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Why is it so hard for World Series champions to repeat?


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Why is it so hard for defending World Series champions to repeat? The last successful World Series champions to repeat was the 1998-2000 New York Yankees. The 2001-02 Diamondbacks failed to, the 2004-05 Red Sox failed, the 2007-08 Red Sox failed, the 2008-09 Phillies failed, the 2009-10 Yankees failed, the 2011-12 Cardinals failed, etc.

The 2016-17 Cubs could, we'll see if they can upset the NL-favored Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Championship Series.

Why so hard? Parity? Injuries? Pressure? 


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5 minutes ago, Slateman said:

Because winning the WS is hard and dependant on many variables

This, plus parity, injuries, and pressure as stated in the OP. With the Cubs, it's a little weird because they haven't had notable injuries and this team should theoretically have no pressure on them at all after being the team to end the curse. I wouldn't be surprised if fatigue is a major factor. They've played a ton of games the last couple years, many of them high stress, high leverage situations. Plus I'm sure none of the players could get a moment of peace in the offseason. It's all catching up to them.

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Even assuming a 100% chance of making the playoffs (pre 2nd WC) and a 50/50 coin flip in every series, there's only a 90% chance you would get any repeat champ over a period of 18 years. That doesn't account for:

1. Baseball service time rules where the best teams are likely to lose the most talent year in year out, especially since the trade market revolves around rentals
2. Injuries from a result of playing an extra month of baseball instead of rest
3. Regression to the mean on talent (Chris Taylor isn't this good tbh) or injuries (different from 2 since most WS winning teams need injury luck anyway)
4. The 2nd WC slot making it even harder with 10 teams in the playoffs now
5. Other front offices stealing top decision makers


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