Well, we asked for this. We sure got it.
We told you in our last edition that we believed one of America's biggest crises was the lack of a decent nickname for our current decade, the no-name 2000s. We were rewarded with approximately 1.7 trillion emails. So thanks. And please stop now. We went through as many as we could. It's time now to submit the best of the bunch to a vote.
Loyal reader Phil Yabut tossed out "The Pre-Teens," among others. Excellent. Loyal reader Michael Ko suggested "The Millecade." Very creative.
Gary Giunipero fired up "The O-Zone." Cool. Jim Ruderer zapped the Y in Y2K and proposed, "The 2Ks." Very good.
One anonymous reader sent in "The Cheery 00s." Except that might make us all too hungry. And both Jason Christy and Phil Yabut came up with one the pitchers would love -- "The 0-fers."
We got a bunch of proposals for "The Zips." Which we love. And "The Aughts." Which we're down on, just on the general philosophical principal that no nickname can be considered cool if no one has uttered it in like 100 years.
There was also a slew of "Naughts," and Janet Jackson's favorite variation, "The Naughties." Only The Naughties will be eligible for your votes, just because it's our poll.
There was a nomination for two of our own suggestions -- "The Nadas" and "The Zilches." Thanks. And there was another nomination that sounds like we should have thought of it -- "The Zero Heroes."
So, vote in the poll to the right and we'll go with the winner for the rest of the decade. We promise. Unless we hate it. In which case we'll have to start this whole thing over next year.
And now on to the latest chapter in our ongoing examination of the Best and Worst of the 2000s -- the team edition. If you read on, you'll learn the Rockies can exploit their altitude, the Brewers can seriously whiff and many other factoids too useless to recap.
Has there ever been a decade in which April-through-September success translated into fewer World Series parades than this one? Not that we can find.
Of the 12 teams with the most wins in the 2000s, exactly two have won a World Series -- the No. 3 Yankees and the No. 7 Diamondbacks. The Angels rank 13th, but they've won one. And the Marlins are No. 15, but they've won one, too.
Meanwhile, the two winningest teams -- the Mariners (.606 winning percentage) and A's (.6059) -- have won zero World Series, naturally. So they're on their way to a very dubious distinction, if the rest of the decade resembles the first four years of it.
No team since 1900 has won more than 60 percent of its games in any decade without winning a World Series at least once. So history says something figures to change between now and 2009. And we know they're both hoping it's tickertape.
Speaking of not winning the World Series, the Braves are 40 percent down the road toward becoming the first team to lead the NL in wins in back-to-back decades since the Giants of the 1910s and 1920s. That's good. But the last team to lead the NL in wins for a decade and not get a ring out of it is the 1960s Giants. And that's not so good.
In order to allow you to study this list for more fun tidbits, here are the 15 teams with winning records in the 2000s (so far):
If Pudge Rodriguez just hits about .483 this year, and Rondell White thumps 50 homers, and Jason Johnson wins 20 games, the Tigers won't have to worry about this particular note at this time next year. But for now, they're on a very scary pace.
They're averaging 101 losses a season in the 2000s (thanks in voluminous part to those 119 games they lost last year). They could go 161-1 this season and still not have a winning record for the decade. And their 2000s "winning percentage" is a messy .376.
Granted, they would have to average more than 100 losses a year for the rest of the decade to maintain that .376 percentage. And that's pretty close to impossible. But if they do, they would become the first non-expansion team since the 1920-29 Phillies (.370) to have a "winning percentage" that low over a whole decade.
The Tigers also, we're afraid, would become the first team since 1900 to average 100 losses a season over any whole decade. Not that the Phillies of the '20s (96 a year) and '40s (95), or the old St. Louis Browns (95) of the '30s, weren't eminently capable of it. But they weren't allowed to play 162 games a year.
The Tigers, on the other hand, will be forced to play 162. So they don't need us to tell them it's time to pick up the pace.
And that goes for those Devil Rays, too. They're averaging 99 losses a year so far this decade, for a total of 397. So only 158 more losses, and they'll have lost more games than the Yankees lost in the entire decade of the '30s. No wonder the Rays and Tigers signed 59 free agents between them this winter (seriously). They might need them all.
But if it makes them feel better, there are 13 other teams with losing records so far this decade. And here they are:
The Fan Club
You may have heard that people strike out more these days than they used to. Allow us to demonstrate just how much more.
The Brewers are not just on a pace to break the all-time record for whiffs in a decade. They're on pace to break it by more than (gulp) 2,000 strikeouts.
And 60 feet away, we've never had a decade in which any staff struck out 11,000 hitters. But Cubs pitchers are on pace to top 13,000.
At least it's not just them. We have 15 offenses on pace to break that all-time strikeouts-in-a-decade record by hitters (10,479, by the 1990-99 Tigers). And 11 pitching staffs are on pace to smash the K record for pitchers (10,713, by the 1990-99 Braves).
In order to help K-Mart figure out which teams to sponsore, we present the five most whiff-a-matic lineups in the 2000s:
1. Brewers, 4,990 -- on pace for 12,475
2. Reds, 4,681 -- on pace for 11,702
3. Cubs, 4,624 -- on pace for 11,560
4. Padres, 4,585 -- on pace for 11,463
5. Phillies, 4,492 -- on pace for 11,230
On the other hand, here are the five pitching staffs that provide the most air circulation:
1. Cubs, 5,224 -- on pace for 13,060
2. Diamondbacks, 5,111 -- on pace for 12,778
3. Dodgers, 4,787 -- on pace for 11,968
4. Red Sox, 4,678 -- on pace for 11,695
5. Astros, 4,650 -- on pace for 11,625
Your AL leaders: Blue Jays hitters (4,343 -- a 10,858 pace) and Red Sox pitchers (see above).
Has it occurred to you how much of the time we all spend watching games (particularly Brewers games) that involve the ball never leaving the batter's box? Well, it will any minute now -- because we're also witnessing a record pace in umpires uttering those magic words: "Ball four."
While Brewers hitters have been ringing up those strike threes, their pitchers are on pace to (ahem) walk away with the record for most bases on balls issued in one decade.
The current record for a decade is 6,103, by the expansion 1970-79 Expos. At their current rate, the Brewers would break that by nearly 500. The Rangers staff, incidentally, is also on a record pace. Your leaders in 2000s walks issued:
1. Brewers, 2,636 -- on pace for 6,590
2. Rangers, 2,529 -- on pace for 6,398
3. Cubs, 2,431 -- on pace for 6,078
4. Marlins, 2,428 -- on pace for 6,070
5. Royals, 2,407 -- on pace for 6,018
As for the hitters, they're doing their best. But those 1930-39 Yankees were way ahead of their time. They walked 7,026 times in an age of 154-game seasons. No team has come within 500 of them since. But the Mariners of the 2000s are giving it a shot:
1. Mariners, 2,604 -- on pace for 6,510
2. A's , 2,555 -- on pace for 6,388
3. Giants, 2,543 -- on pace for 6,358
4. Yankees, 2,474 -- on pace for 6,185
5. Phillies, 2,453 -- on pace for 6,133