It's not a crap shoot, every one of those teams save perhaps the 2011 Cardinals had a better top of the rotaion than any the Twins sent to the playoffs. You need great pitching, particularly guys with dominating stuff. Only the 2011 Cardinals and 2005 White Sox had staffs that weren't full of strikeout artists.
Ok, let's look at strikeouts, in my book the best measure of "dominating stuff". Let's compare the team that won the world series to the other 3 teams that made the playoffs from their league in each of the last 10 years:
2012 - Giants - 3rd out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2011 - Cardinals - 3rd out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2010 - Giants - 1st out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2009 - NYY - 1st out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2008 - Phillies - 4th out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2007 - Red Sox - Tied for 1st out of 4 AL playoff teams
2006 - Cardinals - 4th out of the 4 NL playoff teams
2005 - White Sox - 2nd out of the 4 AL playoff teams
2004 - Red Sox - 2nd out of the 4 AL playoff teams
2003 - Florida - 2nd out of the 4 NL playoff teams
So, 3rd, 3rd, 1st, 1st, 4th, 4th, T1st, 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd. See a pattern? I don't. It's random. Because it's a crap shoot. 162 games determines the best teams. 5 & 7 game series determine the world series champ. Just get to the playoffs, anything could happen. Just because it didn't happen for the Twins doesn't mean they were built wrong. It just means they didn't win it all. Everyone wants a reason, sometimes there is no reason.
There seems to be this belief that the only way you win a world series with with a dominant #1 and/or #2 starter who strikes out a ton of people and carries the team to victory, winning the MVP. The only examples I could find of this happening in the last 20 years was the 1995 Braves (Glavine) the 2001 Diamondbacks (Schilling & Johnson) and the 2003 Marlins (Beckett).
Hamels won the MVP in 2008, but only struck out 8 guys in 13 innings. Livian Hernandez won it in 1997 with 7 strikeouts in 13.6 innings. Heck, in 1991 Jack Morris only struck out 9 guys in 23 innings, for a Blackburnish K/9 rate of 3.5. Think a K/9 rate of 3.5 would produce an ERA of 1.17 over a 162 game season? It did over 3 starts in October of 1991.
Meanwhile, guys like David Freese, Edgar Renteria, David Eckstein, Jermaine Dye, Scott Brosius and Pat Borders have won world series MVPs. Why? Because anything can happen in 7 games.
Edited by grover738, 22 February 2013 - 11:15 AM.