Are Championships The **Only** Thing That Matter?

It’s easy to make fun of the Miami Marlins.  My husband did yesterday, and I’ve been known to dabble in it a few times myself.  After spending a shit ton of money on free agents that Jeffrey Loria later turned into Canadian currency, the Miami Marlins are bottom feeders.

But OHHHHHH! HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT??!?!  THEY WON A CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2003!!  THEY WON TWO CHAMPIONSHIPS IN LESS THAN 10 YEARS OF EXISTENCE!!! BLAHHHHHH!

The Marlins have never won a division championship either.  They never built for the future and quickly dismantled those teams just for shits and giggles.

They won those championships by accident.

So the Mets have won two championships in a 50 year existence.  Guess what? So have the Phillies, in over 100 years of existence.  They also have over 10,000 losses in their history.

The Atlanta Braves also have existed since 1966 (but existed in many other forms for over 100 years too).  As the Atlanta Braves (I’m not looking at their entire existence, get over it), they won ONE championship in 1995.  Remember how dominant that team was in the ’90s?

And the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos? Not a one.

Out of the Phillies (a team that is well over 100 years old), the Mets (51 years young) and the Marlins, whoever wins the next championship will be the winningest National League Eastern Divisional team.

Funny how that puts things into perspective, right?

So when someone comes back at me with history, it’s a very limited history scope, and it’s a very revisionist one as well.

My question then is: are World Championships in baseball the be-all, end-all?

Look at the Houston Astros.  They’re a fucking train wreck and a half now.  They’ve never won a championship in their 51 year existence either (they’re the same age as the Mets).  Yet, they’ve had such greats as Nolan Ryan, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, hell even Roidger Clemens play for them.  Biggio and Bagwell were the “Franchise.”  They may not have any hardware, but their history certainly is not irrelevant.

Fans still love the Chicago Cubs.  They haven’t won in over 100 years, and they, too, only have two championships to their credit.   Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, they all played for the Cubs.  Know what else they have in common?  Never played in a World Series.

A team like the Mets has Tom Seaver in the Hall of Fame, who won a championship with the team.  Mike Piazza, who should be in the Hall, played in a World Series just once.

The Marlins have Jeff Conine.  They traded away a future Triple Crown winner and MVP in Miguel Cabrera.  They got rid of Josh Beckett who was instrumental in bringing a World Series to Boston in 2007…another team, mind you, that didn’t win in 86 friggin years at one point.  (Though they had exorcised that demon prior to Beckett going there).

The Mets happen to share a city with the team that has won the most championships throughout sports, the New York Yankees at 27.  The second winningest franchise?  The St. Louis Cardinals, with 11.  Third and fourth are the Oakland A’s, and the San Francisco Giants.  Funny this is that the Giants didn’t win a championship in San Francisco until 2010, after over 50 years of relocating to the Bay Area (till 2009, they were tied at 5 with the Cincinnati Reds).

I don’t think we’d be as hell bent as a fan base on winning, or measuring our pee-pees with other teams in the division, if we saw the larger picture.  That larger picture is that your existence isn’t solely based on winning it all.

Oh don’t get me wrong.  It’s nice.  I’ve been through two, and I really wanted my husband to experience for another one of his teams this year since none of his teams have won anything since 1986.

But I’d take the Mets, post-traumatic Mets disorder and all, and their quirky yet rich history any day over the Marlins luck of the draw in winning championships by accident any day.

4 comments

  1. For me as a fan, after winning championships, if the season is enjoyable, then I’m happy with it. For MOST teams and their fans, I think that’s the case. There are A FEW teams where it’s an unmitigated disaster if they don’t win it all, while for other teams (thinking across all sports), just making it to the playoffs is considered a success. For me, the rollercoaster rides of the Mets since about 2005 or 2006 hasn’t always been fun for me. Maybe it’s not having the CHANCE to win a championship in those seasons. I follow another team who, last June, made an unexpected ride to their league’s finals, and I’ll tell you first hand, I enjoyed it, even though they lost.

    1. Well, Mr. DyHrdMet, you hit the nail on the head. People, especially here in NYC, seem to forget that the point of sports is to entertain. My husband’s football team didn’t make it to the conference championships, my hockey team didn’t make it past its conference finals last year…and in 2006, the Mets were a few runs away from going to the World Series. Yet those years stick out as some of the most entertaining I’ve ever seen. Sure, I was disappointed that my teams were eliminated, but I had so much fun it was easy to overlook that.

      That said, when people point to the fact that the Marlins have two championships in their existence, I have to scratch my head. Who cares? Their owner certainly didn’t, and their two fans don’t either (although one of the fans, Jeff Conine, probably doesn’t count totally as a fan). The Mets may not be far off, then again, the Braves are behind too. Think about it.

      1. If it wasn’t about entertainment, then people wouldn’t come out to Regular Season games or watch them on TV.

  2. Bottom line is that it is for entertainment, and we are watching a bunch of millionaires playing a kids game. Sure, it’s awesome to win a championship but at least I want my teams to be competative. It does make it more fun to watch!

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