More on Baseball (10-3-16)

It was about a year ago that I wrote about rejoining the baseball world after a 20 year sabbatical. I know that’s (calling  it a 20- year sabbatical) a contradiction of terms, but bare with me on this. Or is it bear with me on this? It’s bear.
Boy… My first blog in months and I’m already confused.
Anyway… If you think I abandoned baseball again since I haven’t been posting scores or “W Flags” on my Facebook page, no, I haven’t abandoned baseball.  In fact I’ve listened to or watched 90% of the Cub’s games this whole season. So I’ll make up for not posting “W Flags” on Facebook:
Ok… there are 12 flags. But I would have to insert 91 more flags to show what the Cubs have done this year (103 winning games this season).
Yes, you heard me right.  The Cubs have won 103 games this season. The last time the Cubs won 100 games was in 1935.  In fact, until this year the Cubs have only won 100 games 5 times:
1906   116 wins
1907   107 wins
1909   104 wins
1010   104 wins
1935   100 wins
Even in general, winning 100 games doesn’t happen often.  It looks like it’s only happened 99 times in the last 125 seasons (from 1892 through 2016).  So even though the Cubs have joined a fairly elite group in winning 103 games, and are the best team in baseball as they have been all season long, I don’t even think about the Cubs winning the world series.
How about this: The Cubs have 3 players that could wind up as the National League Most Valuable Player: Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell.  So you’d think that would bolster my hopes that the Cubs will win the world series, right.  Nope.
How about pitching?  The Cubs have the best staff in baseball.   Last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Jake Arrietta, this year’s potential Cy Young Award Winner Kyle Hendricks plus John Lester, John  Lackey and the most feared flamethrower in baseball, Aroldis Chapman. This guys throws 105 mile an hour fastballs. So with a great starting rotation, a solid core of middle relievers and Hector Rondon and Aroldis Chapman to close them out, am I now satisfied the Cubs will win the world series?  Not at all.
The bottom line is, although I believe the 2016 Cubs are the best Cubs team I’ve seen in my life, and I do believe they are the best team in baseball,  I felt better about last year’s team winning it all than I do this year.  It’s not that I am superstitious or anything or believe in that Billy Goat curse or any of that nonsense.
What I do believe in is numbers.  And history has shown me that the team with the best record in baseball rarely wins the world series.  One of the things that makes baseball so great is that on any given day, the worst team in baseball can beat the best team in baseball.  Last week the Atlanta Braves (one of the worst teams in baseball) put the spanking on the New York Mets (one of the best teams in baseball fighting for a wild card slot), sweeping them at New York.
Remember what I said, “On any given day, the worst team in baseball can beat the best team in baseball”.  Last year the Kansas City Royals won the world series and at the end of the regular season, they only had the 4th best record in baseball.
If you clicked the above hyperlink and read the article, you know that over the last 54 seasons, only 14 teams with the best record went on to win the Fall Classic
That’s why I don’t think the Cubs will win the world series this year.  Some of the best teams in the history of the sport have been eliminated before making it to the World Series.  Plus, one of the teams with the best win/loss record in the history of baseball was the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who won a record 116 games… Any they got beat in the American League Championship Series.  They didn’t even make it to the World Series.
The 2001 Seattle Mariners share the record with the most regular season wins.  Guess who the other team is… The 1906 Chicago Cubs, and that team lost the 1906 World Series to their cross town rivals, the Chicago White Sox.  I’m not really saying the 1906 Cubs and the 2001 Mariners are the two best teams in the history of baseball, but I am saying they had the best records in the history of the game and neither won the World Series.
Last year the Cubs rolled into the post season with a bit of momentum, and a little bit of swagger but not a lot of attitude (except Arietta). This year they just rolled into the post season.  They really are the best team in baseball but on any given day, the worst team in baseball can beat the best team in baseball.
Still, like last year it’s been a great year to be a Cubs fan and at this point, that’s good enough for me.  Any wins from now on will be a bonus.
Added Later (March 2018): Well, the Cubs did it! After a 108 year drought they won the world series in one of the most thrilling series of all time, and game #7 should go down as the single best world series game of all time. I could ramble and post stats for hours but by now I’m sure you’ve already seen/heard most of them.  Not to mention that this team has the potential to wake the post season for many years to come.
Ok.. I’ll give baseball a rest now., but one more time:  CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!

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