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Friday, September 06, 2019

Inconsistent Cubs Need Uninterrupted Success Soon to Avoid Disappointing Finish

As they go up, they go down. That’s been the Cubs in the second half, ping-ponging between realistic World Series contender and disappointment, between NL Central champion and the precarious position of facing Max Scherzer in a do-or-die playoff game on the road. And for every step forward that Chicago seems to take, it promptly whirls around and walks right back to the start. Thursday’s about-face: a win over Milwaukee, the team’s third in a row, tempered by the news that closer Craig Kimbrel is headed to the injured list with right elbow inflammation.

A month ago, it was the Cubs holding a modest lead over the Cardinals and Brewers, with a high-water mark of 3 1/2 games on St. Louis in the division as of Aug. 8. The Cardinals have gone 21–6 since that date, though, erasing a gap that had persisted throughout the summer. Where once Chicago was the favorite to claim the Central crown, St. Louis now holds the better odds and a 2 1/2-game lead with just three weeks left in the season.

The saving grace for the Cubs is that, while their schedule grows shorter, it still offers plenty of opportunities to make up the deficit—in particular, seven games left against the Cardinals, all coming in the last week-plus of September. Between the first of those meetings (a four-game series at Wrigley Field starting on the 19th) and now, though, Chicago needs to keep it together, and that’s been the hard part. The Cubs continually give off the impression of a Formula 1 car with a cinder block dragging behind it, unable to get up to speed, or like one that, just as it reaches triple digits in miles per hour, has a wheel come flying off.

Either way, the Cubs have struggled to hold what ground they’ve gained, as the lineup, rotation and bullpen all refuse to click together. August saw Jose Quintana post a 2.02 ERA in 35 2/3 innings and Yu Darvish strike out 42 against a single walk; it also featured Kyle Hendricks, Cole Hamels and Jon Lester all putting up ERAs of 5.20 or worse. Offensively, Nick Castellanos has done his best “2017 J.D. Martinez on the Diamondbacks” impression—just as Javy Baez has fallen into a deep funk (.211/.265/.355 since Aug. 8). Even injury replacements come with karmic balancing: Just as Willson Contreras returns from a month-long IL stint (and picked up four hits against the Brewers), Kris Bryant sees his production sapped by a recurring knee problem that’s held him to a .182 batting average in his last 12 games.

Does this mean that all the hype about their building a dynasty and in praise of their methods was naught but a hollow lie?

 

QLE Posted: September 06, 2019 at 07:17 AM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 08:54 AM (#5877069)
Three straight trips to the NLCS, a title, and even last year's ignominious WC flop really ought to count as a dynasty atop 97, 103, 92, and 95 wins.

Unless they finish exceptionally strong - they'll probably miss a 5th straight 90 win season... but they're still 3.5 games up in the WC.

I haven't been shy about voicing disappointment over the trajectory and why I think the heights weren't quite what I think they should have been (in a nutshell, flopping in the draft + bad FA signings during the run) -- but they built a dynasty. Just not a legendary one.
   2. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:06 AM (#5877072)
And let me add -

I'll continue to believe that Maddon really needs to be retained. The fact that the Cubs have been inconsistent is a credit, not discredit, to him. I've seen far too many hangover iterations of the Cubs in my lifetime where the wheels really DO fall off.... as in, somebody or bodies get hurt and/or underperform, long losing streaks ensue and suddenly - the prior year's playoff team is looking at a 75 win season (at best).

That hasn't happened under Joe. Last year, the Brewers got really hot late while the Cubs never quite fell apart, but never really hit a stride. This year, the Cardinals have gotten really hot.... but as the TFA notes, the Cubs still very much and entirely control their own destiny.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:43 AM (#5877079)
Three straight trips to the NLCS, a title, and even last year's ignominious WC flop really ought to count as a dynasty atop 97, 103, 92, and 95 wins.

That's silly. "Dynasty" would have zero meaning. Half the teams ever to win a single WS would qualify.

By your definition the 2009-12 Yankees were a dynasty: one WS, lost twice in the ALCS, and won 103, 95, 97, 95.

Dynasty strongly implies multiple Championships, or a really long stretch of regular season dominance. If you want to call the 90s Braves a dynasty, despite the single Championship, I could go along, but they won the division like 14 straight years.
   4. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:44 AM (#5877080)
Remember, this was a team that was projected to win 79 games and finish in fifth place in the Central. Then they lost their lead-off hitter for four months and their projected closer hasn't pitched at all. I don't think there's any question Maddon should be back. Unless there's something going on that we don't know about, I think he's done a remarkable job with a projected last-place team.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:47 AM (#5877081)
Remember, this was a team that was projected to win 79 games and finish in fifth place in the Central.

By who? Zips had them at 89 wins and 1st place.
   6. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5877082)
That hasn't happened under Joe. Last year, the Brewers got really hot late while the Cubs never quite fell apart, but never really hit a stride. This year, the Cardinals have gotten really hot.... but as the TFA notes, the Cubs still very much and entirely control their own destiny.

Since the high water mark on August 8 cited in the article the Cubs are 13-11. I'm not happy with the way things have gone but this is no collapse (thus far).

If the Cubs finish 14-9 or better they'll hit the 90 win mark for the 6th straight year.

I would probably feel a bit differently about the whole thing if a certain game seven from a few years back had tilted in the other direction.
   7. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:50 AM (#5877083)
Shocking.

The Yankee fan uses the Yankee bar for everyone else.
   8. bunyon Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:56 AM (#5877085)
It's not a dynasty. But it's a period of sustained quality that hasn't been seen much in Chicago baseball. There are probably things to fix. But the idea that they're a failure is also overblown.

No one is the Yankees anymore. Even the Yankees.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5877089)
Shocking.

The Yankee fan uses the Yankee bar for everyone else.


I was making fun of the idea that the 2009-12 Yankees were a dynasty. I also cited the Braves.
   10. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5877090)
Yes.

You are just repeating my point.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:07 AM (#5877092)
Yes.

You are just repeating my point.


It's the comparison that I had off the top of my head. We could use the 2008-11 Phillies instead.
   12. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5877094)
Yeah, I wouldn't use the word dynasty either - but the crapshootastic nature of the playoff almost makes that an impossible standard in baseball (or at least very likely the late 90's Yankees are the last ever dynasty we're likely to see). Were the Giants really a dynasty in the 2010s - playoffs 4 times in 7 years, averaging 87 wins and only 2 division titles? Those 3 WS wins sure make it seem that way, but almost regardless of what the Cubs do this regular season, aside from the WS titles, they were arguably better in this 5 year stretch than the Giants in theirs.

---

89 wins by ZIPS was easily the best projection for the Cubs coming into the year - PETCOA had the 79 at one point, but I think eventually got up to 82; STEAMER was low 80s, etc.

I don't think the Maddon conversation is so clear - just because Dusty and Riggleman and whoever deserved to be fired and are inferior to Joe doesn't mean that Joe should automatically keep his job. I guess it comes down to how you feel about the players and their talent - are they underachieving what they should be or is he getting more out of a shallow talent pool. And I'm sorry, Charles, but being able to survive the loss of a 38 year old part time player and a guy who's thrown more than 30 innings once in the last 5 years ain't exactly that impressive.
   13. Charles S. is not doing chainsaw bears any more Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5877099)
Thanks, Moses. That PECOTA prediction is the one I was referencing. As for your last sentence, is there a tongue firmly in cheek emoji?
   14. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:30 AM (#5877100)
I'm old enough to remember the days when the Cubbies would consistently win the first half in the NL East, then finish with somewhere between 79 and 83 wins.
   15. Scott Lange Posted: September 06, 2019 at 11:36 AM (#5877119)
This has been a spectacularly successful five-year run. The idea that anyone could view it as a disappointment is really hard to understand.
   16. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 06, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5877124)
Not a dynasty. But the best Cubs run in over a century. I'm really glad it happened.

Maddon should absolutely be brought back. But he probably won't because people are insane.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5877128)
Maddon should absolutely be brought back. But he probably won't because people are insane.

Agree. Changing from an even mediocre manager is generally a really bad idea. Most managers are bad. The few that are decent to good last forever.

I still feel the Yankees erred in firing Girardi. I have little faith Boone can aggressively manage the pitching staff the way he'll need to to compensate for the the weak SP.

I can already see Paxton and Tanaka giving up game breaking HRs in the 5th and 6th innings, or someone like Luis Cessa being brought into a tie game in the 5th with men on base.
   18. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 06, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5877134)
See, from the outside, it seems crazy to think there's questions about Boone right now. Considering the injuries that team has had, it's virtually impossible to think he hasn't done a fantastic job.

We already know about Maddon's questionable playoff roster and bullpen management - as opposed to you just being afraid of what Boone will do - plus you have a team that appears to be underachieving for the 2nd year in a row. As someone following closely, it's crazy to me that people can just point to the last 5 years and say Maddon is doing a great job today. I'd say things started going downhill with Maddon during the World Series, and he's only gotten more stubborn and out to prove he was right since.

For the record, my calls for Maddon to be canned have almost always been in the heat of the moment, and usually due to a specific issue or incident that reinforces his known problems. I really don't know whether I think the Cubs should bring him back yet or not, the next month or so is going to go a long way in how I feel about him. He absolutely gets a ton of credit for how well he did with transitioning the team to winners in 2015 and a lot of what went right in 2016; he also absolutely gets a ton of demerits for the problems early in 2017, late in 2018 and that have continued to now. I'll grant the point that a lot of times changing a manager has unintended consequences and can absolutely be an overreaction; OTOH, if the FO and manager aren't on the same page there can absolutely be a good argument to make that making a change can also be a positive.
   19. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 12:48 PM (#5877140)
It's the comparison that I had off the top of my head. We could use the 2008-11 Phillies instead.


And why isn't that a dynasty - I mean, first, there's no reason to exclude 2007? 5 straight division titles, 2 WS trips and a title.

   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5877141)
See, from the outside, it seems crazy to think there's questions about Boone right now. Considering the injuries that team has had, it's virtually impossible to think he hasn't done a fantastic job.

His pitching management has been an issue since day 1. Every starter they get pitches worse.

I think most people credit the front office and coaching staff for finding/fixing the hitters. I'm hard pressed to see what Boone has to do with Urshela/ Tauchman/Maybin, etc. Conversely, the organization seems to have no idea what they're doing with SP. Have you seen the year Sonny Gray is having for the Reds?
   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5877142)
And why isn't that a dynasty - I mean, first, there's no reason to exclude 2007? 5 straight division titles, 2 WS trips and a title.

2 pennants and 1 WS generally isn't considered enough. No one talks about the late 70s Dodger Dynasty (3 pennants 1 WS in 5 years), or the 1976-80 Phillie dynasty (4 divisions, 1 WS).

Usually you need 2+ Championships, and a bunch of other success to enter the dynasty conversation.
   22. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 12:59 PM (#5877145)
I don't think the Maddon conversation is so clear - just because Dusty and Riggleman and whoever deserved to be fired and are inferior to Joe doesn't mean that Joe should automatically keep his job. I guess it comes down to how you feel about the players and their talent - are they underachieving what they should be or is he getting more out of a shallow talent pool. And I'm sorry, Charles, but being able to survive the loss of a 38 year old part time player and a guy who's thrown more than 30 innings once in the last 5 years ain't exactly that impressive.


Unless one blames him for the FA debacles - I guess I just see the former over the latter.... and granted, perhaps it's Cubs history snakebites I feel - but I just remember prior iterations where you could really sense the wheels actually coming off (as opposed to TFA, whose description I do not buy) and before you know it.... it's a pointless August, never mind September.

And I'd point out - that guy who has thrown 30 IP once in 5 years was the FO fault.... that guy was supposed to the be bullpen anchor.

My very strong preference for Maddon is predicated on the fact that unlike every other Cubs skipper in my lifetime -- this team has remained in the mix, even continued to lead the damn division for the most part -- even when a Contreras misses a month.... or Schwarbs stagnates.... or KB can't get and stay healthy.... or a pitcher goes kaboom.

Prior iterations - under very good managers (including Dusty - and you know how I feel about him and Lou... even going back to Jim Frey), once that stuff began to happen?

The teams fell apart. They wouldn't just become inconsistent - they'd implode. A bad road trip would turn into a bad month, and suddenly - everybody on the team is complaining about the media, smashing boomboxes, punching each other out, and before you know it -- we're looking at a sub-.500 team on the year.

That just hasn't happened with this iteration. The Brewers snatched the division title on the final weekend last year. The Cubs still have a chance - a pretty good chance - to snatch it back from the Cardinals this year.

Nitpicking plenty of individual decisions aside (and sure, I'll join occasional complaints about pitcher usage and lineup construction) - Joe Maddon has done what I want a manager to do: Keep a team that is talented, but not heads and shoulders above its competitors, from turning into a dumpster fire.
   23. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 01:00 PM (#5877146)
Usually you need 2+ Championships, and a bunch of other success to enter the dynasty conversation.


Winning 5 straight division titles (in the case of the Phillies 2007-2011) ain't nothing.
   24. TomH Posted: September 06, 2019 at 01:01 PM (#5877147)
well, the Phillies probably deserved (if you measure by compilation of their play) the 09 trophy as well (dude, 11 HR in 6 games), but that rarely factors in "dynasty" definition, does it now.

The 72-74 A's were a "dynasty" on the back of many really close playoff games wins that could have gone either way. Measuring trophies is a tenuous thing. The 69-71 O's may have been labeled the best dynasty ever but the 69 Mets played out of their shoes and the 71 Pirates BABIP'd their way to a trophy over B'more. I'm sure there are many more.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 01:04 PM (#5877149)
Winning 5 straight division titles (in the case of the Phillies 2007-2011) ain't nothing.

No, but it means a lot less in the three division era. 5 straight pennants and a WS, we can talk.
   26. phredbird Posted: September 06, 2019 at 01:17 PM (#5877156)

didn't james or neyer or somebody go about actually defining dynasty in one of their books?

IIRC you don't have a dynasty if you don't accomplish two things in a short period of time: more than one title, and a significant turnover in players. or something like that.

i think of the recent giants success as a dynasty. sure, they had problems on the off years, but they recovered nicely, not just once but TWICE. that's frankly impressive. maybe if we are sticklers they need more playoff appearances, but da-yum. THREE titles. who has that in such a short space?

on the subject of the cubbies, no certainly not, this is not a dynasty, and the comparisons to the yankees 09-13 and the phillies 07-11 are apt. but they will get serious consideration as one if they can find a way to a title in the next couple of years, and rightly so.

if anybody wants to claim dynastic status, the cards are actually pretty close. beginning in 04 with a 100-win season they went to the WS 4 times and won twice and had a 100 win season as last as 2015. unfortunately, playoffs being what they are, they look a little less dynastic that what us old white guy fans are used to.

oh, and red sox too. but i'm an NL guy, i don't follow that league much. ;-)

get rid of joe maddon? really? OK, i'm all for it, but hey check out my handle.

   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 01:29 PM (#5877162)
didn't james or neyer or somebody go about actually defining dynasty in one of their books?

Neyer wrote a good book on dynasties, not sure if he had a hard definition.
   28. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: September 06, 2019 at 02:13 PM (#5877184)
And why isn't that a dynasty - I mean, first, there's no reason to exclude 2007? 5 straight division titles, 2 WS trips and a title.

Can you have concurrent dynasties in the same league? By that definition, if the Dodgers win the World Series this year then they could claim a dynasty over the same period as the Cubs.
   29. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5877191)
Can you have concurrent dynasties in the same league? By that definition, if the Dodgers win the World Series this year then they could claim a dynasty over the same period as the Cubs.


I don't see why not...
   30. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 06, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5877194)
It's not a dynasty. But it's a period of sustained quality that hasn't been seen much in Chicago baseball.
Exactly. Can’t really fault a Cubs fan for not knowing what constitutes a “dynasty”, but you’d think they’d defer to those with some experience in such matters. A team's best stretch of baseball in more than a century can still fall well short of a dynasty, as has been the case for the Senators, Browns, Cubs, and a few others.
   31. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 06, 2019 at 02:43 PM (#5877196)
Any use of dynasty that doesn't encompass multiple rings is a form of grade inflation and cheapens the term. Dynasty doesn't mean just "period of significant success" -- and having a period of sustained significant success that doesn't happen to be a dynasty is no slight.
   32. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 06, 2019 at 03:07 PM (#5877202)
Benji, I can almost cosign multiple rings. The 90s Braves may be the exception that proves the rule.
   33. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5877206)
So what were the 2010 to 2014 Giants?

I mean, 3 titles in 5 years is pretty special... but only two division titles and even a sub-.500 season tossed in.

My looser definition of a dynasty would include them based on 3 titles in 5 years.... but except for the rings - that seems like a pretty pedestrian run.
   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5877210)
Benji, I can almost cosign multiple rings. The 90s Braves may be the exception that proves the rule.

So what were the 2010 to 2014 Giants?

I mean, 3 titles in 5 years is pretty special... but only two division titles and even a sub-.500 season tossed in.

My looser definition of a dynasty would include them based on 3 titles in 5 years.... but except for the rings - that seems like a pretty pedestrian run.


The 90's Braves and the 2010s Giants are the two edge cases, I think. I'd say both are dynasties, but any less regular season success for the former, or post season success for the latter, would knock them out.
   35. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 06, 2019 at 03:36 PM (#5877212)
If you call the Braves a dynasty, you probably need an additional modifier, such as “regular season dynasty” or “underperforming dynasty”.

Even-Year Dynasty would seem appropriate for the Giants.
   36. Greg Pope Posted: September 06, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5877217)
The 69-71 O's may have been labeled the best dynasty ever but the 69 Mets played out of their shoes and the 71 Pirates BABIP'd their way to a trophy over B'more. I'm sure there are many more.

The 88-90 A's were about as dominant of a team as you can get (306 wins over 3 years). But they ran into Hershisher in 88 and Rijo in 90, so only one trophy instead of 3.
   37. Greg Pope Posted: September 06, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5877219)
The problem is that the intro makes a false claim. Nobody promised a dynasty. No Cubs fans (at least here) expected or claimed a coming dynasty. We wanted the process to result in a sustained run of success. So, yes, the hype was justified. Yes, the goal has been accomplished. Yes, Cubs fans are happy with the outcome.
   38. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 06, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5877227)
The disappointment/frustration from Cubs fans comes from the failure of many of the hyped young players to develop, and looking over at the Astros, Dodgers, etc. who are just doing it way better. One kind of "sustained run of success" is where the team is generally good enough to have a decent shot at winning the division. A better kind is where you feel like the team is reliably a couple notches above the others. Fairly or not, some Cubs fans (particularly when the team is in the throes of a bad run) think that some combination of underperformance by the FO, player development staff and/or Joe (as well as, of course, the players who didn't develop and FAs who didn't perform) has resulted in the former situation rather than the latter.
   39. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 06, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5877228)
The 90's Braves and the 2010s Giants are the two edge cases, I think. I'd say both are dynasties, but any less regular season success for the former, or post season success for the latter, would knock them out.

Agreed.

   40. Due to the leadership of Zonk... Posted: September 06, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5877232)
So.... we're all TTO on dynasties? Either you win a bucket of WS in a short span or you win at least one but lots of other titles or you just ain't a "dynasty"?

I don't buy that as a definition. At least - it turns the term "dynasty" less into what we are purporting to use the term to mean ("excellence" in some sustained form and degree) and more into some funky niche definition that is purely descriptive.

A player can be a great TTO - but a bad player.... A player can be a great TTO guy and actually still be a great player.
   41. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 06, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5877236)
You're just too damn generous with the term.
   42. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5877237)
So.... we're all TTO on dynasties? Either you win a bucket of WS in a short span or you win at least one but lots of other titles or you just ain't a "dynasty"?

I don't buy that as a definition. At least - it turns the term "dynasty" less into what we are purporting to use the term to mean ("excellence" in some sustained form and degree) and more into some funky niche definition that is purely descriptive.


If you're a good team for a few years and win a title, that what you are. The Cubs are a team that's been good for 5 years and won a title. "Dynasty" is meant to be a whole other level of excellence.

Probably 3 out of 4 Championship teams fits your definition of "Dynasty". Very few Champions are one and done teams. That makes the term useless.
   43. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: September 06, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5877247)
I don't buy that as a definition. At least - it turns the term "dynasty" less into what we are purporting to use the term to mean ("excellence" in some sustained form and degree) and more into some funky niche definition that is purely descriptive.
"Excellence in some sustained form and degree" is never what a dynasty has meant, that's what you are trying to redefine it into.

A dynasty is, and in my opinion should remain, about winning multiple sports championships--being the last team standing, the one spraying champagne while the other team dejectedly walks off--in close proximity to one another.

I mean the term dynasty in a sports sense derives from the monarchical sense: *more than one* ruler from the same family is the head, the king, the top. That's the parallel--champions in succession, like rulers in succession.

If you're a good team for a few years and win a title, that what you are. The Cubs are a team that's been good for 5 years and won a title. "Dynasty" is meant to be a whole other level of excellence.
Or, what snapper said.
   44. Moses Taylor, glorified meat shield Posted: September 06, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5877251)
There have been argument about whether the 2010-2015 Blackhawks were a dynasty in the NHL; the against argument centered on the fact that they only had 3 titles in 6 years which is much lower than many other historical NHL dynasties and the pro was that it was a different league back then and the salary cap/FA changed things. The Cubs are not even close to the Hawks level.
   45. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5877267)
Dynasty strongly implies multiple Championships

The Dodgers might become the first NL team to win 3 straight pennants since the Giants in the 30s (not counting the war-time Cards). The Braves won 4 in 5 complete seasons (plus the 94 debacle in the middle). The 70s Reds won 4 in 7 years; the Dodgers 4 of 5 in the 50s. Those Dodgers had 6 over a 10-year period ... I don't think any NL teams has 5 in a standard decade (e.g. the 60s).

The AL just rolled over for the Yanks -- we don't do that sort of thing in the Senior circuit.

To not recognize the changed nature of the playoffs in any definition of "dynasty" is pointless. Of necessity, any such definiton has to shift more towards regular-season dominance. It seems fine to then penalize for sustained playoff disappointment (say the Nats always losing the first round). You used to have to fairly regularly be the best of 8 teams then pretty consistnetly win one series to be a dynasty. Shift the definition such that you have to be fairly regularly the best of 15 teams and fairly regularly win 2 playoff series (i.e. a pennant) and you actually have a tougher standard of dynasty despite no WS win. And that's leaving aside the differences between the reserve clause and complete lack of revenue sharing in the AL vs. the competitive structure of the game today.

But sure, "dynasty" needs to be a rare term. Maybe if the Cubs had won 5 straight divisions with something pushing 500 wins we could put them in the conversation despite 1 pennant and WS win. A WC should be nearly disqualifying unless it's within a string of division wins and was one of those cases where the team won 95 games but finished 2nd.
   46. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2019 at 06:18 PM (#5877268)
As to the 2019 Cubs ... similar to 2018 in one way. Last year the Brewers just refused to lose (631 in the 2nd half). The Cards have been playing the same way. Obviously the Cubs could have solved this problem by being better all season long but the Cards are 35-17 since the break with a +77 run differential (the Cubs are at +84 on the year). The Cubs are playing nearly 600 ball in the 2nd half (29-20). The two teams have played just one series in that time with the Cubs taking 1 of 3 in St L so it's not like they've had much control over what the Cards have done.

If the Cards don't cool off then of course the Cubs won't catch them. We get them for 4 in the last home series then close the season with 3 there.
   47. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:41 PM (#5877288)
The Dodgers might become the first NL team to win 3 straight pennants since the Giants in the 30s (not counting the war-time Cards).

Did you mean to see the 1920s Giants? Given that the Cubs won pennants in 1932, 1935, and 1938, I don't see how the Giants won three straight in the 1930s.
   48. Walt Davis Posted: September 06, 2019 at 09:50 PM (#5877295)
Did you mean to see the 1920s Giants?

I did, went off memory, always a bad idea. And I still worry I miss one -- finding a list of pennant winners on b-r should be a bit easier than it seems to be.
   49. Jeff Frances the Mute Posted: September 06, 2019 at 10:02 PM (#5877306)
So.... we're all TTO on dynasties? Either you win a bucket of WS in a short span or you win at least one but lots of other titles or you just ain't a "dynasty"?

This sounds about right to me. Similar to the Hall of Fame you either need a peak resume, compiler resume, or a good portion of both.

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