The 11 Teams that Haven't Made It to the World Series in the Wild Card Era
Since neither the Cubs nor Blue Jays made it, the list remains unchanged from last year except for the numbers: How many postseasons they've been in and how close they got:
|LA Dodgers||9||54 outs away: lost 2013 NLCS to Cardinals, 4 games to 2|
|Oakland A's||8||108 outs away: lost 2006 to Detroit, 4 games to 0|
|Minnesota Twins||6||81 outs away: lost 2002 ALCS to Angels, 4 games to 1|
|Baltimore Orioles||4||54 outs away lost 1997 ALCS to Indians, 4 games to 2|
|Chicago Cubs||4||5 outs away: Up 3 games to 2 in 2003 NLCS vs. Marlins, led 3-0 in the 8th w/1 out no one on|
|Cincinnati Reds||4||128 outs away: Up 2 games to zip in 2012 NLDS, they led 1-0 in Game 3 until Giants tied it in 3rd; never led again|
|Seattle Mariners||4||54 outs away: lost 1995 ALCS to Indians, 4 games to 2|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||3||135 outs away: lost 2013 NLDS to Cardinals, 3 games to 2|
|Milwaukee Brewers||2||54 outs away: lost 2011 NLCS to Cardinals, 4 games to 2|
|Washington Nationals||2||109 outs away: 1 out away from winning Game 5 of 2012 NLDS vs. Cardinals, instead lost 9-7|
|Toronto Blue Jays||1||54 outs away: lost 2015 ALCS to KC, 4 games to 2|
Three teams, all in the NL—Nats, Reds and Pirates—have never made an LCS in the Wild Card era.
The team the furthest from the World Series has been the Pirates, despite being in the postseason the last three seasons. The closest was the Cubs in the Steve Bartman year: just five fucking outs away. (Recommended viewing: “Catching Hell,” a “30 for 30” documentary about scapegoats in general and Steve Bartman in particular, by Alex Gibney. Rough.)
The team that crushed the most dreams? The Cards, who, over the years, eliminated the Nats, Brewers, Pirates and Dodgers.
In the AL, it's the Indians, who crushed the hopes of both the Mariners and Orioles, before, of course, having their own crushed in the World Series.
Oddly not crushing hopes on this list? The New York Yankees, who have certainly crushed their fair share of hopes over the years.
In 2003, the Cubs were only five outs from their first World Series when this happened. Well, this, and then: double, walk, single, E6, double, intentional walk, sac fly, intentional walk, double and single.