Monday, August 13, 2012

Coincidence? Probably...

                                      No one loves a pointless conspiracy theory more than me, so I've decided to create one, though it's hardly a conspiracy and barely a theory...It's just that I've noticed a lot of clapping at ball games over the past ten years or so.  I don't mean like regular, "Oh he made a good play" or "yeah, my team scored" type clapping.  I'm speaking specifically of the two clap, pause, three quicker clap variety, or clap-clap, clapclapclap, which usually follows the words "Let's go Red Sox" or "Let's go Yankees".  But of course I would hear these;  I grew up in Boston and now live in New York.  There are other times I'd hear the simple three word chant , "Let's go Mets!", in  which the claps came on each word.  However, I do watch a lot of games from different teams, so I tried to make a list of these "two syllable" teams and how successful  they've been in recent years...the results are a little mind blowing.

                     Take the 2011 World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.  Now technically, they're a three syllable team, but their name can easily fit into a two syllable context, therefore they can fit into a "five clap" chant, ie: "Let's go Cardinals", (Clap, clap, clapclapclap ). Let's call them a 2 and 1/2 syllable team.  And going back through the years, it looks like this:

Let's Go....

2011- Card-inals (Clap, clap, clapclapclap)
2010- Gi-ants
2009- Yank-ees
2008- Phil-lies
2007- Red -Sox
2006- Card-inals
2005- White-Sox
2004- Red- Sox
2003- Mar-lins
2002- Ang-els
2001- D'Backs (I cheated a little here, but most people call
them the D'Backs anyway...)

...and then the 1995 Braves break the string...a string of sixteen years of 2 syllable teams.  The longest such streak ever.  Before then, there's a little bit of back and forth;  1994 was a strike year, the Blue-Jays winning back to back titles in 92 and 93, which was preceded by three 1 syllable teams in a row ( It would have been six, but the A' lost to the Dodgers in a series they should have won blindfolded in 1988 ), the 1991 Twins, the 1990 Reds and the 1989 A's.  Before the Dodgers' surprise series title in '88, there were the mono syllabic '87 Twins and '86 Mets, which broke up a nine year run by dual syllable teams; 85 Royals, 84 Tigers, 83 Orioles (another one of those 2 /12 syllable teams...maybe it's a bird thing) 82 Cardinals(ditto), '81 Dodgers, 80 Phillies, 79 Pirates, 77- 78  Yankees.  The longest streak by one syllable teams came right before that run...75-76 Reds and the 72-74 A's.

            Every championship team in the '60s had 5 clap names except the '69 Mets.  In fact, the second longest streak by the dual sylls run from 1958-1968...of course the team who predated this streak was the '57 Braves (then in Milwaukee), who broke up an 8 year dual syll run that started in 1949.  The team that preceded that run is one of the only legitimate three syllable teams, the Indians.  Sure, I could go back even further, but I've made my point...whatever the hell THAT point was is up for debate.  I think I was just taken aback by the most recent run of  5 clap-worthy teams.  As for this year, the Rangers are looking good, as are a few other teams.  But of course, now that I've written this, the three syllable Nationals have the best record in baseball, and will probably mess the current streak up and win it all, just like a certain other team from Washington named the Senators had their only championship in 1924 land smack dab in the middle of an almost decade long run of 2 syllable dominance.  Somewhere, the Mariners are saying "what about us"?...

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