erik lundegaard

Tuesday October 20, 2020

Dodgers vs. Rays: a World Series Comparison

This was kind of fun to put together. Definitely a tale of Haves and Have Nots:

 
YEARS IN EXISTENCE 138 23
POSTSEASONS 34 6
PENNANTS 21 2
CHAMPIONSHIPS 6 0
FIRST PENNANT YEAR 14th 11th
FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR 53rd n/a
OVERALL WIN % .528 .477
2020 WIN % .717 .667
PRIOR NAMES Grays, Atlantics, Bridegrooms, Grooms, Superbas, Trolley Dodgers, Robins Devil Rays
FANS' QUIRK Leave before 9th inning Fans? 
BEST HISTORICAL PLAYER (bWAR) Clayton Kershaw (69.6) Evan Longoria (51.8)
BEST 2020 PLAYER (bWAR) Mookie Betts (3.4) Brandon Lowe (2.1)
RETIRED NUMBERS 1 (Pee Wee Reese), 2 (Tommy Lasorda), 4 (Duke Snider), 19 (Jim Gilliam), 20 (Don Sutton), 24 (Walter Alston), 32 (Sandy Koufax), 39 (Roy Campanella), 42 (Jackie Robinson), 53 (Don Drysdale) 12 (Wade Boggs), 66 (Don Zimmer)
HALL OF FAMERS Wee Willie Keeler (1939), Dazzy Vance (1955), Zack Wheat (1959), Jackie Robinson (1962), Burleigh Grimes (1964), Roy Campanella (1969), Sandy Koufax (1972), Duke Snider (1980), Walter Alston (1983), Don Drysdale (1984), Pee Wee Reese (1984), Leo Durocher (1994), Tommy Lasorda (1997), Don Sutton (1998) n/a
GREAT BOOKS WRITTEN ABOUT The Boys of Summer, Baseball's Great Experiment, Sandy Koufax, Opening Day, I Never Had It Made, 1947: When All Hell Broke Loose in Baseball n/a
GREAT MOVIES MADE ABOUT 42 The Rookie
ALL-STARS ON 2020 SQUAD Clayton Kershaw (8x), Mookie Betts (4x), Kenley Jensen (3x), Cody Bellinger (2x), Corey Seager (2x), Alex Wood, Blake Treinen, Walker Buehler, Justin Turner, AJ Pollock, Joc Pederson, Max Muncy Charlie Morton (2x), Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows, Blake Snell
2020 PAYROLL  $107.9 million  (2nd) $28.2 million (28th) 

How odd is it for the Dodgers to be the Haves? Historically they've been so Have Nots, particularly vis a vis the New York Yankees. At the same time, just add it up. They have the second-most postseason appearances in MLB history (34), and the second-most number of pennants (21), one more than the Giants and two more than the Cardinals. Where they lack? This very thing. Titles. Rings. They have six, nothing to sneeze at, but that puts them sixth all-time, behind the Giants (8), Red Sox (9), Athletics (9), Cardinals (11), and, of course, the damn Yankees (27). 

The Rays have no titles. One of six teams with none: Rangers, Padres, Brewers, Mariners, Rockies. 

I think the saddest of the above comparisons is retired numbers, mostly because the Rays' retired numbers are just sad. Zimmer was a Rays coach for the 11 seasons before he died. And yes, he was great, a flamboyant baseball character, but better known for being on other teams. And ... coach? Not a manager? How many coaches have had numbers retired? But the worst is Boggs. Played all of two seasons with the Devil Rays, his last two seasons, where he accumulated a bWAR of 1.2.

And on the other side? Not just the left-hand of God, Sandy Koufax, but Jackie Robinson, a player whose impact on the game was so great his number has been retired by every Major League team. Including the Rays.

The most important comparison, though? 2020 win percentage. It's kinda close, and that's all that matters. Plus the Rays are younger and better rested. Plus they're the team that took out the Yankees, so ... respect.

I'm rooting for 7.

ADDENDUM: I guess I'm rooting for Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher of his generation who stumbles in the postseason. Last night, during Game 1, he didn't stumble. He gave up a hit to the first batter he faced, a walk to the third, and a homer in the Xth, but that was it. Good line: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 8-1 K/BB. Trouble is, he's had a lot of good lines in the post. Then the eruptions. I'm hoping for none the rest of the way. 

Posted at 06:52 AM on Tuesday October 20, 2020 in category Baseball  
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