Not only did the Boston Red Sox give their hometown fans a gift by allowing them to celebrate a World Series title in Fenway (a 95-year wait), but their victory over the St. Louis Cardinals has given the Angels, Blue Jays, Brewers, Giants, Mariners, Mets, Padres, Phillies and Rockies a glimmer of hope as these teams approach the 2014 MLB season. (The glimmer may be somewhat smaller for the Astros, Cubs, Marlins, Twins and White Sox.)
The Red Sox became the 14th team in MLB history to win the World Series a year after finishing with a winning percentage under .500. In 2012, the Red Sox were 69-93 (a .426 winning percentage). Their .426 winning percentage the year prior to their World Series title is the lowest in major league history.
Here’s a rundown of the teams that won World Series the year following a sub .500 season.
World Series champion year, Team (previous season winning percentage)
2013: Boston Red Sox (.426 in 2012)
2002: Florida Marlins (.488)
2001: Anaheim Angels (.463)
1996: Florida Marlins (.494)
1990: Minnesota Twins (.457)
1989: Cincinnati Reds (.463)
1987: Los Angeles Dodgers (.451)
1986: Minnesota Twins (.438)
1968: New York Mets (.451)
1964: Los Angeles Dodgers (.494)
1958: Los Angeles Dodgers (.461)
1953: New York Giants (.455)
1932: New York Giants (.468)
1913: Boston Braves (.457)
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Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
How well is your team doing in the MLB standings?
Well, it’s June 1… the first two months of the season are in the books and each team has about 110 games remaining of their long, 162-game schedule. There are some surprises atop the standings. In the A.L. East, the Baltimore Orioles were picked by many to finish last in the division, but they are currently tied with Tampa Bay for the top spot. The White Sox have a 1.5 game lead in the A.L. Central, and the Texas Rangers have a comfortable 5.5 game lead in the West.
Over in the National League, the Washington Nationals are the surprise leader of the N.L. East, holding a half-game advantage over Miami. The Cincinnati Reds are leading the N.L. Central by 1.5 games, and the Dodgers, even though they were recently swept at home in a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers, have a 5.5 game lead in the West.
What does all this mean? Does being in first place in the division on June 1 carry much weight when it comes to winning the title at the end of the season.
Major League Baseball went to a three-division format in 1995. In the 17 seasons since that change, there have been 102 division winners (17 seasons times six divisions). Of those 102 division-winners, 65 (63.7 percent) were leading their division (or were tied for the division lead) on June 1 of that year.
This season there are 17 teams that are leading their division or are within three games of the lead. Since 1995, 83 of the 102 division-winners (81.4 percent)either were in first place or were three games or less out of first in their division on June 1.
Since 1995, only nine teams won a division after being five games or more out of first place in their division race on June 1 of that year. The Minnesota Twins hold the distinction of winning the A.L. Central in 2006 after being 10.5 games out of first on June 1, 2006. That’s the largest deficit made up in the standings from June 1 in the past 17 seasons. The Twins are the only team to have a double-digit deficit (10 games or more) in the standings on June 1 to win a division title since ’95. This does not bode well for these 2012 teams, (Cubs, Rockies, Padres and Twins) who are each 10 or more games out of first in their division as of today. (Ironically, the Twins are 10.5 games out of first in the A.L. Central. Are they looking for a repeat of 2006?)
Following are the teams that won division titles since 1995 that were five games or more behind in the standings as of June 1 in their title season.
Games behind as of 6/1, Team, Year
10.5: Minnesota, 2006
9.0: Oakland, 2002
8.5: Philadelphia, 2007
8.0: Atlanta, 2001
7.0: San Francisco, 2000
6.5: Chicago Cubs, 2007
5.0: Detroit, 2011
5.0: Oakland, 2003
5.0: Houston, 2001
Note: Of the last 17 World Series champs (since 1995) five were not in first place in their division on June 1 of the year they won the title. The five: Atlanta, 1995 (3.5 games out of first on June 1); N.Y Yankees, 1999 (1.5 games out); N.Y. Yankees, 2000 (1.5 games out); Philadelphia, 2008 (0.5 games out); San Francisco, 2010 (3.5 games out).
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Rodriguez also retires ranking number one in several categories among catchers including: games caught (2,427), runs (1,354) and hits (2,844).
Here’s a few more stats that you might not know about “Pudge.”
1. Rodriguez threw out 45.7% of the runners attempting to steal. This ranks 39th in MLB history. Pudge himself stole 127 bases in his career in 191 attempts, a success rate of 66.5%. He stole 25 bases in 1999. With his 25 steals and 35 home runs that season, Rodriguez became the first catcher in history to have more than 20 HRs and 20 stolen bases in a season.
2. As mentioned above, Pudge caught a record 2,427 games. He did, however, start seven games as a first baseman for the Detroit Tigers in 2006. He committed one error in 63 chances. He also played two innings at second base that same year.
3. He wore number 7 for most of his career. Baseball-Reference.com lists Rodriguez wearing number 12 in 2008 with the Yankees and in 2009 with the Astros. It also shows Pudge wearing number 77 in 2009 with Houston.
4. Rodriguez caught two no-hitters: Kenny Rogers’ perfect game on July 28, 1994 with the Rangers, and Justin Verlander’s no-hitter with the Tigers on June 12, 2007.
5. Pudge is one of only ten catchers to have been voted a league MVP. He won the 1999 A.L. MVP. The other MVP catchers: Mickey Cochrane, Gabby Hartnett, Ernie Lombardi, Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Elston Howard, Johnny Bench, Thurman Munson and Joe Mauer.
6. He played in 14 all-star games, starting in 12 games as A.L. catcher, a record. The A.L. won nine and lost three in the games Pudge started behind the plate. He batted .306 in his All-Star Game career.
7. Rodriguez had a .296 career batting average. In games won by his team, he hit .329; in games lost by his team, he batted .261.
8. Of his 311 career home runs, he hit the most against the Minnesota Twins, 29. He hit eight off Twins pitcher Brad Radke, most against any one pitcher.
9. Pudge is one of only seven catchers to win a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger in the same season; he won both of them in the same year seven times. The others to win both in the same season: Joe Mauer, Jason Veritek, Russell Martin, Benito Santiago, Lance Parrish and Gary Carter. Mauer won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger the same year three times, most of the other catchers on the list.
10. He had 100 or more hits in 19 of his 21 seasons.
11. The only offensive statistical category he led the league in during his career was in 1999 when he led the American League by grounding into 31 double plays.
12. Pudge had 2,844 career hits, but he never had 200 or more hits in a season. He did, however, have 199 hits in 1999. He collected #199 in his next to last game. In his last game of the ’99 season, he went 0-for-4. In fact, he grounded out to second in his last at-bat to end the game.
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The New York Yankees went 52-29 in 2010 at Yankee Stadium giving them their 19th straight season with a winning record at home, longest streak in the major leagues. Topping the National League are the St. Louis Cardinals who have had a winning record at home for 11 straight seasons.
Following are the teams that have the longest current winning seasons at their home park.
Team Consecutive winnings seasons at home
New York Yankees 19
St. Louis Cardinals 11
Philadelphia Phillies 8