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Red Sox Becoming Marlins-esque
2005-12-09 06:02
by Mike Carminati

The Red Sox traded Edgar Renteria to the Braves today for third base prospect Andy Marte. In the process they have basically overhauled their entire starting infield. They now have newcomers Mark Loretta (2B) and Mike Lowell (3B) plus two players to be named later at short (Alex Cora?) and first (Roberto Petagine or David Ortiz?).

Of the players on the current Red Sox roster, only 11 wore the Boston uni two years ago when they won the World Series. Two of those are Abe Alvarez and Lenny DiNardo, pitchers who are long shots to make the opening day roster. The rest are Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Trot Nixon, Curt Schilling, Tim Wakefield, Keith Foulke, and Mike Timlin. And there are rumors that Foulke and Ramirez—aren't there always?—won't be on the team by opening day.

There were 50 men on the Red Sox in 2004. That's at best a 22% retention rate two years after winning a crown, which seems a bit low to me.

Let's see how it compares…I ran the numbers for all World Series champs. Here are the ten lowest assuming that all 11 Sox make (or at least play for) the team this year:

YrTeam2 Yrs LaterTotal%
1918Boston Red Sox63218.75%
1997Florida Marlins94320.93%
2004Boston Red Sox115022.00%
1914Boston Braves83423.53%
1992Toronto Blue Jays124030.00%
2000New York Yankees144630.43%
1942St. Louis Cardinals103231.25%
1996New York Yankees154831.25%
1922New York Giants123732.43%
2003Florida Marlins134032.50%

Wow, the 2004 Sox are already the third lowest and would drop to second lowest if they lose just one more of the remaining eleven by opening day, a likely event. Of course, no matter how many they lose a Red Sox team will have the lowest retention rate. Since the 1918 team (of course) is number one now. If the current Sox lose two players, they wrest the crown away from their forebears.

By the way, here are the teams that retained the highest percentage of players two years after a World Series crown:

YrTeam2 Yrs LaterTotal%
1917Chicago White Sox192673.08%
1907Chicago Cubs162466.67%
1971Pittsburgh Pirates233565.71%
1938New York Yankees182864.29%
1923New York Yankees162564.00%
1927New York Yankees162564.00%
1915Boston Red Sox193063.33%
1935Detroit Tigers172762.96%
1979Pittsburgh Pirates213461.76%
1910Philadelphia Athletics172860.71%
1936New York Yankees172860.71%

The 1917 White Sox and the 1907 Cubs? I think we all know how these guys turned out (the Cubs started their current ring-less, Bartman-filled streak two years later and the White Sox's high retention rate perhaps led to too much comradery two years later—get my drift? Nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more?)

Maybe player turnover isn't such a bad thing after all.(by the way, the average retention rate two years later is 48% on the nose.)

2005-12-09 10:19:57
1.   das411
...hasn't it only been one year since the BoSox won it all? Or are you penalizing this team because of all of the relentless media overcoverage since 2003?
2005-12-09 10:30:13
2.   Mike Carminati
Yes, but I am anticipating their 2006 rister.
2005-12-09 10:55:23
3.   das411
Ahh, gotcha.

Did you look at the numbers for 3 years later at all? I suspect these current Marlins may have just set an unbreakable record, and they might not be finished...

2005-12-09 12:00:52
4.   Voxter
An interesting thing to look at might be how well these teams did two years later . . . just eyeballing the list, it appears to be a mixed bag -- on the high turnover side, you've got the post-firesale '99 Marlins losing 98 games, but also the 114-win '98 Yankees; on the low turnover side, you've got the '81 Pirates losing as a family, but you've also got the Murderer's Row Yanks. I guess maybe it's not as interesting as I thought.

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