Series! (2010s)


Mike Schilling

Mike has been a software engineer far longer than he would like to admit. He has strong opinions on baseball, software, science fiction, comedy, contract bridge, and European history, any of which he's willing to share with almost no prompting whatsoever.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I assume you mean the Red Sox won 4-2.

    The Giants have 3 Series wins in 5 years. Where do you think that puts them historically? Are we more or less impressed by this given the ever-expanding playoff field (and I don’t remember off the top of my head if any of the years they won would have years they wouldn’t even have made the playoffs under prior formats).Report

  2. Avatar clawback says:

    Does the team that won in 2011 have a name?Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    They won their division in ’10 and ’12 and were tied for the wildcard this year, so there would have been a one-game playoff even without the latest rule change. But they didn’t have the best record any of those years, so they wouldn’t have advanced under pre-1969 rules. If you reconstitute the divisions that existed from 1969-1993, they advance only in 2010.

    But I’m less impressed now that there’s more randomness in the system. The Giants of the 2010s are certainly not nearly as good as the Big Red Machine, which won 95+ six years out of seven and featured three of the greatest players in the history of the game, but won only two championships, or the great Earl Weaver Oriole teams, which won only one. Compared to the long struggle for dominance of the regular season, the playoffs are a crapshoot. A weak team that gets hot at the right time can beat a much better one, and often does.Report

    • Avatar Ken S in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      Mike is right. Furthermore, these Giants aren’t even as good as the Giants of the 60’s, with HOF’ers Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Perry, Cepeda for part of the decade, and next tier stars Haller, Lanier, Hart and so on. That team managed only one World Series appearance, a heart-breaking loss that Mike described a few posts ago. They finished second (often to Sandy Koufax) more times than I care to count.Report

      • Avatar switters in reply to Ken S says:

        This is the beginning of a conversation I’ve had a million times. And it all depends on definitions. What does the “better team” mean? The one more successful at accomplishing their goals (i.e., winning world series), the one that more consistently performed at a high level during the regular season relative to their competition, or the one we think would be favored in a head to head match-up (which may or may not include measures to minimize the fact that current athletes, in general, are simply superior to those who played in the past).

        I lean strongly toward the one that wins the most titles, but I haven’t completely made up my mind yet (and probably never will).Report

      • Avatar Ken S in reply to Ken S says:

        There will never be a single, universally accepted definition of “better team.” But, to repeat Mike’s point, any given baseball game contains an uncontrollable random element (dumb luck, in other words). The only way to correct for dumb luck is to play a lot of games, and wait for the Law of Large Numbers to even things out. The more you add rounds of playoffs and wild card teams the less important the long regular season becomes, and the more heavily World Series champions are influenced by dumb luck.

        Joe Sportscaster: Jones called ‘heads’ and the toss came up ‘tails.’ Jones just didn’t want it badly enough.Report

      • Avatar switters in reply to Ken S says:

        I understand both your and Mike’s point. And Joe sportscaster annoys this shit out of me too. But yout point, taken to its logical conclusion, would entail eliminating the playoffs and crowning the team with the best regular season record. We don’t do that though, and I’m glad about that.

        Nor do most people talk about the teams with the best regular season win %. We talk about titles. And we should.

        Because while its hard to quantify, sinking an 8 ft putt to win the Masters, hitting a home run in the bottom of the 9th of game 5 of the world series, or throwing 2 td’s in the 4th quarter of the superbowl, is different, and more impressive, than a similar putt in a regular PGA event, a home run in the 5th inning of a game in may, or tossing two tds in the third week of the regular season. Rational nor not, that difference is the essence of sport.Report