"Hand it over, Wahoo!"
Our first regular season as commissioners of the Baseball World Heavyweight Title has come to an end. While I didn't end up posting here as much as I would have liked, I did keep track of the title for the entirety of the season, and posted periodic updates on the Sons' Twitter account.
The final weekend of the regular season saw a clash between two teams not destined for postseason play this year. The Boston Red Sox, in their third title reign, defended against the upstart Cleveland Indians. This would be the Indians' third title shot. In a shocking turn of events, the Indians pulled off a sweep and ended the regular season with the belt raised high.
HOWEVER...the Tribe's moment in the sun is short-lived. The rules for the Baseball World Heavyweight Title clearly state:
If, at the end of the regular season, the belt-holder does not make the playoffs -- and due to the dynamics of this thing, that scenario is entirely plausible -- said team will be stripped of the title for not qualifying for the postseason. Then the winner of the playoffs -- the World Series -- takes the belt and the title into the offseason.
So, better luck next year, Indians. We'll take that, thank you.
This means ten teams have qualified for a multi-week tournament to crown a new Baseball World Heavyweight Title. Five of those teams, the Dodgers, Pirates, Rangers, Royals, and Yankees, are former title-holders. Two teams, the Cardinals and Blue Jays, never managed to get a title shot during the year.
Let's take a look at the complete regular season title history:
A few quick tidbits:
- The Dodgers had the longest single reign of any team, at 25 days.
- Four teams held the title more than once: the Giants (twice), the Orioles (twice), the Rangers (twice), and the Red Sox (three times).
- The Red Sox three title reigns totaled 29 days.
- Aside from the Indians, the Royals had the shortest single reign, losing the belt immediately to the Red Sox.
- The title switched from the NL to the AL with the Royals win over the Brewers on June 17th, and never switched back.
- In addition to the Cardinals and Blue Jays, the Reds, Phillies, Tigers, and A's also did not receive a title shot. Though, somewhere, in another timeline, the Reds are former champs.
- The "Lex Luger Can't Win The Big One" award goes to the Rockies, who had 5 title shots without a title win.