When you're using a computer simulation to revise history, you really don't know how it's going to come out. In a short series -- real or virtual -- pretty much anything can happen. We were fastidious in picking our 32-team bracket, so no matter who survived to play in our version of the league championship series round, the stories would be good. But we can't lie: The narratives of some teams seemed more compelling than those of others. As it turned out, we ended up with four teams that really embodied our theme: a second chance for great teams that didn't quite finish off great seasons.
A quick recap of our final four:
• 1977 Kansas City Royals: won a franchise-record 102 games but fell in the ALCS to the New York Yankees, the second of three straight ALCS losses to the hated Bronx Bombers
• 1993 Philadelphia Phillies: ended a streak of six straight losing seasons with a Cinderella run to the World Series, only to lose the deciding game of a dramatic matchup on a game-winning homer by Toronto's Joe Carter
• 1994 Montreal Expos: broke out to an MLB-best 74-40 record, only to have the rest of the season and the playoffs wiped out by a labor dispute
Let's get down to it! With only two series to recap, we're going to give the last two editions of the tournament a little more of an unfolding structure, so don't skip to the end if you're not in a hurry.