Sports Illustrated is getting a lot of credit this week – and rightfully so – for publishing a cover story back in June 2014 that boldly predicted the Astros would win the World Series in 2017.
It was laughable at the time. When that issue was published on June 24, 2014, the Astros had gone 187-358 dating back to 2011 and had suffered three straight 100-plus loss seasons.
With general manager Jeff Luhnow and his heavy lean on analytics, there were signs of the Astros making progress, although they would still lose 92 games in 2014
On Tuesday, that story’s author Ben Reiter revisited his prediction: “What it wasn’t was empty clickbait, or a hot take. While we’re never above generating interesting conversations, my editors and I genuinely believed that what I saw down in Houston could result in a ring in three seasons. Now, the Astros are four games away from coming through on that prediction.”
But that’s not to say the magazine got everything right. An insert in that story projected exactly how the 2017 World Series would go – an Astros sweep over the Cubs. It also had bold predictions for the roles certain players would play en route to the championship. One problem: A lot of those players aren’t in the Astros system any more.
The magazine also didn’t seem to figure Jose Altuve – even though he was on his way to winning his first batting title in 2014 – would have a big role in the 2017 World Series team.
Browse through the photos above to see what that 2014 Sports Illustrated cover story got wrong.