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Monday, July 14, 2014

Arguello: Would you rather be the Cubs or the Yankees right now?

Ensign Cottrell...reporting for double-duty.

For those that may say you never know how prospects are going to pan out, the Yankees have shown that spending money is no guarantee either.  Even when they turn out reasonably well, as it has with the Yankees, it doesn’t necessarily tranlsate to more wins overall.  Some fans want to see the Cubs sign a star player they can identify with, but be honest here.  Would you really be more willing to go to a ballgame to watch Brian McCann or even Jacoby Ellsbury?  Not to mention previous big draws like CC Sabathia and Mark Texeira, two players that are on the decline yet making a lot of money for very little production above replacement level?

So the Cubs are (probably) going to lose big this year.  So what?  And maybe they won’t overtake the Yankees in 2015, but I wouldn’t bet on that.

But that it isn’t even the main reason you should rather be a Cubs fan right now.  The main reason is that one team’s arrow is pointed upward and the other is pointed downward.  No two players symbolize the direction of the teams than their respective shortstops.  The Yankees have Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter retiring with nobody to replace him while the Cubs have a 24 year old Starlin Castro is having an all-star season—and two of the top 4 SS prospects in all of baseball right behind him.

The Yankees will have to hope for bounce back seasons from past prime players and once again add through free agency to improve next year. The Cubs will build around Castro, Anthony Rizzo, Arismendy Alcantara, Javy Baez, and Kris Bryant to go with a rising Jake Arrieta and one of the better young bullpens in baseball in 2015.

I’d trade the Cubs history for the Yankees history in a heartbeat.  But the future?  Give me the Cubs—and it starts with 2015.

Repoz Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:42 AM | 168 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, yankees

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   1. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4749903)
Depends on what the eventual Cubs budget looks like. If the Ricketts are willing to go to a $175M payroll, then the Cubs' future looks brighter.

If they're going to be permanently constrained under $100M, I'll take the $150M payroll advantage over the prospects.
   2. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4749932)
The Cubs are like a career criminal with 50 convictions who claims that he's been Born Again and promises to be good from now on. I say first show me a World Series ring that you didn't buy at Leland's, and then you can talk.

As for the post-2014 Yankees: Hey, how about that Dellin Betances! And doesn't Shane Greene remind you of Mel Stottlemyre?

We'll get back to you later about the rest.
   3. shoelesjoe Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM (#4749935)
I’d trade the Cubs history for the Yankees history in a heartbeat. But the future? Give me the Cubs—and it starts with 2015.



Shouldn't that read "I wouldn't trade the Cubs history for the Yankees history"? Or am I missing something?

In any case there are a bunch of losing teams -- the Cubs and Astros especially -- where I'd take their immediate future over that of the Yankees. NY is in a box right now of their own making. They can't rebuild like other teams because doing so would risk damaging the Yankee brand. 3-4 losing seasons in a row would turn off the bandwagon riders, and Yankee Stadium would be three quarters empty most nights even if the end game was a better team going forward. So they're stuck chasing old-ish mediocre free agents and a .500 record (when they're lucky) from here on.

What's ironic is that if the Yankee organization actually decided to tear it down and rebuild through the draft they'd probably build another juggernaut in no time. Oh well.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4749946)
NY is in a box right now of their own making. They can't rebuild like other teams because doing so would risk damaging the Yankee brand. 3-4 losing seasons in a row would turn off the bandwagon riders, and Yankee Stadium would be three quarters empty most nights even if the end game was a better team going forward. So they're stuck chasing old-ish mediocre free agents and a .500 record (when they're lucky) from here on.

What's amazing is that it's taken this long for the Yankees' #### to really start hitting the fan, and even now they're still only down to .500. I don't care how much money you've got to throw around, a streak like they've put up in the past 20 years is impressive by any definition.

What's ironic is that if the Yankee organization actually decided to tear it down and rebuild through the draft they'd probably build another juggernaut in no time. Oh well.

That'd sure be my plan, but then they're addicted to selling all those luxury boxes and maintaining those ridiculous ticket prices, and withdrawal from those fixes won't be easy.
   5. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:55 AM (#4749950)
What's amazing is that it's taken this long for the Yankees' #### to really start hitting the fan,


The #### has hit the fan before, multiple times as the 1996-2001 run was coming to a close, but they've spent their way out of it.
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:56 AM (#4749951)

Shouldn't that read "I wouldn't trade the Cubs history for the Yankees history"? Or am I missing something?


He's saying that from the perspective of a Cubs fan, he would gladly swap that team's pathetic history for the Yankees' history, but he likes the future of the Cubs better.
   7. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4749955)
As for the current state of the Yankees, they're old with a lot of loud contracts, their offense is bad, and their starting pitching is in shambles. Even Ellsbury and Gardner, the "young" ones on the team, are 30.

But they have a great bullpen! So do a lot of teams, and only the elite individual relievers can be counted on to repeat season-to-season anyway.

They've been outscored by as many runs as the Red Sox have this year. And their magic wand at 3B has lost its magic.
   8. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4749957)
What's amazing is that it's taken this long for the Yankees' #### to really start hitting the fan,

The #### has hit the fan before, multiple times as the 1996-2001 run was coming to a close, but they've spent their way out of it.


And thereby avoided the ####, which was exactly my point. We both wish we had a dollar for every prediction we've seen here about the Yankees' imminent collapse over the past 10 years, including one of my own from last year.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM (#4749959)
As for the current state of the Yankees, they're old with a lot of loud contracts, their offense is bad, and their starting pitching is in shambles. Even Ellsbury and Gardner, the "young" ones on the team, are 30.

But they have a great bullpen! So do a lot of teams, and only the elite individual relievers can be counted on to repeat season-to-season anyway.

They've been outscored by as many runs as the Red Sox have this year


Can't argue with any of that. The best you can say about them for the past year and a half is to note Girardi's skill (or luck) in having them outperform their Pythags by as much as they have---10 games overall since the start of 2013.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4749961)
And thereby avoided the ####, which was exactly my point. We both wish we had a dollar for every prediction we've seen here about the Yankees' imminent collapse over the past 10 years, including one of my own from last year.

And, as profligate as we think they've been, they're still $10M below their 2005 payroll.

There's no reason they can't add another $50M in payroll next year, if they want to.

   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4749973)
There's no reason they can't add another $50M in payroll next year, if they want to.

They'd be best off spending that $50M on pre-emptive Tommy John surgeries for every pitcher they're planning to sign.
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:42 AM (#4749983)
NY is in a box right now of their own making. They can't rebuild like other teams because doing so would risk damaging the Yankee brand. 3-4 losing seasons in a row would turn off the bandwagon riders, and Yankee Stadium would be three quarters empty most nights even if the end game was a better team going forward.


You don't need 3-4 losing seasons in a row to become a good team. The recent era Red Sox, Giants, Braves, and Angels have not based good teams on prior bad years. Those teams' success paths are what the Yankees have been doing and should do in the future, not some long-range tankapalooza to get a few high draft picks.
   13. Golfing Great Mitch Cumstein Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4749985)
The Yankees are spending a ton of money on international signings, including a 100% tax on the amount they spent over their bonus pool. Obviously the results won't be seen for years, but it does signal the team recognizes the need for talent in its system.
   14. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4749987)
Tanking is not a viable baseball strategy. I despise this NFL/NBA mindset that you have to tear it down to build it up again. Yes you can build through the draft but there is not really a value to going completely in the tank. The draft is too big a crapshoot and the impact of that one player is too small to make it a worthwhile strategy.
   15. Swedish Chef Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4749990)
The Yankees should just do what The Onion prophetically proposed, sign all the players.
   16. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:50 AM (#4749992)
All this negativity about the Yankees future, and then ARod comes back next year. What a talk-radio bonanza that is going to be...
   17. bfan Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4749995)
The answer to the question is the Cubs; they will be an exciting, top-3 scoring team in MLB in 2 years, and very competitive, too.

They should start next year's MLB draft by taking the best available college pitcher in the first 5 rounds that they draft in (and with their draft position next year, that still could be the best college pitcher). That will get them 5 shots at finding 2 or 3 guys who can help them in 2016, when all of the bats are there.
   18. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4749998)
Tanking is not a viable baseball strategy. I despise this NFL/NBA mindset that you have to tear it down to build it up again. Yes you can build through the draft but there is not really a value to going completely in the tank. The draft is too big a crapshoot and the impact of that one player is too small to make it a worthwhile strategy.


I wouldn't "tank" (trade away high priced veterans) for draft picks -- but I would for actual prospects. Such as an Addison Russell, etc.
   19. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: July 14, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4750002)
I asked this in the dugout but it seems to be dead. What are they going to do with AA/Barney after the break? Hopefully DFA Barney but more likely send AA back down. What the hell is Bryant still doing in AAA? Ans Soler in AA?
   20. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4750004)
I asked this in the dugout but it seems to be dead.


Do the dugout threads ever go anywhere? The heading is too general for me to click on.

And I've stopped asking larger questions in the Omni-chatter threads because they die after a day.
   21. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4750005)
I'm coming around to the idea that depth (as opposed to star power) is underrated by many baseball fans/followers/commentators; put another way, the idea that it's better to have two B players than one A player, for similar money. The impact one star can exert on a baseball game or season is tiny compared to other sports.

The question at topic is preposterous. Anyone would rather have the Yankees' functionally infinite payroll.

Edit in response to 20: I've often wondered if Omnichatter shouldn't be a monthly thread rather than a daily one.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4750007)
I wouldn't "tank" (trade away high priced veterans) for draft picks -- but I would for actual prospects. Such as an Addison Russell, etc.

The questions for the Yankees then become, "Who do they have that other teams would want and be able to afford?", "How much salary would they have to swallow?", and "What teams have the sort of prospects that would really improve the Yankees' long range prospects?" The more you think about it, the more you realize that there aren't any guarantees no matter what strategy you choose.
   23. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4750031)
I'm coming around to the idea that depth (as opposed to star power) is underrated by many baseball fans/followers/commentators; put another way, the idea that it's better to have two B players than one A player, for similar money. The impact one star can exert on a baseball game or season is tiny compared to other sports.

I agree. The 1998 Yankees are the ultimate example of this: Few truly great players, but almost every player on the roster contributed. On the flip side, the late 90s Mariners are the perfect example of a team with incredible stars that flopped because they had no depth.
   24. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4750045)
And Soler in AA?
Soler has mashed wherever he's been, but he hasn't been able to stay on the field. They'd like to see a healthy 2 months before they jump him another level. His first 50 PAs in double A are just nuts, though.
   25. Dale Sams Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:40 PM (#4750055)
I was going to comment how the Red Sox are about to have spent 800 million in five years with one playoff appearance and two losing seasons to show for it...but the Phillies are right up there
   26. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM (#4750058)
Would you rather be Flounder or Greg Marmalard?
   27. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4750081)

I agree. The 1998 Yankees are the ultimate example of this: Few truly great players, but almost every player on the roster contributed. On the flip side, the late 90s Mariners are the perfect example of a team with incredible stars that flopped because they had no depth.


I don't think it's really that simple. A great 2-3 player core can really mean that all you need is to build an average team around them -- but it's often difficult to do that. (I think some of the Pedro Red Sox teams are examples.)

Maybe the recent Tigers teams (Miggy and Verlander) is an example.

As to the 1998 Yanks, they had these great players: Jeter, Posada, BWilliams, Raines, Rivera. Okay, maybe Posada and Williams fall just short of the HOF, but they're borderline HOFers. And then you add these HOVG players: Pettitte, Knoblauch, Wells, Cone, O'Neill, Strawberry. And that's leaving out Tino Martinez, who had a good career. The idea that the 1998 Yankees didn't have great players is a myth. Hell, El Duque put up 19 WAR in just 875 innings with the team.
   28. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4750082)
I was going to comment how the Red Sox are about to have spent 800 million in five years with one playoff appearance and two losing seasons to show for it...


The Red Sox of recent vintage are the Eli Manning - Tom Coughlin Giants.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4750084)
The Red Sox of recent vintage are the Eli Manning - Tom Coughlin Giants.

That's pretty funny. And pretty accurate.
   30. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:01 PM (#4750085)
I don't think any of the Boston titles were as over-the-top fluky as the 2007 Giants' title was.
   31. Al Kaline Trio Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4750088)
Signing all the top Latin kids this year was probably a good gamble by the Yankees. There's a few SS on the market this offseason like Hanley Ramirez.

If I was Cashman I would trade ARod + Mark Teixiera + Betances + Solarte to the Dodgers for Puig + Kershaw + 11 Million dollars and then sign Hanley and start presales on world series tix.
   32. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4750090)
As to the 1998 Yanks, they had these great players: Jeter, Posada, BWilliams, Raines, Rivera. Okay, maybe Posada and Williams fall just short of the HOF, but they're borderline HOFers. And then you add these HOVG players: Pettitte, Knoblauch, Wells, Cone, O'Neill, Strawberry. And that's leaving out Tino Martinez, who had a good career. The idea that the 1998 Yankees didn't have great players is a myth. Hell, El Duque put up 19 WAR in just 875 innings with the team.

You're right that it's silly to pretend that the 98 Yanks didn't have a lot of great players. You don't get a 116 OPS+ and a 116 ERA+ with anything but that. They may have had a combination of more borderline HoFers and HoVG players than any team in history, not to mention that it was the year of Homer (134 OPS+) Bush and Shane (236 OPS+) Spencer.

OTOH there's this, irrelevant as it may be to any larger point: The 1998 Yankees had a lower total payroll than the 1998 Orioles, who finished 35 games behind them.
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4750092)
If I was Cashman I would trade ARod + Mark Teixiera + Betances + Solarte to the Dodgers for Puig + Kershaw + 11 Million dollars and then sign Hanley and start presales on world series tix.

You must have been stealing Francesa's notes.
   34. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:13 PM (#4750093)
The Red Sox of recent vintage are the Eli Manning - Tom Coughlin Giants.


That's pretty funny. And pretty accurate.

That it is. So would most of us rather have our team be more like the 2004-2014 Red Sox or the 1996-2005 Braves?

(And yes, I know that the fans of most teams would gladly settle for either.)
   35. neonwattagelimit Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4750094)
As to the 1998 Yanks, they had these great players: Jeter, Posada, BWilliams, Raines, Rivera. Okay, maybe Posada and Williams fall just short of the HOF, but they're borderline HOFers. And then you add these HOVG players: Pettitte, Knoblauch, Wells, Cone, O'Neill, Strawberry. And that's leaving out Tino Martinez, who had a good career. The idea that the 1998 Yankees didn't have great players is a myth. Hell, El Duque put up 19 WAR in just 875 innings with the team.


Eh, not exactly. Jeter is probably the only player on that list who is both a) inarguably great overall and b) was great in 1998. Most fans - myself included - would also call Rivera great, but you could mount a reasonable argument that he wasn't simply because he was a reliever.

As for the rest: BWilliams and Posada are solid HOVG, borderline HOF. You want to call them great, I won't argue, but it kind of depends on your definition of greatness. Raines was a great player in his prime, but was well past his prime by 1998. Cone and Strawberry are both HOVG types (again, arguably great, depends on your definition), and both - Straw especially - were on the downside of their careers by then, though they were still productive. Pettite, Knoblauch, Wells, O'Neill and Tino are all the kinds of B or B+ players that truly great teams seem to have in abundance. Which reinforces the original point.
   36. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4750096)
That it is. So would most of us rather have our team be more like the 2004-2014 Red Sox or the 1996-2005 Braves?


I think you have to include 1995 in this question.
   37. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:23 PM (#4750097)
The #### has hit the fan before, multiple times as the 1996-2001 run was coming to a close, but they've spent their way out of it.

I wouldn't criticize an owner for investing in his team rather than pocketing the money. In contrast to that model, the Cubs are run almost like a fraudulent enterprise - do just enough to give fans a bit of hope while grabbing as much of their dough as possible, then cut spending even more while going through multiple rounds of "rebuilding". If the "rebuilding" works, great, if not, they keep the money, hire a new team of executives and do it again!
   38. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4750102)
That it is. So would most of us rather have our team be more like the 2004-2014 Red Sox or the 1996-2005 Braves?


Braves.
   39. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4750103)
Sox. By a mile.
   40. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4750105)
That it is. So would most of us rather have our team be more like the 2004-2014 Red Sox or the 1996-2005 Braves?


It's only the last five years the Sox have gone full Eli (and really, just the last three seasons where they sandwiched a WS victory between two crappy campaigns). Before that, they also had three other playoff seasons that didn't result in WS victories, while winning fewer than 89 games only once (with 86).

They're not remotely the anti-Braves (that would be the 1997-2003 Marlins, or more recently the baseballing Giants).
   41. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4750106)
Wait...are we talking actual results: making the posrseason about 50% of the time with 3 Championships vs always making the playoffs and tanking right out? 'Cause that's what my answer was based on.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4750107)
That it is. So would most of us rather have our team be more like the 2004-2014 Red Sox or the 1996-2005 Braves?

I think that depends whether you're looking ex post or ex ante.

Looking back, it's easy to pick the Sox and the Championships, but looking forward, the happiness/sadness balance of emotions is going to be much more positive with a Braves-like run.
   43. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4750108)
Oh. I didn't realize that Andy deliberately left out the Braves' championship season as part of his exercise. In that case, my answer depends: if I've seen my team win the WS before, I'd rather have the championship-less 1996-2005 Braves than the 2004-2014 Red Sox. But if I haven't seen my team win the WS before then I'd take the 2004-2014 Red Sox.

And if I'm given the option of taking the championship 1995-2005 Braves then I'd choose that team.

I'm coming at this from a Red Sox fan who watched them come up short from 1986-2003, often in heart breaking fashion, sometimes at the hands of the Yankees, and knowing that they hadn't won it all since 1918. The 2004 championship really meant everything to me (*): since that championship I've had much less of a desire to see the Red Sox win it all. It's nice to win and all, but I'm sort of indifferent and just watch the postseason for the overall enjoyment of it, rather than with the singular focus of seeing the Red Sox climb the mountain. The 2004 championship really did leave me content and satisfied for the rest of my life.

(*) I also think that even had the 2004 team gone on to lose the WS I might be nearly as content, since to Red Sox fans coming back from down 0-3 to beat the Yankees WAS the World Series. It was almost like, "Oh, we have to go play St. Louis now?" The St. Louis series felt like an afterthought, sort of like the Pro Bowl.
   44. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:35 PM (#4750110)
I don't think any of the Boston titles were as over-the-top fluky as the 2007 Giants' title was.

2004 was hugely fluky. When you need consecutive Mariano Rivera Blown Saves to survive, and get them, that's pretty damn fluky.

And that 2007 Superbowl was the most enjoyable sporting even I've ever watched. It was pure joy watching the Giants smack around Brady and Moss, and have them looking like they didn't want to be there , was priceless.
   45. valuearbitrageur Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4750111)
Signing all the top Latin kids this year was probably a good gamble by the Yankees. There's a few SS on the market this offseason like Hanley Ramirez.


They finally realized they can't expect to reload the farm system through the draft if they are going to be active in FA market. They've given up too many picks and picked too far back for too long.

Since the late 90s more of their home grown talent has come from international signings than drafting. Bernie WIlliams, Mariano Rivera, Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Francisco Cervelli, Eduardo Nunez, Jesus Montero, Ivan Nova, Ramiro Mendoza, And that's not counting Alfonso Soriano (through Japan), Orlando Hernandez, & Jose Contreras.
   46. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4750114)
(*) I also think that even had the 2004 team gone on to lose the WS I might be nearly as content, since to Red Sox fans coming back from down 0-3 to beat the Yankees WAS the World Series.


Not to me. I'd seen the Sox get to the World Series and lose twice before. While that comeback would always be satisfying on its own, the WS victory was still very much required.
   47. JE (Jason) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:49 PM (#4750123)
And that 2007 Superbowl was the most enjoyable sporting even I've ever watched. It was pure joy watching the Giants smack around Brady and Moss, and have them looking like they didn't want to be there , was priceless.

And yet, on the penultimate play of the game, Brady came pretty damn close to winning the game with that long pass attempt to Moss down the left sideline.
   48. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4750124)
Not to me. I'd seen the Sox get to the World Series and lose twice before. While that comeback would always be satisfying on its own, the WS victory was still very much required.


I sort of think that beating the Yankees, in that series, coming back from 0-3 down, in the way that they did it, and coming off of the recent losses to the Yankees including the 2003 Aaron Boone home run, amidst the general cockiness that Yankees' followers and the media had about that team especially against the Red Sox, was better than any World Series victory could ever be. Going through Rivera twice; the Schilling game; the Damon grand slam in Game 7 to end it in front of the arrogant Yankee faithful jackasses prone to idiotic cries of "1918"... who had to then sit there and watch most of the rest of the Game 7 with hopes dashed... Sure, maybe it all doesn't get validated without the subsequent WS win, but it was a massive wound to Yankees fans that will never heal. It changed everything about the narrative. You never hear 1918 anymore, never hear that the Red Sox will always be a joke that will always fall short against the Yankees when the time comes. And turning the Yankees into a punch line for being the only team to ever blow an 0-3 lead was priceless.

I watched every pitch of the series, even as they fell down 0-3 with a 19-8 thrashing at Fenway -- throughout 1986-2003 I never, ever gave up on a series no matter how dire it looked -- and I'm not sure anything could ever come close to matching that.
   49. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:50 PM (#4750125)
2004 was hugely fluky. When you need consecutive Mariano Rivera Blown Saves to survive, and get them, that's pretty damn fluky.


To be fair, the second blown save was *really* a Tom Gordon blown save. All Rivera did was allow a fly ball. If Rivera starts the inning, Yankees probably win the World Series.
   50. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:51 PM (#4750126)
And yet, on the penultimate play of the game, Brady came pretty damn close to winning the game with that long pass attempt to Moss down the left sideline.

Yet, he didn't. So, I get to gloat :-)

In all seriousness, Brady and Moss both looked shocked to be in a tight, physical game in the 1st half. Brady recovered and played well in the 2nd half.
   51. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:54 PM (#4750128)
In all seriousness, Brady and Moss looked shocked to be in a tight, physical game in the 1st half. Brady recovered and played well in the 2nd half.


I recall that the second half of the season they weren't nearly as dominant as during the first half. I don't claim I saw the Super Bowl loss coming, but for most of the second half I was criticizing Belichik for not letting the offense loose like he had done during the first half.
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 14, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4750130)
I watched every pitch of the series, even as they fell down 0-3 with a 19-8 thrashing at Fenway -- throughout 1986-2003 I never, ever gave up on a series no matter how dire it looked -- and I'm not sure anything could ever come close to matching that.


I wouldn't disagree. But we don't know how we view that entire postseason today if the Sox lose another damn 7-game heartbreaker to the Cardinals. Our view of the comeback will forever be informed by the fact they went on to win the series (and in such dominant fashion).

I know, personally, when folks were saying before the 2004 World Series that the result didn't matter, I didn't agree at all. As a Sox fan who had never seen his team win a WS (and as the son of a Sox fan who had lived and died without seeing the team win a WS), just beating them bastards, while glorious, wasn't the only thing that mattered.

   53. McCoy Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4750132)
Make it something like Arizona diamondbacks or the last 25 years of the braves and I'd take the braves. Hell, at this point I'd take the 21st century white sox.
   54. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4750137)
I'm biased of course but I don't know how you'd take the 1996-2005 Braves over the 2004-2014 Red Sox. Not only do you have the three WS titles but as has been pointed out other than 2012 and maybe 2014 the Sox have been competitive every year. The Sox made the playoffs every year but one from 2004-2009. (edited for somehow remembering 2006 as a lot better than it was).

And I'm with SoSH, winning the pennant especially the way we did was awesome but the World Series title was the moment I dreamed of my whole life. To be standing in Kenmore Square, lighting up a cigar and high fiving/hugging more people in one hour than I did in the rest of my life combined was just wonderful. That they've done it twice more since including once in Fenway with me in attendance...I can't realistically imagine anything better.
   55. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:37 PM (#4750160)
Eh, not exactly. Jeter is probably the only player on that list who is both a) inarguably great overall and b) was great in 1998. Most fans - myself included - would also call Rivera great, but you could mount a reasonable argument that he wasn't simply because he was a reliever.

Right -- only Jeter was really great in 1998. That had a ridiculous # of guys with 3-5 WAR.
   56. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4750163)
Right -- only Jeter was really great in 1998. That had a ridiculous # of guys with 3-5 WAR.


Were we talking about truly great players on the 1998 team, or merely players having great seasons? I've always understood people mean the former when claiming that the 1998 Yankees had few "great players," and that's what my answer above was directed to.

I find the latter question decidedly uninteresting. Obviously championship teams will generally have a lot of players producing a lot of WAR.
   57. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4750175)
Were we talking about truly great players on the 1998 team, or merely players having great seasons? I've always understood people mean the former when claiming that the 1998 Yankees had few "great players," and that's what my answer above was directed to.

I find the latter question decidedly uninteresting. Obviously championship teams will generally have a lot of players producing a lot of WAR.


Using your definition, they still had Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte, Posada, Williams, and Cone. 2 clear HoFers, 2 borderline HoFers and 2 guys who are clear HofVG, and should be in the HoF discussion. Wells has >50 WAR also.

That's 6 or 7 great players, unless "great" only means HoFer to you.
   58. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4750183)

That's 6 or 7 great players.


As Post 27 indicates, that's Ray's point.
   59. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4750187)
So would most of us rather have our team be more like the 2004-2014 Red Sox or the 1996-2005 Braves?

Even if you start the Braves clock in 1995, I think you have to opt for the Red Sox results, although neither team can compare to the Yankees over my lifetime. Consistently underperforming in the postseason certainly dilutes all that regular season Braves success, although some seem to be able to rationalize their way through it. There's also the issue of some of the people associated with Braves fandom.
   60. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:16 PM (#4750191)
Using your definition, they still had Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte, Posada, Williams, and Cone. 2 clear HoFers, 2 borderline HoFers and 2 guys who are clear HofVG, and should be in the HoF discussion. Wells has >50 WAR also.

That's 6 or 7 great players, unless "great" only means HoFer to you.


? I think we're in agreement. This is the point I already made above in post 27: that they had plenty of "great" or near-great players on the team, plus a slew of HOVG players.

Then the conversation seemed to change, from "well, we were just talking about players having great seasons, not players on the team who had great careers." So I pointed out that all championship teams tend to have a lot of players producing a lot of WAR, so if the discussion was about the latter, I see nothing that separates the 1998 Yankees from any other championship team. To me the argument over the years has consistently been, "Hey, they won 114 games and had almost no great players!" But that's not true.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:18 PM (#4750192)
? I think we're in agreement. This is the point I already made above in post 27: that they had plenty of "great" or near-great players on the team, plus a slew of HOVG players.

Sorry, forgot which side you were arguing :-)
   62. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:28 PM (#4750197)
Even if you start the Braves clock in 1995, I think you have to opt for the Red Sox results, although neither team can compare to the Yankees over my lifetime. Consistently underperforming in the postseason certainly dilutes all that regular season Braves success, although some seem to be able to rationalize their way through it.


I don't think the Braves "underperformed in the postseason" by any logical analysis. 1995-2005 is 11 seasons. Since there were 8 playoff teams per year during that span then a playoff team generally had a 1 in 8 chance of winning the WS, and thus if you made the playoffs every year for 8 years your expected number of championships was 1. So they went 1 for 11 instead of 1 for 8. Big whoop. You can't win a partial championship.

There's also the issue of some of the people associated with Braves fandom.


I'm not a Braves fan.

Yankee Clapper, I put you, Andy, and Kevin as the three posters on this site most incapable of objective analysis of their favorite teams.
   63. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:34 PM (#4750201)
But they didn't have any inner circle types or any players having amazing seasons (apart from Jeter). This isn't a criticism of the Yankees in any way; the point is that their greatest stemmed largely from the fact that they had a lot of good players and no weaknesses at all. Almost every single player contributed. That's really, really rare. I'm guessing far more rare than having 2-3 players having MVP level seasons.
   64. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:46 PM (#4750209)
the point is that their greatest stemmed largely from the fact that they had a lot of good players and no weaknesses at all. Almost every single player contributed. That's really, really rare


This is what the Red Sox did way back in 2013.
   65. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4750211)
1998 Yankees best players by WAR:

8-6-5-5-5-4-4-3-3-3-3-3-3

2013 Red Sox best players by WAR:

7-6-6-5-4-4-4-3-3-3-3-3
   66. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:47 PM (#4750213)
Jeeze. finally a chance to talk about all the young talent coming up in the Cubs pipeline since, well, ever, and all anyone talks about is the Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots, and Giants.
   67. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:48 PM (#4750215)
I don't think the Braves "underperformed in the postseason" by any logical analysis. 1995-2005 is 11 seasons. Since there were 8 playoff teams per year during that span then a playoff team generally had a 1 in 8 chance of winning the WS, and thus if you made the playoffs every year for 8 years your expected number of championships was 1. So they went 1 for 11 instead of 1 for 8. Big whoop.

The "underperformed" angle factors in the Braves' position entering the playoffs. A bunch of those teams were 100+ win teams who had home-field advantage in the LDS and LCS.
   68. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:49 PM (#4750217)
But they didn't have any inner circle types or any players having amazing seasons (apart from Jeter).

Jeter 7.5 WAR
O'Neill 5.8
Brosius 5.3
Williams 5.2
Wells 4.8
Cone 4.0

Do typical championship teams have more than 6 guys with 4+ WAR? All those guys are at least HoVG except Brosius.
   69. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4750222)
The "underperformed" angle factors in the Braves' position entering the playoffs. A bunch of those teams were 100+ win teams who had home-field advantage in the LDS and LCS.


5 of the teams won 100 games. But you can't really tell the difference between a 100-win team and a 90-win team in the playoffs. (Let alone between a 95-win team and a 92-win team.) Nor does home field advantage help much if at all in the playoffs.

   70. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: July 14, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4750225)
That's my point: They had an incredible # of above average players. Compare them to the 1996 Mariners, who got 26 WAR from Griffey, Arod, and Martinez, but only won 86 games because the rest of the team was lousy.
   71. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4750228)
The teams the Braves lost with from 1996-2005 by win totals:

106-103-101-101-101-96-96-95-90-88.

(The team that won in 1995 won 90 games but it was a strike-shortened season; it prorates to 101.)
   72. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:01 PM (#4750231)
Yeargh: I've honestly lost the point you're making about the 1998 Yankees.
   73. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:03 PM (#4750235)
I don't think the Braves "underperformed in the postseason" by any logical analysis. 1995-2005 is 11 seasons. Since there were 8 playoff teams per year during that span then a playoff team generally had a 1 in 8 chance of winning the WS, and thus if you made the playoffs every year for 8 years your expected number of championships was 1. So they went 1 for 11 instead of 1 for 8. Big whoop.

So the theory is that every year each team that makes the playoffs has an equal chance of winning the World Series? I don't buy that "logic", although it certainly makes the Braves performance look better. Seems like the Braves lost a lot of playoff series in which they were favored, and in which the format should have rewarded a team that consistently had 3 "dominant" starters and frequently the home field advantage.
   74. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:10 PM (#4750239)
So the theory is that every year each team that makes the playoffs has an equal chance of winning the World Series?


Roughly equal. Similar, if you like that phrasing better. Not 12.5% for each team but 10-15% for each team, yes. How in the world could it be much different from that?

I don't buy that "logic", although it certainly makes the Braves performance look better.


Yeah, that's my mission in life as a non-Braves fan: to make the Braves performance look better.

You're projecting. Not everyone who comments on a team is hopelessly biased for or against that team.

Seems like the Braves lost a lot of playoff series in which they were favored, and in which the format should have rewarded a team that consistently had 3 "dominant" starters and frequently the home field advantage.


"Favored" is doing a lot of heavy lifting. Teams aren't really "favored" in a postseason series by more than 53% to 47%, or at best 55% to 45%. You can't tell the difference in that case. And of course a championship team in that era needed to jump through three hoops to win; they weren't "favored" against the field entering the playoffs in any one of those seasons -- far from it, since that's not how baseball works.

But what is your overall point about the Braves? That they were chokers? Is that it? That they were a band of chokers who... didn't choke in 1995? That doesn't seem very logical.
   75. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:11 PM (#4750240)
That it is. So would most of us rather have our team be more like the 2004-2014 Red Sox or the 1996-2005 Braves?

Braves.


Sox. By a mile.


Oh. I didn't realize that Andy deliberately left out the Braves' championship season as part of his exercise. In that case, my answer depends: if I've seen my team win the WS before, I'd rather have the championship-less 1996-2005 Braves than the 2004-2014 Red Sox. But if I haven't seen my team win the WS before then I'd take the 2004-2014 Red Sox.

And if I'm given the option of taking the championship 1995-2005 Braves then I'd choose that team.


I'm biased of course but I don't know how you'd take the 1996-2005 Braves over the 2004-2014 Red Sox. Not only do you have the three WS titles but as has been pointed out other than 2012 and maybe 2014 the Sox have been competitive every year. The Sox made the playoffs every year but one from 2004-2009. (edited for somehow remembering 2006 as a lot better than it was).

And I'm with SoSH, winning the pennant especially the way we did was awesome but the World Series title was the moment I dreamed of my whole life. To be standing in Kenmore Square, lighting up a cigar and high fiving/hugging more people in one hour than I did in the rest of my life combined was just wonderful. That they've done it twice more since including once in Fenway with me in attendance...I can't realistically imagine anything better.


See, to me those are all perfectly legit ways of looking at it. I think I would've rather have been a Braves fan up to maybe 1998, but then after that it just seemed that all those division titles were nothing but a prelude to being zapped in the postseason, to the point where I think I would've been almost numbed by the premonition of inevitable October failure.** There are only so many times you can get so close and fail before your enthusiasm begins to wear thin. But again, that's only one way of looking at it.

**The New York Football Giants got into 5 NFL title games in 6 years between 1958 and 1963, and lost every one of them. It was like Charlie Brown hoping that THIS YEAR Lucy wouldn't pull away the football, but she always did.

---------------------------------------------

1998 Yankees best players by WAR:

8-6-5-5-5-4-4-3-3-3-3-3-3

2013 Red Sox best players by WAR:

7-6-6-5-4-4-4-3-3-3-3-3


Interesting comparison, though it shows the difference between a dynasty and a team that rather remarkably happens to have everything go right for just one magical year. Look at the 68 or 84 Tigers, or any one of many one year wonder teams from the Wild Card era----Pretty much the same thing. All that makes the 2013 Red Sox stand out was that they played like that all during the year, and not just in the postseason.
   76. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:15 PM (#4750243)
So the theory is that every year each team that makes the playoffs has an equal chance of winning the World Series? I don't buy that "logic", although it certainly makes the Braves performance look better. Seems like the Braves lost a lot of playoff series in which they were favored, and in which the format should have rewarded a team that consistently had 3 "dominant" starters and frequently the home field advantage.


"Favored" is doing a lot of heavy lifting. Teams aren't really "favored" in a postseason series by more than 53% to 47%, or at best 55% to 45%. You can't tell the difference in that case. And of course a championship team in that era needed to jump through three hoops to win; they weren't "favored" against the field entering the playoffs in any one of those seasons -- far from it, since that's not how baseball works.

But what is your overall point about the Braves? That they were chokers? Is that it? That they were a band of chokers who... didn't choke in 1995? That doesn't seem very logical.


You don't have to think of the Braves as having been "chokers" to be extremely brought down** by the fact that a team that was usually considered one of the best two teams in baseball kept losing and losing and losing and losing and losing in the games that mattered the most to much of their fan base. Not everyone views the postseason as random exhibition games the way that you do. "Logic" in the form of Las Vegas odds has nothing to do with it.

**Assuming you're a Braves fan
   77. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:18 PM (#4750251)
Jeeze. finally a chance to talk about all the young talent coming up in the Cubs pipeline since, well, ever, and all anyone talks about is the Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots, and Giants.


And Mike Crudale.
   78. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4750257)
And Mike Crudale.

Joey Belle is going to throw something at you.
   79. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:22 PM (#4750258)
Jeeze. finally a chance to talk about all the young talent coming up in the Cubs pipeline since, well, ever, and all anyone talks about is the Yankees, Red Sox, Patriots, and Giants.

Ante up with a ring or two and then join the game.
   80. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4750261)
1998 Yankees best players by WAR:

8-6-5-5-5-4-4-3-3-3-3-3-3

2013 Red Sox best players by WAR:

7-6-6-5-4-4-4-3-3-3-3-3

Interesting comparison, though it shows the difference between a dynasty and a team that rather remarkably happens to have everything go right for just one magical year.


Well, we need the 1999 Yankees' and 2014 Red Sox' info to show the difference.
   81. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:24 PM (#4750263)
You don't have to think of the Braves as having been "chokers" to be extremely brought down** by the fact that a team that was usually considered one of the best two teams in baseball kept losing and losing and losing and losing and losing in the games that mattered the most to much of their fan base.


Except for when they won it all, I guess.

Given playoff teams of equal quality any one playoff team can be expected to win 1.4 championships in 11 seasons. Call it 1.5 or 1.6 since the Braves were slightly better teams than their competition in most years. So 1.6 expected championships out of 11. Well, in the real world you can't win a partial championship, so you'll probably win either 1 or 2. The Braves won 1. Why people think that's remarkable I haven't the foggiest clue.

How many were they "supposed" to win? 5 or 6? 4? Just 2? If it's just 2 then 1 is within range of that and entirely non-noteworthy.

Of course, a lot of this stems from the continued silliness of the 1996-2000 Yankees, who were one of the great fluke teams of all time. Their performance in the postseason was one massive fluke -- as the subsequent decade-plus showed. The "core four" was mostly still there for years and years later -- but Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and Pettitte didn't have the stones to win another one until noted Choker Alex Rodriguez carried them to it. You can't make it up.
   82. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:27 PM (#4750265)
Of course, a lot of this stems from the 1996-2000 Yankees, who were one of the great fluke teams of all time. Their performance in the postseason was one massive fluke -- as the subsequent decade-plus showed.

What does that even mean?

By your definition every team that wins multiple championships is a massive fluke, since the odds against it are pretty high.

One can just as easily say the 2004 to 2013 Red Sox were one of the great fluke teams of all time.
   83. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:28 PM (#4750266)
But what is your overall point about the Braves?

As noted in #59, the Red Sox had the better experience due their 3 WS wins and the Braves underperformance in the playoffs (although neither is comparable to the Yankees, unless you are pretty selective with the endpoints). Which is pretty much what most of the commenters here have said, with the exception of #38.
   84. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:31 PM (#4750267)
What does that even mean?


It means that 4 championships in 5 years is a massive fluke.

As exemplified by the hilarious fact (given this discussion) that the Yankees then went on to win just 1 championship over their next 11 playoff appearances -- just as the Braves had.

By your definition every team that wins multiple championships is a massive fluke, since the odds against it are pretty high.


2 is a fluke. 3 or more is a massive fluke. (Well, 1 is a fluke too, since no team entering the playoffs is favored against the field. But we'll leave that aside.)

One can just as easily say the 2004 to 2013 Red Sox were one of the great fluke teams of all time.


They were. Obviously. And?
   85. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:32 PM (#4750269)
They were. Obviously. And?

That's not a useful definition of fluke.

An event which seems to happen at least every decade or so (2+ WS wins by the same team in close proximity) isn't really a fluke. The Cardinals, Giants and Red Sox each have 2+ WS wins in the last decade,

I expect a team to win 2 WS in the next 10 years. You don't expect flukes.
   86. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4750274)
Teams aren't really "favored" in a postseason series by more than 53% to 47%, or at best 55% to 45%


This is exaggerated. It's more like at best 65-35.
   87. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4750277)
One can just as easily say the 2004 to 2013 Red Sox were one of the great fluke teams of all time.


Nonsense. The 2004 Sox were ballsy with a touch of magic, and the 2013 Sox were magic with a touch of ballsy. The 2007 Sox were just damn good.
   88. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4750281)
Interesting comparison, though it shows the difference between a dynasty and a team that rather remarkably happens to have everything go right for just one magical year.

Well, we need the 1999 Yankees' and 2014 Red Sox' info to show the difference.


Fair point, though there was also a world of difference between the 1994-97 Yankees and the 2009-2012 Red Sox.

But don't get me wrong. Flukish or not, the 2013 Red Sox were a hell of a team, probably the strongest championship team in baseball since the 2009 Yankees.

------------------------------------------------

You don't have to think of the Braves as having been "chokers" to be extremely brought down** by the fact that a team that was usually considered one of the best two teams in baseball kept losing and losing and losing and losing and losing in the games that mattered the most to much of their fan base.

Except for when they won it all, I guess.


Right. One time out of fifteen years.

Given playoff teams of equal quality any one playoff team can be expected to win 1.4 championships in 11 seasons. Call it 1.5 or 1.6 since the Braves were slightly better teams than their competition in most years. So 1.6 expected championships out of 11. Well, in the real world you can't win a partial championship, so you'll probably win either 1 or 2. The Braves won 1. Why people think that's remarkable I haven't the foggiest clue.

How many were they "supposed" to win? 5 or 6? 4? Just 2? If it's just 2 then 1 is within range of that and entirely non-noteworthy.


AFAIC they won one too many. But then I'm not a Braves fan.

Of course, a lot of this stems from the continued silliness of the 1996-2000 Yankees, who were one of the great fluke teams of all time. Their performance in the postseason was one massive fluke -- as the subsequent decade-plus showed. The "core four" was mostly still there for years and years later -- but Jeter, Rivera, Posada, and Pettitte didn't have the stones to win another one until noted Choker Alex Rodriguez carried them to it. You can't make it up.

I'm not the first person to say this, but discussing baseball with you is like talking to Robby the Robot. It's pointless, and I'm not even sure why I ever do it. Your entire motive for being on these threads seems to be to boast of your own sagacity and to prove that only you know how to understand the game---as if we can't figure out probabilities. It's about as tired a schtick as can be.
   89. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4750289)
This is exaggerated. It's more like at best 65-35.


No. If the best team in the league played the worst team in the league in a postseason series, those would be the odds. But, of course, the worst teams in the league aren't allowed into the tournament, and so a playoff team never gets to 65-35.

So, for this year, if Oakland played the Rangers they'd be favored by 65-35. Of course, that would never happen. But season series are instructive here: This year, Oakland has played the Rangers in three three-game series and they've won two of the three series. They got swept in April by the Rangers, hilariously, then they swept the Rangers, then they took 2 of 3 from the Rangers. Overall in games Oakland has won 5 of 9 games. That's what this is.

   90. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4750290)
Right. One time out of fifteen years.


Question. Would the Braves general narrative be better: more "snakebit" rather than "underachievers" had they not won in 1995?
   91. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4750292)
No.


Let's see what they post in October. I can't find any lists of past odds.

Edit: to clarify Ray- I am not arguing whether or not your perception of what the odds _should_ be is right or wrong,
I'm saying that we see Vegas odds of 2-1 or slightly more in playoff series fairly often.
   92. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4750297)
I'm not the first person to say this, but discussing baseball with you is like talking to Robby the Robot.


Perhaps because you believe that major league baseball games are Tests Of Character Between Men, and I reject that silliness out of hand.
   93. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4750301)
Perhaps because you believe that major league baseball games are Tests Of Character Between Men, and I reject that silliness out of hand.


OK then. But why is all this utter randomness in any way at all interesting to you?
   94. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:07 PM (#4750304)
OK then. But why is all this utter randomness in any way at all interesting to you?


If we're speaking about the playoffs, I enjoy watching world class baseball players compete at the highest level in order to win a short series, the stakes getting higher with each round.

That's not interesting to people? You need the "chokers/heroes" mythology?
   95. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4750310)
I enjoy watching world class baseball players compete at the highest level in order to win a short series, the stakes getting higher with each round.


How can they be competing in order to win if the winning is determined by all fluke/luck?
   96. BDC Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:14 PM (#4750311)
I have followed one World Series champion in my lifetime – the 1980 Phillies – and the experience of a flag flying forever is indelible. It permanently improved my disposition about life – Gosh, that's a weird thing to say, but fans understand. Conversely, I will never get over the 2011 World Series, which went a long way toward resetting the clock and eroding my confidence in the Universe :)

So I'd have to say, though vicariously, that you're probably as happy having followed the Braves through some stretch that included 1995 as following any of the recent Yankees or Red Sox champions. The second title, something I've never experienced, can't add anywhere near double the satisfaction. Unless it comes at a long interval, maybe: I am a Michigan State graduate, and I got to see a second men's basketball title and a second Rose Bowl victory long after the first, and they were great fun to experience.

Basically, from the historical perspective you don't ever want to be a Cub fan. At this point, I can look back on generations of Cub-fan ancestors who never got to see them win a Series. They last won when my grandmother was two years old.
   97. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4750312)
Maybe 65-35 in an extreme example (100-win team against an 83 win team, perhaps) but no, usually it's going to be under 60-40. The playoffs aren't ENTIRELY random, but they're functionally random. In any given year (after the play-in game) the favorite might be 20% to win the World Series, the worst team in the field 5%--most years the spread isn't even that wide, I would think.
   98. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:16 PM (#4750313)
If we're speaking about the playoffs, I enjoy watching world class baseball players compete at the highest level in order to win a short series, the stakes getting higher with each round.


But if its all just random, then the "competition" is really meaningless, an illusion. No playoff team is really better than any other team. It might as well be ultra high-level rock/paper/scissors.


   99. tfbg9 Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:19 PM (#4750317)
Paste, and Ray, you ought to test your "all playoff series are no more than 55-45" theorum by betting heavily on every significant underdog?
   100. Ray (RDP) Posted: July 14, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4750321)
But if its all just random, then the "competition" is really meaningless, an illusion.


Not at all. Sometimes Kershaw will strike Trout out, and sometimes Trout will get a hit off of Kershaw. That's not meaningless or an illusion; it's the essence of what the competition is. You never know what the outcome will be when two players or teams of major league talent compete.

No playoff team is really better than any other team. It might as well be ultra high-level rock/paper/scissors.


Indeed, that's pretty much what it is. How could it be otherwise, given that there's no evidence that baseball players choke?

But it's interesting because they're not in fact playing r/p/s. They're playing major league baseball.
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