Sometimes, baseball does make sense. After winning a franchise record 108 games and cruising through the postseason to the tune of an 11-3 record, the Red Sox are the 2018 World Champions. It feels historic in a lot of ways, let alone the dominant postseason itself.
Boston had the best player in the league in Mookie Betts, and they had the best record since the 2001 Seattle Mariners. It’s arguably the best team since the 1998 Yankees, which by proxy, makes them the best team of the century thus far. Which got me thinking... could this very well be the franchise of the century?
The franchise of the century of the 1900s were the New York Yankees, plain and simple. If you were to score five points for every pennant and World Series title, they would have 300 points... let’s call them Dynasty Points. The team with the next highest Dynasty Points had 120 in the Dodgers and Cardinals.
This century, no team has truly cleared the field, as to be expected with modern competitive balance rules. In theory we shouldn’t see a team lead by that many championships, because a good function of the Yankees’ success was merely outbidding their competitors in the pre-draft era. From 1964 to 2000, they’ve won seven championships. That’s not bad, obviously, but the Red Sox now have four in that span as well.
If you were to use Dynasty Points then the Red Sox and Giants are tied at 40, which means that even though the century is not even a quarter of the way over, they will still be in the upper quarterly of teams by century’s end. In the 20th century just 13 teams had more than 40 points. Even if we were to account for Boston itself, they had enough wins in the early teens to make them one of the winning-est franchises (seventh most) at 1999.
We can assume that the Red Sox are not done. John Henry is 69-years old and has no plans on selling the team, and the organization still boasts some of the best analytics development, scouting, and player development in baseball. It would take a quarter century before we head into the unknown of possibly different owner, total front office turnover, and a different organizational philosophy.
Even if we make the basic assumption that, going forward, Boston will win a championship and two pennants a decade, they would get to 70 points by 2038. They would need a dynasty or two to put them in the top five, but once again, could you doubt that with this core?
I plan on making some Dynasty Points adjustments soon, to include total playoff appearances, MVPs, and Cy Youngs, to tabulate the total prolific-ness, if that’s a word, of a franchise in a historical context and look at a variety of franchises as well.
The fact of the matter is that in this short century that we may only see a sliver of, Boston is already what we consider to be a prolific franchise. They have had Hall of Famers, MVPs, and multiple, seemingly clustered, World Series wins. If we have the highest Dynasty Points contenders down to a top four, it’s the Cardinals, Giants, Yankees, and Red Sox. A lot can change in 50-75 years, as the Red Sox can attest to, but they’re already in elite centennial company no matter how it concludes.