Since the Chicago Cubs probably won’t increase payroll this offseason, the main focus so far this offseason has been deciding whether to move the team’s spring training site. First off, this is jumping the gun. The Cubs can’t opt out of their agreement with the city of Mesa, Arizona, until the end of 2012. Secondly, the city of Mesa has drawn up a plan to meet the Cubs’ demands of upgraded practice facilities, and an upgraded ballpark.
Right now, the only deciding factor being considered, according to Naples, FL city council member Gary Price, is “… from the meeting we had with the Ricketts family and Crane [Kenney, Cubs chairman] was that they want to win a World Series. Sixteen out of the last 19 World Series winners train in Florida.” The exceptions are the Diamondbacks (2001, trained in Tucson, AZ), the Angels (2002, trained in Tempe, AZ), and the White Sox (2005, trained in Tucson).
This is pure baloney. It is akin to saying that Achilles defeated Hector because he trained in Greece, not Asia Minor. The statement implies that the Yankees win because they play in Florida.
Let’s take a look at each of these 19 World Series.
1990- Cincinnati Reds defeat Oakland A’s 4-1
The Reds obviously didn’t win this series because their “Nasty Boys” relievers, Rob Dibble, Norm Charlton, and Randy Myers carried them to an upstart victory, The powerhouse A’s were doomed from the start because they trained in Phoenix, AZ, and the Reds trained in Plant City, FL.
1991- Minnesota Twins defeat Atlanta Braves 4-3
What would happen when two Florida-training teams clashed? The Twins, hailing from Fort Myers, and the Braves, then-training in West Palm Beach, battled in one of the most dramatic World Series in history.
1992- Toronto Blue Jays defeat Atlanta Braves 4-2
The Blue Jays and Braves met in another all-Florida battle. Toronto’s potent offense downed Atlanta’s heralded pitching staff, revealing to the world that Dunedin is more Florida-like than West Palm Beach.
1993- Toronto Blue Jays defeat Philadelphia Phillies 4-2
Joe Carter’s Game 6 heroics, and Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams’ collapse reassert Dunedin’s Florida-ness, this time passing Clearwater.
1994- No World Series played due to strike.
The strike was obviously Arizona’s fault.
1995- Atlanta Braves defeat Cleveland Indians 4-2
The Braves finally were able to assert that they played in Florida. Cleveland trained in Winter Haven, FL, but they had recently moved from Tucson, and were obviously still feeling the effects of Arizona.
1996- New York Yankees defeat Atlanta Braves 4-2
Could the Yankees have won this series because of their legendary 6-2-1 formula (6 IP from the starter, 2 IP from Mariano Rivera, and 1 IP by closer John Wetteland)? Or were they due because they were training in Tampa? But the Braves were still training in West Palm Beach…
1997- Florida Marlins defeat Cleveland Indians 4-3
The Indians must have still been feeling the effects of Tucson. What other explanation is there for their division-winning squad to have lost to the wild card Marlins? Who for the record, trained in Viera, FL.
1998- New York Yankees defeat San Diego Padres 4-0
The Padres were overmatched from the start, not because they were carried on the backs of only two players (LF Greg Vaughn, and closer Trevor Hoffman), but because they trained in Peoria, AZ, of course.
1999- New York Yankees defeat Atlanta Braves 4-0
Tampa magic gives the Yankees another sweep. Are the Braves cursed? They train in Florida, and go to the WS five times, yet only win once. It must be the fault of distracting radio waves from Arizona.
2000- New York Yankees defeat New York Mets 4-1
The Subway Series battle is devoid of Arizona, and the Yanks power to victory, the last of their Tampa-based dynasty.
2001- Arizona Diamondbacks defeat New York Yankees 4-3
The D-backs defy history, training in Tucson. Luis Gonzalez becomes a hero, leading Arizona to the title, and breaking the Spring Training curse.
2002- Anaheim Angels defeat San Francisco Giants 4-3
The Angels, who train in Tempe, AZ are hot on Arizona’s heels. Make that two straight for the Cactus League.
2003- Florida Marlins defeat New York Yankees 4-2
After breaking the hearts of Chicagoans in half, Florida storms to a second title. The Yankees appear to have used up their share of Florida magic in the ‘90’s.
2004- Boston Red Sox defeat St. Louis Cardinals 4-0
The Sox topple the Yankees, then break the Curse of the Bambino. St. Louis concedes that Jupiter is no match for Fort Myers.
2005- Chicago White Sox defeat Houston Astros 4-0
The ChiSox become the final team of the period to break the curse. Two curses in fact, the Spring Training curse, and their own Black Sox curse,
2006- St. Louis Cardinals defeat Detroit Tigers 4-1
The Tigers, playing at the oldest Spring Training site in baseball, by all rights should’ve won. But instead, St. Louis gets revenge for 2004.
2007- Boston Red Sox defeat Colorado Rockies 4-0
Colorado’s dramatic Rocktober ends at the hands of Boston, all because the Rockies train in Tucson.
2008- Philadephia Phillies defeat Tampa Bay Devil Rays 4-1
Tampa Bay rises from mediocrity to win the AL East, but falls to their Sunshine State training partners.
2009- New York Yankees defeat Philadephia Phillies 4-2
The Yankees spend, spend, spend, then reclaim a share of Florida titles.
The Cubs can go ahead and move to Florida based on some deli meat.
Meanwhile, keep your eyes on the Nationals in 2010, they train in Florida.
I can’t believe that I wasted an hour writing this.
Cover Photo by: seantoyer
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