The 2000-14 Cardinals
More on the "HOW's" of sustained success


By the way, there are "short and intense" dynasties and "longer, milder" dynasties in James' paradigm.  Makes sense if you think about it.  The Miami Heat under LeBron James were the former; the San Antonio Spurs under Tim Duncan, the latter.  Kewl?   If you ask me, 5 trophies in 15 years, and you're lethal every one of the 15 years, I'm willing to call it the Duncan Dynasty.  It's a cohesive story down there, too.

That in mind, were you aware that (by James' points sytem) the St. Louis Cardinals, 2000-present (!!), are the 12th-greatest dynasty ever?

Check out their b-ref franchise history page.  WOW!   Playoffs 11 times ... it's a "tournament" now so 3 World Series, winning 1, I've got no gripes about them.  They're pretty well a San Antonio Spurs dynasty.


Interestingly, the 2007-11 Phillies "mini-dynasty" (Roy Halladay, Chase Utely, Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins) officially hit the wall in 2014 and fell off the scoreboard -- if they win a World Series next year, it will be as part of a different era.

The 1994-2012 Yankees will have to achieve something in 2015, or their awesome run will be "over" by James' formula.

The Detroit Tigers have always bumped up against the margin of Dynasty Status but always fallen short.  Per BJOL, if they win 90+ games next year, they'll (barely) achieve that status.

Don't know bout choo, but I find that stuff interesting :- )


Bill wrote about the 2000-12 Cardinals, back in 2012,


Key Figures:   Albert Pujols, Tony LaRussa, Chris Carpenter, Scott Rolen, Jim Edmonds

The Cardinals of the last ten years are not a cohesive team or a cohesive story.   They have changed parts and continued to roll along.   Although 2000 to 2011 isn’t that long a period of time, the only real constants to the team have been LaRussa and Pujols, both gone now.   

It seems that what has driven the team’s success is not one player or another, but the size and energy of the Cardinal fan base and the acumen of their front office, which has replaced Jim Edmonds and Larry Walker with Matt Holladay and Lance Berkman without seeming to miss a beat.


Naturally, the "acumen of the Cardinals' front office" was of little interest to the Mariners when he begged to serve here.


On a separate note, Bill James left his readers with a riddle before he went out of the country for a week.  

  • Why so few AL dynasties, especially in the period 1947-1964?
  • Yes, the 1947-64 Yankees were THE greatest dynasty EVER ...
  • ... but there were teams that should have broken through....
  • ... the 1949-56 Indians (Feller, Lemon, Wynn, Garcia, Doby) had a .610 winning percentage (!) and never below .571.
  • ... the 1953-65 White Sox (Nellie Fox, Minnie Minoso, Aparicio) were .573 for 13 years, an Earl Weaver-type run.

At BJOL they got no idea what happened, but the answer's obvious ;- )   well, sorta.


Dr D




Much easier to be a dynasty in a weak league than a strong one. The AL has bee the stronger league according to my calculations in 89 of the 114 years that both have existed.

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