It took only three innings of play yesterday, but with another win, the Philadelphia Phillies were crowned World Series champions. Cole Hamels walked away with the MVP in yet another short series. The last time we saw more then a five game series was the year the Marlins topped the Yankees in six games back in 2003.
With all of the talk about the Cubs and their streak, many people forget about the Phillies. This is a team that’s just historically bad. Up until 1980, they were worse then the Cubs because they hadn’t won a single World Series. They’re the only franchise with 10,000 career losses and from 1918 through 1948 (that’s 31 seasons), the Philles had just one winning season and even then, they were just 78-76 in that one winning season. They lost 100 games 12 times and keep in mind this was when just 154 games were played. Twice they lost 109 and one of those seasons was 1942 when they played in just 151 games. With a 162 game schedule, they could have easily lost 115+ games.
Of course at least this year, that all gets thrown out the window. What’s also interesting is over the past few years, several teams have ended their World Series droughts and while I haven’t done the math, the Tigers 25 years is probably in or near the top five. I know the Cubs, Giants and Pirates have all been longer and there’s probably a few expansion teams like the Astros and Padres but needless to say, it’s been a while for Tigers fans.
With the end of the season, we now have the beginning of the Hot Stove league. Mike Jacobs has found his way over to the Royals, which makes them a bit stronger, and Freddy Garcia has filed for free agency. Jeff Jones lost his job at the same time as Chuck Hernandez but new pitching coach Rick Knapp has brought him back as the bullpen coach. And to round out the Tigers news, the team bought out Edgar Renteria’s option, which wasn’t a huge surprise.
The Tigers could find out who their opponent is as early as tonight although the Mets aren’t making it easy for the Cardinals. They’re up 1-0 already on a Jose Reyes homerun.
1967 was a tough season for the Tigers. They had the players, they just couldn’t pull it out in the end. I touched on the 1967 season in the introduction to my Mickey Stanley column and to a lot of people, it was the greatest pennant race of all time. Five bloggers, which will include myself, will do their best to document the 1967 American League Pennant Race in the first collaborative diary. So over the course of the offseason, I’ll be writing season bios on some of the major players on the 1967 Tigers teams and the other bloggers will be doing the same for their teams. Then when the season starts, you can follow the action game by game. I think it will be a lot of fun and nice look back at a pretty famous season. And then it will all wrap up at Gas House Gang, where Jeff Matthews will do a 1967 Cardinals diary. So all bases will be covered.
I’ll let you know when I work up the bios but if you want to keep tabs on the other teams, stop by the 1967 American League Pennant Race website every week and you should find something new.
I’ve been working on this for a while. I get emails all of the time, a lot of them with regard to my Business of Baseball report at the Hardball Times. Over time, I’m persuaded some of these peoples to start blogs covering their favorite. The culmination of this has been a loose affiliation called Baseball Historians. With the help of Dave Cohen from Most Valuable Network, I’ve finally got a site that ties everything together. Basically the site pulls the feeds from all of the sites in the network so you can go to one spot to see which sites have been updated.
I’m also going to be working on some exclusive content. Round tables amongst the bloggers along with a few other things. So check it out and let me know what you think.