Dorktown: MLB’s lost treasure, the 1994 AL West

The most tragic part of a curtailed MLB season in 1994

In 1994, a mid-August players’ strike mopped away the final 29 percentage of the Major League Baseball season. There were several captivating things that we’ll never know how they would’ve played out. Among them 😛 TAGEND

Various musicians had a puncher’s chance at breaking Roger Maris’ single-season home run record. No one had hit 55 doubles in a season since 1950 George Kell, and no one had punched 60 since the 1930 s. Chuck Knoblauch, Craig Biggio, and Larry Walker all were on pace to do so, with Earl Webb’s single-season record of 67 not out of the question. No one has already reached 400 total cornerstones in 16 years. Only 1978 Jim Rice and 1959 Hank Aaron had is doing so since 1950. Jeff Bagwell was on pace to surge action past those chaps, with a shot at 430, which no one had done since 1932 Jimmie Foxx. Albert Belle, Frank Thomas, and Ken Griffey, Jr. were all on pace to easily cruise beyond 400 as well. Kirby Puckett, who hadn’t driven in even 90 controls in four of the previous five full seasons, had already driven in 112 in a late-career renaissance season. That looted him of the chance to be the first player since 1950 Walt Dropo to average an RBI per activity( min. 120 sports ). Bagwell was also in position to do so. Bagwell — along with his May 27, 1968 birth compadre Frank Thomas — had an OPS above 1.200, something not done since 1957 Ted Williams. The two did compound for nearly 1,000 layer appearings, which legitimizes it, but it still would’ve been recreation to see if they could’ve maintained that rate. Tony Gwynn had a. 394 batting average that would’ve lended itself to a probable shot at. 400. The Expos! In their lone season of Pedro Martinez/ Larry Walker( in the first year of his prime) overlap, they were having by far the best season in right record and is not merely had MLB’s top record that season at 74 -4 0, but, going back practically 20 years, their acquire percentage( 64.9) was paired simply by the eventual-World-Series-winning 1986 Fulfills. Perhaps a third directly Canadian World Series title, eh?

And then “were having” the AL West. Nothing about the season not finishing raises as much heartache as not construing what would have wound up happening there.

A quick backdrop of that 1994 season: in MLB, both the National League and American League had been is divided into divides for 25 times. It had always been two disagreements per league during that time, but ’9 4 was the first year with three. Winning your subdivision is a guaranteed trip to the postseason. And good nobleman was that looking to be a frantic proposition as to the AL West in’ 94.

Had there indeed been a postseason that year, one of the Rangers, Mariners, A’s, or Angels ought to have been ultimately played in October thanks to the automated division-winning postseason invitation. Turns out, that would’ve been like yield Charles Barkley an invitation to compete in the Masters.

The more competent element of baseball that the AL West was its batting. And even in that department, the Mariners and A’s had “the worlds largest” plays in the organization orchestrating no more than two extends, with the Angels not far behind 😛 TAGEND

And batting was the division’s strength. Let’s turn to its pitching. The four AL West squads hemorrhaged pass, and in areas of competitions letting at least 10, the partition again had very strong representation near the top 😛 TAGEND

Here’s the overall snapshot of American League pitching in 1994 😛 TAGEND

This all resulted in a lot of plays in which an AL West team didn’t even come particularly close 😛 TAGEND

It didn’t take long for all four crews to subside toward the league’s run differential cellar … and stay there 😛 TAGEND

The Mariners had composed three scampers more than they stood enrolling game numeral 27 on May 6th. They lost that game by five, and from then on every AL West team is engaged in the running differential red for every day for the rest of the season.

Here’s everyone’s season-ending run differential, as well as their triumph percentage 😛 TAGEND

You might notice the four leftmost teams there are all in dark-green. The four worst records in the organization and the four teams in the AL West were one and the same. Every team in that schism had a worse record than every crew in each of the other two separations. What a delight.

The Texas Rangers were the luck ducks atop the West when the season came to a halting. Their record was 52 -6 2.

Through the first 25 full seasons of the three-division-per-league era, 1995 -2 019, there have been 216 playoff squads: the 150 schism winners, the winners of the freshly instituted wild card spot in each league for those first 17 years, and two wild card spots per conference in each of the follow eight years.

The 2005 Rectors were the only team in the 25 -year sample of data we have to finish fewer than five activities above. 500 while crashing the postseason party, and they at least still had a winning record. The 1994 Rangers, a crew passing its division with an inside track at a playoff discern in a ordinary season, were ten tournaments under. 500 😛 TAGEND

And that’s even despite a larger postseason field: four, and, as of 2012, even five playoff recognizes per tournament per year across that time. I can only imagine the shuddering of old-timey baseball tribes used to pre-1 969 goes when all but two teams went home after the regular season; the days when the World Series was the part postseason. Or even from 1969 -1 993 when four MLB crews — the four separation champions — advanced to a postseason that included an ALCS/ NLCS.

With fewer playoff crews before that 1994 divisional re-alignment, the team with the worst record in a full season to make ’em was the 1973 Assembles, who were three plays above. 500; the next-worst was the 1984 Sovereigns at six activities above. 500 😛 TAGEND

The 1994 AL West. A beautiful thing which would have certainly given us a dazzling elongate moved “that were” eventually deprived of. Seeing that split hasten play out the next year was recreation, at least .

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