The World Series Futility Index

Richard Hershberger

Richard Hershberger is a paralegal working in Maryland. When he isn't doing whatever it is that paralegals do, or taking his daughters to Girl Scouts, he is dedicated to the collection and analysis of useless and unremunerative information.

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14 Responses

  1. LTL FTC says:

    For these purposes, why start the Rangers in ’61 when their long-suffering DFW fans have only had a team since 1971? Same goes for the Nats and the happier Twins fandom. I mean, how much Walter Johnson memorabilia is available at Target Field?

    You could differentiate this from the Dodgers, Giants, Braves and As, since both TX and MN completely abandoned the Senators name and (losing) tradition.Report

    • Richard Hershberger in reply to LTL FTC says:

      Honestly, I perhaps over-react to the absurdity of the Cleveland Browns, with the fiction that the Browns simply disappeared for a few years, only to reappear and continue on as the same Cleveland Browns, as if they had fallen into a rift in the space-time continuum, but they are back now, so carry as as normal. The Baltimore Ravens? What do they have to do with this discussion?

      You are right that there is a different look and feel to the Dodgers, Giants, Braves, and A’s. The Dodgers and the Giants wanted to continue their traditional rivalry. The Braves had the whole Hank Aaron thing going. The A’s, umm…. I have no idea. But this is different from the St. Louis Browns moving and adopting the traditional Baltimore baseball name. Everyone knows that the Dodgers used to play in Brooklyn. It is a bit of historical trivia that the Orioles used to be the St. Louis Browns. (Of course, who wouldn’t want to forget that?)

      So if you want to readjust the Futility Index this way, the math is perfectly straightforward, and you have my blessing. Go forth and multiply, or in this case add and divide.Report

  2. I have been critical of this narrative, partly because the Cubs fan’s woe-is-me shtick is old and tiresome,


  3. Doctor Jay says:

    As a fan of the Mariners, who attended their first game, I say ‘amen’! But Texas has it worse, which makes sense. They’ve always seemed hapless. They are always the team with the great offense that does well in the regular season and then folds in the playoffs because they see better pitching, and don’t have any of their own.

    Of course, that could describe a lot of Mariner teams, too.Report

    • El Muneco in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      Well, in futility terms, at least the Rangers made it to the WS twice. The Mariners and Expos are the only teams never even to make it to the last round. That has to count for some bonus points.

      Joined at the hip, those two. Came into the league at the same time. Wore powderish light blue up to the last decade it was possible to do that unironically. Horrible stadiums. Silly logos which still are more memorable than the modern equivalent. One of their best players all-time still on the outside of the HOF looking in when he should have slid in without a throw (although Edgar would likely have injured himself while doing so).Report

      • The Expos arrived in 1969, the Mariners in 1977. I think you’e conflating the Mariners with the Pilots.Report

        • El Muneco in reply to Mike Schilling says:

          Sigh. And if anyone here shouldn’t do that, I’m the one – I actually saw Sick’s Stadium before it was torn down. I was young enough that the memory isn’t real clear, but still I should be able to remember that the Pilots weren’t the Mariners. Hopefully I won’t forget that the Seahawks played in the AFC for years, which really messes up statistical narratives.Report

  4. Michael Cain says:

    I have been critical of this narrative, partly because the Cubs fan’s woe-is-me shtick is old and tiresome…

    Nevertheless, it is part of their persona as a club. Now that’s gone, and in 20 years, they’ll be just another team whining about going 20 years without a World Series title.Report

  5. Interesting post. Although I believe it has its own intrinsic value to see one’s favorite team win within one’s lifetime. Also, Yankees suck.Report

  6. PD Shaw says:

    To add misery, the Rangers were just 2 outs away from winning the World Series in game six in 2011. They were up by two runs and had a 95.9% win expectancy. The Cardinals tied the score, and then in the 10th inning, the Rangers took another two-run lead, which they were unable to hold. Game graph.Report