We were so close. Two chances to win one game. But my Yankees just couldn’t hit or score any runs in Houston, and they just missed the chance to play in the World Series.

I know the Yankees have had success for many years, and are almost always competitive, unlike most baseball teams. In fact, between the 2016 and 2017 World Series, with the Cubs, Indians, Dodgers and Astros all ending (or potentially ending) long droughts, the average wait time for one of their fans to have won a championship is 65 years — the time from birth to retirement.

But in fact, half of Major League Baseball teams made the playoffs in either 2016 or 2017, and in the last five years, 26 of the 30 teams have at least been competitive, with 24 making the playoffs at least once. And once you’re in the playoffs, anything can happen and any team can win.

So this is the tradeoff facing almost every baseball fan as the season is about to begin: “Your team is likely to make the playoffs. But they will lose.”

 

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