The Greatest MLB Tournament Ever Created (AL, Round One, Group 2)

Saturday, November 10, 2018

The previous bracket is here.

2. 1927 New York Yankees (Won WS)
127. 1919 Chicago Black Sox (Threw World Series)

Maybe the most famous baseball team against certainly the most infamous; it's 32 year old Babe Ruth and 24 year old Lou Gehrig leading the '27 Yankees against 31 year old Shoeless Joe and his disgraced teammates.  

C White Sox-Schalk
1B Yankees-Gehrig
2B Yankees-Lazzeri
SS Yankees-Koenig
3B White Sox-Weaver
LF White Sox-Jackson
CF Yankees-Combs
RF Yankees-Ruth
SP1 White Sox-Cicotte
SP2 White Sox-Williams
SP3 Yankees-Shocker
Cl Yankees-Moore
Double: Bat WAR Yankees
Double: Pit WAR Yankees

NYY 11 White Sox 5 - The Sox gave it all they could; keeping it tight with the Yankees throughout, but New York had a freakish offensive season that will make the Yankees hard to put down.  

63. 2007 Boston Red Sox (Won WS)
66. 1907 Detroit Tigers (Lost WS)

-31 year old David Ortiz, 23 year old Dustin Pedroia, 27 year old Josh Beckett, and a 40 year old Curt Schilling in his final season paced the Sox - they take on the Tigers, their 1915 squad advanced in Bracket 1 - this group as a 20 year old Ty Cobb and a 27 year old Sam Crawford.

C Sox-Varitek
1B Sox-Youkilis
2B Sox-Pedroia
SS Tigers-O'Leary
3B Sox-Lowell
LF Tigers-Jones
CF Tigers-Crawford
RF Tigers-Cobb
DH Sox - Ortiz
SP1 Push
SP2 Sox-Beckett
SP3 Tigers-Siever
Cl Sox-Papelbon
Double: Bat WAR Sox
Double: Pit WAR Sox

Red Sox 11 Tigers 5 - Detroit ran the table in the OF to make it a game, but Boston's pitching edged them out and the totality of the Red Sox offense was just too much for the Tigers.  

31. 1961 New York Yankees (Won WS)
98. 1950 Boston Red Sox (finished 3rd in AL)

It's the 61 in '61 season - 29 year old Mickey Mantle, 26 year old Roger Maris, Yogi's 36, Whitey Ford's 32 - it's the Yankees taking on their rivals from Boston; 32 year old Bobby Doerr, 31 year old Johnny Pesky, a half season for 31 year old Ted Williams. The Yankees organization won each of their games in Group 1 can they keep that streak going here?

C Yankees-Howard
1B Sox-Dropo
2B Sox-Doerr
SS Sox-Stephens
3B Push
LF Sox-Williams
CF Yankees-Mantle
RF Yankees-Maris
SP1 Sox-Parnell
SP2 Yankees-Push
SP3 Sox-Terry
Cl Push
Double: Bat WAR Yankees
Double: Pit WAR Sox

Red Sox 8 Yankees 6 - the end comes quickly to the '61 Yankees, New York had a big edge from its top end bats, but the Sox won the pitching battle and the infield to narrowly advance.

34. 1931 Philadelphia A's (lost WS)
95. 2013 Detroit Tigers (lost ALCS) 

The A's are bringing some lumber.  Al Simmons is 29, Mickey Cochrane 28, Jimmie Foxx is 23.  Oh - and they've got a 31 year old lefty by the name of Grove.  Detroit's bringing arms - 31 year old Justin Verlander, 28 year old Max Scherzer - and they've got a Hall of Fame bat in their lineup too, 30 year old Miguel Cabrera.  

C A's-Cochrane
1B A's-Foxx
2B A's-Bishop
SS Tigers-Peralta
3B Tigers-Cabrera
LF A's-Simmons
CF Tigers-Jackson
RF Tigers-Hunter
DH Tigers-Martinez
SP1 Tigers-Verlander
SP2 A's-Grove
SP3 Tigers-Fister
Cl Tigers-Benoit
Double: Bat WAR A's
Double: Pit WAR Tigers

Detroit 10 Philadelphia 7 - Detroit's arms overcome the A's bats and the upsets continue in AL Group 2

15. 1937 New York Yankees (Won WS)
114. 1952 Cleveland Indians (2nd in AL)

-22 year old Joe DiMaggio and 34 year old Lou Gehrig lead the Yankees (Ruth played with Gehrig; Gehrig played with DiMaggio; DiMaggio played with Mantle; Mantle played with Roy White; White played with Willie Randolph; Willie Randolph played with Don Mattingly; Mattingly played with Mariano Rivera; Mariano Rivera played with Brett Gardner who remains on the Yankees today) add in 30 year old Bill Dickey and you've got some legendary bats with this club.  The Indians have 28 year old Al Rosen and 28 year old Larry Doby - plus some arms, 31 year old Bob Lemon and 32 year old Early Wynn.  It's the '37 Yankees and the '52 Indians.

C Yankees-Dickey
1B Yankees-Gehrig
2B Indians-Avila
SS Indians-Crosetti
3B Indians-Rosen
LF Indians-Mitchell
CF Yankees-DiMaggio
RF Yankees-Selkirk
SP1 Yankees-Gomez
SP2 Indians-Garcia
SP3 Indians-Wynn
Cl Yankees-Murphy
Double: Bat WAR Push
Double: Pit WAR Yankees

Yankees 8 Indians 6 - oh man is this close - the biggest advantage though is the Yankee top end bats, Cleveland's top player is Doby - and he loses to DiMaggio.  

50. 1904 Cleveland Indians (Naps) (4th in AL)
79. 2002 Boston Red Sox (2nd in AL East)

We've already seen a Naps team lose to a team from the 1960s, here, they play an even more contemporary club, the '02 Sox.  Cleveland's got 29 year old Nap Lajoie and 28 year old Elmer Flick; the Sox have Pedro (30) Manny (30) and Nomar (28).  Who will live to see the next round?

C Sox-Varitek
1B Indians-Hickman
2B Indians-Lajoie
SS Red Sox-Garciaparra
3B Indians-Bradley
LF Red Sox-Ramirez
CF Red Sox-Damon
RF Indians-Flick
SP1 Sox-Lowe
SP2 Sox-Martinez
SP3 Sox-Moore
Cl Sox-Urbina
Double: Bat WAR Sox
Double: Pit WAR Sox

Sox 12 Indians 5 - tough to be a turn of the century club in this tournament, Boston's a little big better all the way around and that adds to the win

18. 1954 New York Yankees (2nd in AL)
111. 2011 Texas Rangers (Lost WS)

22 year old Mantle, 29 year old Yogi, 25 year old Whitey Ford - it's the '54 Yankees; 32 year old Adrian Beltre, 30 year old Josh Hamilton, 29 year old Ian Kinsler - it's the '11 Rangers. 

C Yankees-Berra
1B Yankees-Collins
2B Rangers-Kinsler
SS Rangers-Andrus
3B Rangers-Beltre
LF Rangers-Hamilton
CF Yankees-Mantle
RF Yankees-Bauer
SP1 Rangers-Wilson
SP2 Yankees-Grim
SP3 Rangers-Holland
Cl Rangers-Feliz
Double: Bat WAR Push
Double: Pit WAR Rangers

Texas 10 NYY 5 - we really start to see the power of the modern teams in this Group; underdog contemporary teams beating, in some cases, heavily favored teams from the past - one way to look at it is as a proper valuing of the quality of modern baseball - another way is that the methodology of the tournament puts too many thumbs on the scale.

47. 1922 St Louis Browns (Orioles) (2nd in AL)
82. 1988 Oakland A's (Lost WS)

It's 29 year old George Sisler and 31 year old Urban Shocker against 23 year old Jose Canseco and 24 year old Mark McGwire.  Can the modern teams get another win in AL Group 2? 

C Browns-Severeid
1B Browns-Sisler
2B Browns-McManus
SS A's-Weiss
3B A's-Lansford
LF Browns-Williams
CF A's-Henderson
RF A's-Canseco
SP1 Browns-Shocker
SP2 Browns-Vangilder
SP3 A's-Davis
Cl A's-Eckersley
Double: Bat WAR Browns
Double: Pit WAR Browns

Browns 11 A's 6 - closer than the score indicates, the Browns were just a little bit better all the way around to earn some respect for the older teams in the bracket. 

When we return to this group....

1. 1927 Yankees
63. 2007 Red Sox

98. 1950 Red Sox
95. 2013 Tigers

15. 1937 Yankees
79. 2002 Red Sox

111. 2011 Rangers
47. 1922 Browns

We're headed back to the NL now for Group 2, with the #2 seed in the NL, the 1902 Pittsburgh Pirates.

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