Author Archives: John Autin

The 1935 Cubs (Six Prime 40-WAR Players, Part 5)

Welcome to part five of my series on teams that had six 40-WAR players, age 30 or younger, with at least 1.0 WAR that year. (Series recap at bottom.) You might have thought I’d curb the verbiage for the 1935 Cubs, the fulcrum of a might-have-been dynasty that couldn’t even win one lousy title. But I have to clear my historical decks to get ready for live action again. And aren’t the final-stage shortfalls more interesting than the happy winners? So put on your waders, climb into the data dump, and see what’s worth salvaging!

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The 1971 Athletics (Six Prime 40-WAR Players, Part 4)

Welcome to part four of my series on teams that had six 40-WAR players, age 30 or younger, with at least 1.0 WAR that year. (Series recap at bottom.) Our subject is the first flower of what would grow into one of baseball’s true dynasties — one of four teams ever to win three straight World Series, and the only one of those not named “Yankees.” Enjoy the ride!

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Name That Team (Six Prime 40-WAR Players, Part 3)

Picture a team that suffered these losses:

  • En route to a championship, two aces in their prime succumbed to arm woes, and wouldn’t pitch in the World Series, nor ever win again. The team’s top winners of the last three years, they ranked 4th and 6th over all in WAR/pitch.
  • Before the next year, they dealt their superstar, age 28, for two guys who’d give almost nothing in the next 4 years.
  • That next year brought the swift and mostly permanent decline of two more aces (tied for the team lead at 19-8 the year before), plus three star regulars, all still in their 20s.

Suppose those eight gave 60% of team WAR in the title year, plus World Series shares of 3 wins, 62% of team hits and 73% of the RBI — but that their value to the team’s next 3 years (including trade progeny) averaged less than 1 WAR apiece.

What if that ravaged team not only repeated, but took a third title in year four: Just how much talent was there at the start?

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Will Tulo Stay an All-Star in His Early 30s?

The Rockies still want a bonanza in return for Troy Tulowitzki. Now 30, he’s under contract for six more years at $20 million per, and he had hip surgery in August. When healthy, Tulo is a premier talent, earning his salary and then some. But he’s been hurt a lot: In eight years since becoming a regular (age 22-29), Tulo averaged 117 games, missing 28% of the schedule to injury.

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