Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Checking in on the 4 longest playoff droughts in MLB history

This is the last time we saw the Pirates in the postseason...

In 2012 the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos franchise brought to an end a 30 year postseason absence, the longest playoff drought for any team in the history of Major League Baseball.  Unfortunately for them it looks like they'll be starting a new streak this season, which makes the absurd decision to sit Stephen Strasburg late last year appear even more ridiculous.

The 2nd longest stretch of it's kind is the current 27 year run of the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals won the 1985 World Series in part due to a couple blown calls in Game 6, and have been paying for it karmically ever since.  This year they hung around in the Wild Card race much later than anyone expected, but it appears KC's woes will continue.

The 4th longest drought all-time belongs to the Toronto Blue Jays (19 seasons), who haven't returned to the playoffs since back-to-back championships in 1992 and 1993.  Picked by many this preseason to win the AL East, the Jays are currently buried in last place, and have no chance at ending their skid.

...when Barry Bonds still looked like this.
Which brings me to the 3rd longest span between postseason appearances in baseball history, belonging to the Pittsburgh Pirates of the past 20 years.  In 1992, Pittsburgh led Atlanta 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 9th inning of NLCS Game 7.  With two outs pinch hitter Francisco Cabrera singled in Dave Justice and Sid Bream (pictured above), and the Braves won 3-2.  That off-season Barry Bonds left for San Francisco to up his steroid intake, and the Pirates have been insignificant ever since.  Until now.  With an 8.5 game cushion and just 30 left to play, Pittsburgh's era of futility finally seems destined to come to a close.

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