Most over-rated and under-rated teams ever Topic

What the heck, we are on a roll here, I thought I would try this. 

Here is my preliminary list:


1961 Yankees (see Bill James, open and shut case as he lays it out)

1970-72 Big Red Machine (not the later edition)

1986 Mets  (Possibly greatest talent of any team ever. Possibly biggest waste of talent of any team ever. And yet, we loved them at the time - at least in NY). 


1972-4 Oakland Athletics - Their stats don't seem amazing, in part because the era had a neat balance of pitching-hitting, no steroids (that we know of) and pitchers' parks. Also, there were other good teams. But the As were better and played differently than everyone else. They were as much fun to watch as any team I can recall. 

1969 Mets (won 100 games, overcame great Cubs team to beat them by 8 games in division, swept Atlanta team with Niekro, Wilhelm, Aaron, Cepeda, won 4 of 5 from extremely powerful Orioles team. It was not just a miracle). 

1999 Mets - better by far than the 2000 team, got psyched out early in that series with Atlanta, then nearly pulled of a 2004...One of the best fielding teams, especially IF ever (not counting Piazza). 

2000-2001 Oakland Athletics. Should by all rights have succeeded the Yankees Dynasty. Best team in baseball both those years. Like '99 Mets v. Braves, they got psyched out by Yankees' mystique.

1976 Yankees - better than the next two seasons when they won the Series. They were tired and emotionally drained coming into the Series v. the Reds, and probably couldn't have won under any circumstances, but would have put up more of a fight. Had to start Doyle Alexander in game 1 for example. Not until 1996 did a Yankees' team play with such verve and joie de vive. 

1967 Cardinals. Not that many teams whose starting lineups and pitching rotations I can remember entire years later. They are one. Individually they don't seem that awesome, but they were very good. Gibson made them great. 
7/3/2013 6:32 AM
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Well as long as you brought up football, THE most under-rated athlete in any sport may be Ray Guy who is NOT in the Football Hall of Fame (he's not missing much, I have been to Canton, Ohio). 

To be fair, in retrospect, I was harsh on Canton in this comment, since Thurman Munson of course was from Canton. My apologies Thurman, O Captain, My Captain. 

Though compared with Canton, China, or Guangzhou as it is properly called, Canton, Ohio is a boring small town. Which is what Thurman liked about it of course.
7/4/2013 10:01 AM (edited)
Pertaining to the 69 Mets, look at the 67, 68, 70, 71 seasons.

It looks like it was a miracle.
7/3/2013 8:48 PM
69 Mets had a 412 batting average with 2 outs with runners on 3rd, (If I remember the  article i once read accurately)

The first subway series should have been in 85 or 99.

I would say the 69 Cubs were underrated, they won 92 games and are criticized for losing to a team that won 100 Games.

The 91 Twins and braves are overrated, because they came from last to first, but they shouldn't have had finished in last in 90.

1990 Reds were very under rated until they swept the A's. nobody had  a career year  on that team.  This team caused Lou  Pinella to be an over rated manager.
7/3/2013 9:22 PM
Seems to me the 1969-71 Orioles don't get enough attention these days.  They lost 2 out 3 World Series...had they won 2 out of 3 history might have treated them differently.  But 318 wins over 3 seasons is just incredible.

They should however, like the 1990s Braves, serve as cautionary tale to those who think pitching determines postseason success.  The history of baseball is littered with counterexamples.

7/4/2013 9:50 AM
It doesn't matter what you win with during the season. Only pitching and bunting wins in the playoffs. And if neither team has pitching or bunting? THEN NOBODY WINS.
7/4/2013 3:06 PM
Off topic here but is the 5 year Yankee dynasty over rated.  
Compared to the 4 year dynasty of 1936-1939 they are.

Robert Creamer in his book about the 1941 season compares both dynasties.
36-39 yanks were 16-2 in the world Series, were never in a pennant race (unlike the 49 & 50 yanks)  and also dominated their league in most offensive categories.
7/4/2013 4:10 PM
booger, stop channeling Joe Morgan (broadcaster, not his days at 2B).
7/4/2013 6:22 PM
Ignoring for a second the very real issue of pre-integration vs post....I have always thought the 1936-39 Yankees were the best team ever relative to their competition. 
7/4/2013 6:38 PM
Posted by contrarian23 on 7/4/2013 6:38:00 PM (view original):
Ignoring for a second the very real issue of pre-integration vs post....I have always thought the 1936-39 Yankees were the best team ever relative to their competition. 
The integration issue matters, but it's not quite as significant as you might first think, because it is in part canceled by the fact that there are almost twice as many teams currently than there were in the pre-integration years, so the overall quality (especially in "depth") might actually be around the same...

then again, it's not just pure integration, it's the general globalization of the game...
7/4/2013 6:43 PM
I don't agree at all...the population has also grown tremendously, so the number of MLB teams per capita is actually almost certainly LOWER today than it was in the 1930s. 

But again, comparing quality of play across time is complex for many reasons, so I am mostly avoiding that argument here...just saying I think the 1936-39 Yankees dominated their competition more than any team before or since.
7/4/2013 6:46 PM
From wikipedia, world population in 1930 = ~2B.  Population today = ~7B (3.5 times larger today)
US population in 1930 = 123M.  Population today = 309M (2.5 times larger today)

MLB teams in 1930 = 16
MLB teams today = 30 (less than 2x larger today)

Proponents the idea that expansion has diluted talent usually point to the latter, while ignoring the former.  Considering that the market for baseball talent today is (a) global (b) open to people of all races and (c) almost certainly orders of magnitude more efficient in terms of identifying and developing talent, it's very difficult to argue that the quality of play today would be meaningfully diluted just by virtue of the number of teams.  There may be other reasons why one might believe that players of an older era were better, but talent dilution should not be one of them.
7/4/2013 7:02 PM
7/4/2013 8:41 PM
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