BJOL "Dynasty" Accounting System
All Sit, dept.


Back in July of 2012, James set up a points system for ranking all of baseball history's dynasties.  A fan wrote in today and updated the scores, so, good on him.  

Definitions:  "Dynasty" is taken from royal dynasties, a series of rulers from the same family.  Practically speaking, James gives "a series of successful teams that ... have key personnel in common."  Getting any more precious about the def than that leads to trouble, and Dr. D approves of James' habit of avoiding the trap that sabes get into, that of quibbling about hair-fine distinctions.

By the way, he gives the first Dynasty in MLB history as the 1880-1886 Chicago Cubs, with Cap Anson and Albert Spalding.  (Heh.)  He's got three dynasties from the 19th century, and then the 20th century leads off with the 1900-12 Pirates, of course with Honus Wagner but also with Rube Waddell, Jack Chesbro and about 7 other stars.  The Pirates had "merged" with Louisville to form a true "superteam;" this year the sabermetricians told us there were 4 or 5 "superteams" in the playoffs.  :: sniff ::

A few takeaways from the accounting post-2017:


1.  In James' accounting system, double digits (10 points) gets you Dynasty status; the 2017 Dodgers got both 100 wins and an NL pennant to roar up to 12 points.  Those 12 points put this sequence of Dodger teams somewhere around #30 all time.

So the Astros, who aren't yet on the list, gloriously defeated an Official Bill James Dynasty (TM).


2.  The 2017 Cubs scrabbled up to 9 points and will join the official list (of about 38 historical dynasties) if they score any points at all on the BJOL system next year.  I'm sure they will.


3.  The 2017 Yankee$ extended their long-term run to 48 points (whew), putting them 3rd all time.  It's not clear to me whether this is an extension of the 1994-2012 Yankees with 50 points (Jeter, Mo, Torre, Steinbrenner) or whether the reader's list had to deduct for 2013, 14, and 2016.  The way James counts things, the Yankee$ run includes all those seasons back to the days when the Two Martinez Launch beat them in 1995.   Still, that's 19 playoff appearances against only 4 misses since then, including 5 championships.

The #1 dynasty ever, by the way, was the 1947-64 Yankees according to this system and the #2 dynasty was the 1920-1943 Yankees.


4.  The 2017 Cardinals at 83-79 had a Dynasty run going but got a -negative result this year, and if they get 0 points this year then their "run will be over" and they'll have to start a brand-new run.  Here is their impressive franchise page.

They knew better than to give up Mike Leake.  We'll see whether they're any smarter about Randal Grichuk.


Dr D



So I clicked on the Cardinals' franchise link and, low and behold, find that Stan Musial is their career WAR leader.  What a surprise, huh?  But we you stare at Musial's B-R page for just a bit, all the bold (league leading) numbers just jump out at you.  His post WWII years were incredible in the variety of ways he dominated.  In '46, '48 and '49 he led the league in doubles, triples AND OBP.  He had done it in '43, too.  Four different times he led the league in doubles, triples and OBP.  I wonder if any other player has done it once?  Musial won the MVP in '46 & '48 ('43, too) and finished 2nd from '49-'51.  Interestingly, while he led the league in nearly every other category at least once (excepting SB's and K's), he never led it in HR's. 

In '48, his best season ever (and one of anybody's best seasons ever), Musial went .376-.450-.702 in 698 PA's.  He K'ed just 34 times.  The year before, in 678 PA's, he K'ed only 24 times.  Cody Bellinger nearly got to that number in one 7-game series.

Mike Trout, on the very short list of the best RH hitters ever, has never had a full season below 168 OPS+.  He's 6 for 6.  Mays had a nine year run where he never went below 156.  Aaron had 10 straight years without going below 151.  

Musial, hitting from the left side, had an 11 year run where he dropped below 164 only once.

He truly was "The Man."


I didn't see anything but the very end of his career (when he was still HIGHLY feared at the plate.  But nowhere else--the epitome of 'nice guy'.)

Anyway, it's late one summer afternoon and the Cubs and Cards are locked in a slugfest at Wrigley. The shadows are falling.  It's maybe the seventh or eighth and the Cards have men on first and second with (I think) one out.  The Cubs reliever hurls a high hard one and Musial swings.  The ball sails over the catcher's glove and to the backstop.  Judging the ball as a foul tip, the umpire quickly throws a new ball out to the pitcher.  But the catcher, sensing no contact, races to the backstop and picks up the first ball...which he rifles to second to try to get the confused back runner advancing on the 'passed ball'.  But was it?

The pitcher fires his ball to third attempting to nail the runner who's stupidly run off second on what the pitcher believed to be a dead ball.

Two balls being thrown around the infield at the same time.  You can imagine.

I can't even remember how it ended I was laughing and screaming so loudly at the TV.  

Only in baseball...

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