Beauty of baseball: Almost anyone can win

BY foxsports • October 6, 2009

After a one-year absence, the New York Yankees return to baseball's postseason.

But before there is too much whining about the lack of parity in baseball, take a deep breath, count to 10 and get ready for a dose of reality.

Baseball has the numbers to back up its claim that it's a sport of opportunity, where the big and little markets all have reason for hope each spring. Even last year, Tampa Bay proved what recently fired Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi claimed was impossible — a small-budget team could finish ahead of both Boston and the Yankees in the AL East, even if in eight years Ricciardi never did it once.

Of the four major team sports in North America, baseball is the most wide-open in terms of who has a shot at a championship.

Consider that in the last 30 postseasons:

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