Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Best of the Rest: 2021


Well, at the expense of two fanbases in particular, we have our playoff schematic, and we have our crowd of 20 also-rans. It's a depressing, maddening day for a lot of teams, both the non-competitive bottom feeders and the teams that seemed very close to breaking into the race. From last year, we have two new additions to the fold, but they are both teams who have won a World Series ring in the last 10 years. Alternatively, there are two teams who have never won a World Series in this playoff picture, and only one additional team that hasn't won in over 20 years. 

The teams that made the playoffs are a lot of the usual suspects, and so are the teams who made this Best of the Rest list.

Without an expanded playoff, eight teams that made the 2020 playoff picture are back on this list. Three of them were downright terrible this year. Everybody else is a barrel of surprises and not-surprises, and we're gonna give some superlatives for all of them, ranging from painful to mirthful. 

Most Likely to Succeed [According to the Sportswriters in February]: San Diego Padres

Most Depressing Example of Peaking Too Early: Kansas City Royals

Best Team That Peaked Too Late: For the 2nd year in a row, Seattle Mariners

Best Squanderer of Hopes Their Fans Had in 2020: Oakland Athletics

Best Squanderer of Hopes Their Fans Had in June: New York Mets

Biggest Proponent for an Expanded Playoff in 2022: Toronto Blue Jays

Biggest Proponent Against an Expanded Playoff in 2020: Miami Marlins

Most Willing to Settle: Los Angeles Angels

Most Blatant July Dismemberment: Chicago Cubs

Collapse That Makes a Lot More Sense When You Really Think About It: Minnesota Twins

Best Pitching Staff for a Team That Didn't Make the Playoffs: Cincinnati Reds

Worst Pitching: Baltimore Orioles

Best Farm System [Composed of Other Team's Prospects]: Washington Nationals

Biggest Anticlimax: THREE- WAY-TIE - Toronto Blue Jays/Seattle Mariners/Philadelphia Phillies 

Most Blatant Victims of a Rough 2nd Half: San Diego Padres

Most Inexplicably Reserved Trade Deadline Strategy: Colorado Rockies

Most Depressing Team to Talk About Every Few Weeks: Arizona Diamondbacks 

Most Comically-Timed Injuries: Cleveland Indians

Most Fun Last Place Team: Washington Nationals

Most Confused Youth Movement: Detroit Tigers

Most Likely to Just Accept Walk-Ons from the Public for Spring Training Next Year: Pittsburgh Pirates

Most Unwilling to Recapture the Lightning in the Bottle: Texas Rangers

Most Likely to Not End Up On This List in 2022: Toronto Blue Jays & San Diego Padres

That's the end of the road for these 20 teams. I'm gonna predict the other ten's playoff path sometime in the next few days, probably inaccurately. 

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