As many of you know, the 2016 Major League Baseball World Series has concluded, with the Chicago Cubs becoming victorious for the first time in 108 years!
For this list, I compiled every single World Series I distinctly remember. I've been watching baseball for as long as I can remember, but truth be told, between the ages of 5-9 years old were a "blur" to me-At least in the sports world.
So, the first World Series I really remember was in 2000, when I was ten years old. How do I rank the World Series? Well, here is how I do as such.
Excitement: This is the number one key component. How engaging, exciting, thrilling, and fun is it to watch the World Series? Were there Home Runs? High scoring games? Were they intense pitcher performances? Or were they dull games with no real crucial plays?
Suspense: A close World Series is almost always a good one. This is why four game sweeps tend to not engage the public near as much as a seven game series. Also, were the games themselves close? Did they keep you holding your breath? Were they tedious?
Shock-Factor: Did the players do anything outrageous? Was there a surprise ending? Surprise comeback? Surprise injury? Did a drought end?
The Winner: This is the least important thing of ranking a series, but I must include it. If my favorite team wins the World Series, it would obviously be better than my worst team winning-Regardless of how exciting the series was or not.
With that being explained, here is my ranking for every World Series since the turn of the new millennium, starting with my worst to best!
17. 2012-Giants defeat Tigers in four games
Out of this entire list, this is the only World Series I actually dreaded to watch. The winner was disappointing. The Giants had just won in 2010, and I've had a rancor for this franchise ever since I saw their absurd fan praise the record-breaking cheater Barry Bonds. I also would have loved to see the Tigers end a decades long drought.
On top of that, there was nothing shocking about this World Series at all. Everything went as expected. There was no suspense whatsoever. Not only did the Giants sweep the Tigers, they halted them in almost every game-Including shutting them out in a two games out of four.
Finally, this World Series lacked any true excitement. The first game was the only exciting one. Other than that, we saw mediocre games, and it was almost like watching Spring Training.
Sorry, but this had to be the biggest snooze-fest of a World Series imaginable.
16. 2006-Cardinals defeat Tigers in five games
I guess whenever the Tigers compete in a World Series, it's going to be a snooze-fest(Sorry Tigers). As a Cincinnati Reds fan, my absolute worst team in all sports is the St. Louis Cardinals-So I couldn't be more angry at who won this World Series. Again, I wouldn't mind seeing the Tigers win, as they are usually underdogs, and such a clean team, and still had a decades long drought.
One highlight of this series is the shock-factor was quite significant. Not only was it the first time the Cardinals had won in 24 years, they became the team with the worst regular season record in MLB history to win the World Series, with an astounding 83-79 record. They literally shocked the world. It was the ultimate FLUKE in World Series history.
With that being said, there wasn't much suspense, or excitement as the series went on. The Cardinals basically washed out the Tigers in five games, and there were no big moments either. It was a pretty dull series.
15. 2007-Red Sox defeat Rockies in four games
I always considered the Red Sox my second-favorite team-But truth be told, I was satisfied enough with them in 2004 to root for the ultimate underdog, Rockies. Unfortunately, it wasn't even close, and one of the biggest blowouts in World Series history. Due to this, there was absolutely no suspense whatsoever. The Red Sox simply clobbered the Rockies in three out of the four games, and in the last game, the Rockies forgot how to hit a baseball.
As far as shock-value goes, it depends on how you look at it. In one way, it was shocking the Red Sox won, since they had recently broke the "Bambino Curse", and people doubted they would win another World Series-So they do it three years later. Also, they didn't have near as good of a postseason as the Rockies(Who went 7-0 in the playoffs before they reached the World Series). However, it was only the second time the relatively new Rockies team had reached the postseason, so it wasn't totally unexpected for them to lose.
The series was somewhat exciting, mainly due to the Red Sox's explosive offense-Or maybe the fact both ballparks are hitter's parks? Either way, this was a disappointing World Series to some degree.
14. 2009-Yankees defeat Phillies in six games
Let me get this off of my chest: This is the most exciting series I have this low on this list. I'll admit-There was plenty of exciting plays; Offense, defense, and pitching alike. But that's literally the only thing I liked about this series.
Before the series, it was so disappointing to see the two teams facing each other. It's either we root for the Yankees who had bought 26 World Series titles, or root for the Phillies, who had just won the year before. Similar to the United States presidential elections, we had to root for the lesser of the evils-So I did-And rooted for the Phillies. As usual, the Yankees win a World Series(yawn).
Not only was it not shocking to see the teams there, and definitely not shocking to see the 103 win team, Yankees, win the series, it wasn't suspenseful since every game was heavily lopsided. So to cap off the decade, we got to hear the words "Yankees win" one more time...
13. 2000-Yankees defeat Mets in five games
The first World Series of the new millenium started off with a bang-The first ever "Subway Series" between the two New York City teams! And both teams were loaded with explosive power, and future legends! So initially, this looked to be an exciting series. But it really wasn't.
Even though it was only five games, all five games were nail-biters, and kept you guessing-So the suspense factor was great! The problem is, there weren't many key plays, or hits in the series. It didn't have enough thrills.
The shock-value was pathetic by all means. The Yankees completed a three-peat, and were entirely expected to win. There was the famous incident where Mike Piazza's bat broke, and a piece of it went towards Roger Clemens on the pitcher's mound(And Clemens had beaned Piazza in the head earlier). But other than that, I wasn't too happy with this series, especially as a ten year old immature boy!
12. 2003-Marlins defeat Yankees in six games.
The biggest problem with this World Series, were the League Championship Series' that year: The "Cursed" Red Sox were five outs away from going to the World Series, and blew it...and the "Cursed" Cubs were also five outs away from going to the World Series, and blew it. The whole world wanted to see the "Curse Series", and instead, we got the Yankees going for their 27th World Series ring, and the Marlins going for their second ring in a seven year span. That right there was a let-down.
I was still happy to see the major underdog Marlins take out the Yankees, but that's about it. There were some intense pitcher's duels, but it was also a little boring to say the least. Similar to 2007, the shock-value depends on how you look at it. In one way, it's shocking a borderline playoff team such as the Marlins took out the juggernaut Yankees. Then again, in 1997, the borderline playoff Marlins team took out the juggernaut Indians that year.
The Marlins are still the only team to not win a Division Title-Yet, they had two World Series titles in their first eleven seasons. This is baseball though, where nonsense makes complete sense.
11. 2010-Giants defeat Rangers in five games.
The precedent of this series sounded like the how the 2010's were going to be: Two unlikely teams facing each other in the Fall Classic. We were either going to see the Giants win their first World Series title as the San Francisco Giants, or we were going to see the Rangers win their first World Series title in history. That right there was enough to make this a mediocre series.
And a mediocre series it was. We saw mediocre offense, defense, and pitching. The shock-value was there, as it had to be-The Giants were a nobody the year before, as well as the Rangers. The suspense wasn't present on a game-to-game basis; It was more of a "Which team isn't going to suffer any longer?" basis. Even though I dislike the Giants, it wasn't too bad seeing them break an epic drought.
10. 2002-Angels defeat Giants in seven games
Similar to 2010, we were going to see a first: Either the Angels win their first World Series, or Giants win their first World Series since moving to San Francisco in 1954.
And I couldn't have been more happy to see the Angels win, for the sole reason to see Barry Bonds go home without a ring! Also, I liked seeing their rookie John Lackey prove why he was worthy. The suspense was definitely there-Especially in game six, where the Angels probed an unlikely comeback, and won the game to force game seven(Which was a nail-biter). This game six still couldn't compare to the game six nine years later(Which I will get to later on in this list).
There wasn't too many outstanding plays, but it was so-so exciting. This was the prime example of a good World Series!
9. 2008-Phillies defeat Rays in five games
2008 was a bizarre year of baseball in general. Benji Molina hit a Home Run without scoring a run on September 27th, Greg Maddux was the only Padre to steal a base in the month of July, C.C. Sabathia lead both leagues(American, and National) in Shutouts thrown, Willy Taveras stole five bases on June 14th, but didn't score a run, Matt Holiday reached base six times on April 17th, but didn't drive in, OR score a run, Brad Lidge was the losing Pitcher in the All-Star Game-It was his only loss the entire season, the Rangers had a winning record in July, and also had a 6.63 ERA that month, Carlos Zambrano threw a No-Hitter against the Astros-In Milwaukee-Due to a hurricane in Houston. and the Rockies played a 22 inning game on April 17th-You know, that same odd day for Matt Holiday I just mentioned, and this all followed the year the Rangers had a 30 Run game, and the year the Rockies won a pennant.
Oh, and the World Series in 2008 was bizzare. The Rays were in their first year they didn't go by the mascot, the"Devil Rays"-And it just so happened to be their first winning season-Which happened to lead to their first postseason appearance-Which lead to their first postseason series win-And what do you know, their first pennant win as well. So, there you have it: Ten consecutive losing seasons, and fifth place finishes; To have a winning record, and make the World Series in their eleventh year of existence. And we know how teams do in their eleventh season of existence(i.e. 2003 Marlins). Oh, and there was the Phillies, the highly unlikely team to do well, and they were in their first World Series since 1993.
The World Series winner didn't bother me much-It was nice seeing an unlikely team winning, but they faced an even bigger underdog with the Tampa Bay Rays. The shock value for the entire season of 2008 was there-And the World Series was no exception. Literally nobody could predict how this series would turn out. The biggest downfall was the excitement factor in each game. Game four was a blast, but the other games were forgettable. The Phillies also made an error in every game...and still won the World Series, because this is 2008, duh!
8. 2005-White Sox defeat Astros in four games
Bear with me here: I picked a four-game sweep World Series to be ranked this high. Hate me, I know you want to.
But this World Series matchup is strikingly similar to the World Series line we saw this year(2016)-A Chicago team with an extremely long World Series title drought(White Sox), versus another team, Astros, with a long World Series title drought in their first World Series(Whom has still never won a World Series). So, the matchup alone was enough of a reason to be ranked high-And before the series began, the suspense was insane, especially since both teams were known to choke.
However, 2004-2005 were the years of the "Sox"-And I was still happy to see the winner, even though I was slightly rooting for the Astros. I thought every game was somewhat exciting, because they were intense pitcher's duels with sick defensive plays. I also loved how close each game was, making it suspenseful from a game-to-game standpoint.
Of course, the biggest downfall was that it was a four-game sweep for the White Sox-But it may have been the closest sweep in World Series history(If that makes any sense).
7. 2014-Giants defeat Royals in seven games
It pains me to have to rank a Giants World Series win this high, but I sorta have to. The biggest downfall(and mainly only one) of this series was the fact the Giants won their third World Series in a five season span.
But this series had immense suspense, and excitement, and even some shock-factors. First of all, the biggest suspenseful question is as follows: Will the Royals continue to shine in the postseason by winning their first World Series in 29 years? Or will the Giants continue the even-number year "magic", and win again? The Royals had some improbable comebacks in their first postseason appearances in three decades, but the Giants are the Giants. It was also the first time in MLB history that both World Series teams had won a Wild Card.
The reason this World Series was exciting, is we saw explosive offense(Mainly from the Royals), and intense pitching(Mainly from the Giants). Madison Bumgarner gave arguably the best pitching performance in World Series history. He pitched 22 innings, and only allowed one earned run-Including throwing a Shutout! He came in for a 15 out Save in game seven to win the game, when the Royals were 90 feet away from tying the game. The game causes everyone to hold their breath, and this was the prime example of a great World Series-I just wish the Royals would have won :(
6. 2013-Red Sox defeat Cardinals in six games
It was an epic rematch of 2004, and I couldn't be more thrilled to see one of my favorite teams defeat my absolute worst nightmare in all professional sports-Again.
Yes, history repeated itself, but in a much more exciting, controversial, and engaging way. We saw World Series flukes in 2011, and 2012, and I know I wasn't the only fan sick of seing slightly above average teams winning the World Series. However, 2013 changed that immensely.
The 2013 World Series marked the first time since 1999 that the two teams with the best records faced each other in the World Series, as both teams were 98-64(The Cardinals were ranked a little higher due to the fact they had a tougher division). So, this World Series was extremely suspenseful, because it was a 50/50 toss-up-Which is why it was so engaging. Every game of the series was unique. While game one was a blowout, game three was basically decided on a controversial play in the seventh inning, which lead to anger from the Red Sox in the final three games. We saw many exciting plays-Such as the aging Big Papi(David Ortiz) hit a three run Home Run, as well as the unlikely Johnny Gomes. We saw some amazing pitching as well. All, in all, it was a very exciting series without many dull moments. I was a little surprised this series didn't go the full seven games.
And that's all for this take! Part two of this epic "MyTake" will venture into the my top five I've ever seen!