Originally Posted by DSpivack
There's a number of good players on that list, too. I would take Ernie Banks or Luke Appling in their primes without worrying about some metaphysical energy that propels their teams to lose. They just got unlucky playing on some ****ty teams.
Banks and Appling played in a completely different environment.
First, players were bound to their clubs due to the Reserve Clause, so they didn't have the option to play out their contract an leave.
(Can you imagine what Banks would have made on the open market after winning back-to-back MVPs and hitting 40+ HRs for four consecutive seasons? Or Appling after hitting .388? Those numbers were compiled in their first six seasons, when they would have qualified for free agency. They both would have been long gone, and Phil Rizzuto probably wouldn't be in the Hall of Fame.)
Second, Banks and Appling didn't have divisions or the wild card. Finish first overall or your season is finished.
Rios and Dunn simply have to lead their club to the fourth best record in their league once and they are in the postseason. Once in a combined 23 seasons, and have failed.
In the case of Dunn:
- He's managed to play a full season on a team that has finished over .500 exactly once in 13 seasons (your 2012 Chicago White Sox)
- He finished the 2008 season on the Diamondbacks, who finished 82-80. But they were 60-58 and in first place with a 1.5 game lead when the traded for him. So they managed to play .500 with him.
- He's played for one club that lost 89, five that have lost 90 and another that lost 103.
- And he's been a free agent twice, so he's had opportunities to sign with clubs that win who've passed on him.
It's not "bad luck". This is a simple matter of cause and effect.