Tag Archives: World Series

Are we headed for a ‘same-state’ World Series in 2015?

Could we see a Missouri World Series in 2015?

Could we see a Missouri World Series in 2015?

If you opened up this morning’s paper and glanced at the baseball standings, you discovered something very interesting. Did you see that two teams from the same city are leading their divisions (the Yankees and Mets), two teams from the same state are leading their respective divisions (Missouri’s Royals and Cardinals), and while the Dodgers sit atop the N.L. West, their in-state rivals, the Angels, are just a couple games behind the Astros in the A.L. West race?

What does all this mean? Not only could we see a World Series with two teams from the same state, but for the first time in MLB history there could be three pairs of teams from three states winning the six divisions.

In 1994, baseball went to a three-division format in each of the two leagues. Since then, teams from the same state have won a division title in the same year several times. Considering that there are five teams from California, it’s not surprising that several of those pairs have been west coast teams.  Here’s a look at the other state pairs that have won divisions title in the same year since 1969 when MLB went from two leagues to two divisions in each league.

(New York) New York Yankees and New York Mets: 2006

(Missouri) Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals: 1985

(Illinois) Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox: 2008

(Ohio) Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds: 1995

(California) Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers (2004, 2008, 2009, 2014)
(California) Oakland A’s and Los Angeles Dodgers (1974, 1988, 2013)
(California) Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants (1971, 1989, 2000, 2003, 2012)
(California) Oakland A’s and San Diego Padres (2006)
(California) Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres (2005)

In addition, there are two pairs from the same state that have never won a division title in the same year: Florida’s Tampa Bay and Miami franchises, and the Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants from California.

There have been 20 times when two teams from the same state (and in many cases, the same city) have faced each other in the World Series. The last time it happened was in 2002 when the San Francisco Giants faced off against the Anaheim Angels. The current 12-year drought of not having two teams from the same state play each other in the World Series is the fourth longest in MLB history. The longest drought was from 1956 to 1974, 17 years.

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SF Giants prove you can win a World Series without a league MVP front-runner

SF Giants catcher Buster Posey

SF Giants catcher Buster Posey

 

When the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in 2012, catcher Buster Posey was the National League’s MVP. When they won the World Series this past season, Posey was the highest ranking Giant player in the MVP voting when he finished sixth (Giants outfielder Hunter Pence finished 11th, the second-highest finish for a Giants player) in the National League voting. Go back a few more years to when San Francisco won the 2010 World Series, and you’ll see that Aubrey Huff was the Giants player who finished the highest in the voting with a seventh-place finish.

What does all this mean? Well, based on past history we can see that no longer does it take a front-runner for the league MVP Award to lead his team to the World Series.

This year was the 11th time since 1990 that the World Series champion did not have a player finish in the Top 5 for the league MVP Award. Here’s a look at those 11 teams.

World Series champ, highest finish for the league MVP Award

1990: Cincinnati, Barry Larkin (7th)
1991: Minnesota, Kirby Puckett (7th)
1996 N.Y. Yankees, Mariano Rivera (tie for 12th)
1997: Florida, Moises Alou (10th)
1999: N.Y. Yankees, Derek Jeter (6th)
2000: N.Y. Yankees, Derek Jeter (10th)
2003: Florida, Juan Pierre (10th)
2005: Chicago White Sox, Paul Konerko (6th)
2010: San Francisco, Aubrey Huff (7th)
2013: Boston, Dustin Pedroia (tie for 7th)
2014: San Francisco, Buster Posey (6th)

Prior to the 1990 season, there was never a season where the World Series champion had a player finish lower than 5th in the league MVP Award balloting. In fact, from 1923 to 1989, only seven teams won the World Series with the highest player finish in the league MVP Award being third or lower. Those seven:

1989 Oakland (Dennis Eckersley, 5th); 1987 Minnesota (Kirby Puckett, 3rd); 1986 N.Y. Mets (Gary Carter, 3rd); 1981 L.A. Dodgers (Fernando Valenzuela, 5th); 1977 N.Y. Yankees (Graig Nettles, 5th); 1959 L.A. Dodgers (Wally Moon, 4th); 1928 N.Y. Yankees (Tony Lazzeri, 4th).

From 1923 to 1984 (60 seasons), 41 of the World Series champs also had the player who won the league MVP Award in their league, with another 15 World Series champs having the player who finished second in the balloting for the league honor. Since 1985, only two teams that won the World Series had the player who won the league MVP Award: Posey in 2012 for the Giants, and in 1988 when N.L. MVP Kirk Gibson led the Dodgers to a World Series title.

Is there a lesson here? Probably that it no longer takes a team with a front-runner for the league MVP to win the World Series.

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Wanna win the World Series? Hire a former MLB catcher to be your manager!

 

World Series managers (and former MLB catchers) Bruce Bochy & Ned Yost

World Series managers (and former MLB catchers) Bruce Bochy & Ned Yost

With the 2014 World Series starting tonight, one thing is for certain: A former major league catcher will manage his team to a World Series title when the series is over.

Kansas City’s Ned Yost and San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy were both catchers during their playing days in the majors. Yost played six years in the majors (1980-85), four of those seasons with the Brewers. Bochy had a 10-year MLB career (1978-87) playing six seasons with the Padres.

This will be the second World Series since 2001 where the opposing managers were former MLB catchers. In 2001 Bob Brenly (Arizona) and Joe Torre (N.Y. Yankees) faced off in the series won by the Diamondbacks in seven games.

In the 15 World Series this century (including this year), 11 of the 30 managers in the Fall Classic were former catchers. Bochy and Torre each had three appearances in the World Series from 2000-2014; Mike Scioscia, Brenly, Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny and Yost are the other former MLB catchers who managed in the World Series since 2000. Since a former catcher will win the title this year, that will be seven times in the last 15 years for former catchers to manage a World Series champ since 2000.

From 1901-2013, there have been 66 different managers that won a World Series. Of those 66, seven never played in the majors. Of the other 59, there have been 13 catchers, most of any position player. Following is a breakdown of the former MLB player positions that have won a World Series. (Noted in parenthesis are the number of World Series titles won by each position.)

* Several of the World Series managers played multiple positions during their MLB careers. For the sake of this posting, the position noted is the position where they had the most games played.

Catchers: 13 different managers (won 23 titles)
Second Basemen: 10 different managers (won 18 titles)
First Basemen: 8 different managers (won 14 titles)
Left Fielders: 6 different managers (won 7 titles)
Third Basemen: 5 different managers (won 8 titles)
Pitchers: 5 different managers (won 6 titles)
Shortstops: 5 different managers (won 5 titles)
Right Fielders: 4 different managers (won 11 titles)
Center Fielders: 3 different managers (won 4 titles)
Managers with no MLB playing experience: 7 different managers (won 13 titles)

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SIX STATS Trivia: MLB’s MVP Award winners

English: Miguel Cabrera at Dodger Stadium.

Miguel Cabrera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detroit‘s Miguel Cabrera and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutcheon were selected as the A.L. and N.L. MVPs for the 2013 baseball season. How well do you know trivia about MLB’s most valuable players? Take this quick quiz. Answers appear at the end of the column.

1. Since 1983 there have been 16 occasions when the league MVP and the Manager of the Year came from the same team. It has not, however, happened since 2001. Can you name the player and manager from the same team that won those honors in 2001? Hint: The team was the Seattle Mariners. Can you name the National League player and manager from the same team that won those honors last in the N.L. (it happened in 2000). Hint: The team was the San Francisco Giants.

2. Both of this year’s MVPs did not see their team advance to the World Series. Name the last year that the A.L. and N.L. MVPs also appeared in the World Series that season.

3. With Cabrera winning the A.L. MVP this year, it was the third consecutive year that a Detroit Tiger won the award (Cabrera won in 2012 and Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was the A.L. MVP in 2011.) Since the beginning of the MVP awards, the MVP has come from the same team in three (or more) consecutive years nine times. The 1975-77 Cincinnati Reds were one of those teams. Here’s the question: From 1970-77, a player from the Reds won the N.L. MVP six times in those eight years. Can you name the four Reds players who won an N.L. MVP from 1970-77?

4. Cabrera this season became the 30th player in MLB history to win the MVP more than once. Of those 30 players, 22 are currently in the Hall of Fame, three (Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols and Cabrera) are still active players. Can you name the remaining five players who won multiple MVP awards who are not in baseball’s Hall of Fame?

5. Since 1970 only five catchers have won a league MVP. Name the five.

6. Going back to 1990, there are nine current MLB franchises that have not had one of their players win a league MVP. Can you name those nine teams?

SIX STATS Trivia answers.
1. Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piniella and player Ichiro Suzuki won the honors in the A.L. in 2001. Giant’s manager Dusty Baker and infielder Jeff Kent were the N.L. honorees in 2000.

2. The last time the league MVPs squared off in the World Series was in 2012 when the Giants faced the Tigers. Giants’ catcher Buster Posey was the N.L. MVP; Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera was the 2012 A.L. MVP.

3. The four Cincinnati Reds players who won N.L. MVP honors from 1970-1977 were: Johnny Bench (1970, 1972), Pete Rose (1973), Joe Morgan (1975, 1976) and George Foster (1977).

4, The five multiple MVP winners (non-active players) who are not in the Hall of Fame are Barry Bonds, Juan Gonzalez, Roger Maris, Dale Murphy and Frank Thomas.

5. The five catchers selected as league MVPs since 1970 are Johnny Bench (1970, 1972), Thurman Munson (1976), Ivan Rodriguez (1999), Joe Mauer (2009) and Buster Posey (2012).

6. The nine teams/franchises that have not had a league MVP since 1990: Arizona, Cleveland, Kansas City, L.A. Dodgers, Miami, N.Y. Mets, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Washington.

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World Series win gives Red Sox a turnaround for the ages

The 2004 World Series Trophy in City Hall Plaz...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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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