Would you accept a Last Place Finish as "Payment" for a World Series Championship?

Would you take it?

  • Yes, WS championship is worth a last place finish

  • No, I want to be competitive always

  • Yes, heck, I'd take multiple last place finishes for a title


Results are only viewable after voting.

NoXInNixon

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I fully expected that since they traded away almost the entire farm to put this team together, when the window closed it would be a hard landing, and I accepted it.

But it shouldn't have been this season.
 

CantKeepmedown

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I certainly buy into the "winning a title gives you a little leeway" line of thinking. I'm not sure I'm comfortable being in last place. But being fairly competitive and coming up a few games short (even if it's missing the playoffs)? Yeah, I think I'd be OK with that. But they are better than their record shows this year. I'm confident they'll turn it around.
 

InstaFace

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I have no complaints. A little disappointment so far, but I generally buy Simmons' 5-year grace period.

But yeah, the players are too talented to keep playing like this. We lost a few games we could have won? Oh well. Long season.
 

donutogre

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Fortunately, we have no choice in the matter!

More seriously, I'm fine with that trade-off. It's frustrating as hell, of course, and makes very little sense to return such a similar team and have such wildly different results. Generally speaking, I want to see the team be competitive, even if things don't end up working out. That hasn't been the case this season, and that's what makes it so bad. I can handle losses, but it really sucks to see the team struggle in every facet of the game and feel completely out of it once they're a few runs behind.
 

joe dokes

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Yes. But not because of any of the listed reasons. It's baseball. Life goes on.
It will suck. It's not personal.
 

gingerbreadmann

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Here's a great Fangraphs blog from a few years ago basically asking the same question, about our own run from 2012-15 vs. the Tigers' 2011-14. Good arguments on both sides. I'll take the title and last place, but knowing that we made no such deal and shouldn't be falling off so quickly would still be a little hard to swallow (not that I have given up on this season by any means).
 

tims4wins

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Well, what did we do in 2014 and 2015 after 2013?
And 2012 before.

Edit: a (potentially) major difference though is that they sold off assets in order to get better in the future. We'll see if that comes to pass this year (hopefully not, actually)
 

Fratboy

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And 2012 before.

Edit: a (potentially) major difference though is that they sold off assets in order to get better in the future. We'll see if that comes to pass this year (hopefully not, actually)
The difference being that in 2012, the previous title was in 2007, and they'd gone through *a lot* since then. They very easily could have repeated in 2008, and then we had all the drama of 2009, 2010 ("the bridge"), and 2011 (fried chicken and beer). They were a .500 team in 2012 until they rightly decided to punt in August, and the 2013 was a patchwork miracle akin to the 1996 Yankees.
 

OurF'ingCity

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If the question is in the hypothetical scenario where I as a fan could determine the Red Sox' fate for the next three years and I was told that I could have them win a World Series only if they came in dead last the next two seasons, I would certainly make that deal. Flags fly forever.

If the question is does winning the World Series let management/players off the hook for poor performance the following year(s), however, I would say mostly no. If you trade away a key prospect at the deadline for a major-league performer who helps the team win the WS, there is some leeway there if that deal overall looks bad in retrospect, but other than that I don't think the team should/could expect fans this year to say "well, they won the WS last year, so I'm not frustrated/annoyed that they suck this year."
 

Jim Ed Rice in HOF

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I said yes but I think the anger is coming from the fact that this team is pretty much the same team as last year. If they had blown the team up, this level of play would be understandable.
 

TheoShmeo

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This is embarrassing. I’m not an entitled Yankees fan who demands a title every year. Or bust. But to be this pathetic is shocking.

On the other hand, I would sign up for last place for a title 10 out of 10 times. Titles are euphoria and last place is, bottom line, the same as second place. Either way, no euphoria.

And the plus is that if they irrevocably fall out of contention early, that will free me up to spend my time on other pursuits this summer. I’ve toyed with doing half marathon training and the hours away from the TV etc. could be invaluable for that.
 

tims4wins

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If the question is in the hypothetical scenario where I as a fan could determine the Red Sox' fate for the next three years and I was told that I could have them win a World Series only if they came in dead last the next two seasons, I would certainly make that deal. Flags fly forever.

If the question is does winning the World Series let management/players off the hook for poor performance the following year(s), however, I would say mostly no. If you trade away a key prospect at the deadline for a major-league performer who helps the team win the WS, there is some leeway there if that deal overall looks bad in retrospect, but other than that I don't think the team should/could expect fans this year to say "well, they won the WS last year, so I'm not frustrated/annoyed that they suck this year."
I think this is pretty spot on.
 

WestMassExpat

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I have no complaints. A little disappointment so far, but I generally buy Simmons' 5-year grace period.
Conveniently, that's when Chris Sale's extension expires.

More seriously, the referenced Bill Simmons rule I think is gospel on this issue (it was peak Simmons, after all). See Rule 12 here:
12. After your team wins a championship, they immediately get a five-year grace period: You can't complain about anything that happens with your team (trades, draft picks, salary-cap cuts, coaching moves) for five years. There are no exceptions. For instance, the Pats could finish 0-80 over the next five years and I wouldn't say a peep. That's just the way it is. You win the Super Bowl, you go on cruise control for five years. Everything else is gravy.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Here's a great Fangraphs blog from a few years ago basically asking the same question, about our own run from 2012-15 vs. the Tigers' 2011-14. Good arguments on both sides. I'll take the title and last place, but knowing that we made no such deal and shouldn't be falling off so quickly would still be a little hard to swallow (not that I have given up on this season by any means).
As we discussed from 2012-16, from a team-building POV, there is nothing worse than coming in 1st place 4 straight years and not winning the WS and there is little better than winning a WS and then coming in last place the other three years.

As mentioned upthread, I suspect the Sox are going to be pretty bad in the near future but I also didn't think it would be this year.
 
Jul 5, 2018
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Older fan here. I waited 35 years for the Sox to win the WS and it seemed that they would never win one during my lifetime. 2004 was worth 10+ years of suckage. To come back from 3-0 against the Yankees and then beating the Cardinals was almost like winning 2 WS.

You younger guys have been spoiled by the Sox winning 4 titles this century and the Patriots having the best run in NFL history. Try to imagine yourself being Padre fans.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
This is really all there is to it. I'm amazed over 25% would rather be "always competitive" than win.
It's because a competitive team is more fun to watch than a non-competitive team, by a margin that is greater than the margin between a WS winner and a competitive team that falls a bit short.

I mean, OK, flags fly forever. So what? I don't turn on my TV or go to Fenway to watch a flag fly. I do it to watch baseball, because I love baseball. And good baseball is more fun to watch than bad baseball. Of course championship baseball is the most fun of all. But it really isn't about the flags for me, even slightly. I don't relate to all that bragging-rights stuff.
 

Devizier

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Honestly, I don't view things in the realm of the karmic, but things have been so good in Boston sports that I can't get too riled up about the shitshow that is the Red Sox this season.
 

54thMA

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This is embarrassing. I’m not an entitled Yankees fan who demands a title every year. Or bust. But to be this pathetic is shocking.

On the other hand, I would sign up for last place for a title 10 out of 10 times. Titles are euphoria and last place is, bottom line, the same as second place. Either way, no euphoria.

And the plus is that if they irrevocably fall out of contention early, that will free me up to spend my time on other pursuits this summer. I’ve toyed with doing half marathon training and the hours away from the TV etc. could be invaluable for that.
Considering what it was like being a fan of this team from 1966 or so through 2003, winning a WS and then finishing in last place is fine with me.

I've been totally disinterested so far this year, basically watched a few innings here and there, did watch the entire opening day ceremony and that's about it.

As you stated, this will free up my time to pursue other interests this summer.

Plus the gashouse gorillas are going to win 140 games this year anyway, so it is what it is.
 

fiskfan75

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Last year was a once in a lifetime magical season. This year isn't. It doesn't take the shine off 2018. Every other team is trying to be the Red Sox. I'll take this over "there's always next year" any time.
 

Al Zarilla

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Older fan here. I waited 35 years for the Sox to win the WS and it seemed that they would never win one during my lifetime. 2004 was worth 10+ years of suckage. To come back from 3-0 against the Yankees and then beating the Cardinals was almost like winning 2 WS.

You younger guys have been spoiled by the Sox winning 4 titles this century and the Patriots having the best run in NFL history. Try to imagine yourself being Padre fans.
I think Padres fans are different. I go to games there, and if they fall behind early, they all start talking about something else. “How about that surf today, and the 80 degree water.” “Barbecue later on?” Nobody is pissed like we’d be in a losing game. I swear to God, they’re happy no matter what the Padres do. All of them.

As for us Red Sox fans, me in particular, sure, I voted a title for a last place finish, maybe two lasts, but when you get into (what’s looking like) a bad season, it still sucks and hurts. We expect better at this point. NBA and NHL seasons will be over in June, and then it’s nothing but baseball until September.

Then there’s salaries. We’re in an age when the top superstars want, and get up to about 70 times the minimum. When Williams played, his max salary was $125,000, about 20X the minimum. So what? Well, when Mookie is hitting right at the Mendoza Line and we all know he wants $35 million a year, big turnoff.
 

ShaneTrot

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I am just shell-shocked. The flags fly forever but this team has a window to be very good for the next few years and they are blowing 2019 to this point. This team is way too good to be this bad.
 

Bob Montgomerys Helmet Hat

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100% yes.
Sure, I'd like to see some good baseball being played, because I love watching baseball and will watch regardless. But big picture, 2014 and 2015 didn't bother me, and if this year is last place, it won't bother me either. Just keep winning WS titles every 5 or so years, and it's fine with me.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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The thing that's killing me is that the major loss for the 2019 team is the only reliever that did almost nothing to help them actually win the Whole Kaboodle once they got there. Yes, Kimbrell was essential in them actually "getting there", as was Sale... but neither really did much to help the team once actually "there". Once the team is "there"... anything can happen... a pretty average player can have a one week dominant stretch that makes them look like a baseball god, or an actual baseball god can have a shitty stretch and hinder the team more than help it (big shock there to everyone, yeah?).
In "getting there", Kelly hurt the team for the most part.. Kimbrell helped the team. Roles were flipped once "there". Those two are gone so it'd seem almost addition by subtraction on the "getting there" with Kelly but obvious subtraction on "getting there" with Kimbrell. But there's no way having Kimbrell would have us at even .500 right now. IMO this team was lethargic and unfocused to start the season and has now turned desperate and is pressing. They need just a few victories to right themselves and relax (and I think Porcello and Sale, etc... will all start to play better because of it). This is all mental. But back on topic... I did not expect another WS victory this year... I would have been happy with a one and out playoff team (which means they would have been competitive). But this is garbage and is really making last year sort of puzzling.
 
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I’m ready to count this season as a loss. Start looking forward to 2020 and beyond. We need to find our future at 2B and find a decent MLB caliber catcher.
 

BaseballJones

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Put even more succinctly: Flags fly forever.
Yep. I’d make this deal in a heartbeat.

That’s what makes the Patriots’ run so insane. They’ve given us a title once every three seasons, and the in-between years have been the kinds of seasons most franchises only dream about.
 

Devizier

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I think Padres fans are different. I go to games there, and if they fall behind early, they all start talking about something else. “How about that surf today, and the 80 degree water.”.
The water in San Diego is actually very cold. Tops out in the mid 60s. Basically the same as the Cape.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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It's always better to win, and get the "World Series Champions" t-shirts and mugs, and see the flags flying, even if it means retooling and watching players walk for better deals elsewhere. If X and JD and Sale had all left at the end of this season and we stunk next year, well, that's life in sports.

But this year has been a little too inexplicable, and therefore disappointing. They brought almost everyone back, and still have the highest payroll. If we were dealing with a ton of injuries, ok. Or hovering around .500 having dropped a few games we shouldn't have? Stuff happens. But for most of the team to be playing this consistently poorly? It's just not really understandable or acceptable.
 

Al Zarilla

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The water in San Diego is actually very cold. Tops out in the mid 60s. Basically the same as the Cape.
Actually, last year it did hit low 80s. I was there, in it. But you're right, generally 60s but they do get into the low 70s some days in August most years.

Edit, I grew up getting used to the water at York Beach, etc., and Santa Cruz CA is pretty F'ing cold too. San Diego beaches are nicer than those.
 

Monbonthbump

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Older fan here. I waited 35 years for the Sox to win the WS and it seemed that they would never win one during my lifetime. 2004 was worth 10+ years of suckage. To come back from 3-0 against the Yankees and then beating the Cardinals was almost like winning 2 WS.

You younger guys have been spoiled by the Sox winning 4 titles this century and the Patriots having the best run in NFL history. Try to imagine yourself being Padre fans.
 

j44thor

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If things continue this way until July the question will need to be changed to, would you rather finish last or just miss the playoffs.
For me the answer is always finish as low as possible if you aren't making it to the dance, even more so after winning the WS.
This team has very little on the farm so a very high draft pick would be a nice consolation for a down season. Just don't do enough to get to 89-90 wins and come up short without restocking the cupboards.
 

tims4wins

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Yep. I’d make this deal in a heartbeat.

That’s what makes the Patriots’ run so insane. They’ve given us a title once every three seasons, and the in-between years have been the kinds of seasons most franchises only dream about.
Right, although the Pats 2005-2013 stretch, while enjoyable, almost got to a Braves type of situation, aside from the fact that the Pats had 3 titles in the bank at that point. Imagine a world in which the Butler pick doesn't happen. Is Brady still playing? Do they even have 4 titles? Who knows. 2010-2013 was especially painful. 4 straight byes, but only a 4-4 playoff record including a Super Bowl loss. Kind of the football equivalent of the 2011-2014 Tigers that were referenced in the above article. Contrasted to the Giants who missed the playoffs every year surrounding 2011 but won the title, not unlike the 2012-2015 Red Sox. I've loved every second of the Pats being competitive but the idea that they could still be stuck on 3 makes me feel extremely lucky - we'd all be pretty bummed at this point if that was the final Lombardi tally.
 

BaseballJones

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Right, although the Pats 2005-2013 stretch, while enjoyable, almost got to a Braves type of situation, aside from the fact that the Pats had 3 titles in the bank at that point. Imagine a world in which the Butler pick doesn't happen. Is Brady still playing? Do they even have 4 titles? Who knows. 2010-2013 was especially painful. 4 straight byes, but only a 4-4 playoff record including a Super Bowl loss. Kind of the football equivalent of the 2011-2014 Tigers that were referenced in the above article. Contrasted to the Giants who missed the playoffs every year surrounding 2011 but won the title, not unlike the 2012-2015 Red Sox. I've loved every second of the Pats being competitive but the idea that they could still be stuck on 3 makes me feel extremely lucky - we'd all be pretty bummed at this point if that was the final Lombardi tally.
Yeah probably. The point simply being that we'd all take one title every three years even with a load of suck in-between. The Pats have won one title every three years and have been basically still the best team in the league during the in-between years. Which is....beyond incredible.
 

E5 Yaz

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Alex Speier‏ @alexspeier 5h5 hours ago
David Price has been on talented teams that recovered from awful starts, as well as some that didn’t. What if the Sox don’t recover? Price: ‘We don’t play better, Mookie will be traded, JD will be traded... We need to play better. It needs to happen now.’
 
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I think Padres fans are different. I go to games there, and if they fall behind early, they all start talking about something else. “How about that surf today, and the 80 degree water.” “Barbecue later on?” Nobody is pissed like we’d be in a losing game. I swear to God, they’re happy no matter what the Padres do. All of them.

As for us Red Sox fans, me in particular, sure, I voted a title for a last place finish, maybe two lasts, but when you get into (what’s looking like) a bad season, it still sucks and hurts. We expect better at this point. NBA and NHL seasons will be over in June, and then it’s nothing but baseball until September.

Then there’s salaries. We’re in an age when the top superstars want, and get up to about 70 times the minimum. When Williams played, his max salary was $125,000, about 20X the minimum. So what? Well, when Mookie is hitting right at the Mendoza Line and we all know he wants $35 million a year, big turnoff.
I believe that rather than the surfing and weather, the Pads being so non-competive year after year makes it difficult to become passionate about the team. I attended SDSU and just couldn't develope an interest in them. Other than Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield, they had a bunch of guys that wouldn't have been good enough to play for other teams. The same time I was there, Fouts broke through and the Chargers became an elite team making them my favorite team ever since

As for water temperature, you can tread water for 30 minutes and feel very comfortable. I once ran a Cross-Country meet in a blizzard in Odgen, UT and was swimming at the beach the next day in SD.

As for cold temperatures my family used to go to The Sea Ranch north of SF where it maxed out at 54 degrees. Once you waded out to the Costanza level it was unbearable.
 
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WestMassExpat

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Then there’s salaries. We’re in an age when the top superstars want, and get up to about 70 times the minimum. When Williams played, his max salary was $125,000, about 20X the minimum. So what? Well, when Mookie is hitting right at the Mendoza Line and we all know he wants $35 million a year, big turnoff.
Dude should get paid what he can get. That's capitalism.

Judging his career on 80 PAs is a turnoff.
 

Hank Scorpio

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If the price of 2013 was 2014, then I’m fine with that.

But not all seasons are created equal. And I don’t buy Simmons’ rule. This team doesn’t get a full free pass because of 2018. They don’t have to win it all, and if they fall short, I’d be okay with that.

But the play thus far has been embarrassing. Last season was awesome, but it doesn’t make their performance this season any more acceptable. If anything, it makes it more unacceptable. They are flat out better than this.

Sale and Porcello have to get their head out of their ass. Betts, Devers, and JBJ too. Hopefully E-Rod and Eovaldi have turned a corner.
 

twibnotes

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Great thread

Overall it’s hard not to trade anything for a WS - last year was amazing.

Still, I do think context matters. I’d see things VERY differently if the last place team was a young team that may contribute to a bright future.

This team makes way too much money and is way too talented to play this poorly. I don’t need another WS, but a decent season would be nice.