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Stark on the improbable

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Stark on the improbable

Postby RAmst23 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 7:32 am

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2 ... id=2641363

This issue has been discussed a little bit on these forums the last couple days, but here Stark writes about it. He asks why baseball fans sneer at the underdog winning, but in other sports they embrace the underdog champion.

I'm going to go with the opinion that, well, baseball fans aren't ready for the underdog. Baseball is accustomed to the '27 Yanks domination, The Big Red Machine, the Gashouse Gang, etc.

The postseason for baseball used to be so small, that the chance for a huge upset wasn't too big. Now, however, more rounds mean greater odds on the upending of a 100 win team. So I guess I want to ask the question of the cafe; would you rather watch a franchise dominate the sport for several years (doesn't have to be the Yankees folks ;-7 ), or rather have what's going on now, which is 7 different champs in the last 7 years??
...Boston papers now and then suffer a sharp flurry of arithmetic on this score; indeed, for Williams to have distributed all his hits so they did nobody else any good would constitute a feat of placement unparalleled in the annals of selfishness. -Updike
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Postby eftda » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:10 am

One could argue that the Cards have been that dominate team which you speak of.

2000: Lost in NLCS
2001: Lost in NLDS
2002: Lost in NLCS
2004: Lost in World Series
2005: Lost in NLCS
2006: Won World Series

They have been there in the last 6 of the last 7 years. If they can pick up another bat this offseason then I don't see a problem with them making the playoffs in 2007.
Last edited by eftda on Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby StarsNPinstripes » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:20 am

Myself, I can see the appeal of both.As a Yankees fan and seeing 7 WS champions in 7 years it makes you not only appreciate the greatness of 1996-2001 but just how difficult it is to accomplish such a feat. Everyone is intrigued by who will topple the dynasty so that serves for good drama.

As a baseball fan, you gotta love it when a great baseball town like St.Louis has their moment, the Chicago WS ending their drought in 2005 and ,Oh my God I am really typing this, even the drama of Boston ending their curse.

You see 7 WS champs in 7 years plus what Detroit did and where they were just 3 years ago and why wouldn't fans think..."Hey, that can be us".This line of thought is what makes having all these different WS champs great for the game...it gives fans of teams that didn't have hope a few season ago a reason to hope and dream.
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Postby wrveres » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:42 am

I agree with eftda here ..

Way to much is bieng placed on STL's Win/Loss record this season.
They have been the class of the National League for most of this century.

calling them underdogs is quite the stretch
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Postby raiders_umpire » Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:56 am

wrveres wrote:I agree with eftda here ..

Way to much is bieng placed on STL's Win/Loss record this season.
They have been the class of the National League for most of this century.

calling them underdogs is quite the stretch




I agree as well. I have just not seen them as this huge underdog like others have said they are. They have been the best NL team in baseball over the last 6 years or so. They had the reigning MVP and Cy Young on the team, and both of those players had good enough years to repeat those awards this year.

I realize they struggled in late September, but the thing was they had such a huge lead in the division, they could struggle and still win the Central. They had a great October run led by a very good coach, the best player in the game, a top 5 pitcher in the game, and several other pitchers step up and pitch great as well.
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Postby Lofunzo » Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:26 am

I actually think that Larussa got back 1 of the WS titles that he "lost". I am referring to the 2 WS from 1988 and 1990, where the argument could clearly be made that the A's were the better team yet they got swept. This time, he turned the tables. Good for him.
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Postby mak1277 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:07 am

I think part of the national backlash is that there wasn't much that passed for true greatness in the entire postseason. To me, it's less about the Cardinals or Tigers, and more about a yearning by the average fan for something truly special.

The Cardinals deserved to win, without any argument to the contrary, but I didn't see anything in any of the playoff series that could be called greatness. It wasn't Johnson and Schilling beating the Yankees, it wasn't Kirk Gibson homering off of Eck, heck...there just weren't many moments that would make you remember where you were when you saw them.

This should take nothing away from the Cards...they're champs, end of story. I'm sure there have been dozens of series that would be similar in comparison too, so there's nothing overly unique here.
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Postby jbauer2485 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:09 am

mak1277 wrote:I think part of the national backlash is that there wasn't much that passed for true greatness in the entire postseason. To me, it's less about the Cardinals or Tigers, and more about a yearning by the average fan for something truly special.

The Cardinals deserved to win, without any argument to the contrary, but I didn't see anything in any of the playoff series that could be called greatness. It wasn't Johnson and Schilling beating the Yankees, it wasn't Kirk Gibson homering off of Eck, heck...there just weren't many moments that would make you remember where you were when you saw them.

This should take nothing away from the Cards...they're champs, end of story. I'm sure there have been dozens of series that would be similar in comparison too, so there's nothing overly unique here.


I don't know about you guys, but I thought it was a very exciting world series compared to most. Great pitching (mostly), back and forth scoring, lots of small ball, crucial errors. It seemed like they were actually playing baseball out there.
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Postby Pogotheostrich » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:13 am

The shoddy defense by the Tigers brought this WS down a notch IMO but otherwise it is just what I want out of a post-season series, great pitching and timely hitting.
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Postby CheeseBeger » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:12 pm

I thought the Tigers pitchers defense was sickening.

But on the topic of 7 WS winners, I think its great. I have alot of friends who are Pirates fans, and they seem genuinly excited about the next few years, and this is partly because of Detroits turnaround.
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