6 Reasons the 2014 World Series Was One of the Worst Ever


Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner (right) celebrates with catcher Buster Posey after defeating the Kansas City Royals during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals is in the books, and it was, on its surface, a seven-game nail-biter that will go down in baseball annals as a classic. I’m here to tell you, though, that this Series was actually one of the worst ever. Here are the reasons why.

Wild Cards

For the first time in the super-duper-play-your-way-in one-game-Wild-Card era, and only the second time ever (2002), both World Series teams were Wild Cards. That’s great news for all the *meh* sorta contenders out there, but not so wonderful for fans who like to see the game played at the absolute highest level possible.  

More from Cincinnati Reds

The Royals Lost

This one had a chance to be something great right up until that last at-bat in Game 7, the one where Giants catcher Buster Posey was standing behind the plate because he knew all of Madison Bumgarner’s pitches would be up around Royals catcher Salvador Perez’s head.

You know, because Perez apparently has a genetic predisposition to swinging at anything above the nipples.

But up until that point, the Royals still clutched to the magic that they spun during most of the 2014 post-season. The stands were alive with Royals blue, and Bret Saberhagen threw out the first pitch.  It was real fairy tale stuff until the Giants went up 3-2 in the fourth inning and then Bumgarner came in.

The only thing that could have made this Series worthy for classic consideration would have been a KC comeback win in the ninth, or in extra innings.

Lack of Stars

Buster Posey is one of the best two or three catchers in baseball, and Bumgarner is otherworldly in the playoffs, but the two rosters were otherwise short on snazzy big names. Not that snazzy big names are required in order to enjoy the World Series, but there is just something right about the glitziest players making it to the most glamorous platform in The Show.

Even Madison Bumgarner, if we’re being honest with ourselves, has been merely very good in the regular season. To be sure, he is still young enough and talented enough to end up with a great career, but for now he is a playoff sensation.

It’s awesome that many of the Royals had their National Unveilings this October, but most of us will have forgotten who most of them are by this time next year.


The 2-3-2 format gives us some continuity to the games that the old 2-2-1-1-1 did not, but it also compresses the World Series time frame, which has two effects.

First, it gets us to winter faster, which has long been a desire for baseball reformists, but which I hate. I say let’s play ball all year long.

And second, the compressed schedule makes it hard to get a true three-win starter out of the deal. Sure, Bumgarner pitched and “won” three games in this World Series, but he started Games 1 and 5, and then relieved on short rest in Game 7. Even though teams talk about being “all in” and “leaving it all on the field” in the Series, the truth is that they still tend to protect their valuable rotation arms.

Had Bumgarner been able to channel his inner Mickey Lolich and reel off three complete game wins, then we’d have really had something to talk about. But alas, this was not he 1968 World Series, so we’re forced to simply be amazed while wanting a bit more.


Only two of the seven games provided any kind of ninth-inning drama, and the average margin of victory was five runs. This was an extremely weird Series where the two teams traded blowout wins but couldn’t muster any kind of power hitting between them.

What do you do when you’re watching a TV show and you suddenly realize you know how it’s going to end, whether because it’s predictable or because you’ve seen it before?

You turn it off, and that’s what most of us have done for these World Series games, according to Forbes.

When you look at the “standings” for this World Series, it seems like it must have been ultra-competitive, but there was very little drama in the games themselves.

No Power

This Series featured a total of five home runs and four games with zero home runs. Games 3, 4 and 5 gave us a big goose egg in the homer column.

I know we’re supposed to be enlightened fans now that the steroid era is over, and we’re supposed to enjoy scratch-em-out baseball at it’s finest, and I do, generally. But it gets pretty boring when game after game nothing flies over the fence.

This is partly due to the nature of these teams and their ballparks, and partly due to the extended playoffs which let these teams advance (see “Wild Cards” above), but it makes for a Series bereft of pulse-quickening blasts that have defined the last twenty years.

Can’t we shoot for something in between video game baseball and pinball baseball?

The 2014 World Series was great because it was a World Series and any day with a World Series game is better than any other day. Other than that, though, this was one of the worst Series that I can remember, thanks to a lack of excitement and monumental developments. The good thing is, we’ll get another chance next year, and the Royals should get another shot in, say, 2043.

Won’t that be sweet?