The Cubs ended a 108 year drought to win the 2016 Word Series. It was an accomplishment that ended a historic run of disappointment for fans on the North side. However, winning this year should not have been a huge surprise. Like most World Series champs over the past 25 seasons, the Cubs had a large team payroll relative to the league average.
In fact, over the the past 25 seasons only four (16%) World Series champions spent less than the team average for that season. Just a note that there was no World Series in 1994.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer do deserve credit for accomplishing what no other Cubs executives could but they didn’t rely on just baseball IQ. They had money to spend. Lots of money.
As much as I love baseball, the current system is flawed when small market teams have the odds stacked against them by design. As a Cincinnati Reds fan, I’m realistic about the chances of a title here. But I still love the game and have the hope that most fans do about next season.
Link to viz on Tableau Public: