Root, root, root … for the longest-suffering team

Originally Published: October 13, 2006
By Rob Neyer | ESPN Insider
As Peter Gammons noted in his blog on Thursday, this year we'll have the seventh different MLB champion in seven years. That's a good thing. Taking this a bit further, this is the second-longest such streak in modern World Series history.

The longest came during what I consider baseball's Golden Age, as there were 10 different champions from 1978 through 1987. Granted, this recent streak has been something of a fluke, as the Yankees easily could have won a World Series or two in this new century, but haven't. That's always been true, though. The Yankees have dominated the game since 1921. As you probably know, though they didn't win a single World Series in the 1980s, they did win more regular-season games than any other team in that decade. You can talk about payroll imbalance all you like, but I'm afraid this is just about as good as it gets. The Yankees are going to spend their way to 95-100 wins every season, and then they'll have a 1-in-6 chance of winning the World Series. We can live with this, can't we?

Speaking of history, one way to pick a rooting interest in the postseason -- if your favorite team isn't around, as mine never is -- is to figure out which team's fans are the longest-suffering. Last season, for example, the choice was obvious, as the Chicago White Sox hadn't won a World Series since 1917. And if you were inclined toward the National League, you could choose the Astros, whose fans have never experienced the sublime joys of ruling the baseball world.


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