Enjoyed this article focusing on the phillies uneven journey from tanking to the WS. The writer explained that high draft picks alone are not enough, there are other “ingredients”…
The 2022 Phillies have already beaten the Astros in one stat. They are 4th, while the Astros are 10th.
One of the numerous links focused on a (correct) 2018 “tankfest” projection of up to 8 teams heading for a 90+ loss season; two others came close - SF and Toronto - with 89. This article compared the YTD 2018 Astros and Cubs approach.
Nine 2022 teams lost 90+, while three others came close - Angels, 89; D’Backs & Cubs, 88. Wondering how many are “trying to compete” & how many are actually “rebuilding”.
I’ve always bristled at the notion of the Astros “tanking it” to the W.S.
When the Selig forced marched the Astros into the A.L. they were a terrible team with a terrible farm system. They had one (maybe) star in Hunter Pence and they traded him, but they weren’t going to be competitive, even with three Hunter Pences. They didn’t have to try to lose games, it came quite naturally.
“Tanking” implies intentionally setting yourself up to lose. By the time Crane, Luhnow and co took over, they had no choice. The rebuild should have really started after 08 but they tried to hang on and made a bunch of really stupid moves that cratered the franchise by 2011.
The “Tankfest” article (linked earlier) offered a much more palatable, plausible explanation and description:
…(the Astros & Cubs served) as two proofs of the idea that a controlled franchise demolition can help pave the way for 100-win seasons and October parades.
@AstrosFanInBigD In addition, the era of owners and fans being content with a ball club that’s merely respectable is seemingly over; if you’re not contending for a championship, the thinking goes, you may as well not even try to win at all.
Interesting article. Thanks for sharing, Snuffy. My main memories of the “Tanking”: I was General Manager of a group of radio stations in Amarillo in 2013-2014. Our AM sports station didn’t have a great signal, so I could pretty much do what I wanted to with the mostly satellite programming. (Obviously our ownership wasn’t worried too much about revenue on that station) Being an Astros fan, I signed up to be an affiliate those two years. I probably listened more in 2013 than watched on TV. My lasting memory (Besides the fact it was a rebuilding team) was the Astros could absolutely not hold a lead. Not that it mattered, but I remember counting about 10-15 games that with just an average closer or set up guy the Astros could have won those games. Then I thought, who cares! 60 wins instead of 51! I never considered it tanking: Just not paying any money for a closer when it didn’t matter. Better days were obviously ahead!