Who should San Diego Padres fans cheer for in the postseason (if anyone)?

Assuming the San Diego Padres don't pull off a miracle and make the postseason, are there any teams that it's really OK to cheer for in the playoffs?

A fan holds a sign after San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado hits a home run
A fan holds a sign after San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado hits a home run / Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Who should San Diego Padres fans cheer for when the postseason arrives? It’s a more difficult question to answer now than fans of the Friars originally thought it would be when their team was predicted to be a factor in the playoffs. Now, however, with the Padres virtually eliminated from the postseason, it becomes a question worth asking.

At least that’s what my friend thought recently as he broached the subject of postseason basebal with me recently. After all, he said, you can’t cheer for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs. That would be a crime against humanity, right?

Is it OK for San Diego Padres fans to switch allegiances in the MLB postseason?

So which team do you pull for in the National League if it isn’t the Padres? Well, let’s look at the NL East. The Atlanta Braves? Something about picking the favorite (even over the Dodgers) seems funky. The Philadelphia Phillies? You can’t root for the team that knocked the Padres out of the postseason in 2022, right?

What about over in the NL Central? The Milwaukee Brewers and the Padres got into some weird territory earlier this year with the San Diego mascot. Do you just overlook that if you’re a San Diego fan? If not, that may leave you with the Chicago Cubs as an option. Smile about 1984 all you want and think about that possibility.

I threw all of these scenarios at my friend and there was a long pause in the conversation. Not even the Cubs could seemingly pique his fandom. He told me he hoped the Cincinnati Reds somehow snuck into the postseason so he could push for Joey Votto and the young guns that have ignited the team. He then also said that, if the Reds get in, the Cubs, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants don’t. A fair point it seems, especially when it comes to those other NL West teams. 

When it comes to the other side of the bracket, does the American League move the needle much for Padres fans? Sure, once you get to the World Series and you can potentially cheer for the AL team to beat the Dodgers (if they actually get there) … unless that AL team is the Houston Astros, right?

Who do Padres fans cheer for in the postseason if San Diego isn’t in it? There’s no easy answer, we concluded. Maybe it’s just best to absorb the scores and not get too emotionally wrapped into this postseason. Maybe it's easier to just count the days until the start of the Arizona Fall League, MLB Winter Meetings and other moments this offseason when we know the Padres (or at least their prospects) have something at stake.

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