I was listening to Chicago sports radio a week or two ago and Chip Caray reminded the hosts that every six years, the Florida Marlins go to the playoffs and win the World Series. 1997 and 2003 have been their years, and of course 2009 would fit into that pattern (statisticians might point out that two data points do not a pattern make). Now the Marlins have come charging out of the gate and sit atop the American League East at 11-2.
The Marlins seem to have a knack for beating the teams of tortured fans in the playoffs. Sure, no one will feel sorry for the Braves (lost to the Marlins in the 1997 NLCS) or Yankees (lost to the Marlins in the 2003 World Series), although Braves and Yankees fans have surely wanted more championships from their teams numerous postseason experiences.
But look at the other teams that they have beaten in October. The Giants, whom they have beaten twice, haven’t won a World Series since 1954, when they still played in New York. The Indians, who blew a 9th-inning lead in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series against the Marlins and then lost in the 11th inning, haven’t won title since 1948. And most famously, I’d say, the Marlins came back from a 3 games to 1 deficit against my beloved Cubs in the 2003 NLCS, erupting for 8 runs in the 8th inning in the (in)famous Bartman game. The Cubs, as you surely know, are riding the most ignominious streak in sports, selflessly going without a World Series title since 1908 or even an appearance in the Fall Classic since 1945.
Let’s just say that if the Cubs make the playoffs this year, I don’t want to see the Marlins there too.