Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reporters can't count

Here's a classic. Can you find the problem?

Winning back-to-back pennants in the National League is a feat not easily accomplished. The last team to do so was the Atlanta Braves in 1995-96; they also did it in 1991-92. In the last half-century since the Milwaukee Braves won back-to-backers in 1957 and ’58, NL teams have reached the World Series in consecutive seasons only four times: Los Angeles (1965-66 and 1977-78), St. Louis (1967-68) and Cincinnati (1975-76). Winning the World Series twice in a row is even more rare: No NL team since the Big Red Machine in the mid-’70s has done it.

So Gordon Edes says NL teams have won consecutive pennants four times since 1958: the '65-66 Dodgers [that's 1], '67-68 Cards [that's 2], '75-76 Reds [that's 3], '77-78 Dodgers [that's four], '91-92 Braves [that's four again?] and '95-96 Braves [that's four a third time???].

OK, maybe that's 6 repeat winners of the NL pennant since the '58 Braves.

In the AL, there have not only been repeaters but multiple repeat pennant winners: six multiple repeaters -- '60-64 Yanks, '69-71 Orioles (yes, the Orioles were once a good team), the '72-74 A's, the '76-78 Yanks, the '88-90 A's and the '98-'01 Yanks all were multiple repeat pennant winners, and the '92-93 BluJs were single repeat AL champs. Unlike the NL, where only the '75-76 Reds won back-to-back titles, the AL has had five repeat World Series champs since the '58 season: '61-62 Yanks, '72-74 A's, '77-78 Yanks, '92-93 Js and '98-00 Yanks. And that seems a bit odd that the AL would have so many more repeat champions, considering that the AL edge is just 26-23 in the World Series since 1958. The NL has pulled off far more upsets in the Fall Classic ('60 Pirates, '63 Dodgers, '64 Cards, '69 Mets, '71 Pirates, '79 Pirates, '88 Dodgers, '90 Reds, '95 Braves, '03 Marlins, '06 Cards) than the AL ('66 Orioles, '85 Royals, '87 Twins, '96 Yanks).

Good thing I'm not a reporter, my ability to count would be completely shot.

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