A few nights ago I was searching the net for anything to get my baseball fix. I went to the normal places, Marlins.com, baseball-reference.com, MLB.com, mlbfancave.com, and others baseball web sites. That’s when I stumbled upon whatifsports.com. This website lets you plug in teams and simulate how the game will be played. I think I found my new baseball fix for the offseason.
So of course the normal baseball fan would do the Red Machine vs. Murders Row, 1978 Yankees vs. 2009 Yankees, 2004 Red Sox vs. 1918 Red Sox, or even 2003 Cubs vs. 2003 Yankees. Not me. I simulated the two teams that all die hard Marlins fan would want – The 1997 World Series Champions vs. the 2003 World Series Champions. When you ask any Marlins fan who the better team is, be prepared to listen to them talk for hours. I found this out that same night I discovered the website. When I opened that question up onto twitter, boy was it split down the middle. In the twitter world each side had their own fans and valid arguments to why one team was better than the other one. To me, this simulation is more than just Champion vs. Champion; it’s Pudge vs. Charles, Livan vs. Josh, Urbina vs. Nen, Conine vs. Conine , and so many other great match ups. So who did the computer decide is the best team?
In game 1 we had MVP vs. MVP as our starting pitchers – Josh Beckett vs. Livan Hernandez. It was a back and forth battle until Nen came into the 9th to shut down 2003. 1997 wins game 1 10-9 (click on the score to see the complete game). We go into game 2 with Undefeated in 03 Playoffs Carl Pavano vs. Mr. No-Hitter Kevin Brown. You can’t keep a team as good as 2003 down, and they destroy 1997 18-5. The series is now tied 1 to 1. Game 3 saw Miami’s Own Alexander Fernandez playing against Yankee Killer Brad Penny in a knock down drag out pitchers’ duel. With the only run coming in the 3rd, the 2003 team wins 1-0. Game 4 has the First Marlins’ Pitcher to Throw a NO-NO Al Leiter vs. No Show Playoff Time Mark Redman. After another close battle, 2003 goes up 3-1 in the series with a 9-8 victory . Can 1997 do what 2003 did to the Cubs in game 5? Well, this game 5 saw World Series ERA 27.00 Tony Saunders vs. Rockette Kicker Dontrelle Willis. It looked like 1997 was going to pull it off but Game 5 is decided by a come from behind 9th inning walk off from Alex Gonzalez. 2003 wins game 5 9-8 and clinches the title of best Marlins team by a series win of 4-1.
That was the best hour of baseball I have spent this offseason. Do I agree with the simulation? Not really. I feel that if the 2003 team was going to win it would have been more like 4-3 instead of 4-1. I love the 1997 team, and 2003 will always have a special place in my heart, but 1997 had Livan, Alex, Gary, Bobby, Moise, and Jim Leyland. It gave Jeff his first ring. Both teams are great in their own right, and no matter who wins the Marlins win. This was just a fan’s dream of what could happen if these two great teams would have ever played against each other. Gotta love Baseball!