like me, a dedicated sucker, only one solution will do…..stay home with your one true love and wait ’til next year.

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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19