Over the course of the last year and a half, Sunday’s Cubs telecasts have introduced me, and hopefully our viewers, to a myriad of statistics that don’t show up in most box scores. Let’s review…BABIP, WAR and OPS off the top. Gradually these categories are becoming more mainstream and commonly used. Numbers are being inspected and dissected at a frantic pace and this is a good thing. There is more and more information available and these numbers are being used by your front office to determine who is on your team, who has value, who will be traded, etc.
With that being said, today we are going to talk about the root and the goal of all these stats… The Win. Too often we spend so much time looking at the numerical trees we forget about the big W forest.
Winning a baseball game is actually claiming victory, or accepting a loss, hundreds or thousands of times until the final out. Batter vs. Pitcher, Base Runner vs. Fielder, Base Stealer vs. Pitcher vs. Catcher vs. Infielder, Manager vs. Manager and so on. Many battles have to go your way before you can claim victory. No one cares if the numbers don’t add up, but you win ugly. Ask the ’83 White Sox.
All right I am starting to sound more like Douglas MacArthur than Douglas Stanton. But you get my point. There’s a reason the Cubs fly that flag with a big W on it (though not often enough for my taste).
And while pitcher wins are often maligned and team wins are sometimes evaluated with a suspicious eye if they don’t match a team’s run differential, we should never forget the only thing players, managers, GMs, owners and fans ultimately care about — who WINS.
The great quote from the late Oakland Raiders’ owner Al Davis applies to baseball, too — “Just Win Baby.”
And with that, some fun all-time leader boards:
Most Career Wins: Cy Young 511 in 906 Games From 1890-1911
Most Wins In A Season(since 1910): Walter Johnson 36 Wins in 1913
Most Wins This Season: Detroit’s Max Scherzer is 13-0
Members of 300 Win Club: 24, only one named Wynn (Early Wynn exactly 300 wins)
Most Wins in a Season as a Reliever: Roy Face Won 18 Games in 57 Appearances for the 1959 Pirates allowing only 1 Loss
-Best “Vulture”: Two Examples of Phil Regan
‘66 Dodgers: 14 Wins In 68 Relief Appearances, 116.2 IP
‘69 Cubs: 12 Wins In 71 Relief Appearances, 12 Wins, 17 SVs, 112 IP
Most Wins All-Time: Giants 10,655
Most Wins In a Season: 1906 Cubs* and 2001 Mariners 116 Wins
*152 Game Schedule
Most Consecutive Wins: 1935 Cubs won 21 straight from 9/4-9/27/1935
Most Wins by a Manager All-Time: Connie Mack 3731-3948