The Happy Years
well, they'd be happy ones if there were such a thing as a neutral fan


BJOL has a concept up.  "How much does a team DESERVE a championship?"  In other words, how long have they been waiting, and how close have they been to getting there?

James lists 10 years that the #1 most deserving team actually did win the World Series.  He calls these Happy Years.  Last year the Cubs won in a Happy Year.  I was surprised to see that 1975, the Big Red Machine, won in a Happy Year.  1921, the Giants won in a Happy Year...


James points out that many coaches get labeled as the "Guy who can't win the Big One" - Chuck Knox was that.  Marty Schottenheimer, Bud Grant, Dusty Baker, Bobby Cox for a while.

I had no idea that John McGraw was that guy for a long, long time.  He refused to play the AL in 1904, considering it beneath him; then he played and won in 1905, but then the streak began.  They won 90+ and finished 2nd, 3rd a lot.  From 1911-13, was it?, they lost the Series every year.

From 1906-1920 the Giants went through the worst streak of "Close but No Cigar" seasons anybody ever had, any sport.  Or so James guesses.  But then in 1921 they gave baseball a Happy Year, a team that deserved a title and got a title.  They beat Babe Ruth (58 homers) and Home Run Baker (9 homers) by 5 games to 3.


The M's get scads of points for never winning and never being close.  Their points decay, however, since they're not usually close, either.

BJOL puts an asterisk on its Happy Years:  2001 was a happy year for the Yankees because of the Twin Towers.  That means he's got two playoff teams capable of Happy Years:  the Dodgers, who lead the points system, and the Houston Astros.

The Mariners were firing on all cylinders, going into the last couple weeks, looking for some magic as Stanton put it.  And then they hadda go down to Houston and find out where they stood.  I might have to root for Houston just to root for Justin Verlander trades.




tjm's picture

. . . . couldn't agree more. We get Mike Leake, the Stros get Verlander. In the off-season, we get Danny Valencia, they get Josh Reddick.  Other teams make huge additions. The Dodgers go get Yu Darvish.  the Cubs gt Jose Quintana.


Watching parts of the Verlander NLCS gem it was almost impossible NOT to be stung by the difference in determination showed by the Astros' acquisition of the Tigers' righty and the M's acquisition of Leake. To be sure, one could say acquiring Verlander wouldn't have been enough for the M's. One could say that in the long run the contract would have become an albatross. One could say a lot of things. What one couldn't say is that the M's were determined to make the playoffs. Oh, it's their goal, their aspiration. Just like it's my aspiration to be an bona fide orchestral composer. Not gonna happen. I simply don't have the chops, the focus, or the single-minded determination. Neither do the M's.  


and thank you.  Can't bring myself to root for any of them. Rooting for many sweeps instead, get it over with. 

SonicBOOM!'s picture

Can anyone remember... in ANY sport... the four largest national markets being represented by the four semi-finalist teams? (We used to see NYY vs. NYG, or NYY vs. BrkD, a lot in the 40's/50's... but what about a playoff involving the Top Four Markets?!)


The top 3 are easy enough but I've prob'ly been told twenty times that HOU is number 4 and still don't remember.  LOL.

According to this list, Brooklyn and Queens both come in ahead of Houston :- ) and Manhattan is #7.  I'm guessing the NY metro area is good-sized.


Yes, super cool that NY - LA - Chi - Hou are the four teams remaining, and three of those are "super teams" according to Fangraphs.

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