As I mentioned in the Morning Laziness, I like that I can play as Classic Teams in NBA2K19. Back in the day when Microleague Baseball was the thing to play, that too had lots of classic teams that were fun to use. It would be enjoyable to play as the 27 Yankees, 55 Dodgers, 69 Mets, maybe a Big Red Machine or the 1980 Phillies (take a look at that roster!).
As I set up my custom NBA league I started thinking about what cool classic baseball teams would be good to play as……and……well I think it’s the same teams from 30 years ago. Has baseball really not had any memorable teams since the 1980s?
Here’s the exercise. You have a video game and you’re going to play as a classic team. I know we’re all Mets fans around here but let’s not get crazy and start adding the 2006 Mets.
I’m going to use Wikipedia, you’re doing it from memory?
Any TEAMS coming to mind? No, right? You are maybe thinking we need to get some Barry Bonds (or Joe Young) in there, maybe some Griffey Jr….but TEAMS? Almost nothing. Let’s work backward…..
The Great Teams Of the 2010s: I don’t think there are any. With the Cubs in the rear view mirror now, is that a great team or just a one off? Can you name any 2016 Cubs? I can’t. Some Royals teams? Nah, I’ll put the George Brett one in my video game. Random Giants teams? Red Sox? More on them in a second…
The Great Teams of the ’00s: I dunno, I guess I could see the 2001 Diamondbacks being in a video game. They were colorful and that was a memorable series. Plus it gets Arizona into the game. The 2004 Red Sox are one team that came to mind when I started this. It checks a lot of boxes, so OK they are in. I mean, are you really going to throw in the ’08 Phillies (no) or the ’05 White Sox (no). And some of the teams that LOST WS? I forgot about those Astros. I forgot about those Tigers. Wait, the Rockies played in the 2007 World Series? They did? Very forgettable.
So for the entire century the sport has had TWO memorable teams, and one of them is the 2001 Diamonbacks. Go ahead and argue and tell me who else should be in there.
I feel like we should have Bonds in this game. I of course couldn’t remember what year he hit whatever the home run record is now (73 in 2001, and I had to look it up a second time five second after looking it up). So I dunno, maybe we stick the 2002 NL Champion Giants in the game just to have
Bonds Joe Young, although can you really tell me anything about the 2002 Giants?
Maybe maybe we throw a bone to the 116 win 2001 Mariners, just to get Ichiro into our game. But even if we add the Mariners and the 2002 Giants, we are still looking at nothing interesting in baseball since 2004. That’s not good.
Go ahead, you have 19 season since and including 2000 to find some teams. Go nuts. I mean by 2008 look who we were touting on video game covers, what better proof do you need? THIS was baseball’s biggest star? Really?
The Great Teams of the 1990s: well we all know Jeter is going in the game, so lets pick the 1998 Yankees. We’ll want to get the Braves great pitchers in, so 1995 Braves. And this is kinda pushing it, but hey let’s let Joe Carter’s 1993 Blue Jays in. I’m trying to get Griffey in the game….but wow that’s tough…are we really going to put the 1997 Mariners, his MVP season and a 90 win team in the game? I think we may have to but boy that’s weak.
Before that, it should be all memorable beats to you. The Bash Brothers in Oakland. The 1986 Mets. Some speedy Cardinals teams. Then back to the familiar beats of Reggie, The Big Red Machine, the Oakland run, the 69 Mets, the 61 Yankees….and so on……
A quick comparison to the NBA, and this I will do off the top of my head….there are very recent memorable teams: Golden State anything, LeBron in Miami, LeBron in Cleveland, some Kobe Lakers teams, and I don’t even watch the sport. I’m sure someone out there is screaming that I am not mentioning the Rockets or something….
Baseball in the last 15 years? Great teams since 2004? Name one.