On Winning — and Losing — The World Series (by AtlCrackers Fan)

With the World Series receding into the background, a few final tidbits to ponder before hibernating until spring training.

The Red Sox franchise has now captured eight World Series which moves them into 4th place for most Series won. Previously they had been tied with the Giants. The Red Sox have gone 8-4 in their Series appearances which gives them the 3rd best winning percentage (minimum 5 appearances). However, their 12 appearances is only good for sixth on the list of franchise appearances.

The Cardinals have now lost eight World Series, tying them with the Cubbies for most Series lost. Previously St. Louis was tied with Detroit. The Cards have now gone 11-8 for their World Series appearances, which gives them the 6th best winning percentage (minimum 5 appearances). Their 19 appearances ties them with the Giants (NY & SF) for 2nd most on the list of franchises appearances.

The Braves franchise has appeared in nine World Series, going 3-6. They’ve captured one World Series in each city (1914 – Boston; 1957 – Milwaukee; and 1995 – Atlanta).

81 thoughts on “On Winning — and Losing — The World Series (by AtlCrackers Fan)”

  1. If 3 data points represent a trend, maybe a move is the solution. I understand Montreal no longer has a team!!
    Of course one could also conclude the Braves next W.S. win occurs in 2028, based on the declining # of years between previous victories. 14-57 = 43. 57-95 = 38, 95-28 = 33

  2. In all seriousness, what *would* you guys do if the team relocated to another city? I think I’d keep following them if they moved somewhere relatively nearby (like Charlotte, for instance), but I’m not sure about a move to Canada or the West Coast or Northeast. Would you still follow them even then, or would you try to switch allegiances to another team or even stop following baseball altogether?

    ETA: There’s a parallel with the Thrashers, of course, but I was never a big hockey guy. Nothing against the team; I just didn’t like the sport. I wasn’t that emotionally invested in them when they were here, so it was easy to just stop caring about hockey altogether when they left. But I *am* a huge baseball guy, obviously, so that might be difficult if the Braves ever left.

  3. Actually the NHL is 0-2 in Atlanta. How many remember the Flames?

    Seriously, I doubt MLB would let the Braves move for several reasons.
    a) There aren’t that many desirable cities left (and there are other franchises with much worse issues (Tampa Bay and Oakland for instance).
    b) Atlanta, and the southeast in general, has more than adequately supported the Braves.
    c) Based on the limited information available in Liberty Media’s financial filings with the SEC, the team has been cash positive in the last few years. Whether they’ve turned a profit and by which definition may be an open question.

    Just like all the immigrants to Atlanta who reflexively support the (Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox … name your team) I can’t imagine pulling for anyone other than the Braves, no matter where they called home!

  4. @3

    Nope, not a chance in hell. You’ve abandoned the city, you’ve abandoned me and every single individual person living in it. And I can’t support you anymore if you’re going to spit in my face. And that’s saying something, by the way, because the Braves are my favorite team across all sports, but the team is the city and the area it is in. They’re not the Braves anymore if they move someplace else. Pretty much the worst thing a professional sports team can do is move to another city IMO. It should absolutely never happen, and there’s really no reason why it ever has to happen.

    I wouldn’t stop following baseball altogether like I did with hockey, but I just wouldn’t have a team, and I’d probably follow it less than I do now.

  5. My father has been following the Braves since 1944. He didn’t like them leaving Boston, but he loved the team so much that he stayed with them. That’s a loyal fan.

    I have no love for the South, but the Braves are still my team. They could move to Iran, and I’d still be with them.

  6. Atlanta incubates hockey teams the same way we breed pandas. Then we release them into the wild of their native habitat; western Canada.

  7. In ex-Braves news, Andruw Jones won the first championship of his career last night, as the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles took the Japan Series title for the first time in their history. Their superstar starter who had gone 26-0 prior to starting Game 6 of the series, threw 160 pitches in a complete game loss. He then came into the 9th and closed out the 3-0 win in Game 7.

    Somewhere, Dusty Baker came a little.

  8. #4
    I tried to follow the Flames on WTCG when I was a kid, but never fully understood the game. I watched some, but I just knew that I was missing something.

    But when I moved to the New York area in 1990, I went to a playoff gave between the Devils & Pittsburgh (with Mario Lemieux) and was hooked. Seeing it up close & in-person made all the difference. Been a hockey fan ever since.

    In fact, caught a Devils/Minnesota Wild game tonight in St. Paul. Didn’t work out so well for the visitors, but a good experience nonetheless. The local beer (save Grain Belt) wasn’t too bad either.

  9. I think I’m with Nick on this one. I grew up watching the Braves on TBS on our B&W TV with my mom (who taught me how to be a Braves fan) but if they leave I think it will be closer to my reaction to the Thrashers leaving than not. I also used to go to Flames games and I had season tickets to the Thrashers. I have not watched more than 5 minutes of hockey at any one time since the Thrashers left. Every so often I think “watching some hockey would be fun” and I try to watch but it just reminds me that the Thrashers abandoned me and I inevitably get pissed off and change the channel. I will say that I still try to get over to watch a Gladiators game a couple of times a year because they have not left Gwinnett (although the commute is horrible for me because there is no good direct route). So if the Braves left but the Gwinnett Braves stayed I would probably just go to a few of their games during the year but I think I would mostly be done with watching MLB only because it would be a constant reminder that the Braves were no longer here.

  10. I am an Atlanta native, born and raised, but I think I would continue to follow the Braves and root for them. Undoubtedly, the loyalty would be weakened and lost at the hypothetical point that Atlanta got another team.

    Also, I was never much of a hockey fan. Went to a few Thrashers games, but I don’t think I will ever give the NHL another penny.

  11. Top 50 free agents and predictions of where they’ll land is up over at MLBTR. Nothing exciting predicted for us…#31 Tim Hudson to the Barves.

  12. view from an oddly related position, you can probably imagine how ingrained hockey is to the culture of western Canada, so when the Jets left Winnipeg, a lot of us were in the position where there was no way we could continue to follow the franchise down to Phoenix (of all places) with the money grubbing owners. However you cannot simply switch allegiances to the nearest team because you have most likely grown up hating them with all your sports personality. Hence the seeming contradiction of a Winnipeg boy being a Braves fan is no contradiction at all to me, you fall in love with a team and that’s it…end of story. When that team leaves (not to be overly melodramatic about it) but a part of you dies or at least leaves too.

    Now with the Jets (Thrashers) back, the community is alive again. Good times, but for me, just not the same. Anyways, that is my view from the north.

  13. I don’t even like the South except for the Braves, and I practically never get to games at Turner Field anyway because I’m hardly ever in Atlanta. It would be the easiest thing in the world for me to support the Braves if they moved elsewhere; indeed, I doubt it would change my fan experience in any way.

  14. Honestly, I would keep following the Braves as long as they remained in the eastern time zone. Routine 10 PM first pitches would be tough to stick through.

  15. See, while I’ve never lived in Atlanta, I think one of the reasons I enjoy the Braves is BECAUSE they’re “of the South” in a way that no other MLB team is. The South is all about BBQ, biscuits, college football, and humidity, and I have affection for such things.

  16. I love the South. I consider myself a Southerner even though I’ve lived in the Midwest for 20 years. And what #20 said.

    Is it bad that I can’t find a place in my heart for the two home state major college football programs, Clemson or USC?

    I’d still follow the Braves if they weren’t in Atlanta. I’m one of the many Braves fans that got their exposure to the team via TBS.

  17. If the Braves relocated, I wouldn’t follow them anymore. I don’t even live in the south anymore, but they wouldn’t be the sames team in my eyes. They already aren’t the same team I grew up watching. This whole TBS thing needs to be fixed. I know getting the Braves back on TBS full time is an impossibility, but the team needs more nationally televised games. As is, it’s pretty difficult for me to follow the team up here in the Northwest.

    PS. I miss the south but not the humidity or the insects. All I want to do on a week day afternoon is put the Braves on the radio while I’m out on my boat fishing. I’d try to end every work day like that. :)

  18. I’ve been both kinds of Braves fan in my lifetime: the kid who got into them from faraway via TBS, now the adult who lives in Atlanta and goes to 10+ games a year.

    If I’d never become the latter type of Braves fan, I’d probably not care if they moved. But the tailgating-and-game-attending experience is an important part of my friends’ and my summers now. If they took that away from me, I’d tell them to go screw. I’d probably just root for my fantasy team at that point.

    I’ve gone the other way around with my other pro team, the Dallas Mavericks. I’ve had an entirely virtual (and road games at Philips) relationship with them for the entire Nowitzki era, so if they changed physical locations it wouldn’t matter one bit to me.

  19. @22, the South is also about eating chicken wings, listening to metallica, drinking Keystone Light, and wanting to get into the stadium to scream as loud as you can.

    I grew up in Atlanta but I haven’t lived there since I left for college. So my experience of the Braves is a long-distance relationship, and it probably always will be from here on out. If the Braves moved, it would sever another connection with my childhood — but I think that, if anything, it was harder to watch the departures or retirements of Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Leo Mazzone, Andruw Jones, John Schuerholz, John Smoltz, Bobby Cox, and Chipper Jones. It was hard to watch TBS stop carrying the Braves. And it hurt like hell to lose Skip Caray.

    So I wouldn’t stop being a Braves fan. But it’ll hurt.

  20. I guess generally speaking I’m a fan of baseball more than one particular team, so I tend to gravitate toward the nearest MLB team to where I live. Growing up in south Louisiana, that was the Astros. Undergrad was Braves. First seven years of my professional career, Cubs. Been back in the Atlanta area for the last 25 years, Braves again. If they moved, it would probably depend on where they moved. I wouldn’t feel particularly abandoned or embittered.

    Now teams that I *don’t* like, I don’t think I could change that very easily. If I moved to NY (not happening), I wouldn’t become either a Yankees or Mets fan. I have *some* standards.

  21. Alex, thank you for keeping this site going. I was waiting for the Keystone reference. There are days when the rhythm of the comments here are very soothing.

    My dad took me to a Crackers game our first year in Atlanta. I’ve been a Braves fan since they left Cloninger in too long on opening day. If they moved to Montreal, I’m afraid my ardor would diminish considerably. If I moved away, and I have – only to return, I would still follow their every move.

    I believe Wren is going to surprise us. An Upton may leave, and a Lee might arrive.

  22. I will always follow the Braves, no matter where they would relocate. Then again, I think I have watched them more often on the road anyway whenever I am in the US. Apart from that, I love you mlb.tv.

  23. Mark Grogan: Keeping Cloninger in too long on opening day is one of my nostalgic moments as well. On the other hand, given his prowess as a hitter, at least Bobby Bragan wasn’t pulling a Fredi with him, letting him hit just before he tired out. For those who don’t remember, he put up a 1.3 hitting WAR as a pitcher in 1966, which included the famous game where he had 9 RPI, including two grand slams, in Candlestick.

  24. @35 No. And apparently we only offered Hudson a one-year deal. He was asking for a two-year deal. I thought us resigning him was a foregone conclusion, but now I’m not so sure.

  25. #35 – None of the three are worth $14.1 next year. Maholm is definitely gone. I still think we could negotiate a deal with EOF and Huddy though.

    I think we’d be safe giving Hudson a 2/$15 deal

  26. It may take closer to 2/$18-20, but it would be a good investment. It’s going to be tough losing Chipper Prado Bmac and Huddy in two seasons.

  27. @35: The qualifying offer is based on the average annual value of the 125 biggest contracts in baseball, I believe. This year it’s $14.1 million for one year, so only very good players will receive a QO.

  28. @38 I wouldn’t be thrilled with that amount. Sure, you’d like to have the extra pitching depth Hudson can offer, and there’s the assurance that you largely know what you’re getting from him. But what you’re getting also isn’t likely to be better than our 4 or 5th best starter, so I wouldn’t give more than $9 for one year, and even that has some sentimental value baked in. If he wants another year, it should be for less per, so maybe $14-$15 at most as you said before.

  29. Word is that Kansas City and Cleveland are both actively pursuing Hudson. I’d certainly like to have him back for stability in the back of the rotation, but if the price is 2 or more years at an AAV in the double digit mils, you just shake hands and wish him good luck in the AL. Then go get a #1 and push everyone else down a slot.

  30. I am not sure Hudson will be worth $8M – $9M for the 2014 Braves, let alone the 2015 team.

    Would he take incentives and a vesting option?

  31. 2 years at 18 million would be asking Hudson to be a 1.8 WAR pitcher for ’14 and ’15. He’ll almost certainly be worth that.
    2 years at 20 million would be a 2 WAR per year. He’ll almost certainly be worth that as well.

    I think Hudson will have to wait quite a while this winter for the Braves to budge on their 1 year offer. There’s just too much out there and too many possible trades to offer much more.

  32. @46-

    Well and good, but you’re ignoring opportunity costs. (All of these, “This is how much a player’s worth based on WAR” analyses do.)

    I favor bringing Hudson back, but its unclear whether the commitment needs to be two years or 8 digits.

  33. @47
    I’m merely pointing out that Hudson would probably be worth his contract if signed for the amount, not advocating that we should pay him the amount indicated. It is my opinion that Hudson would provide the same type of production that we’d probably get for 500K from Alex Wood.

    I’d much rather have Josh Johnson on a 1/8 million dollar deal + incentives as he could very well be the ace that anchors the staff, or could be an injured bust, in which we have to plug in a capable 5th starter from the minors (in Hale) or from the bullpen (in Wood).

  34. Where in the world did Shae Simmons come from? Between Rome and MS, 1.69 ERA, sub-1 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 53 innings. Seems like future closer material if he can keep his walks down. His numbers are almost identical to Kimbrel’s minor league numbers. He and Buchter are carrying over their good regular season work with good work in the AFL. La Stella, S. Simmons, and Buchter are about the only players in the organization finding success in the Winter Leagues thus far, however all 3 have a serious chance to be with the Braves in ’14.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/org.jsp?id=atl

  35. @49, Simmons seems very similar to Kimbrel in stats and in size/build. I don’t know where we keep finding relatively small guys that throw upper 90’s, but I’m not complaining.

  36. Every team is getting an additional $25 mil in revenue from the national tv deal. If so, why are we only willing to increase our payroll budget by $10m?

  37. Ryan, believe me, I love Tim Hudson, and he’s almost certainly the fifth greatest pitcher in the history of the Atlanta Braves behind the four Hall of Famers. But he’s a 38-year old man who hasn’t pitched an inning since suffering an ankle injury that many feared would be career-ending.

    Your assumption that he will be worth 2 WAR rests on the following assumptions:

    1) He has fully recovered from a catastrophic injury,
    2) He will make 30 starts next year and will not miss significant time due to further injury,
    3) He will continue to age smoothly, and not completely lose it, as some old players do.

    I think that there’s a reasonable chance that all three are true. But I don’t think I’d take it to the bank at $14 million a year.

  38. Tim Hudson last 2 years: 49 GS, 3.8 WAR, average 1.9 WAR/year, 1.9 multiplied by 5 million equals 9.5m/year, or 2/19 million which is right between the 2/18-20m dollar contract.

    This is also under the assumption that 1 WAR will still be worth 5 million, of which it probably will not.

    Once again, I’m not advocating signing Hudson, merely pointing that he’d probably be worth the contract. I’d rather get a higher risk/higher reward type player then fall back on our surplus should the gamble belly flop.

  39. I think there’s a chance that 2/$15 keeps him in Atlanta, but even at 2/$20 we wouldn’t be hurting ourselves. I don’t think you could get much better value on the FA market.

  40. @55, probably not on the FA market, but that’s true in almost all circumstances these days. FAs are mostly a sorry bunch, with a couple of Boras agents surrounded by a bunch of aging or injured guys with something to prove but a whole lot of risk to go with it.

    If we’re going to meaningfully improve the team this offseason, it will be by trade. (Although it’s possible that replacing Dan Uggla with a platoon of Tommy La Stella and Tyler Pastornicky might also meaningfully improve the team.)

  41. Agreed. I think we trade too. Outside of Hudson I don’t see a single FA that we
    a. have a position for
    b. can afford
    c. would truly improve the team for the money spent.

    My question is do we want to offer Hudson a 2 year contract? That age 40 season could be rough to watch.

    The signals coming from the mother ship indicate that we won’t do anything major. Maybe sign Hudson, dump Uggla (I hope) but outside of that we’ll be playing with the status quo next year with only the bench having any significant different composition.

  42. What happens to ensure a flawed team that won 96 games doesn’t regress in 2014. Medlen, Minor and Teheran proved themselves capable starters, and Wren & Fredi have seemingly mastered the technique of interchamgeable parts in the bullpen behind Kimbrel.

    No one will know how Hudson recovers until he’s thrown in spring training against live batters — if one accepts spring training as a reliable predictor of future performance.

    Maholm lost more games than he won — I know Sam argues that pitchers don’t win or lose games, but the Braves managed to lose more games he started than win.

    It would be nice to have a veteran (Hudson/F. Garcia) type in the rotation, and feed another youngster (Hale or Wood?) into the rotation next year.

    Position players, have been commented on ad nauseum but the issues are Uggla-is he another Nick Esasky, Upton-what did the Braves really buy, C. Johnson-will he revert to mean or was 2013 a new normal and can Gattis/Laird/Bethancourt pick up any of the slack left while McCann grabs his big pay day?

    By the way, without McCann and Hudson, who becomes the veteran leaders in the clubhouse?

  43. @58
    1. 47-29 .618 record against the NL East
    2. 49-37 .570 record against rest of baseball

    If the Braves don’t upgrade, the we don’t regress if the other NL East teams don’t improve. Fat chance…

    Every time I see our September record it makes me sick…

  44. @58 By the way, without McCann and Hudson, who becomes the veteran leaders in the clubhouse?

    The Braves seem poised to be Heyward’s/Freeman’s team, with Laird perhaps also providing some aged wisdom.

  45. That’s a lot of weight for two young players to carry. I think Huddy will provide leadership, esp w/ the young pitchers.

  46. 60: 13-14 makes you sick? Tons of good teams have one losing month, and September is not in any way special in terms of predicting following-year performance.

  47. Since I’m not on the team, I can’t really say I care much about our clubhouse chemistry or our veteran leadership (or lack thereof). I think winning creates chemistry, not vice-versa.

  48. FYI, was reading through the new Bill James Handbook last night and a couple of stats of note:

    Brian McCann took an extra base (1st to 3rd or 2nd to home on single, 1st to home on double) just once out of 31 opportunities!

    Freddie Freeman had by far the most foul balls hit and the highest ratio of taken balls to taken strikes (meaning he rarely took a strike).

    David Price had an alarming low Swinging Strike % (12%). Most good pitchers are in the 17-21% range. Medlen was at 18%.

  49. I understand and like working a count, but I understand going after the first pitch. Especially if you have guys on base. It is probably going to be the best pitch to hit you may see.

  50. Was perusing the Keith Law chat today over on ESPN and someone asked if the Braves would get a #1 starter over the winter. He responded that ‘Don’t you think that Teheran looks like a #1, especially after the Braves switched him to a slider?’ (Not an exact quote – but close.

    Didn’t he spend all LAST winter saying what a bust Teheran was going to be?

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