In case you hadn’t noticed, the 2012 Major League Baseball season is heading toward another exciting conclusion. Sure, it most likely won’t be as thrilling as the conclusion to the 2011 Major League Baseball season. (We’ll probably go another 50 or 60 years before we see anything like that again.) But it is looking like we’ll see some historic stretches of terrible baseball come to an end for one or more long-suffering franchises.
You see, in the American League, the A’s and O’s—not the Red Sox and Rays, nor the Angels and Tigers—currently sit atop the wildcard standings. And over in the National League the Pirates are just 2.5 games out of the wildcard, while the Nationals enjoy a 6.5 game lead over the Braves in the East.
In short, if you’re a conspiracy nut looking for signs of the apocalypse, the baseball standings are a veritable blinking neon sign that reads “Apocalypse Nigh.”
So today, in preparation for the end times, I thought it would be fun to take a look at the longest postseason droughts in Major League Baseball. And you know what’s amazing about this list? The fact that 19 different baseball teams have made the playoffs within the last 4 seasons. This includes the such sad-sack franchises as the Cleveland Indians (4 years ago), Chicago Cubs (3 years ago), and Milwaukee Brewers (last year). Because you see, when they divided the teams into 6 divisions and added a wildcard spot, that doubled the number of teams that made the playoffs each year. So pretty much every team has a shot at October baseball every couple of years. And yet there are 11 teams with playoff droughts of 5 years or longer, 6 of which haven’t seen October in over a decade.
Anyway, you get the idea: these teams are bad. So let’s get started and see what we’re talking about.