The Seven That Aren't Moving
In Major League Baseball, we tend to think of the Yankees and Red Sox, Dodgers and Giants, Cardinals and Cubs as rivals and teams we’ve come to love to watch against each other. As this off season has progressed, seven teams are not making much of a move to make their teams better. These seven teams have histories of winning World Series, even as recent as 2015, but don’t seem to be spending any cash in the off season, giving off the appearance that they are not even trying to make their teams better against their rivals throughout the coming 2023 campaign.
Results will show that if you don’t spend money on talent, or chose not to home grow talent, playing in the post season is just a mere dream. Here is the list of results from these 7 teams over the last 5 years, excluding 2020 season because 162 games were not played. Leading the pack with 491 losses over the last 5 years, with 0 play off appearances is the Detroit Tigers. Follow that by the Kansas City Royals with 474 losses, Pittsburg Pirates with 460, Cincinnati Reds with 455, the AZ Diamond backs with 424 with one wild card appearance, the Colorado Rockies with 419 and two wild card appearances, and finally the Oakland A’s with 395 and two wild card appearances.
During the 2022 season, five of these 7 teams had more than 90 losses with one of them, the Oakland A’s, having over 100 losses. To reiterate my prior point, these teams do have a history of playing post season. The Oakland A’s who lost 102, have not one, not two, but three World Series appearances in the 80’s, one in the 90’s, and a number of post season appearances in the 70’s. The Pirates, or the “We Are Family” Pirates, were dominant in the 70’s and part of the 80’s, bringing up rookie Barry Bonds in the 80’s, but have been less significant in the 90’s and 2000’s through now. The Kansas City Royals won the World Series in 1985 and 2015, but since then have done very little except lose 474 games over the last 5 seasons. The Cincinnati Reds, also known as the Big Red Machine in the 70’s, had a team full of future Hall of Famers, even winning the World Series in 1975 against the Boston Red Sox.
So why is it that these teams that have had great success in the past, with phenomenal home ball parks, why aren’t they spending any money and making huge pushes to build for the playoffs? Being a baseball purist myself, knowing that anything can happen in the game, tells me that any one of these seven teams could win the World Series, even this year, without spending money. But the probabilities of that happening are very slim, as the last 5 years have shown us, and without changes it will probably lead to a 2023 losing campaign.
As a baseball fan, we all love to see an All Star at every position, but understanding the brand of baseball and the business of it, tells something different. Why would a big free agent, who wants to sign a multi-year, multi-million-dollar deal, choose one of these teams to play for if they aren’t going to compete? Most of these players, once they’ve made it to the show, are looking for that ring. Using Detroit as an example, who has last nearly 500 games over the last 5 years, why would a player that wants a 10 year deal want to play in Detroit, especially if they aren’t going to compete? It all comes down to money. So as a fan of any of these seven teams, I would ask you, is there frustration? Or are you taking the attitude like Timothy Luper, from the 70’s classic Bad News Bears saying, “and another thing, just wait until next year.”
Growing up a Dodger fan, in the 80’s there was a lot to cheer about, in the 90’s and early 2000’s there was a lot of talent in the Club but not a lot of winning on the field. I understand the frustrations that come with wondering if October is ever going to happen for your team. But for those of you out there that are fans of these seven teams, what do you change? Finally, as a baseball purist, in my mind it’s good when every team is competitive, recognizing only a few will make the post season. For some of the teams on this list it has been a number of years since they have been competitive. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you would change and how you would change it either through comments on this article, or join me on a podcast or an Instagram live to chat about it. Get loud and let me know how you feel.
Bill Perkins, Top Fan Rivalry