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Where do the Diamondbacks rank in the 2000's?

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With the decade coming to a close, it’s inevitable that fans will attempt to categorize, rank, and analyze the Decade That Was. The behavior isn’t unique to baseball fans, but we perhaps take (and talk) it to a different level. The first and most immediate debate is: “Who is the Team of the Decade?” Since there can be, by definition, only one Team of the Decade, that leaves the other 29 fan-bases to wonder: “now, just where the hell does my team rank?”  

So that’s what I’m going to attempt to do. First, I’m focusing only team achievements. Individual awards are nice, but quite frankly don’t mean a hill of beans in this discussion. You can collect all the foil Charzards you want, and it’ll cost you some serious coin, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get beat by pure luck or a better strategy. That’s just how games like this are played.

 



The first decade of the 2000’s was a time marked by a certain level of parity, at least on the World Series level. Fourteen different teams won pennants and the chance to represent their league in the Fall Classic. As most of us remember, or at least have heard, the Diamondbacks were one of these teams.

For the sake of argument, I’m going to disregard any team that didn’t make the World Series for “Who’s Better, Who’s Best.“ The Atlanta Braves probably had a better overall decade than the Florida Marlins, since the latter only made it to the playoffs once in the decade. A more complete argument might be made if we start including team winning percentages or other deeper statistics, but for the sake of length I’m going to limit this to only championship teams.

Like nearly any ranking, there are two extremes: those that have won multiple titles, and those that didn’t win any. At this point the teams can be divided into three categories: multiple titles, one title, no titles. From there, we should be able to rank the teams by category, creating an overall ranking.

The top tier is a small group of two: the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Both won two titles, so they’re effectively “tied” in that regard, but the Yankees begin to separate themselves when we consider other things. The Yankees won 8 AL East titles in the 00’s, to the Red Sox 2. The Yankees also won four AL Pennants, going 2 out of 4 in the World Series for the 00’s. The Red Sox have a better average, but only appeared twice. That essentially brings the list to:

1. Yankees
2. Red Sox

The other group that should be fairly easy to separate out is those that didn’t win a title: the Mets, the Giants, the Astros, the Tigers, the Rockies, and the Rays. At the bottom of the list will be a battle between two woeful franchises: the Tigers and the Rays. Both were only in the playoffs once in the 00’s, made a run to the World Series, and then promptly lost.  The Rays, however, did win one AL East title to put them a hair ahead of the Tigers.  You could argue that the Tigers should be slightly ahead, though, given that the Tigers were in the race right down to the wire twice (2006 and 2009, where they lost a playoff to the Twins).

13. Rays
14. Tigers

Next up has to be the Rockies. They made the playoffs twice in the 00’s, but both times were as a Wild Card. Just hovering above them, however, would be the Mets, who also made the playoffs only twice but at least won a NL East title once. Both the Giants and the Astros were in the playoffs 3 times, but the Giants get the edge with their two NL West championships.

9. Giants
10. Astros
11. Mets
12. Rockies

Now we get in the meat of things. The remaining six teams all won one World Series in the 00’s, true, but then had varying degrees of success after this. At the bottom of this pile should be the Marlins, who are the winning versions of the Rays and the Tigers in that they only made the playoffs once but went all the way. It’s a tough pick between the White Sox and Diamondbacks, who both made the playoffs three times, all by winning their division. I would give the Diamondbacks a slight edge with their two League Championship appearances, but the White Sox also have one more winning season (7) than the D’backs.

The Angels might have more overall playoff appearances than the Phillies (6 to 3), but the latter has the advantage of winning two NL Pennants. Still, the Angels have a impressive record with 5 AL West titles, 1 AL Pennant, and 1 World Series win. So it comes down to the Phillies and Cardinals, who have both appeared in 2 World Series during the 00’s, and both went 1-1. Oddly enough, both lost their Series against one of the two teams that had 2 World Series titles for the decade (Cardinals to the Red Sox, and Phillies to the Yankees). The Cardinals clearly had the better decade, however. The Red Birds tallied up 6 NL Central titles and a Wild Card, to the Phillies’ 3 NL East wins.

3. Cardinals
4. Phillies
5. Angels
6. Diamondbacks
7. White Sox
8. Marlins

So overall, the Diamondback’s didn’t fare so bad. Three NL West crowns, two LCS appearances, 1 NL Pennant, 1 World Series win, and 6 winning seasons. By my oh-so-scientific ranking, I’m putting them at #6 for the Decade, which is pretty darn good.

Where do you think the Diamondbacks rank?

The LIST:
1. Yankees
2. Red Sox
3. Cardinals
4. Phillies
5. Angels
6. Diamondbacks
7. White Sox
8. Marlins
9. Giants
10. Astros
11. Mets
12. Rockies
13. Rays
14. Tigers

 As an aside, the Diamondbacks are about the middle of the pack if you rank the decade by wins overall.  It should be also noted that the top three teams in wins also were the top three in my ranking.