It never sat right with me (and most likely everyone else that spends their free time reading and writing about baseball) that there were no playoffs in 1994. The season had everything to offer for a 6 year old growing up just south of Chicago. I got to wear number 13 while playing shortstop in teeball. I was introduced to jalapeño peppers on a warm Saturday at Comiskey Park (much more enjoyable in retrospect than at the moment). Add in the fact that Frank Thomas was absolutely killing it. But as we all know, things fell apart. August 12th rolled around and the players didn't suit up. October was quiet and cold. We were mercifully saved from witnessing a sub-.500 team (Texas Rangers) make the playoffs, but we also unknowingly witnessed the beginning of the end of the Montreal Expos. They never got their fair chance despite being the best team in baseball.
The internet truly is a beautiful thing. While I currently lack the budget to download Diamond Mind, What If? Sports is free if one is willing to put the time and labor into their "research". I set up the playoff brackets as they would have been if the season continued on its merry way. I decided to take a sample size of running each series 50 times. I would have done more, but clicking through more than the 1,000+ times I did lacked true appeal. Each team used a 3-man rotation of their top three starters and used their most frequently used starting lineup. This being a simpler time, the team with the better record would obtain home field advantage in the World Series. The Wild Card was supposed to have debuted in 1994, and in our little bizarro world it will. The first round match-ups are the Los Angeles Dodgers (58-56) vs. the Montreal Expos (74-40), the Atlanta Braves (68-46) vs. the Cincinnati Reds (66-48), the Cleveland Indians (66-47) vs. the New York Yankees (70-43), and the Texas Rangers (52-62) vs. the Chicago White Sox (67-46).
Division Series Results:
The Expos trounced the Dodgers, winning 35 of the 50 series simmed. They won 3-0 eleven times, 3-1 fourteen times, and 3-2 ten times. The Dodgers' 15 wins came from going 3-0 twice, 3-1 8 times, and 3-2 five times.
The Braves handled the Reds quite easily, winning 30 of the 50. They won 3-0 ten times, 3-1 thirteen times, and 3-2 seven times. The Reds' twenty wins came from going 3-0 seven times, 3-1 ten times, and 3-2 three times.
The Yankees were upset by the Indians 28-22. Cleveland went 3-0 thirteen times, 3-1 ten times, and 3-2 five times. The Yankees went 3-0 six times, 3-1 ten times, and 3-2 six times.
The White Sox beat the sad sack Rangers 33 games to 17. Chicago went 3-0 thirteen times, 3-1 thirteen times, and 3-2 seven times. Texas went 3-0 four times, 3-1 nine times, and 3-2 four times.
Championship Series Results:
Somehow the Championship Series wound up being division rivalry match-ups. Montreal would host Atlanta and Chicago would host Cleveland.
Montreal won the 50 game series 28-22. They swept four times, went 4-1 seven times, went 4-2 eleven times, and 4-3 six times. Atlanta swept twice, went 4-1 nine times, 4-2 six times, and 4-3 five times.
Chicago experienced similar results against Cleveland, going 27-23 for the 50. The Pale Hose swept three times, went 4-1 ten times, 4-2 ten times, and 4-3 four times. The Wahoos swept twice, went 4-1 eleven times, 4-2 thrice, and 4-3 seven times.
The Coolest World Series Ever?:
I don't believe I could ever possibly enjoy a World Series match-up more than this. Thank you internet, you are the best. Canada would enjoy its third consecutive World Series, though its first in Quebec. Unfortunately for me, it would not go well for my team.
Montreal would have gone on to win their first ever World Series Championship. They scraped by, winning 26 of the 50 match-ups. They swept three times, went 4-1 ten times, 4-2 eight times, and 4-3 five times. Chicago swept five times, went 4-1 seven times, 4-2 eight times, and 4-3 four times.
This imaginary championship would have allowed ownership to keep the players. Jeffrey Loria never would have owned a major league franchise! Life would have been grand. It's nice to dream sometimes.