1994 World Series: Wikis

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1994 World Series.gif

The 1994 World Series was canceled on September 14 of that year due to an ongoing strike by the Major League Baseball Players Association, which had begun on August 12. It was only the second time in the event's history (and the first time since 1904) that the Fall Classic was not played.

Contents

Overview

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Impact on the Montreal Expos

The Montreal Expos of the National League, at 74-40, and the New York Yankees of the American League, at 70-43, held the best records in their leagues at season's end. The Montreal Expos could have tried to win the third consecutive World Series for a Canadian team after the Toronto Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993. An All-Canadian World Series featuring the Expos and the Blue Jays would have been very unlikely, with the defending champion Blue Jays slumping to a third place finish and a 55-60 record at the cancellation of the season, 16 games behind the Yankees.

Some, such as the then-majority owner of the Expos, Claude Brochu, in his book My Turn at Bat, blamed the strike for the ultimate demise and relocation of the Montreal Expos.[1] Several sports publications have speculated Montreal would have won the Series[2][3] had it been played. The team was forced to trade many of its players to deal with the loss of revenue following the strike, and never again reached the same level of success it had in 1994.

That season was Felipe Alou's chance to finally manage a team in the World Series. The Expos averaged 72 victories over the next six seasons (their best seasons after 1994 were an 88 win season in 1996 and an 83 win season in 2002) and Alou was fired in 2001.[1] After the 2004 season, the team moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals.

Impact on the New York Yankees

The New York Yankees had the best record in the American League and the team's captain, Don Mattingly, could have been in the postseason for the first time during his 13-year career. The Yankees were last in the postseason when they last went to the World Series, in 1981, the last time there was a significant players' strike and last won a World Series in 1978. Mattingly led active players in both games played and in at bats without having one in the postseason.[4] Throughout October, the news media talked about what might have been for the Yankees if there had not been a strike, making references to the days games in the post-season would have been played.[5] With the NHL's Rangers winning the Stanley Cup, the strike also ended the best chances for the same city to have both Stanley Cup and World Series winners in the same year for the first time since 1933, when the Rangers themselves won the Stanley Cup, followed by the Giants winning the World Series.[6]

Although Mattingly would eventually play a postseason game in the 1995 playoffs one year later, the 1994 strike led to him retiring[7][8] and Buck Showalter leaving as manager.[1][7] Mattingly suffered a bad back and coupled with the strike, it ended his career after the 1995 season.[7]

Three-tier playoff system

This was to have been the first year of a regularly scheduled three-tier playoff system, as the NL and AL were divided into three divisions (East, Central, and West) at the start of the 1994 season. (An unscheduled three-tier system was used in 1981 due to the season being shortened by a mid-season labor dispute.) The new playoff system (involving a wild card team in each league) did not go into effect until the 1995 postseason. Had the postseason taken place coinciding with team records on August 11th, the division series would have been laid out as follows:

Playoffs

  Division Series
ABC
League Championship Series
NBC
World Series
ABC
                           
  East  New York Yankees 3  
WC  Cleveland Indians 0  
  East  New York Yankees 2  
American League
  Central  Chicago White Sox 4  
Central  Chicago White Sox 3
  West  Texas Rangers 1  
    AL  Chicago White Sox 3
  NL  Los Angeles Dodgers 4
  East  Montreal Expos 2  
West  Los Angeles Dodgers 3  
  West  Los Angeles Dodgers 4
National League
  WC  Atlanta Braves 3  
Central  Cincinnati Reds 1
  WC  Atlanta Braves 3  

The World Series was played from October 22-30,1994. The Los Angeles Dodgers won the series 4 games to 3, with the home team winning every game.

Atlanta Braves' run of division titles

Because division champions from 1994 are unofficial, the Atlanta Braves are officially credited with winning 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 to 2005, winning the NL West in the final three years of the two-division system and then winning 11 consecutive NL East titles from 1995-2005. However, at the time of the season's cancellation, the Braves were in second place in the NL East at 68-46, six games behind the Montreal Expos. The 11 titles from 1995-2005 would nonetheless be an MLB record, and the Braves had a 2½-game lead over the Houston Astros for the NL wild card at the time of the season's cancellation. However, had the unplayed remainder of the 1994 season seen the Braves miss the playoffs, the Major League record for consecutive playoff appearances would now belong to the New York Yankees, who had 13 straight postseason appearances from 1995 to 2007 (and possibly 1994 would have made it 14, with the streak starting a year earlier).

"Unofficial" champions

The Associated Press writers, at the end of the aborted season, chose to name "unofficial" champions when naming their Managers of the Year as Felipe Alou and Buck Showalter, who were leading when the season abruptly ended. Traditionally, the next season's All-Star Game managers are the league champions. Because of the strike, the leagues chose to name their unofficial champion managers to the traditional honor.

Television coverage

Had the 1994 World Series been played out, it would have aired on ABC. Al Michaels, Jim Palmer, Tim McCarver and Lesley Visser would have, in all likelihood, served as the commentators. The 1994 season marked the first year of what would have been a six-year-long joint venture with Major League Baseball, ABC, and NBC called "The Baseball Network." In even-numbered years, ABC would cover the Division Series and World Series, while NBC would cover the All-Star Game and League Championship Series. Likewise, in odd-numbered years, NBC would cover the Division Series and World Series, while ABC would cover the All-Star Game and LCS.

Effect on home field advantage rotation

The 1994 World Series was supposed to have the NL champion open at home. Because it was canceled, the rotation was pushed back a year - which meant from 1995-2002, the NL champion had home field advantage in odd-numbered years, and AL in even-numbered years. Beginning in 2003, the league that won the All-Star Game had its champion open the World Series at home (as a consequence, since the AL has not lost the All-Star Game since 1996, the NL champ last opened at home in 2001).

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Curry, Jack (August 26, 2002). "Lost Games, Lost Dreams". The New York Times: p. D1. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/26/sports/baseball-lost-games-lost-dreams.html?pagewanted=print. 
  2. ^ "Revisionist Baseball - 1994 World Series Results". Revisionist Baseball. http://www.revisionistbaseball.com/1994/World_Series.htm. 
  3. ^ "What If 1994 Was Played Out?". What if Sports?. http://www.whatifsports.com/mlb94. 
  4. ^ Curry, Jack (September 15, 1994). "BASEBALL: THE TEAMS; All the Magic Is Gone From the Yankees' Numbers". The New York Times: p. B11. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/15/sports/baseball-the-teams-all-the-magic-is-gone-from-the-yankees-numbers.html?pagewanted=print. 
  5. ^ O'Connell, Jack (April 25, 1995). "FINISHING WHAT THEY STARTED". The Hartford Courant: p. G2. 
  6. ^ Gorman, Kevin (June 16, 2009). "Stanley Cup embarks on long journey". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 
  7. ^ a b c Amore, Dom (May 15, 2005). "IMAGINE: BUCK'S YANKEES, BUT NOT JETER'S". The Hartford Courant: p. E8. 
  8. ^ Costello, Brian (August 8, 2004). "'94 YANKS CUT SHORT". New York Post: p. 58. 

External links


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