For this second part of the "MyTake", (see the first part here) I am now going to rank the five very best World Series' I've seen (since 2000).
5. 2015-Royals defeat Giants in five games.
Here we have a situation which is becoming more common: Two teams looking to end a long World Series title drought. The Royals, and Mets had gone 30, and 29 years without winning the title respectively. It was the Royals chance to prove they weren't a fluke in 2014, and the Mets chance to prove you can solely win on a starting rotation.
The only flaw of this series was the fact it only lasted five games, and game five turned out to be a complete blowout. Other than that, the World Series began with a bang: Royals' pitcher Edison Volquez' father died the day before game one, and the first pitch of the World Series resulted in an Inside-The-Park Home Run(The first since the 1927 World Series), and it turned out to be a pesky-hit seesaw battle, going 14 long, grueling innings.The rest of the series was the Royals' show, except for game five: Which we saw a tied game in the twelfth inning, and the Royals went on a twelfth inning surge, to eventually win the World Series in twelve innings.
4. 2011-Cardinals defeat Rangers in seven games.
Similar to 2014, I have to do it. I just have to. One of the craziest, and ranked(one of the best) World Series of all time just happens to have my worst sports teams as the victor. It literally pains me to admit this, but it's true: There aren't many World Series' that have(Or will) match up to this particular World Series. What we witnessed in this World Series was pure insanity, and some of the most suspenseful, and crucial moments in World Series history.
First off: Before the postseason began, the Cardinals were limping into September seven full games out of a Wild Card spot, and were able to surge in the final month of the season, snag a Wild Card spot on the last game, and take the 102 win Phillies out of the postseason in the first round. That right there already painted a picture of what was to happen in the 2011 World Series.
The first two games were traditional pitcher's duels, with a few key plays(and costly errors) being the deciding factor. Really, nothing was unusual here. In game three, Albert Pujols(Cardinals) became the third player in MLB history to hit three Home Runs in a World Series game, and the Cardinals' offensive performance(16 Runs from 15 Base Hits) made this arguably the greatest offensive performance from a team in a World Series game. Games four, and five allowed the Rangers' pitching to shine, and that set us up for game six. Oh, that game six-Possibly the greatest game six in World Series history.
Game six...is inexplicable. It started out as a seesaw affair, which turned into a 7-4 Rangers lead by the seventh inning. The Cardinals snagged a run in the eighth inning, to make it 7-5. Then, the historic ninth inning came. Oh, that ninth inning. Oh boy.
David Freese was at-bat, with a runners on First, and Second Base: With two outs, and two Strikes. Yes, the Rangers were one Strike away from winning the World Series. The pitch resulted in David Freese hitting a Triple to tie the game 7-7. But this fairy tale story isn't over yet.
We now go into extra innings. Josh Hamilton hit a two-run Home Run in the tenth, to put the Rangers in the lead 9-7. The Cardinals snagged a run in the tenth. Then, Lance Berkman came up with two outs, and two strikes-Once again, down to their last Strike. And he hits a single into Center Field to tie the game. So, if you thought you were watching a Hollywood film, this picture isn't over just yet.
Finally, with a tied 9-9 game in the eleventh inning, David Freese comes to the plate. While there weren't any outs this time, he was in a 3-2 Full Count decision(Which tends to go against the hitter). So, what does he do? He hits a walk-off Home Run, to cap off possibly the greatest World Series game of all time.
Ironically, game seven was the most boring game of the whole series-Which was an easy Cardinals win.(Note: The Cardinals pulled off a last Strike comeback in the 2012 National League Division Series as well-In game five against the Nationals).
The only reason I didn't rank this in my top three is because the Cardinals won, and as much as some people want to debate this with me, I really do think the team that won is a factor into how "great" a World Series is.
3. 2004-Red Sox defeat Cardinals in four games.
This is probably the best World Series which involved a sweep, of all time.
Before the series began, the Red Sox became the first team of all time to come back from a 0-3 series deficit to take out their rivals, the Yankees, in the American League Championship Series. And that momentum continued on through the World Series.
This year marked the 100th World Series-And what better way to celebrate that milestone with the Red Sox finally ending the "Curse of the Great Bambino"! Despite the fact it was only a four game series, it included everything: Heated arguments on the field, explosive offense, great defensive gems, and intense pitching. The whole world was watching to see the Red Sox break the "curse"-And in that final out of game four, they did as such.
Even though it was a Red Sox blowout, every game was relatively close. The Cardinals didn't give in too easy-Afterall, the Cardinals did have the best record in the MLB that year, and as we saw in 2006, 2011, 2012, and even 2013, the Cardinals refuse to go down without a fight.
2. 2001-Diamondbacks defeat Yankees in seven games.
In the 2001 Super Bowl, we saw the Baltimore Ravens win the Super Bowl in only their fifth year of existence...so in the 2001 World Series, we saw the Diamondbacks win the World Series in their fourth year in franchise history. This was also a bizarre year, where the MLB schedule was affected by the Al Qaeda terrorist attacks on September 11th, so why not have an unusual year altogether?
The Diamondbacks gave us a shocking, and unusual World Series that year-Which turned out to be one of the best World Series of all time. It's amazing the Diamondbacks were able to build a team in that short of a span-Let alone take out the Yankees, who were going for a four-peat in the World Series.
But it was an unusual World Series altogether, and that's not just because the Diamondbacks won-Which was already unusual as it was. It was odd because almost every highlight of the World Series belonged to the Yankees(Which looked like a repeat of the 1960 World Series). The Yankees had several key hits, and Home Runs, where as the Diamondbacks did just enough to get by-And win the World Series. In game seven, Mariana Rivera-Who pretty much never blows a Save, blew a Save at the worst possible time for a Luis Gonzalez Base Hit to win the World Series.
It wouldn't be an odd World Series without an unusual World Series MVP situation, right? Diamondbacks pitchers Randy Johnson, and Curt Schilling shared the World Series MVP award, which is still the only time in MLB history this has ever happened.
1. 2016-Cubs defeat Indians in seven games.
And at last, our most recent World Series just happened to be arguably the greatest of all time.
People may have seen the 1960, 2001, 2004, or even 2011 World Series, and didn't think any World Series could match those listed. But boy, were they ever-so wrong.
This most recent World Series was quintessential in so many ways, and was the boost the MLB needed in an era which the sport is dying.
First of all, the World Series matchup was between the two teams with the biggest World Series title droughts-The Cubs, and Indians, who had gone 108, and 68 years without winning the title respectively. So, before the series even began, this was going to be a good series entirely by default-An epic drought will be broken. It's literally the World Series nobody thought would ever happen. But there's more.
The Cubs went down 3-1 in the series, and clawed their way back to win the World Series. Comebacks are always amazing! So, now we have a series with an epic "Billy Goat Curse" being snapped via 3-1 series comeback-But there's more!
Almost every game was suspenseful, and exciting. We saw superior offense, Challenges, great pitching, great defensive plays, and some truly "nail-biter" situations. But there's more-Game seven!
Game seven of the 1960 World Series between the Pirates, and Yankees is highly regarded as the best World Series game of all time(Mainly due to the "shot heard around the world"). However, this particular 2016 World Series game seven can give that one a run for its money: Because it featured everything.
Game seven had the entire world holding their breath. It was the seesaw affair of all affairs. The game led off with a Home Run by Dexter Fowler(Cubs), and it only got crazier then. The Indians answered back with a Run in the second, to tie the game 1-1. Then, the Cubs got two more runs in the fourth inning, to make it 3-1. Then, in the fifth inning, the Cubs extended their lead to 5-1. So, it was beginning to look like a decisive Cubs victory to snap that pesky "curse"-But curses don't go away that easy.
In the bottom of the fifth, Jon Lester(Cubs) Struck Out a Jason Kipnis(Indians) to end the inning-But the problem is, the ball got passed Catcher David Ross(Cubs), and this resulted in two Indians Runs scoring-Which should have ended the inning. Ah, typical "Curse" fashion. But the madness didn't stop there.
So, David Ross makes up for it in the sixth inning with a solo Home Run, to make the game 6-3 Cubs. But the bottom of the eighth is where the "curse factor" came back into play.
The Cubs put Aroldis Chapman, arguably the best Relief Pitcher in the game, for his third appearance in a four day span. And this proved to be a critical mistake.
In just six Pitches, Chapman allows a run, and two-run Home Rum to allow the Indians to tie the game at 6-6. As crazy as this sounds, Joe Madden(Cubs manager) allows Chapman to close out the ninth inning(Which he luckily did). So now, we were going into extra innings!
...And then a rain delay happened. It lasted for about 15 minutes. All this did was add to the suspense. And this may have ruined the Indians pitcher, because the Cubs were able to get some pesky Hits to score two Runs. But this game isn't over yet!
So, the bottom of the tenth draws Carl Edwards Jr. to the mound-A low tier rookie pitcher for the Cubs. Joe Madden was practically forced to do this, because there was no other good quality pitchers to use. He gets two outs right off of the bat, and it's looking like a an easy win-Except the Indians get a Double, and another run scored, so it's now 8-7 Cubs. Panicking, Joe Madden brings out Mike Montgomery to the mound, who is another low tier pitcher.
And................(DRUMROLL)...........was able to get Martinez(Indians) to ground out to Anthony Rizzo to end the game-And the curse-And the epic five hour game seven.
So, not only did we see two teams battle out to end an epic drought, we saw a 3-1 series comeback, and a "curse" be broken, on top of some of the most exciting Hits, plays, and intense pitching-As well as the ultimate nail-biter of a game seven. This is why I rank this the best since 2000(And maybe even of all time)-Because it offered every great component of a World Series. I doubt we'll ever see anything else like it!