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Old 10-25-2018, 06:59 PM   #1
Nick Soulis
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Excellance Project



Introduction

We all have them, our favorites. Whether it is because we saw them in person as a child or because we heard of their legends from others, we all have the preconceived theory of who the greatest baseball team is of all time.

In the only sport that spans the generations of your great grandfathers, the debate is deep rooted and comes from all corners of our nation. Passion of generations and their heroes are held more tightly then a sacred family recipe as their era, those they rooted for, are their own definition and identity of greatness.

Somewhere or someday when we are all gone; when that meteor finally hits us and we are in our Einstein youth picking up sticks again, will there be peace. Maybe at that time in a place loosely called heaven, the greatest of this old game can assemble together again, and have it out for one last fight to really see who was the best. Whose legend was the most valid and real.

It does little good to debate who the best player of all time was as it could never be fair or sensible to compare a pitcher to a right fielder, or a closer to a base stealer. The point to all of these greats and what they are made of comes down to wining, winning the greatest prize of them all which is that pennant and a chance at World Series glory. All great players had them, even Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg, that one team that may have not won it all, but is still considered legendary and good enough to be in consideration. It is all about team and not about records, stats, or comparisons. It is in the end about the win, about the winning side that for 150 or more games reached their goal. No one but no one can argue with a winner.

So the winners need to take their place, need to play things out and prove their greatness against others like them, others just as keen and confident. A legend versus legends is the only way to solve this ultimate test. The quest is to prove to you and to myself that there is a measuring stick and there are moments that can be tested to see the definition of greatness. It can not be found in the stats or the theories, it can only be found on the field of play, with a wooden bat and a ball, the same rules that have been for 120 years, this is the only judge that everyone will accept, the only mechanism to determine our answers. For on the diamond there can be no debate, a winner wins but a legend keeps winning.

This will be an analysis as well. This process is all too important to rush through or to get instant gratification from. It has to be enjoyed, like a fine wine or a long tale that can be unfolded in layers before the ultimate answer. All great things need to be worked at and this endeavor is definitely great and deserves all the focus we can give to it.
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:03 PM   #2
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Format of Finding the Greatest

The initial thinking of all competitions is to create a tournament or playoff to determine the winners. It is faster and more clean and in many ways more dramatic for some; although I would tend to disagree. Still baseball is a different type of game; it is a game of longevity and patience. Baseball is a game of seasons that lead up to a moment rather then immediate matchups and results. A season is so important in an undertaking like this because it keeps things the way the participants know it and excel in, a pennant race. A pennant race for all of 162 games will determine the best team every time, there is no room for flukes or hot streaks, this is about the cream rising to the top, this is the way baseball has always been.

The format for the season will also help provide a very intriguing side of things. We will be able to track and compare all the teams in a 162 game schedule and will be able to create our won leader boards and record book. The hallowed numbers of .400 or 56 straight games can be chased by the greatest. Batting titles will be played out and records in direct competition by the likes of Ty Cobb vs. Pete Rose and Barry Bonds vs. Babe Ruth will create themselves. So in an inadvertent way, we are able to measure individual greatness under a familiar measuring stick while keeping the overall focus on the ultimate finding of the greatest team.

So each and every team will be inserted into a pennant race. The schedule for all will be 162 games and the participants in each group will be random but only after a seeding. With 512 teams there will be 64 seasons, each season consisting of 8 teams.

The 512 teams will be will be separated into two groups of 256 teams. Each season will consist of four teams from the two groups of 256. In this manner a maximum of 4 “high” seeds can be in one group at one given season. The 64 seasons will be played out and the top four teams of each season will advance to the next round. So after the first 60 seasons there will be 256 teams left.

The 256 teams will be seeded again to produce 32 seasons of 8 teams. Again the top four teams will advance leaving 128 teams. The 128 teams will then be placed into 16 seasons groups of eight. The top four teams of each group will advance to leave 64 teams. The 64 remaining teams will play a best of seven seriies against eachother leaving 32 teams.

One final season will then be played to crown the all-time champion including a full playoff and wildcard.

One issue that came forth was rather to use injuries of not. There are two sides to this debate; one is that injuries shouldn’t play a role in a perfect world where you are trying to find the best team based on skill and merit alone. I would argue however that we are not trying to find the best team on skill alone, but rather on everything else that incorporates a champion including endurance, stamina, and conditioning in a long season. So for this reason injuries will be included, I will however curtail them a bit in hopes that they won’t be too frequent. But make it known from now; at some point the engine will create an injury that greatly impacts a team and a season or pennant race.

On a final note of course the process isn’t perfect, but I can not think of a better way then to play out seasons to determine greatness. Will luck have a part of things? Surely to some extent, but with the marathon of the process the hope is that the standard deviation for any outliners will be greatly reduced and we will have a conclusive champion of all time. For what would baseball be without a little intervention from the baseball Gods?
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Old 10-25-2018, 07:05 PM   #3
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The Team List Can be found in this File. Teams will be drawn at random for the season from this list.
Attached Files
File Type: xls BestTeamsRanking1.xls (343.0 KB, 14 views)
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:41 PM   #4
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SEASON 1


Introducing the first 8 teams to compete:


1. 1936 New York Yankees



Rank: #33
Record: 102-51
Finish: Word Champion
Manager: Joe McCarthy
Ball Park: Yankee Stadium
WAR Leader: Lou Gehrig (9.1)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1936.shtml


2. 1986 California Angels




Rank #333
Record: 92-70
Finish: Lost in ALCS
Manager: Gene Mauch
Ball Park: Anaheim Stadium
WAR Leader: Mike Witt (6.1)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CAL/1986.shtml


3. 1921 New York Yankees





Rank: #182
Record: 98-55
Finish: Lost in WS
Manager: Miller Huggins
Ball Park: Polo Grounds
WAR Leader: Babe Ruth (12.5)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1921.shtml


4. 1991 Los Angeles Dodgers



Rank: #381
Record: 93-69
Finish: 2nd in NL West
Manager: Tom Lasorda
Ball Park: Dodger Stadium
WAR Leader: Brett Butler (5.1)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAD/1991.shtml


5. 2014 San Francisco Giants





Rank: #76
Record: 88-74
Finish: World Champions
Manager: Bruce Bochy
Ball Park: ATT Park
WAR Leader: Buster Posey (5.4)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SFG/2014.shtml


6. 1977 Texas Rangers



Rank: #372
Record: 94-68
Finish: 2nd in AL West
Manager: Billy Hunter
Ball Park: Arlington Stadium
WAR Leader: Bert Blyleven (5.8)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/TEX/1977.shtml


7. 1993 Atlanta Braves



Rank: #202
Record: 104-58
Finish: Lost in ALCS
Manager: Bobby Cox
Ball Park: Fulton County Stadium
WAR Leader: Ron Gant (6.5)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ATL/1993.shtml


8. 2014 Washington Nationals





Rank: #333
Record: 96-66
Finish: Lost in NLDS
Manager: Matt Williams
Ball Park: Nationals Park
WAR Leader: Anthony Rendon (6.6)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/WSN/2014.shtml
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Old 10-31-2018, 12:17 PM   #5
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Season 1
April






April Hitter of the Month

Babe Ruth - 1921 Yankees
(.396, 5 HR, 20 RBI)

Pitcher of the Month

Steve Avery - 1993 Braves
(6-0, 2.95 ERA, 26 K, 61 IP)
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Old 11-02-2018, 12:05 PM   #6
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Season 1
May






May Batter of the Month

Babe Ruth - 1921 Yankees
(.411, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 47 R, 3.5 WAR)

Pitcher of the Month

Doug Fister - 2014 Nationals
(5-6, 3.18 ERA, 53 K, 1.4 WAR)

Major Injuries

Wally Pipp - 1921 Yankees (concussion) 3 months
Frankie Crosetti - 1936 Yankees (Calf) 4 months
Ryan Vogelsong - 2014 Giants (knee) 3 months
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Old 11-03-2018, 03:34 PM   #7
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Season 1
June






Batter of the Month

Babe Ruth - 1921 Yankees
(.395, 16 HR, 66 RBI)

Pitcher of the Month

Tom Glavine - 1993 Braves
(13-4, 3.38 ERA, 74 K, 2.9 WAR)

Major Injuries

Donnie Moore - 1986 Angels (Thumb) 4 weeks
Myril Hoag - 1936 Yankees (Groin) 3 weeks
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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GIANT NO HITTER



Tim Lincecum pitched a gem and a first for the excellence project. The charismatic left hander pitched the first no hitter defeating the rival Los Angeles Dodgers from 1991 1-0.

"The Freak" struckout six and walked only one in a dynamic effort at Dodger Stadium. Lincecum has been forced into the 2014 Giants rotation after a long term injury to ace Madison Bumgarner. Lincecum is 9-9 with an impressive 3.10 ERA.
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:20 PM   #9
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Season 1
July






Batter of the Month

Babe Ruth - 1921 Yankees
(.382, 22 HR, 87 RBI, .505 OBP, 8 SB)

Pitcher of the Month

Greg Maddux - 1993 Braves
(16-6, 3.06 ERA, 127 K, 6.2 WAR)

Major Injuries

Tim Belcher - 1991 Dodgers (Forearm) - 3 weeks
Joe DiMaggio - 1936 Yankees (Hip) - 2 months
Vito Tamulis ) 1936 Yankees (Elbow) - Season
Frankie Crosetti - 1936 Yankees (Calf) - 9 weeks
Madison Bumgarner - 2014 Giants (Forearm) - 3 weeks
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:20 PM   #10
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SEASON 1
August






Batter of the Month

Babe Ruth - 1921 Yankees
(.390, 30 HR, 111 RBI, 8.7 WAR)

Pitcher of the Month

Tim Lincecum - 2014 Giants
(11-6, 2.90 ERA, 117 K)

Major Injuries

Steve Avery - 1993 Braves (Arm) - Out for season
Wally Schang - 1921 Yankees (personal leave) - 3 weeks
Stephen Strasburg - 2014 Nationals (Rotator cuff) - 4 weeks
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:19 PM   #11
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Season 1
Recap


Injuries Derail Yankees As Rangers Stun



The first season of our project brought a dominant team and a huge upset. The 1993 Atlanta Braves took control of this season and won 106 games to grab the pennant and send notice. The Braves had their big three pitchers win 20 games each and an MVP candidate in 21 year old Chipper Jones who drove in a league leading 150 runs. It is a testament to manager Bobby Cox how well this Braves team played including going 61-20 at home and scoring 986 runs.

The 2014 Washington Nationals can be proud of their second place finish after winning 92 games. Two breakout stars came to the fore with Jordan Zimmerman winning 23 games and anchoring a good rotation while Denard Span proved gold. The speedy outfielder scored 141 runs and won the batting title proving that stars can come from anywhere. The team hit .315 collectively and Anthony Rendon drove in 137 runs.

Another 2014 club, the Giants will be moving on after an 85 win season despite losing their ace Madison Bumgarner for most of the season. Tim Lincecum filled in well with 13 wins and a 3.34 ERA including a no hitter against the Dodgers. Mike Morse their first baseman was the only Giant to drive in over 100 runs and hit 20 home runs. Jean Machi had 29 saves for a good bullpen.

The surprising 1977 Texas Rangers may not deserve what they achieved with only 77 victories but their sweep of the 1921 Yankees to end the season saw them finish in 4th place and knock off a legendary club. Bert Blyleven was great when he needed to be winning 21 games along with Gaylord Perry who won 20. The club stayed healthy and worked around thier lack of power with players like Toby Harrah and Jim Sundberg who both drove in over 100 runs in the middle of the order. A great success for a club few expected anything from.

You never want to make excuses but the 1936 Yankees had it all working against them. The injuries the team suffered couldnt be overcome as they started the season challenging for the pennant and finish out of the top four. Joe Dimaggio played only 90 games and was gone with a hip injury while Frankie Crosetti tore a calf muscle in August. Once starter Vito Tamulis was on the shelf for the year, the pitching couldnt hold its own and a team ERA of 5.43 was far from good enough. The Yanks still fought and came close, but a poor final weekend saw the Rangers pass them in the standings a shock the baseball world. Seventy four wins for a club many had among the favorites.

Of course the 1921 Yankees were all about Babe Ruth who for most of the season flirted with the triple crown. Ruth did produce with a 9.0 ERA and 1.16 OPS. Ruth as expected was a one man show but the big fella seemed to fade later in the season when pitchers just plain avoided him. His 35 home runs did lead the league. This Yanks team had the worse ERA in the league and couldnt help the 1936 team one bit as they were swept in the final weekend of the season by the 1977 Rangers.

A lack of scoring runs in California as the 1986 Angels couldnt make a run. Gary Petis had a nice season leading the league in steals with 32 and setting the table hitting .335. Brian Downing also showed his ability hitting .341 but where was little else after them. The pitching had no clear ace, and even the best defensive efficiency in the league couldnt help Gene Mauch and this team from losing 91 games.

Tom LaSorda and the 1991 Dodgers rounded the bottom of this group. The club couldnt generate enough from their offense and were last in the league in runs. Darryl Strawberry did have a nice season hitting 32 home runs and staying healthy while Bret Butler was among the best leadoff men. The signature Dodger pitching however just wasnt there either as Orel Hersisher lost 21 games. As a team only nine wins in April and six in August told the story even as the club finished September stronger.

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Old 11-08-2018, 03:37 PM   #12
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Season 1
Awards


Clubs Advancing
1. 1993 Atlanta Braves
2. 2014 Washington Nationals
3. 2014 San Francisco Giants
4. 1977 Texas Rangers


Most Valuable Player Award



Chipper Jones - 1993 Atlanta Braves
(.377, 34 HR, 150 RBI, .447 OBP, 116 R, 8.6 R)

Cy Young Award



Jordan Zimmerman - 2014 Washington Nationals
(23-11, 3.51 ERA, 248 K, 9.5 WAR, 1.27 WHIP)
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:36 AM   #13
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SEASON 2


1. 2006 Oakland Athletics



Rank: #468
Record: 93-69
Finish: Lost in ALCS
Manager: Ken Macha
Ball Park: McAfee Coliseum
WAR Leader: Barry Zito (4.4)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/OAK/2006.shtml


2. 2016 Chicago Cubs



Rank: #51
Record: 103-58
Finish: World Champions
Manager: Joe Maddon
Ball Park: Wrigley Field
WAR Leader: Kris Bryant (7.4)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHC/2016.shtml


3. 1915 Chicago White Sox



Rank: #229
Record: 93-61
Finish: 3rd in American League
Manager: Pants Rowland
Ball Park: Comiskey Park
WAR Leader: Eddie Collins (9.4)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CHW/1915.shtml


4. 2013 St. Louis Cardinals



Rank: #139
Record: 97-65
Finish: Won NL Pennant; Lost World Series
Manager: Mike Matheny
Ball Park: Busch Stadium
WAR Leader: Matt Carpenter (6.5)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/STL/2013.shtml


5. 1982 Atlanta Braves





Rank: #478
Record: 89-73
Finish: Lost in NLCS
Manager: Joe Torre
Ball Park: Atlanta Fulton County Stadium
WAR Leader: Dale Murphy (6.1)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ATL/1982.shtml


6. 1949 Boston Red Sox





Rank: #198
Record: 96-58
Finish: 2nd in American League
Manager: Joe McCarthy
Ball Park: Fenway Park
WAR Leader: Ted Williams (9.1)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/BOS/1949.shtml


7. 1919 New York Giants



Rank: #263
Record: 87-53
Finish: 2nd in National League
Manager: John McGraw
Ball Park: Polo Grounds
WAR Leader: Art Fletcher (5.3)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYG/1919.shtml


8. 1936 New York Giants





Rank: #328
Record: 92-62
Finish: Won AL Pennant; Lost in WS
Manager: Bill Terry
Ball Park: Polo Grounds
WAR Leader: Carl Hubbell (10-1)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYG/1936.shtml
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