Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Top ten teams?

Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci recently published a list of his top ten teams ever.  This type of list is tricky, but he did a good job.  I  am going to try and figure out what other teams could have legitimately made the list:

Tom Verducci: 10 Ten Teams
1. 1927 Yankees: 110 Wins, 4-0
2. 1939 Yankees: 106 Wins, 4-0
3. 1998 Yankees: 114 Wins, 4-0
4. 1929 A's: 104 Wins, 4-1
5. 1975 Reds: 108 Wins, 4-3
6. 1961 Yankees: 108 Wins, 4-1
7. 1970 Orioles: 108 Wins, 4-1
8. 1907 Cubs: 107 Wins, 4-0-1
9. 1932 Yankees: 107 Wins, 4-0
10. 1902 Pirates: 103 Wins

They all won the World Series, except for the 1902 Pirates, because the first World Series wasn't held until 1903.  The first 9 teams on the list won at least 104 regular season games and the World Series.  Other teams that have done this:
  • 1905 Giants: 105 Wins, 4-1
  • 1909 Pirates: 110 Wins, 4-3
  • 1912 Red Sox: 105 Wins, 4-3-1
  • 1942 Cardinals: 106 Wins, 4-1
  • 1944 Cardinals: 105 Wins, 4-2
  • 1984 Tigers: 104 Wins, 4-1
  • 1986 Mets: 108 Wins, 4-3
The Cardinals of the early to mid '40s were incredibly successful, but a lot of players, including Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio, were away fighting in WWII for a few years.  The level of play wasn't the same as it had been or would be once things returned to normal.  The 1986 Mets would seem to fit the bill, but they came way too close to losing the World Series, and all of the scandals don't help either.

I can't quibble too much with Verducci's list, although I'm kind of skeptical of only having one team on the list (1998 Yankees) since 1975.  What if the list was done only since 1920?  Who would be the final two teams?  I would round it out with the
  • 1976 Reds: 102-60; Swept the Yankees (also swept the Phillies in the NLCS)
  • 1984 Tigers: 104-58: 4-1 over Padres (swept the Royals in the ALCS)
The next 5, in no particular order, would probably include the 2009 Yankees, 1986 Mets, 1989 A's, 1968 Tigers, 1937 Yankees.


  1. My problem with this is the idea that a team that didn't win the World Series can't be among the greatest teams. 154 or 162 games tells you a lot more about the team than 4-7 games (or even up to 19 games in the current system). The 116-win 1906 Cubs were almost certainly a better team than the 1907 team.

    I think the top few would look something like this:
    1939 Yankees
    2001 Mariners
    1906 Cubs
    1998 Yankees
    1927 Yankees

    I think all the alternate teams you mentioned were probably better than the 1961 Yankees. Highly overrated.

  2. what about the 2001 seattle mariners?? a 116-46 record doesnt lie

  3. 2005 White Sox? Only won 99, but had the best record in the AL every day of the season and of course dominated the playoffs by going 11-1. Probably a good choice if you're looking for a modern day team.

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