Welcome to the golden age
About once a year, we feel the need to explain just how far baseball equality has come. This is the golden age of baseball parity.
• Seven World Series champions the last seven years, a streak of parity unrivaled in American sport. Detroit, Cleveland, Seattle, the Metropolitans, Atlanta, Milwaukee, the Cubs or San Diego are contenders who could make it eight-for-eight.
• No team on pace to win more than 100 games, which would make three straight years without such domination. Since the 162-game schedule arrived in 1961, baseball never has gone three straight years without a team surpassing 100 wins.
• For the second straight year, every NL team is on pace to finish in the .400s or .500s in winning percentage. And in the AL, only Boston (.605) and Tampa Bay (.378) are outside those parameters.
Since 1876, baseball has run off 237 league seasons. Only 20 times has every team in a league finished in the .400s or .500s. But three of the 20 have come this decade, and the NL in '07 could be the fourth.