Jackson: Reversal of fortune

From SABR member Frank Jackson at The Hardball Times on November 4, 2019:

When the Washington Nationals began their 2019 postseason, a number of pundits pointed out that the franchise had been a disappointment because it had never advanced beyond the Division Series (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017). This was never spoken of as a curse perhaps because there was no one incident, no Red Sox trading Babe Ruth or Cubs kicking out the billy goat from the 1945 World Series, that arguably triggered the team’s inability to advance to the League Championship Series.

Well, winning the 2019 World Series has dispelled any speculation about a curse on the franchise. Baseball fans in Montreal, however, might feel otherwise.

After 50 seasons (1969-2018), the Nationals (née the Montreal Expos) were one of just two franchises in major league baseball that had never been to the World Series. Also, they were the only team to fail to get there in their first 50 seasons. Even the St. Louis Browns made it in Season No. 44. In other words, the Expos/Nationals represented outstanding underachievement – and there are no participation trophies in major league baseball. Was the franchise truly born under a bad sign?

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/reversal-of-fortune/

Originally published: November 6, 2019. Last Updated: November 6, 2019.