Sure, the Diamondbacks may not have been anywhere close to postseason baseball this year, but that doesn't mean there isn't fun to be had for us fans this October! In fact, there's little tidbits about every team we can learn, all of which won't succeed in making you cooler or smarter, or even more interesting, but will be a nice time kill. And really, Diamondback fan reading this right now, can you ask for anything more?
After the jump, let's dish!
Before we look at the individual teams, let's talk about the MLB playoffs in general. First of all, this year had a chance to break an postseason streak: since 2001 there has been no playoff slate that included 3 of the teams playing have never won a World Series. The odd thing is that after the Wild Card was instituted in 1995, there were 5 different postseasons with 3 never-before-champions teams, but none since 2001.
3 out of 8 isn't all that remarkable, I suppose, but it might be a little bit more when you consider that there are only 8 teams left that have never won the whole enchilada: Padres, Rangers, Rays, Brewers, Natinals, Mariners, Astros, and Rockies. Now consider that in 2001, the last time this minor feat happened, 10 teams hadn't won it all (Diamondbacks and Angels both won in the 2000's), and in 1995 12 teams hadn't won (Braves won in 1995, Marlins in 1997).
What's the historical perspective on that, though? Well, before there was a Wild Card, for 24 years from 1969 to 1993 only 4 teams made it to the playoffs, all division winners. There's a one year exception to this, but I'll get to that in a second. During this near quarter century of postseason format, 3 different times there 3 of the 4 teams that had never won a World Series in the playoffs. In 1981, a strike disrupted year that saw baseball feature 8 teams (the respective division winners for each "half" of the year), a full 4 of the teams had never won it all. It's unlikely we'll ever see that number topped.
Of course, this might all change if MLB decides to expand the playoffs to include another set of Wild Cards. Now, though, let's look at the interesting playoff history, or lack there of, for the 2010 playoff slate.
Yankees: What is there to say about the Evil Empire that hasn't already been said a million times? Well, how about that they've previously played a series against all 4 of the NL teams, and has a record of 12-4 against them (one of the losses was against the Milwaukee Braves).
Rays: It's hard coming up with trivia for a team that is making only its second appearance in postseason. They're the only team this year that plays in any kind of covered, or semi-covered ballpark. The last time there were no roofed ballparks in the postseason was 1996.
Twins: Target Field is the only ballpark this year that has never seen a postseason game.
Rangers: One of only 3 teams left that have never even appeared in a World Series. In fact, since 1960 when the franchise started as the Washington Senators Part Deux, the Rangers have only made the playoffs 4 times, which includes this year. All three previous appearances the team has lost in the first round to the Yankees. Even worse? They've only ever won 1 playoff game, their first one in 1995.
League of Nationals
Giants: Don't have a rooting interest for the Giants? Well, might I suggest rooting for them to make the World Series, but not win it? Why? Because that would put them at 13 World Series losses, tied for most of all time with the Yankees.
Reds: It seems like the teams that have won it all have either only been a couple times, or lose about as many as they win after that. In the 2010 playoffs the Reds have the second best performance in the World Series, having won 5 and lost 4.
Braves: Not many franchises have set up shop in three different cities, but the Braves are the only one to make an appearance in a World Series in each of them. Even more impressive? They've won a World Series in each city: for Boston in 1914, Milwaukee in 1957, and Atlanta in 1995.