Almost every year, you could look back on the season of the team that won the World Series and say “boy, that took some magic.” Some supernatural will of the baseball gods was imposed, some prophecy fulfilled. The Sox breaking the curse of the Bambino, the Giants even years, the Royals finally getting it done for a city that needed a win. Sure it hasn’t been ALL underdogs banding together against the odds to make the stuff of fantastical baseball movies reality, but there sure have been a lot of cinderella baseball stories as of late.
In hindsight it all feels like destiny. But who’s destined this year? I’m going to rank all the remaining postseason teams’ claims to a magical World Series from least magical to most.
Third Tier (Minimal Magic)
#9 The Toronto Blue Jays – The bat flip, do it for Canada, capitalize on Buck Showalter’s worst management decision of all time, ride the wildcard walk off. That’s about it. We all know the Jays are good, they don’t feel like a group of misfits who couldn’t be more deserving. Their lineup is just unfair. If they won, I think we’d me saying “Hm. Makes sense.”
#8 The Washington Nationals – Last year, we were all scratching our heads about the Nationals. How could quite possibly the most talented team in the MLB be so
bad not phenomenal? The level of clubhouse dysfunction was nearly unprecedented. Manager Matt Williams seemed truly indifferent about his team on and off the field. And we all remember Bryce “Meanest Morman of All Time” Harper asking one of the game’s most noted psychopaths, Jonathan Papelbon if he wanted to go. And he went. The Nats winning it all would could redeem their team’s abysmal lack of cohesion and provide a win for a city trapped in the shitstorm that is the 2016 Presidential Race.
Also, if anyone can explain Daniel Murphy’s season to me without including magic, Voodoo, Santeria, witch doctory or some kind of blood sacrifice, please do.
#7 The Texas Rangers – The Rangers are good again, big whoop. But how they are good is a bit new. Looking at the Rangers this year, we don’t quite see the star power we saw the last time they were contenders. They have great players, don’t get me wrong. But I’m seeing a lot of teamwork out of this relatively young squad. Always a bridesmaid, never the bride, the Rangers becoming world champions could help Arlington recoup from the many almosts they experienced a few years ago.
Second Tier (Pretty Magical)
#6 The New York Mets – Mets fans have been starving for wins for quite a while. Until last year they were lifted up, only to be trampled by the Royals. Hopes were high and then suddenly gone. But they’re back. Do it for David Wright, he gave you his best years, now it’s time to return the favor.
#5 The Cleveland Indians – In the wake of Lebron finally bringing SOMETHING to America’s go-to example of a shit town, now they have another franchise to potentially keep them on the map. Who knows, if the Indians can get it done maybe the Browns can win a Su- okay just kidding, but Clevelanders deserve another title — think about it, they have to live in Cleveland!
#4 The Los Angeles Dodgers – Kershaw has an opportunity to put up an acceptable playoff performance, they are finally playing like the super-team they were supposed to be when they made the biggest move in Dodgers history in 2012, but this time on the back of some homegrown talent. Kershaw’s injury made them better. That’s pretty magical. But most of all, they could do it for Vin. Win for Vin as they should be saying if they aren’t already. What an opportunity to give a touching gift to a man who touched so many lives and served the Dodgers and baseball as a whole so well.
Top Tier (Do you believe in ?)
#3 The Boston Red Sox – They finally figured out their pitching, and just in time for one of the game’s and certainly the Sox’ best players of all time to win one last Series. Big Papi’s season has truly been nothing short of pure magic. What a send off they could give such an inspirational player and person for the city of Boston.
#2 The Chicago Cubs – I know, I know, 108 years. How could I not rank them the most magical team?
Mainly, because they are in no way (other than the curse of the billy goat) underdogs. They won too many games to be the most magical playoff team. Whatever happens this year, the Cubs are going to win the World Series soon. I think next year. Having said that, the century-plus dry spell is enough to put them all the way up at number two.
#1 The San Francisco Giants – The simple reason: BeliEVEN.
Look at what the giants have done. They were so bad for so long, and finally, mostly built on farm talent they have become a dynasty. But they are still underdogs. Think about this. Torture. Wildcard. Dodgers are too good. Not enough superstars. Sound familiar? That’s because these aspects define Giants baseball. They have shown us a great deal of magic since 2010, but the potential for a mystical, inexplicable, how in the hell World series win could be the highest here in 2016. The best team the first half, worst the second. Awful in the ninth, awful period. Not a single player hit twenty or more home runs, and they are still in the running.
Look at the Cubs, Dodgers, Nats, Blue Jays and Red Sox talent. It is obvious why those teams are so good. Then look at the Giants. They have good players but really only one to three true superstars in Bumgarner Cueto and Posey. Everyone thought the Giants were down and completely out, but look at them now. The latest possible turnaround, Ty Blach’s inexplicable outdoing of Clayton Kershaw, Romo’s ability to close yet again and that final Dodgers sweep just feel historic. If they do it, it will be through teamwork, it will be through magic.
No matter who wins the World Series this year, we’re in for quite a story.