Monday, May 5, 2008

Failed Dynasties

ESPN's Jonah Keri has an interesting article about failed dynasties. The top five, in no particular order, are the 80s Expos, the 1986 Mets, the 1990 Reds, the 1995 Mariners and the 1993 White Sox.

These articles try to pinpoint what went wrong for these potential dynasties. Jonah does a great job with the White Sox, but misses a few key ingredients.

The 1994 strike. Yes, Reinsdorf was a vocal player on the owners side of things, but the players are the ones who decided to strike. This issue has been rehashed to death and it makes no sense to rehash it here. Both sides have fault.

The Jack McDowell trade could be debated up and down, but the Sox put too much stock in the rookie starting pitching and thought that Black Jack was expendable. Jack would only have two decent years left and he was headed to Free Agency after the 1995 season. It's not an uncommon practice to trade players a year before they enter the open market.

The article fails to mention the reason for Jason Bere's downfall. Jason's arm started to hurt in 1995. He decided to pitch through it and ended up having a horrible season. He rested the arm instead of going through surgery which effected the next few seasons.

A lot of bad decisions and more than their fair share of bad luck contributed to the White Sox downfall in the mid-nineties. Then, like in the movies, the Cleveland Indians swooped in and won the division five straight years. The Sox were left to spin their wheels and make desperate attempts at winning, like giving Albert Belle $55 million and letting Alex Fernandez run to the Marlins to win a World Series ring through Free Agency.

Still, the article is a fascinating read. Be sure to check out the other failed dynasties. Sometimes, "what should have been" is more interesting than what actually happened.

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