The Yankees have the pennants and World Series banners. They have the monuments and the legends. They are the most successful franchise in sports history in almost every respect. They have Babe Ruth and the house he built. Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. The little professor. Joe Dimaggio and his streak. Lou Gehrig's speech.
The Red Sox won the first true Wold Series and gave the world Tris Speaker, Smokey Joe Wood and then they sold away Babe Ruth. Then, came the suffering. They have 86 years without a championship, the "Curse of the Bambino" (TM Dan Shaughnessy, 1987) and all of the painful near-misses- Pesky holds ball, Lee hangs a curve, Bill Buckner. They now have the transformation as well- the Idiots and their 0-3 comeback, Papelbon dancing the jig, wild beards and hugs from Koji.
The Cardinals have the Gashouse Gang. They have Branch Rickey and his crazy farm system idea. They have Stan the Man and El Hombre. They have Chris von der Ahe and the old beer and whiskey league. The have Bob Gibson and Lou Brock. They have more championships than anyone but the Yankees. Clydesdales and Bud. Big Mac, Andro and the summer of '98.
The Dodgers have Jackie Robinson- maybe that is the trump card here. No one else has that. They also have Walter O'Malley against Robert Moses. Pigtown. The heartbreak of Brooklyn. The new world of Los Angeles. They have Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. Fernandomania. Yasiel Puig and Clayton Kershaw.
The Giants have Jon McGraw and Roger Bresnahan and Christy Matthewson. They have Bobby Thompson's shot heard ‘round the world and the telescope that made it happen. Willie Mays and that catch. They have the Freak and the Panda.
The Cubs have daylight baseball and unforgiving goats. They have ivy-covered fences. Tinkers-to-Evers-to-Chance. Three-Fingers Brown. And they have the suffering. 100-plus years without a championship and counting. Steve Bartman. So much suffering and so much loyalty.
Regardless of which team you root for, there is bound to be some incredible stories in their past, some endearing heroes, some hapless goats, and some strange and wonderful characters that can hardly even be believed. But which franchise has the most intriguing history in all of baseball?
Breakfast Links 3/10:
The addition of the Cuban shortstop is surprising given the Jhonny Peralta signing and the presence of Kolten Wong, Pete Kozma and prospects like Greg Garcia and Oscar Mercado, but this is the Cardinals so I'm going to assume it's a genius move.
When you consistently find and develop star hitters in the late rounds of the draft, you earn the benefit of the doubt whenever you unexpectedly sign a Cuban infielder. That is all I'm saying.
Arizona adds another lefty to the bullpen and Justin Miller sees it as a necessary upgrade