posted on Feb, 17 2006 @ 12:37 PM
The better team won less than 50% of them time when we "only" had 4 teams in the playoffs (starting in 1969), and some examples--like the 1987
Twins--are ridiculous. The 1973 Mets were, I believe , 82-79, and they got ahead 3 games to 2 in the W.S., before blowing it. If 42-year-old
Willie Mays hadn't blown that fly ball, they might have won it 4 games to 1, against the vastly superior Reds. The 1954 Giants, with Mays'
legendary catch and all, didn't belong on the same field with Cleveland (111-43 that year). And there are dozens more examples.
But you have to get the lesser team into the W.S. first. All those historically bad teams I wrote about--which, except for Kiner's Pirates, all
existed at the same time--had NO PRAYER of getting to the Series over a 154-game season in which only the league's pennant winner went to the
one-round "playoffs"--i.e., the W.S.
In my almost 53-year lifetime, the following teams have NEVER won a W.S.: Cubs, Indians, Giants (well, ok, when I was 1), Astros (1962-), the
expansion Senators/Rangers (1961-), Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (1969 and good luck), San Diego (same), Seattle Pilots (1969)/Milwaukee
Brewers (1970-), Seattle Mariners (1976-), or ANY newer team except Florida. And the Cubs, Senators/Rangers, Expos/Nationals, Mariners and the new
teams other than Florida have never BEEN to the World Series.
If you compare these lists to the lists of NFL teams who (1) have never WON the Super Bowl, and (2) have never even been there, you'll find there's a
great deal more parity in the NFL.
But at the ownership/management level, baseball is a reactionary sport which, despite having great friends in Congress and the higher courts, has had
its @ss kicked REPEATEDLY for collusion and other illegal tactics. (I am just now reading the late, great Leonard Koppett's book on the subject, and
all I can say is, what a bunch of fools!) They refuse to accept it's not 1753 anymore. And some of them--whom I believe may be as cash-strapped as
they say--either cannot or will not compete.
Obviously nobody can compete with the jerk in NY, nor with their sworn mortal enemy in Boston, where this is like a world war. And yeah, damn right,
that does make it all the sweeter when the Yankees go down. I'd like to see the Red Sox win one more time, especially if the giant Texan who
is--at a minimum--the greatest righty born between Walter Johnson and Pedro Martinez is with Boston at the time. But after that, I'll face the fact
Boston has become NY #2, minus Steinbrenner.
You know.... This is the first multi-person post where I've essentially agreed with everyone to a large degree, or wanted to. I hope Chissler is
right--and thus also Toejam--about the Blue Jays prospects, unless Rocket pitches for Boston, and even then, hey, what's the Wild Card spot for?
I agree, primarily, with what Karlsberg and IA Clonz have written.
As for Hootie, I would deifintely not want to see baseball lose free agency, but he's got valid points. Free agency leaves teams no way to compete
with the Steinbrenners, the Red Sox consortiums, etc. But as I have explained already on this post, long before free agency existed, back when
players made so little they had to drive trucks or pump gas in the off season, there was no semblance of parity because all those owners whose teams I
mentioned just didn't care about winning. How else does one explain the monstrous record of the Phillies for THREE decades, or the putrid records of
the Braves, White Sox, Red Sox and A's for about half that time?
NFL-like revenue sharing, and/or TV profits-sharing, guarantees those frauds will have no incentive to improve their "teams."
It's a complex problem. In a country where labor has really lost its footing over the past 30 years and ownership has almost nothing but friends in
Congress (not just Republicans), it says a lot about the degree of MLB's bad faith that they've repeatedly been NAILED for huge sums in court, without
being bailed out by the second-highest federal courts (circuit courts) or the 9 geniuses in DC, much less Congress.
I also think that if MLB owners would quit longing for the "good old days" of 1870-1970, and if they would stay serious about hardcore lines toward
steroids and HGH, they would have almost nothing but friends in Congress and the White House. Then they'd see these problems resolved as favorably as
possible to them, without the extremely pro-ownership Supreme Court's HAVING to step in.
What they need is a leader to tell them, "Look, folks, we are not going to go back to 1870 or 1950, but we could go back a very long way, as long as
we are united and look like we're at least acting in good faith and being dead serious about steroids and HGH."
Don't you all agree there's almost no way they'd lose, then? God knows the Players Union has come off horribly in their reluctance toward steroids
testing, in Schilling's just flat repudiating what he'd said to S.I. about players and steroids, in Palmeiro's now-laughable proud denials, in the
pitiful performances of Sosa and McGwire, etc. Is there ANYONE here who watched hearings and, regardless of what he/she felt about the owners'
disingenuous, doesn't now feel repulsed by what the players did?
For decades now, the illegal conduct of ownership has gotten them brought to their knees, time after time after time, in the courts. And I think the
resulting arrogance of the players was obvious in those televised hearings, as was the supreme arrogance of their union leader. If management would
JUST get over their 19th Century mentality and go in there with a realistic attitude, I think the owners would find Congress SQUARELY ON THEIR
Would they cancel free agency? NO. But they'd do just about everything else the owners want. Don't y'all think