Just because I used the teams in the division, doesn't mean that I'm saying that's the only way to compare the teams. So, let's look at the Dodgers and the Yankees. I bet that you won't allow me to go too far back in time because you want recent success, right? So, like the fact that the Cardinals reached the NLCS four consecutive years, from 2011-2014, and won one World Series in that time is someone less than the magnificent Dodgers and their recent run of three consecutive NLCS appearances, 2016-2018, that netted them two pennants but no World Series titles. Or, that when I point out that a few years ago the Yankees were drifting from contention and flipped Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs and Andrew Miller to Cleveland to give their organization an infusion of young talent and a quick jumpstart in a masterful set of moves by Cashman & Co. Did you know that from 2013 through 2016, the Yankees played ONE PLAYOFF GAME, and lost it. Is that not recent enough? They've won as many pennants since the Stanton trade as the Cardinals have. And also as many division titles, for what that's worth. Meanwhile, they're on the hook for 1/4 billion of Stanton's deal. Meanwhile, the Dodgers spent 1/4 billion on Cuban talent, and then relied on how much of that to win in 2019? They are operating on different financial planes than almost every other team. Maybe Boston fits? Maybe the Cubs? Doesn't seem that way. But that extra latitude allows them, especially the Dodgers, to sidestep bad contracts and poor moves in ways other teams, i.e., the Cardinals, cannot.
Absolutely the Cardinals should be compared against the Dodgers. And if the Cardinals claim to be they Yankees of the National League, then yes, compare them to the Yankees. I agree wholeheartedly with this. But don't for a moment think that they're operating with the same resources as them -- and that's what we were talking about. Resources. Minor-league systems. Developing players. Year in. Year out. The Dodgers are great at that. Truly, great. They drafted Buehler. The Cardinals could have. They got Wilson. Any team could have. The Cardinals pondered the move, and then didn't. So, compare the teams that way and then pick a timeframe and tell me how the teams compare:
Since three years ago today -- 0 World Series titles, 2 pennants
Since five years ago today -- 0 World Series titles, 2 pennants
Since 10 years ago today -- 1 World Series title, 4 pennants*
(* Two pennants and one title by Cardinals)
Since 15 years ago today -- 3 World Series titles, 6 pennants*
(* Three pennants by Cardinals, two titles)
We can all choose sample sizes and make the numbers dance, but I don't know yet how the band plays your tune.
Again, if you want to make the argument you can, and there is an argument to be had that the Cardinals have faded from relevance in the league, have faded from being an annual favorite to win a title, and that's all true. But there has to be better legs for your argument to stand on than just we compare ourselves to the Yankees and the Dodgers. Because, hey, how are they doing? Find a Yankee fan, and ask them if they think the Yankees are positioned as a favorite for 2020 and look all that better than the Cardinals. You might be surprised by the answer. The Dodgers are legit -- but not the belle of the ball. Not anymore. We'll see if they get Rendon and throw another 1/4 billion at a problem.