Congratulations to the Giants on breaking their 56-year World Series drought.
That means it has to be our turn soon, right?
It occurs to me that the Cubs' National League pennant drought is now getting to the point where its length is the overwhelming majority of the World Series drought. 65 NL pennantless years, 102 World Series-less years; the "shorter" span is now 64% of the longer one. Looking at it another way, when the Cubs were last in the World Series in 1945, they hadn't won a World Series in 37 years. Going into the 1945 WS, the World Series droughts of the other 15 teams in existence at the time were:
Cardinals, 1 year (1944); Yankees, 2 years (1943); Reds, 5 years (1940); Tigers, 10 years (1935); Giants, 12 years (1933); Athletics, 15 years (1930); Pirates, 20 years (1925); Senators, 21 years (1924); Indians, 25 years (1920); Red Sox, 27 years (1918); White Sox, 28 years (1917); Braves, 31 years (1914); Dodgers, never; Phillies, never; Browns, never
What's the point of this? That in 1945, the Cubs' drought, though long, wasn't outrageously so; three teams had never won a World Series and three others (Braves, White Sox, Red Sox) had droughts that were close to the Cubs' length. The Cubs had won more World Series at the time (two) than seven of the 15 teams (the three that had never won and the Tigers, Senators, Braves and Indians, who had one each).
I believe that when the Cubs finally get those last five damned outs and win the NL pennant, they'll win the World Series that year. The biggest obstacle, I believe, has been getting there.
One final note about last night -- I went over to McCovey Chronicles and offered congratulations and got a couple of nice responses wishing us well in the future. But one comment I particularly noticed said that the Giants should give Brian Sabean and Bruce Bochy "lifetime jobs".
Now, just imagine if the Giants struggle in a year or two. How many calls will there be to fire one or both of them? It's just the nature of the business.
Now, on to the business of building a team that can get there. Free agency rules have changed this year; unlike past years, free agents no longer need to file. These 142 players automatically became free agents when Nelson Cruz struck out last night to end the World Series.
Five days from now -- in other words, essentially on Sunday morning -- they are free to sign with any team. Existing teams have an exclusive negotiating window with their own free agents only through Saturday. This change was made, supposedly, to reduce the number of free agents without jobs when spring training begins, as happened last year. I'm not so sure that will be the case. It was a seller's market last winter, the reason why guys like Jermaine Dye didn't get work. It's not likely to be much different this time around, except for the top handful of players on the list. The mid-range guys may be shut out again as teams discover they can get equivalent production for fewer dollars.
There are only two Cubs on the list linked above -- Xavier Nady and Aramis Ramirez. The list includes players like Ramirez, who have varying types of club or player options. Ramirez has already indicated he's not opting out of his deal. Of the 142 players, 30 on the list have some sort of option clause.
Let the offseason begin.