Team of the Decade

Looking back at the “Naughts”, we always try to find the best of a variety of items for the decades. I previously calculated that Albert Pujols, although playing just nine seasons of the possible ten was the Player of the Decade. Next, I am here to decide the Team of the Decade, and once again I will use numbers and facts.

I used one simple factor to decide which teams are eligible for the Team of the Decade award, World Series victory. Therefore, the teams eligible for Team of the Decade are:

New York Yankees – 2000, 2009
Arizona Diamondbacks – 2001
Anaheim Angels (of Los Angeles) – 2002
Florida Marlins – 2003
Boston Red Sox – 2004, 2007
Chicago White Sox – 2005
St. Louis Cardinals – 2006
Philadelphia Phillies – 2008

Of these teams, let’s be reasonable. The Florida Marlins have been in the playoffs once in the decade and won the World Series that year. They never won their division during the decade. They averaged only 81.1 victories per season and scored less than 8,000 runs during the decade as well. The team won 90 games only once during decade and had five seasons with more losses than victories. Therefore based upon these reasons, I have eliminated the Florida Marlins from Team of the Decade possibilities.

Seven teams remain. I am about to eliminate two more teams with the same reasoning.

Arizona Diamondbacks are next team to be eliminated from the Team of the Decade nominations. The Diamondbacks were in the playoffs three times in ten years. Besides the World Series victory, they won only one other playoff series in the decade. The Diamondbacks actually won FEWER games in the decade than the Marlins, a total of 805. The Diamondbacks lost 111 games in 2004 and lost 92 games in 2009. A team that loses more games than it wins in a decade cannot be team of that decade. Therefore based upon these reasons, I have eliminated the Arizona Diamondbacks from Team of the Decade possibilities.

I will also eliminate the Chicago White Sox as the Team of the Decade. The White Sox won the Word Series in 2005 and only made it to the playoffs two other times during the decade. As a team, they won 841 games during the decade (averaging 84.1 wins per year) and had two losing seasons. Except for the year that they won the World Series, they won more than 90 games only once. The White Sox has a respectable decade, but respectable cannot be enough to be Team of the Decade. They won their division three times, but could not get out of the first round of the playoffs except for that one magic 2005 season. Therefore based upon these reasons, I have eliminated the Chicago White Sox from Team of the Decade possibilities.

The teams that are left to become the Team of the Decade are:

New York Yankees – 2000, 2009
Anaheim Angels (of Los Angeles) – 2002
Boston Red Sox – 2004, 2007
St. Louis Cardinals – 2006
Philadelphia Phillies – 2008

To determine Team of the Decade, I will be using the following factors:
• World Series Victories
• Playoff Series Victories
• Playoff Appearances
• Division Winners
• Total Wins
• Total Runs
• Number of All-Stars

The Team of the Decade will be the team that has accomplished the most on the field. Let’s break them down team by team and analyze overall accomplishments.

The New York Yankees began and ended the decade with World Series victories (2000 and 2009). The Yankees were losers in two World Series (2001 and 2003) and were also a Division Series winner (2004). The Yankees were in playoffs each year throughout the decade except for one (2008), winning eight Eastern Division Championships and winning the Wild Card once (2007). As a team, they averaged 96.5 wins per season (.600 winning percentage) for the decade, winning 100 games four times and never finished with less than 87 victories. As a team, they scored an average of 883.4 runs per year at an average of 5.45 runs per game. Lastly, there were 45 All-Stars that wore the Yankees uniform during the decade. The Yankees were the only team in the decade to win 100 games and the World Series in the same season (2009).

The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series in 2008 and were losers in the World Series in 2009. The Phillies finished the decade with three straight Eastern Division Championships (2007 through 2009) but were not in the playoffs for the other seven seasons during the decade. As a team, they averaged 85.0 wins per season (.524 winning percentage), but never won 100 games at any time during the decade and had a very forgettable 2000 season, finishing 65-97. As a team, they scored an average of 797.8 runs per season that I adjusted to 845.7 runs per game to account for the additional 6% of runs scored by American League teams during the decade. The Phillies averaged 5.22 runs per game during the decade. Lastly, there were 24 All-Stars that wore the Phillies uniform during the decade.

The Boston Red Sox won the only two World Series that they played in during the decade (2004 and 2007). The Red Sox won the Divisional Series twice (2003 and 2008). The Red Sox were Eastern Division Champions only once during the decade (2007) and were the Wild Card winner a total of five seasons (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 and 2009). The Red Sox did not make the playoffs during four seasons during the decade and averaged 92.0 victories per season during the decade (.568 winning percentage). The Red Sox were very steady during the decade, winning between 82 and 98 games during the ten seasons. As a team, they scored an average of 864.7 runs per season that averaged to 5.34 runs per game. Lastly, there were 52 All-Stars that wore the Red Sox uniform during the decade.

The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series in 2006 and lost the World Series in 2004. They won Divisional Series playoff three times during the decade (2000, 2002 and 2005). Two other times during the decade, they won the Central Division Championships and won the Wild Card once during the decade for a total of seven playoff appearances. The Cardinals did not make the playoffs seven times during the decade and averaged 91.3 wins per season (.564 winning percentage). The Cardinals won 100 games three times during the decade, but also had one season winning less than 80 games. As a team, the Cardinals scored an average of 803.9 runs per season that I adjusted to 852.1 runs per game to account for the additional 6% of runs scored by American League teams during the decade. The Cardinals averaged 5.26 runs per game during the decade. Lastly, there were 31 All-Stars that wore the Cardinal uniform during the decade.

The Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles won the World Series in 2002 in a year they were the Wild Card winners, but did not get to the World Series during any other season during the decade. They won Divisional Series playoff twice times during the decade (2005 ad 2009). Three other times during the decade, they won the Western Division Championships for a total of six playoff appearances. The Angels did not make the playoffs during four different seasons during the decade. The Angels averaged 90 victories per season during the decade (.556 winning percentage). The Angels won 100 games once during the decade, but had two seasons in which the finished with less than 80 victories. The Angels scored an average of 797.5 runs per season for an average of 4.97 runs per game. Lastly, there were 23 All-Stars that wore the Angels uniform during the season.

Team of Decade Leaders Breakdown:
• World Series Victories – Two each for Yankees and Red Sox
• Playoff Series Victories – Eleven for the Yankees
• Playoff Appearances – Nine for the Yankees
• Division Winners – Eight for the Yankees
• Total Wins – 965 for the Yankees
• Total Runs – 8,834 for the Yankees
• Number of All-Stars – 52 for the Red Sox

My nomination as Team of the Decade, based upon numbers and facts are the New York Yankees.

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