Who Rays fans root for in this World Series is a difficult but somewhat irrelevant. Neither the Tigers or Giants has any Rays connections, so it seems like a matter of maintaining AL pride or rooting against the AL team that made it instead of the Rays. But there is a factor that should be shifting the Rays towards one team- the Tigers were a major contributing factor to the Rays missing the postseason.
The Tigers were the only played more than 3 times over the course of 2012 and were more than 2 games over .500 against. The Rays went 2-5 versus Detroit, losing a three-game set in April and a four-game set in June. Some of the Rays’ most frustrating loses of the season are included in there. Matt Moore made his season debut in the Rays’ first game against Detroit and went 6.2 gusty innings without any control but held Detroit to just 2 runs in 6.2 innings before the Rays’ bullpen collapsed in the 8th in a 5-2 loss. Later in the season, there was the game Jeremy Hellickson left after getting hit by a Prince Fielder line drive-the second time the Tigers had hurt Hellickson this season, with the first coming when a hit from Tigers batting practice striking him in the head back in April. The Rays’ pitching wore down after being forced to pitch the final 5.1 innings of the game in a 6-2 loss. Are any of those actually the Tigers’ fault? Probably not, but if the Rays had gone 4-3 against the Tigers, they would have been right at the top of the Wild Card standings, and they injured Jeremy Hellickson not once but twice. That sounds like enough for me.
At the end of the day, this series means nothing to the Rays, but if you want someone to root for from a Rays standpoint, it’s clearly the Giants. After Pablo Sandoval‘s 3-homer performance in Game 1, things are looking good for San Francisco as they pursue their second championship in three years.