ESPN Classic wants you to vote for the greatest World Series team ever from their list of 32 World Series champions.
Trouble is, we didn't like their list. We wanted to simulate a tournament of the greatest teams ever, but we thought it was missing too many teams that were better than some World Series champs.
Like the 2001 Mariners, who won an all-time record 116 games. Or the 1988 A's, who didn't win the World Series but were a better team than the '89 squad, which did. Or the 2004 Cardinals, who rolled to 104 wins before losing to the Red Sox (oh, yeah, we wanted them in our tournament as well).
So we picked 32 all-time great teams, dropped some of the early 20th century squads for more modern teams and enlisted Michael Cieslinski of Dynasty League Baseball and Pursue the Pennant to simulate our tournament.
Dynasty League is a baseball simulation game that uses real-life statistics, including actual lefty-righty breakdowns, normalized to league average and adjusted for the era. (More information and screen grabs are available at designdepot.com.)
The tourney rules:
(1) We split the bracket into 16 AL and 16 NL teams (well, we moved the '82 Brewers over to the NL). The team with the better regular-season record is the home squad.
(2) One and done. Just like the NCAA Tournament.
(3) You must use a real rotation. In other words, Sandy Koufax can't start every game for the '65 Dodgers if they keep advancing.
Does this settle the debate on the all-time greatest team? Of course not. But it sure was fun to imagine such a tournament being played out.
Click on each game to check out the box score.