“Storied franchises sporting baseball’s best records give World Series a throwback feel”
By Anthony Castrovince | Archive10/20/2013 1:51 A.M. ET
The St. Louis Cardinals won 97 games this season, surviving a division battle that included two other postseason teams. They were, according to the raw records resulting from the 162-game grind, the best team in the National League.
The Boston Red Sox won 97 games, surviving a division battle that included one other postseason team and two additional clubs with winning records. They were, according to the raw math of 162, the best team in the American League.
This sort of thing never seems to happen anymore.
In fact, in the Wild Card era, dating back to 1995, there have been only been two times in which the teams with each league’s best record met in October — 1995 (Braves and Indians) and ’99 (Yankees and Braves). In that sense, what we’re about to witness, beginning Wednesday night at Fenway Park (8:07 p.m. ET first pitch, 7:30 air time on FOX), is something of a throwback, and the fact that it involves two storied franchises with such extensive October history makes it all the better.
But because unbalanced schedules will always lend themselves to varying interpretations of “best,” perhaps we ought to just view this World Series for what it really is: a celebration of two of the most expertly operated organizations in baseball.