I'm well aware that Toronto has moved seamlessly into its next decade of sporting futility. But, one last time, we look back ...
We start with the Toronto Maple Leafs:
The playoffs have remained elusive for the Toronto Maple Leafs post lockout. Only the esteemed Florida Panthers, Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings (thanks commenter Geoff) share the same sad story. Yet the Leafs were still Toronto's best team over the past 10 years. Hard to believe, I know, considering the club played the second half of the decade without NHL-calibre goaltending. It makes me appreciate how impressive the early teams of the decade under Pat Quinn were and, at the same time, long for the next Mats Sundin.
Next, the Toronto Blue Jays:
For those of you unfamiliar with Bill James' Pythagorean Theorem as it relates to baseball, here are you, from Baseball Prospectus:
The Pythagorean theorem, as James called it, was a formula designed to relate how many runs a team scored and allowed to its won-lost record. The most common way to express it isWinning Pct = WPct = RS^2 / RS^2 + RA^2where RS = runs scored, RA = runs allowed, and ^ means "raised to the power of", in this case, 2. It was the "raised to the power of 2" parts that reminded James of geometry's Pythagorean theorem (a^2 = b^2 + c^2), hence the bestowment of an unwieldy name.
Have a look at the Blue Jays spreadsheet once again. Eight of the 10 Blue Jays teams had a better Pythagorean record than actual record. I know, it doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but, well ... fuck. When your team hasn't made the playoffs in 17 years, this is what you hang your hat on.
The 2005 Blue Jays were much better than an 80-win ball club. The 2008 Blue Jays, according to James' theory, should have won 93 games. Alas, even 93 wins wouldn't have been enough to qualify for the post-season. I'm not sure when, why, or how, but the Blue Jays have clearly angered the baseball Gods. And I'm not sure when they'll stop paying their price.
We have suffered enough. When I think of J.P. Ricciardi's tenure at the helm of the Blue Jays, I'll think of his Pythagorean record. It's easier that way. (Miss you, J.P.)
Finally, the Toronto Raptors:
It was all sunshine, lollipops and rainbows at the turn of the decade. An expansion team was growing up. Until Vince Carter turned out to be a rat. As you can see in the spreadsheet, it all fell apart rather gloriously once Carter's pouting began. The Rob Babcock years, culminated with the Carter trade, were the Raptors' darkest hours.
Carter's departure paved the road for Chris Bosh. I like to think that if Bosh does indeed stick around, and Andrea Bargnani continues to mature, the Raptors can put together a winning decade. Of course, Bosh's future remains the $130 million dollar question. If he leaves, this decade may be a long one.
Oh yeah, Toronto FC:
A full season of Dwayne De Rosario and Julian De Guzman should result in a playoff berth for TFC. But this is Toronto and, according to the spreadsheet, the club will likely miss the playoffs by two bloody points.
The Toronto Argos; how could I forget?
If you were expecting a spreadsheet, you have lost your damn mind. The Boatmen won a Grey Cup. I think it was 2004. I'm sure you remember exactly where you were when it happened.
That's it, that's all. Onward and, for the love of God, upward. Here's the to the next 10 years being a little more, shall we say, prosperous.
Image courtesy This Isn't Happiness