MLB.com ranked the 2016 Chicago Cubs as the third-best World Series championship squad in the last 25 years. Let’s contextualize the numbers a little bit to see if they made the correct decision.
Credit to MLB.com for continuing to churn out entertaining content in a mostly dead news cycle as far as baseball is concerned and for giving Chicago Cubs fans something to brag about.
Recently, they posted an article where two of their writers were ranking the World Series champions in the last 25 years best to worst. Obviously, the Cubs 2016 World Series team was in contention; you know that team that produced the best moments in Cubs history and some of the best players the team has seen this decade and probably in franchise history as well.
This was done draft style, with one writer picking first and then the next writer getting the next pick and so on. There was no concrete guidelines given for how these teams were evaluated, it was subjectively what that writer thought.
The Chicago Cubs performed really well, getting picked third behind just the 1998 New York Yankees and the 2018 Boston Red Sox.
"I just realized how difficult it’s going to be to separate out various Yankee and Red Sox teams, and I’m not quite ready to forgive the 2017 Astros yet. No such problem exists with those curse-breaking ‘16 Cubs, who had merely one of the greatest run prevention units of the entire live ball era. I mean, they won 103 regular-season games, had the NL MVP (Kris Bryant), the first and second runners-up in Cy Young voting (Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks, respectively) and decided that, future be damned, we’re trading Gleyber Torres to go get Aroldis Chapman. And it worked! (Despite Rajai Davis’ best efforts.) I don’t believe in magic, but I do believe in the “Kyle Schwarber is an all-time superhero for coming back from that knee injury to rake in October” story. This was a great team, and this was also a great team, if you get my meaning."
Let’s contextualize the Chicago Cubs’ 2016 season and see if it is indeed one of the very best among all the World Series champions in the last 25 years.