Power Ranking the Last 25 World Series Champions

Ron Juckett@ronjuckettContributor IIIOctober 31, 2012

Power Ranking the Last 25 World Series Champions

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    Sunday night, the San Francisco Giants became a permanent part of the history books when they swept the Detroit Tigers to win the 2012 World Series.

    This year’s version of the Giants became the 108th team to win baseball’s championship and now will be judged against all the other great or near-great championship teams from the past, from the 1927 New York Yankees to the 1987 Minnesota Twins.

    For starters, we are going to see just how the last 25 world champions stack up against each other.

    There have been some pretty good teams the last quarter century, and cracking the top five on this list will make you an all-time great team.

     Teams were ranked on five criteria:

    Win Percentage

    OPS+: On-base percentage plus slugging percentage divided by league average and ballpark adjusted

    ERA+: Team earned run average divided by league average and ballpark adjusted

    Defensive Efficiency: Percentage of outs per plate appearance

    Run Differential: Runs scored minus runs allowed

    Each team was ranked in order from one to 25, and those scores were added up to get a final score, which was rated again from one to 25.

    Thanks to the fine statistics at Baseball-Reference, we can actually give you an order that is based solely on numbers.

    Some of you are not going to be happy, while others are going to be pleasantly surprised.

    Let us know below what you think.

25. 2006 St. Louis Cardinals

1 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .516 (25)

    OPS+: 97 (T-18)

    ERA+: 98 (24)

    Defensive Efficiency: .697 (14)

    Run Differential: 19 (24)

    Paced at the plate by Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen, the Cardinals won the Central division by a game-and-a-half and breezed over the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship.

    The New York Mets gave the Cardinals all they could handle in a tough seven-game National League Championship Series before St. Louis took out the Detroit Tigers in five games.

    Avenging their sweep in the World Series two years before, this was perhaps the most gritty championship team of the bunch. They did nothing really all that well but continued to win just enough and survive.

24. 1987 Minnesota Twins

2 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .525 (24)

    OPS+: 97 (T-18)

    ERA+: 99 (22)

    Defensive Efficiency: .700 (12)

    Run Differential: -20 (25)

    Winners of a tight division race that saw the American League West separated by 10 games from first-to-last, the Twins lucked out by having home field advantage decided in those days by rotation. They literally drowned the Detroit Tigers out of the ALCS by crowd noise and the left arm of pitcher Frank Viola in five games.

    Because World Series home field advantage also rotated by leagues, they also took out the Cardinals in seven games that fall.

    Powered by Kent Hrbek and Kirby Puckett, the Twins overcame being underdogs in both series to give Minnesota its first championship since 1965.

23. 2003 Florida Marlins

3 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .562 (20)

    OPS+: 97 (T-18)

    ERA+: 105 (18)

    Defensive Efficiency: .691 (23)

    Run Differential: 59 (22)

    A classic case of a good team getting hot at the right time, the Marlins finished 10 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and won just 91 games.

    That was good enough to win the wild card, and they took out the Giants in four games.

    What will probably be most remembered about their championship run, however, really had nothing to do with them at all and everything to do with a souvenir-hunting Chicago Cub fan Steve Bartman.

    Left for dead until the eighth inning of Game 6 of the NLCS, Cubs left fielder Moises Alou reached into the Wrigley crowd and had the ball stolen out of his hands. The Marlins rallied and won Game 7.

    Behind a 23-year-old Josh Beckett, the Marlins stunned the Yankees in six games, including the young Beckett throwing a shutout in the clincher in New York

22. 2000 New York Yankees

4 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .540 (23)

    OPS+: 103 (13)

    ERA+: 102 (21)

    Defensive Efficiency: .693 (T-18)

    Run Differential: 56 (23)

    The third straight World Series flag for the Yankees came at the hands of the New York Mets.

    In the most recent version of a “Subway Series,” the series is best known for Roger Clemens chucking a bat in the general direction of catcher Mike Piazza running down to first base.

    Winning the AL East by just two-and-a-half games over the Boston Red Sox then taking care of the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners to win the pennant, years of all the extra baseball they played were starting to take their toll. They would wait another nine seasons before winning the series again.

    The 2000 Yankees were paced by Bernie Williams and Paul O’Neill, who each drove in 100 runs.

21. 2011 St. Louis Cardinals

5 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .556 (22)

    OPS+: 112 (3)

    ERA+: 99 (T-22)

    Defensive Efficiency: .687 (24)

    Run Differential: 70 (20)

    Ten games out of the wild card as September dawned, the Cardinals caught the collapsing Atlanta Braves on the final night of the season to earn a playoff spot.

    In what will now be known as Albert Pujols’ and manager Tony LaRussa’s last season in St. Louis, the Cardinals took that momentum and knocked out the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers to win the pennant.

    Facing the Texas Rangers, the Cardinals were down to their last strike twice in Game 6 before staying alive, capped by an 11th-inning walk-off home run by David Freese to force Game 7.

    With the third-best relative offense on the list, Pujols and Lance Berkman carried the offense, while Chris Carpenter came up aces on the hill despite an 11-9 record.

20. 1997 Florida Marlins

6 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .568 (T-15)

    OPS+: 98 (T-16)

    ERA+: 106 (17)

    Defensive Efficiency: .692 (T-21)

    Run Differential: 71 (19)

    A team built with free agents to win right now, the Marlins were the wild card finishing nine games behind the Braves in the NL East.

    After finishing off the Giants in the NLDS, they beat the Braves to win the pennant.

    In a game that forever will draw sneers from Atlanta fans, 22-year-old Livan Hernandez struck out 15 Braves in Miami in Game 5 beating Greg Maddux and giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead they would cash in on.

    Bobby Bonilla and Kevin Brown were the big names, but the Marlins picked apart Cleveland Indians closer Jose Mesa in Game 7 of the World Series, tying the game in the ninth and winning their first World Series in just their fifth season.

19. 2012 San Francisco Giants

7 of 25

    Winning Percentage:  .580 (14)

    OPS+: 98 (16)

    ERA+: 95 (25)

    Defensive Efficiency: .693 (T-18)

    Run Differential: 69 (21)

    They will forever known as the team that would not go away.

    After the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for the Boston Red Sox’ big contracts, the Giants held them off to win the NL West.

    After finding themselves down 2-0 in the NLDS and down 3-1 to the Cardinals in the NLCS, the Giants rallied to win six elimination games in a row to with the pennant.

    Facing Detroit Tiger ace Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the World Series, Pablo Sandoval helped chased the reigning AL Cy Young Award and MVP winner with two home runs in his first two at-bats.

    Verlander was done after four innings, and the Giants cruised to their second championship in three years in four straight games.

18. 1996 New York Yankees

8 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .568 (T-15)

    OPS+: 100 (14)

    ERA+: 108 (15)

    Defensive Efficiency: .682 (25)

    Run Differential: 104 (14)

    Before the dynasty came 1996.

    The Yankees won the AL East in a tight race over the Baltimore Orioles in Joe Torre’s first year in the Bronx.

    After taking down the Texas Rangers and Orioles to win their first AL flag since 1981, the Yankees actually dropped the first two games at home to Atlanta.

    Joe Girardi would be the big hero in Game 3, as his extra-inning home run gave the Yankees all the momentum they would need to win their first series since 1978 in six games.

    Most people forget that Mariano Rivera was a set up guy that year, setting the table for John Wettland before being given the closer job for 1997.

    Bernie Williams was the only Yankee hitter to drive in over 100 runs, and 24-year-old Andy Pettitte won 21 games.

17. 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers

9 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .584 (13)

    OPS+: 90 (25)

    ERA+: 114 (12)

    Defensive Efficiency: .708 (T-7)

    Run Differential: 84 (18)

    The Dodgers actually won the NL West rather comfortably over the Cincinnati Reds by seven games, but the general consensus was they stood almost no chance against the highflying Mes in the NLCS. The Mets actually beat the Dodgers 11 out of 12 times that year, but behind Kirk Gibson, the Dodgers stunned the Mets in seven games.

    Orel Hershiser was their ace going 23-7 and set the record for most consecutive shutout innings. He last gave up a run to Montreal on August 30th, then proceeded to pitch six straight complete game shutouts to close the season.

    Huge underdogs to the mighty Oakland Athletics in the World Series, Gibson, gimpy with a bad leg, shocked Oakland by winning Game 1 with a walk-off two-run homer off closer Dennis Eckersley.

    Hershiser would shut down the A’s in Game 2 while getting three hits, and the Dodgers won in five games.

16. 2008 Philadelpha Phillies

10 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .568 (T-15)

    OPS+: 99 (15)

    ERA+: 112 (14)

    Defensive Efficiency: .695 (17)

    Run Differential: 119 (10)

    Paced by Ryan Howard’s 146 RBI’s and Cole Hamels' breakout season on the mound, the Phillies came from behind to catch the Mets the last week of the season to win the NL East.

    That was all they needed, as they just dropped three games en route to their first title since 1980.

    After beating Milwaukee and CC Sabathia in the NLDS in four, they took out the Dodgers in a quick five games to win the pennant.

    Facing a plucky Tampa Bay Rays team, the Phillies just kept pushing to win it all in five games.

15. 1990 Cincinnati Reds

11 of 25

    Winning Percentage:  .562 (T-20)

    OPS+: 95 (21)

    ERA+: 118 (7)

    Defensive Efficiency: .709 (6)

    Run Differential: 96 (16)

    A year removed from the Pete Rose betting scandal that saw the icon and Reds manager banned from baseball, the ship was turned over to the feisty Lou Piniella.

    All Piniella did was guide the Reds to their first championship since 1976.

    Behind Eric Davis’ speed and Jose Rijo’s pitching, the Reds won their first NL West title since 1979 and promptly beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in six games.

    With a red-hot Rijo in the World Series, the Reds swept the heavily favored Oakland Athletics to win the series in just four games.

    Rijo would win the series MVP, and all the years of the Reds growing their own talent paid off with a championship.

14. 1993 Toronto Blue Jays

12 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .586 (11)

    OPS+: 110 (4)

    ERA+: 103 (20)

    Defensive Efficiency: .692 (21)

    Run Differential: 105 (T-12)

    The second time the World Series was played in Canada saw the Blue Jays become the first team to repeat since the 1978 Yankees.

    With an offense loaded with run producers like John Olerud, Paul Molitor and World Series hero Joe Carter, the Blue Jays won their third straight AL East crown by seven games over the Yankees.

    After taking care of the Chicago White Sox in six games in the ALCS, the Blue Jays got into an absolute slugfest with the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.

    In Game 6, Carter would become the second person to end a World Series with a home run, as he torched a Mitch Williams slider down the left field line for the series-winning home run.

    The Blue Jays have yet to play in the postseason since.

13. 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks

13 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .568 (T-15)

    OPS+: 94 (23)

    ERA+: 121 (4)

    Defensive Efficiency: .703 (11)

    Run Differential: 141 (7)

    Just in their fourth season, the Diamondbacks became the quickest expansion team to win a World Series.

    Considered to be one of the best World Series of all time, the D’Backs won the NL West by just two games over the Giants.

    Pushed to the full five games by the Cardinals, Arizona breezed past the Braves in just five games to win the pennant.

    The struggle against the Yankees and their fans still nursing wounds from 9/11 was absolutely epic. Twice the Yankees rallied from deficits in the ninth inning in New York to win games, but co-aces Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling held serve in the desert.

    In one of the only two games that Mariano Rivera blew a postseason save, Luis Gonzalez lined a single over Derek Jeter’s head to score Tony Womack and give Arizona their first-ever professional sports championship.

12. 2010 San Francisco Giants

14 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .568 (T-15)

    OPS+: 98 (T-16)

    ERA+: 117 (8)

    Defensive Efficiency: .707 (9)

    Run Differential: 106 (11)

    In bringing the Giants their first championship since moving to San Francisco, manager Bruce Bochy assembled a young core of pitchers in Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, along with Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, to win the NL West.

    The Giants held off the surprising San Diego Padres the final weekend of the season to clinch the division before dispatching the Braves in four games in the NLDS and the Phillies in six games to capture their first pennant since 2002.

    Behind colorful closer Brian Wilson, the Giants beat the Texas Rangers in their first-ever World Series in five games to earn the Giants first championship since Willie Mays guarded center field at the Polo Grounds in New York in 1954.  

11. 1992 Toronto Blue Jays

15 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .593 (T-9)

    OPS+: 106 (10)

    ERA+: 104 (19)

    Defensive Efficiency: .712 (3)

    Run Differential: 98 (15)

    After acquiring Jack Morris and Dave Winfield in the off-season, 1992 was finally the year the Blue Jays made the jump into the World Series and made their first trip count.

    After coming up short in 1985, 1989 and 1991, the Blue Jays built a team around speed, youth, and key veterans like Paul Molitor to get over the hump.

    They held off the Milwaukee Brewers to win the AL East then fought off the Oakland Athletics in six games to win their first pennant.

    In a tough series against the Atlanta Braves, the Blue Jays captured their first championship in six games, giving Hall of Famers Winfield and Molitor their first-ever rings and giving retribution to the Blue Jay core that had come so close for so long.

10. 1995 Atlanta Braves

16 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .625 (3)

    OPS+: 91 (24)

    ERA+: 123 (2)

    Defensive Efficiency: .696 (T-15)

    Run Differential: 105 (T-12)

    Coming off the strike season that saw the World Season cancelled, the Atlanta Braves adjusted to moving into the NL East by winning it, something they would do over the next decade.

    Right in the middle of the prime yeas of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz, the Braves boasted a starting rotation for the ages.

    After winning a shortened 144-game division by a whopping 21 games over the Mets and Phillies, the Braves took out the Colorado Rockies in the first NLDS in four games.

    Then, they proceeded to sweep the Reds for their third pennant in five years.

    With youngsters Chipper Jones and Ryan Klesko supplying the power and Mark Wohlers closing the door, the Braves won their first championship since moving to Atlanta in six games over Cleveland.

    No one could have imagined that it was to be their only one.

9. 2005 Chicago White sox

17 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .611 (T-4)

    OPS+: 95 (T-21)

    ERA+: 125 (1)

    Defensive Efficiency: .711 (4)

    Run Differential: 96 (T-16)

    Lost in the afterglow of the Boston Red Sox winning their first championship in 86 years the year before, the White Sox broke an 88-year dry spell of their own in 2005.

    With Paul Konerko hitting 40 home runs and driving in 100 runs, it was their collection of “pitch-to-contact” pitchers that excelled and earned the Central division crown by six games over the Cleveland Indians.

    It was those pitchers, Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland and Jose Contrares, that swept the Red Sox in the ALDS and pitched all but one inning against the Los Angeles Angels in their five game win.

    Returning to the series for the first time since 1959, the White Sox earned a very hard fought sweep of the Houston Astros, in large part based on the glove work of third baseman Joe Crede.

8. 1999 New York Yankees

18 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .605 (T-7)

    OPS+: 110 (T-4)

    ERA+: 113 (13)

    Defensive Efficiency: .696 (T-15)

    Run Differential: 169 (5)

    Not allowing for a hangover after having what many would consider one of the greatest years in baseball history, the 1999 version of the Yankees would score 900 runs and win the division by four games over the wild-card Red Sox.

    In winning their first back-to-back championships since 1977 and 1978, the Yankees swept the Rangers in the ALDS before taking out the Red Sox in five to win the 20th century’s last pennant.

    With four hitters driving in over 100 runs, the Yankees swept a highly anticipated rematch against the Braves to close the 1900s with a whopping 24 World Series championships.

7. 2004 Boston Red sox

19 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .605 (T-7)

    OPS+: 110 (T-4)

    ERA+: 116 (T-9)

    Defensive Efficiency: .693 (T-18)

    Run Differential: 161 (4)

    Coming off a major disappointment of losing Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS to the Yankees after leading as late as the eighth inning, the Red Sox cleaned house and convinced Curt Schilling to leave Arizona for New England.

    Bringing in his old manager from the Phillies in Terry Francona, Schilling lead these band of self-proclaimed idiots back to the wild card just three games behind the Yankees.

    After sweeping the Anaheim Angels in the ALDS, the Red Sox fell into a 3-0 hole to New York before becoming the first team in baseball history to reverse that deficit and beat the Yankees in seven for their first pennant since 1986.

    With the big bats of Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, the Red Sox ended 86 years of frustration by sweeping the Cardinals and winning the World Series.

6. 1991 Minnesota Twins

20 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .586 (T-11)

    OPS+: 107 (T-7)

    ERA+: 116 (T-9)

    Defensive Efficiency: .710 (5)

    Run Differential: 124 (9)

    The 1990 Twins finished dead last in the AL West, and, like the Braves in the NL in 1991, the Twins would completely reverse their fortune and dethrone Oakland to win the division.

    The Twins brought in 36-year-old veteran Jack Morris to be the leader, and they took the division by eight games over the White Sox.

    With a lineup that saw no one player drive in more than 90 runs, they took out the Blue Jays in just five games before facing the Braves in an unlikely World Series matchup.

    Down 3-2 heading back to the Metrodome, Kirby Puckett’s home run in the 11th got the Twins into a Game 7, and Morris won Game 7 going the distance in a 10-inning, 1-0 shutout of Atlanta.

    Widely considered one of the best World Series ever played, the home team won all seven games.

5. 2009 New York Yankees

21 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .636 (2)

    OPS+: 114 (2)

    ERA+: 108 (15)

    Defensive Efficiency: .698 (13)

    Run Differential: 162 (6)

    After a few near misses, the Yankees signed Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia in the off-season to bolster their championship chances, as the Yankees moved across the street into their new home after over 80 years at Yankee Stadium.

    The signings worked, as Teixeira joined the big bats of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in the lineup, and Sabathia came up to be the big time ace they had needed since Andy Pettite.

    Beating the Red Sox by eight games to win the division, the Yankees swept the Twins in the ALDS and took out the Angels in six to christen the new Yankee Stadium with a pennant.

    Drawing the defending World Champion Phillies, the Yankees were pushed to six games by a solid Philly club before claiming their record 27th championship.

4. 1989 Oakland Athletics

22 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .611 (4)

    OPS+: 104 (12)

    ERA+: 119 (6)

    Defensive Efficiency: .715 (2)

    Run Differential: 136 (8)

    Between 1988 and 1992, the Oakland Athletics featured a balance of hard-hitting sluggers, like Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, amazing pitching arms, such as Dave Stewart, and the game’s first true one-inning closer in Dennis Eckersley.

    Oakland just dominated the regular season, winning the division by seven games over the Kansas City Royals to repeat as AL West champs.

    In demolishing the Blue Jays in five games, the A’s became the first team to win back-to-back pennants in baseball since the Yankees rattled off three straight AL flags in 1976-77-78.

    Facing their cross-bay rivals the San Francisco Giants, Oakland won the first two games at home before an earthquake struck the Bay Area minutes before the start of Game 3.

    After a 10-day hiatus, the Athletics won the last two games and swept for their first championship since 1974.

    Despite being fourth on this list, the two teams that lost the World Series in 1988 and 1990 were considered to be better clubs than the one that actually won it.

3. 2007 Boston Red Sox

23 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .593 (T-9)

    OPS+: 107 (T-7)

    ERA+: 123 (2)

    Defensive Efficiency: .704 (10)

    Run Differential: 210 (2)

    It only took the Red Sox three seasons to capture their next World Series.

    They first broke the Yankees stranglehold of winning the AL East by actually beating out the Bombers by two games to capture the flag for the first time since 1995.

    With 2003 World Series heroes Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell in tow, the Red Sox again swept the Angels in the ALDS.

    Down 3-1 to the Indians in Cleveland, Beckett pitched a masterpiece, and the Sox would not lose another game all season.

    Facing the wild card Colorado Rockies after they swept the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox proceeded to sweep them and secure the championship.

2. 2002 Anaheim Angels

24 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .611 (4)

    OPS+: 105 (11)

    ERA+: 120 (5)

    Defensive Efficiency: .718 (1)

    Run Differential: 207 (3)

    A team that gets often overlooked by historians, the 97-win Angels were actually the wild card in 2002.

    Finishing four games behind the “Moneyball” Oakland Athletics in the AL West, Anaheim had sluggers Troy Glaus and Garrett Anderson drive in over 100 runs, and Jarrod Washburn won 18 games.

    After taking out the favored Yankees in four games in ALDS, the Angels took out the Minnesota Twins in five games to capture their first ever AL pennant in their 42nd season.

    Playing the tough San Francisco Giants featuring Barry Bonds in the World Series, the Angels overcame a five-run deficit starting in the seven inning of Game 6 to force an improbable Game 7.

    The Angels turned to 23-year-old John Lackey to win the series, and he did just that going five innings to secure the Angels' only World Series crown.

1. 1998 New York Yankees

25 of 25

    Winning Percentage: .704 (1)

    OPS+: 116 (1)

    ERA+: 116 (9)

    Defensive Efficiency: .708 (7)

    Run Differential: 309 (1)

    One of the greatest teams ever assembled, the 1998 Yankees just destroyed teams.

    In winning an eye-dropping 114 games, the Yankees outscored their opponents by nearly two runs a game for the entire season.

    After winning the AL East by 22 games over the wild card Red Sox, the Yankees swept Texas in the ALDS and then got back into the World Series by taking down the defending AL champion Cleveland Indians in six games.

    Opening at home against the San Diego Padres, Tino Martinez launched a grand slam off of Mark Langston to win Game 1, and they never looked back, taking the series in a sweep.

    Perhaps the signature season of the core Yankee big five of Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, they were joined by Paul O’Neill, David Cone and David Wells to perhaps give one of the greatest single-season performances of all time.