Monday, November 30, 2020

Wildcard game winner winning World Series: 2014 and 2019.

The second wildcard was added in 2012. The two wildcard teams play a sudden death single elimination game, which leaves them with disadvantages for the remainder of the tournament, including using their best starting pitchers to reach the wildcard game and/or in the wildcard game, immediate travel and not having home field advantage. Despite that, ...

2014: Both the Giants and Royals (89 wins) won their wildcard games and reached the finals.

World Series4-3San Francisco Giants over Kansas City Royals
NLCS4-1San Francisco Giants over St. Louis Cardinals
NL Division Series3-1San Francisco Giants over Washington Nationals
NL Division Series3-1St. Louis Cardinals over Los Angeles Dodgers
Wild Card Game1-0San Francisco Giants over Pittsburgh Pirates
TmWLW-L%GB
Los Angeles Dodgers9468.580--
San Francisco Giants8874.5436.0
San Diego Padres7785.47517.0
Colorado Rockies6696.40728.0
Arizona Diamondbacks6498.39530.0

2019:

World Series4-3Washington Nationals over Houston Astros
NLCS4-0Washington Nationals over St. Louis Cardinals
NL Division Series3-2Washington Nationals over Los Angeles Dodgers
NL Division Series3-2St. Louis Cardinals over Atlanta Braves
Wild Card Game1-0Washington Nationals over Milwaukee Brewers
TmWLW-L%GB
Atlanta Braves9765.599--
Washington Nationals9369.5744.0
New York Mets8676.53111.0
Philadelphia Phillies8181.50016.0
Miami Marlins57105.35240.0


 




World Series: from single series to tournament finals.

Once upon a time there were two major baseball leagues: National (NL) and American (AL), each with eight teams. Starting in 1903 (or 1905) they decided to not leave well enough alone with a single league champion decided by 154 regular season games but to add a best of seven (best of nine in 1919, 1920, 1921) series between the two league champions. This became very popular as one might expect.

The 16 teams were geographically concentrated in ten cities with multiple teams in a city being the norm through 1952. The ten teams that did not move are in bold:

New York: Yankees, Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers
Chicago: White Sox, Cubs
Boston: Red Sox, Braves
Philadelphia: Phillies, Athletics
St. Louis: Cardinals, Browns
Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Washington.

Before there was modern expansion starting in 1961, there was geographic movement:

1952: Braves from Boston to Milwaukee; then to Atlanta in 1966
1954: Browns from St. Louis to Baltimore, renamed Orioles
1955: Athletics from Philadelphia to Kansas City; then to Oakland in 1968
1958: Giants from New York to San Francisco
1958: Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.

This was reflected in the World Series:

1957: Milwaukee beat Yankees 4-3
1958: Yankees beat Milwaukee 4-3
1959: Los Angeles beat White Sox 4-2.

Starting in 1957 a travel day was re-inserted before game 3 and after game 5.

Expansion teams since 1961 in World Series. Saturday, October 24, 2015

Modern expansion started in 1961.  Fourteen teams were created through 1998 bringing the total to 30.  Each of the current five team divisions has at least one.  Four in American West, three in National West, East.  Two in American East, one in each Central.

1961: AL: Washington Senators (became Texas Rangers in 1972), Los Angeles Angels (became the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim or something)

1962: NL: New York Mets, Houston Colt45s (changed name to Astros in 1965)

1969:
AL: Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers (first year as Seattle Pilots in 1969)
NL: Montreal Expos (became Washington Nationals in 2005), San Diego Padres

1977: AL: Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners

1993: NL: Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies

1998: AL: Tampa Bay Devil Rays, NL: Arizona Diamondbacks

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The World Series bopped along through 1968 as usual. Then with the increase in each league from 10 to 12 teams, each league split into two divisions: east and west. This resulted in a preliminary round between the two division champions in each league: a best of 5 game series through 1984, expanded to a best seven game series in 1985. These were the League Championship Series (LCS). Anomalies and lack of common sense will not be addressed here.

This bopped along 1969 through 1992 by which time the AL had seven teams in its divisions and the NL had six. For 1993 the NL caught up by adding teams in Miami, Florida and Denver, Colorado. The 1993 post season remained the same but the aborted 1994 season (no post season games) had the 14 teams in each of the two leagues arranged in THREE divisions: east, central, west, of these number of teams: 5, 5, 4. There was more anomaly rearranging over the years, including Milwaukee and Houston changing "leagues".

Note that Bud Selig, owner of the Milwaukee Brewers, was acting commissioner 1992-1998. Then actual MLB commissioner 1998-2015. Inducted into the Hall of Fame 2017.

Merger: AL and NL merged years ago. How come no one noticed? Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Note: wikipedia.com indicates that the merger technically happened in 2000, not 1994. See Major League Baseball:

the National League and the American League ... merged in 2000 into a single MLB organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball after 100 years as separate legal entities. (Source): "Year In Review : 2000 National League". www.baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2008-09-05

The two leagues were once totally separate rival corporate entities, but that distinction has all but disappeared ...

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Starting in 1995 an additional series was added to what now could only be described as a tournament, with the final series being called the World Series but hardly resembling what had taken place through 1968. The number of teams qualifying in each "league", really a conference, doubled from two to four: the three division champs, plus the second place team with the best record, a wildcard.

Each league had two best of 5 games division series, a 7 game LCS, then onto the finals, aka "World Series".

2012-2020: a second wildcard team was added to each league/conference. These two teams play a one game elimination with the winner going into the division series against the top seeded team, where previously seeding was random.

Cleveland 72 year championship drought. Pittsburgh 41 years. Saturday, November 28, 2020

2014-2020: in those seven seasons, seven different teams have won the tournament. Those are the most recent championship seasons for those seven teams.

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How might a tournament have worked 50 years ago? Was it better then or now? And combining the best of both. Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Dodgers lost their first 7 World Series: 1916,1920,1941,1947,1949,1952,1953.

The Dodgers have the dubious record of having lost their first 7 World Series since the modern event was established in 1903. The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles after the 1957 season. Here are all nine Brooklyn World Series results:

YearroundWinnerLwinLoserLloserwinslossestiesG
1916WSBOSALBRONL4105
1920WSCLEALBRONL5207
1941WSNYAALBRONL4105
1947WSNYAALBRONL4307
1949WSNYAALBRONL4105
1952WSNYAALBRONL4307
1953WSNYAALBRONL4206
1955WSBRONLNYAAL4307
1956WSNYAALBRONL4307

At least none were sweeps. 1920 was best of nine, the rest best of seven, four of which went seven games.

The 1916 Boston Red Sox included lefty starting pitcher Babe Ruth. Brooklyn won game one but then lost the next four. Ruth pitched a 2-1 14 inning complete game victory in game two in Braves Field before 47,373 fans, the biggest crowd of the series. Games three and four in Ebbets Field in Brooklyn drew only 21,000. Brooklyn center fielder Hi Myers homered off Ruth in the first inning. Ruth then pitched 13 scoreless innings to start his record of 29 consecutive scoreless World Series innings. Yankee lefty Whitey Ford would break Ruth's record in 1961.

In the 1920 series the first three games were in Brooklyn, with the home team winning games two and three. But Cleveland won the next four in Cleveland for a 5-2 World Series win. In game five Cleveland second baseman Bill Wambsganss pulled an unassisted triple play with his team leading 7-0 in the 5th inning. The bottom of the order was up for Brooklyn. The first two singled bringing up relief pitcher Clarence Mitchell who lined out to second. Wambsganss then stepped on second and tagged the runner coming from first. Since 1920 Cleveland has won the World Series only once more:

Cleveland 72 year championship drought. Pittsburgh 41 years. Saturday, November 28, 2020

Cleveland most recently won the old World Series in 1948, 72 years ago.

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The New York Yankees played the remaining seven World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, winning six. In 1955 the Dodgers finally won their only World Series while playing in Brooklyn. Dodger lefty Johnny Podres started and won games three and seven, both complete games.

1956 Brooklyn Dodgers old and fading in Larsen's perfect World Series game. Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Dodgers never really recovered from Don Larsen's perfect game (five). The Dodgers were also shutout through nine innings in games 6 and 7...

There was a perceptible decline in seasons 1954-1956 for Reese, Robinson and Campanella. Robinson retired and Campanella was paralyzed in a car accident after the 1957 season, the Dodgers last in Brooklyn. Hodges had had his last big season. Snider had one more with 40 home runs in 1957, Snider's fifth consecutive season with at least 40. Those 40 home runs were all hit against right handed pitchers; 23 home, 17 road.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers won the 2020 World Series against Tampa after a 32 year drought. In LA the Dodgers are 2-2 against the Yankees in World Series, 6-5 overall.

YearroundWinnerLwinLoserLloserwinslossestiesG
1959WSLANNLCHAAL4206
1963WSLANNLNYAAL4004
1965WSLANNLMINAL4307
1966WSBALALLANNL4004
1977WSNYAALLANNL4206
1978WSNYAALLANNL4206
1981WSLANNLNYAAL4206
1988WSLANNLOAKAL4105
2017WSHOUALLANNL4307
2018WSBOSALLANNL4105
2020WSLANNLTBAAL4206

In two of their last three World Series the LA Dodgers played expansion teams, going 1-1.