Jimmy Fallon has never given the world anything significant (not even his first born child will be worth much since Jimmy’s square sense of humor will definitely be in said offsprings biological make-up). But last night he brought my generation something it’s been wanting for years: A Saved By the Bell reunion. Mark Paul Gosselaar came on in Zack Morris garb and confirmed he’d be a part of it.
Since we are a site that specializes in the playing of the baseball on the diamond, this got me thinking: This reunion could be heroically awesome or it could be a front page story on Fail.com. It’s up in the air in this point. But it also made me wonder: which five World Series teams from the past 20 years, when replacing their current incarnations, would eat it the WORST. Here we go.
11. 1998 New York Yankees: This team was sicker than meth mouth (see Andy’s previous post). Davids Cone and Wells and Andy Pettitte as your three stud starters. Mo Rivera as his Ice Cold best. Tino, Jeter, Paul O’Neill and Bernie Williams pacing the offense. Let’s face facts: this team would bend over Boston and Toronto right now and win it all in ’09 right now. But that’s not what this list is about.
10. 1995 Atlanta Braves: The faces of the “It’s about f-in time” league finally came through in ’95, the first post-strike series. When Ted Turner wasn’t monopolizing cable television and pro wrestling, he was George Steinbrenner before it was trendy to be so. I stand by the fact that the former Yankees owner catches more flack than Turner for one reason: he WON more. Of course that was in later years. Home grown talent like Glavine, Smoltz and a young Chipper Jones along with transplant superstars like Fred McGriff and Greg Maddux made this team a terror in the ’95 playoffs (aka the beginning of the Wild Card era). This team right now: could win it all in today’s climate. At the very least they’d come out of the giant crap sandwich that is the National League.
9. 1999 New York Yankees: Take everything I said above and add on the fact that Roger Clemens was in his first season in stripes in ’99. We all know what he did this season and we all know he did it with a little help from some delicious testosterone oysters (Always Sunny rip-off). The Yanks pretty much staked their claim as the team of the 90’s with the sweep of the Braves in the last Series of the century. This team was pretty much the same as the aforementioned ’98 bunch so a World Series isn’t unlikely.
8. 1992 Toronto Blue Jays: Successful baseball in Canada? Well praise Maurice Richard and Don Cherry that I’m not the only one that was confused by this occurrence. But the Jays had been building something up there for the latter half of the 80’s so the fact that they put it all together wasn’t a total mindblower. Cito Gaston (best manager name ever that isn’t Cecil Cooper) led this classy bunch to a showdown with Atlanta in the first Series to take place outside the United States. You got Rob Alomar (probably the best pound-for-pound 2B in the last 25 years), David Cone and Joe Carter on this team. Sounds awesome to me. Sign me up. You’ll see shortly that the Jays repeated again in ’93 but with a much more drama filled conclusion. This team gets the “nod” for one reason: Ricky Henderson. ‘Nuff said.
7. 1993 Toronto Blue Jays: The Jays made it back while the flavor of the month worst to first story, the Phillies, were the opponent. This series had a lot. Pitching dominance, pitching impotence (see Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams) and Curt Schilling before he knew what the word “blogging” meant. One thing holding this back: a walk-off homer to win the whole damn thing. You may be saying ‘Josh (or Lord and Master as some call me), why is a walk-off a bad thing?’ And they aren’t. It’s just the truly great teams leave them for the seventh game. Not the sixth. It’s saltier for the other team that way. Bad form, Joe Carter.
6. 1996 New York Yankees: Team of the decade, right? RIGGGGGGGGHT?!?!?! Nothing was really remarkable about this bunch. Johnny No Names like John Wetteland and Jim Leyritz made this one worth watching with a future manager named Joe Girardi was making scratch as the Bombers catcher. Probably the worst of the three title teams in the 1990’s, which is the same thing as getting an ’08 Aston Martin while your boys get the ’09. Don’t complain.
5. 1991 Minnesota Twins: The Twinkees were a part of one of the last great Fall Classic’s as they took the fresh faced Braves out in seven games. And while I’m not a Twins fan, I am a Kirby Puckett fan. The man was truth in a bottle, God rest his soul. Glaucoma can suck my balls for taking down that soldier. He scaled the wall and robbed Ron Gant’s trick ass of a possible go-ahead homer then hit one of his own in the tenth to send it to game seven. Would this team do well nowadays? With Puckett all things are possible, but I don’t see much fortune for them in the future. Especially with that extra round of games that the division playoffs give you. Sorry, Kirby.
4. 1990 Cincinnati Reds: This team is notable for the fact that they were the last of the overmatched NL teams to be the Tonic Tony-led A’s that should have three-peated from 88-90. Also of note: Barry Larkin’s lone long playoff run, Eric Davis being awesome and manly with an injury and the only reason Rob Dibble has a job on “Best Damn.” Big ups to the Red Stockings.
3. 1997 Florida Marlins: I was at sixth grade camp during much of this series so you can imagine my surprise when I said, “The Marlins? Really??” The Marlins borrowed Gary Sheffield and a few others in ’97 to take out the Indians for their first title in just their fifth season out of expansion. Pitching from Al Leiter and Kevin Brown didn’t hurt either. I say borrowed because most of those clowns were gone by the start of ’98 and the Marlins were back to being what they were before: a nicely said synonym for poop that I could come up with if not for the fact that it’s too early in the morning.
2. 2006 St. Louis Cardinals-I said it. Come at me fellow, Bird herders. This team had NO BUSINESS in the Fall Classic. But they got there and won with a few breaks: The ‘Stros not following through on a furious fall rally to take the division and put the wild card out of reach and then the heavily favored Mets and Tigers not crapping each of their respective beds. Bright side is, I got to see a world champion Cardinals team in my lifetime. My two constituents on this great site can’t say the same. TREATED.
1. The 1994 Strikes: Cheap laughs!!!! BOOM!!!! Are you sickened by rampant steroid use, labor union ballyhoo and Bud Selig. Well you can probably trace it back to this season. When they went on strike, much of the good faith MLB built went out the window and something needed to be done to get it back (enter testosterone oysters and tomfoolery). Big names on this team: Larry Walker (shooting for .400), Matt Williams (trying to break the pre-asterisk single season home run record) and Pedro Martinez dominating in Montreal before you ever thought of him as a Red Sox. The Expos were front runners up until the lights went out. Come to think of it, a title win in ’94 could have saved baseball in Montreal so was the strike a ploy to get baseball back to D.C.? Tricky, tricky Team Selig/Bill Clinton.