"Who do you want to play in the next round?" is usually kind of a dumb question, because what's the other person going to say? You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. Answer with Team A, and you end up playing Team B? Well, you've just given Team B bulletin-board material about how your team doesn't respect them. Plus, it's not like you have any control over the situation.
Sportsnet's Barry Davis noted this problem, but it didn't stop him from posing the question to Blue Jays team president Mark Shapiro Sunday night—and Shapiro had no qualms about answering.
"Oh, I care. I care. I care! I wanna play the Indians," Shapiro told him after the Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Rangers in the ALDS.
It was refreshingly honest, if maybe not 100 percent diplomatic, for Shapiro to say he prefers to play the Indians. He spent literally half of his life working in Cleveland, coming over to Toronto officially after the 2015 season ended. It makes sense, simply from an ego standpoint, that Shapiro would want his current team to face his former one.
"To be the last two teams standing in the American League would be the single greatest thing, you know?" Shapiro said to Davis. "I love those guys, I'm pulling for those guys up until the minute we play 'em, and to be able to square off against someone you respect so much and like, would be incredible."
An Indians-Jays ALCS makes Shapiro look like an incredible executive, which, well, it would be hard to argue against that right now. And if the Red Sox did happen to bounce back and beat the Indians, it's predictable that someone will ask Boston manager John Farrell about it.
"Hey, John, you hear what Shapiro said about wanting to face the Indians in the ALCS?"
It's not like Farrell would come back and say, "Yeah, we took it personally, that's what motivated us to beat the Indians, just to ruin Shapiro's dream scenario!" Of course not. He'll say, "Well, he should be proud of the Indians, we took no offense by it."
Of course, Farrell is going to say that, because he and Shapiro are former colleagues on the Indians. Or Farrell could say, "Yeah, I wanted to play the Blue Jays, because I used to manage them!"
By now you should be going, "Jeepers, it's like these guys are all part of the same boys' club!"