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Nominate entries for our next book…

MICHAEL: Eric and I have been busy putting together the outline for our next book Baseball’s Could Have Beens: Major League Mishaps, Misfortunes, and Mistakes. This follow-up to You Stink! features 30 ballplayers who had a ton of potential, but whose careers ended prematurely, as well as the histories of MLB teams that finished far below expectations. Our player list is firm at 30, but we are still looking for input as to which teams to include. Baseball historian Jonathan Knight was kind enough to offer us some excellent team suggestions, most of which have been added. Here is what we have so far:

  1. 1906 Chicago Cubs: Played a completely dominant regular season in which they set major league records for victories, but didn’t win the World Series.
  2. 1940s Red Sox: Blew the World Series in Game 7 in ’46, and then blew the pennant on the last day of the season in ’48 and ’49.
  3. 1950s Brooklyn Dodgers: Won six pennants in 10 years (losing two others on the last day of the season), but only won one World Series.
  4. 1954 Cleveland Indians: Won a then-record 111 games, got to the World Series, and then were swept.
  5. 1981 Cincinnati Reds:  Had the best overall record in baseball that year, but because of the two-tiered structure of the strike-torn season, they didn’t qualify for the playoffs.
  6. 1987 Cleveland Indians: Put on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s season preview and picked to go to the World Series. Went on to lose 100 games.
  7. 1980s Oakland A’s: Won in ’89, but were upset by clearly inferior teams in ’88 and ’90.
  8. 1990s Pittsburgh Pirates: Three straight division titles with no World Series berths.
  9. 1990s-2000s Atlanta Braves: Made playoffs 14 straight years, but only won one World Series and lost four others.
  10. 2001 Seattle Mariners: Played completely dominant regular seasons in which they each set league records for victories, but didn’t win the World Series.

Who else would you include? There are 2-5 team slots left (depending on how many good ideas we get). In order to prevent duplicative nominations, we are asking you to post your suggested teams right here in the Comments section with a very brief description of why they should be included. All winning suggestions will be properly credited in the Acknowledgements chapter of the book. Thanks in advance for your input. We can’t wait to see who you come up with!

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Nominate entries for our next book…

  1. The 1992 New York Mets, “the worst team money could buy”

    Posted by Alex | August 6, 2012, 6:53 pm
  2. As much as I hate to admit it, I think the 2012 Phillies are going to earn a place on the list…..

    Posted by Eric J. Wittenberg | August 8, 2012, 8:06 pm
  3. There are four teams in history that failed to win the World Series after posting a winning percentage over .700 in the regular season. The list already has three (1906 Cubs, 1954 Indians, 2001 Mariners) – the 1931 Athletics are the fourth so they certainly seem worthy of inclusion.

    The 1969-’71 Orioles were like the 1988-’90 A’s in that they were a dominant team that made the Series three straight times, but only won once – and of course one of those losses was to the famous underdog ’69 Mets.

    If the 1981 Reds are included as victims of circumstance surrounding a strike, than I think the 1994 Expos are a must to go in as well – I mean, there are unlucky single season teams, and then there are entire star-crossed franchises….

    Posted by Chris | August 9, 2012, 3:38 am
  4. The 2012 Astros. :(

    Posted by Mike Peters | September 9, 2012, 9:52 am
  5. 2012 Rangers. All the hype and payroll and they were limited to a single post-season game…a loss.

    Posted by Shawn | October 18, 2012, 12:41 pm
  6. Me again. Is it too late in the book’s development to reserve a spot for the 2013 Jays? The preseason favorite by Vegas to win it all at one point, and neck-and-neck with the Rays to win the AL East according to a preseason survey of 43 experts on ESPN. Apart from a few days in late June they’ve been below .500 and deep in last place virtually the entire year.

    Posted by Chris Jackson | July 24, 2013, 11:06 pm

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Readers Relate

“We always read about the good teams and the great players, but it’s the bad teams and the horrific players that help build teams’ rich histories. You Stink! lets you know, that it can always be worse, and makes you appreciate your ball club that much more!” - Matt Lambert, a Cleveland Indians fan -----------------------------------------“Gave Dad a copy of You Stink! about the worst baseball teams and players in history. The review: ‘a home run.’” - Scott Gosnell, Columbus, OH

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With hundreds of articles, dozens of books, and multiple film, radio and television credits between them, Eric and Michael have extensive experience as guests/speakers. To book the authors either together or separately, please contact them via the CONTACT link above.
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