Last year, around this time, the stage was set, the brackets were arranged, and we were all gearing up for a Royals-Pirates World Series.
Of course, nothing ever goes as predicted by a mass group of people a month or so beforehand judging by solely inferences (insert election joke here), but it's still nice to dream. And for 20 teams this year...that's all they can do. Dream of a brighter 2017.
A lot of the teams that won this year, like the Indians, Orioles, Red Sox and Nationals, were on this list last year, so it can happen. However, as seen by the inclusion of the Astros, Pirates and Royals, the reverse can also apply sometimes.
So, now I present the 2016 Playoff-Missers Superlatives, and try to at least give some sort of medals to these 20 teams.
Most Likely to Succeed (According to the Sportswriters back in January: Arizona Diamondbacks
Best Indicator that Less Isn't Always More: Tampa Bay Rays
Best Squanderer of Hopes Their Fans had in 2015: Minnesota Twins:
|Though Max Kepler may have a future|
Best Example of Injuries Severely Hurting a Great Team: Kansas City Royals
Best Example of Semi-Purging Severely Hurting a Great Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
|Although I am very much aboard the Cole Train|
Worst Pitching (and this one wasn't even remotely close): San Diego Padres
Best Way of Shaving off the Last Remaining Reasons the Fans Have Left for Coming to Games: Philadelphia Phillies
Most Overshadowed Youth Movement: The Oakland Athletics.
|If this farm system can give you Ryon Healy, then the A's might be in good shape after all...|
Best Cosmic Justice: St. Louis Cardinals
|At least I gave them a nice enough custom to go out on|
Most Unwilling to Recapture the Lightning in the Bottle: Houston Astros
|Though it could definitely happen again next year|
Best Example of a Team That Has No Idea What it Wants: Milwaukee Brewers
The Best Overall Team That Didn't Make the Playoffs: Detroit Tigers (they were robbed I tell ya!)
Best Team That Couldn't Seem to Hold Onto Any Momentum This Year: Seattle Mariners
Best Team That Handled Something Absolutely Amazing and Something Absolutely Horrible in the Same Season, with the Most Grace Possible: Miami Marlins
Best Way to Make a Fanbase Completely Forget the First Half of the Season: New York Yankees
Best Third-Place Team That Was Actually Pretty Good: Colorado Rockies
Most Unlikely Optimism to Come from a Last Place Team: Cincinnati Reds
Team That Will Most Likely Be Amazing in 2026: Atlanta Braves
Most Likely to Not End up on This List in 2017: New York Yankees and Miami Marlins
Alright, those are your faithful 20, whose fans are taking today as their last opportunity to see them until Spring Training. It's been a good year, but here's hoping for some of these 20 that next year will be better.
Tomorrow, we go over the guys that made it in.