June 5, 2007


Paul SF writes:
Terry Francona dubbed last night's 11-inning loss (which has me a bit groggy this morning, having watched the final three innings) "heartbreaking." With all due respect to Terry, I disagree. This might be the most uplifting loss I've ever seen.
Ian Browne agrees:
I think the Red Sox showed more about themselves as a team in Monday night's loss than they have in nearly any of their victories this season.
Two posts from solid Yankee Bloggers explaining why New York will not win the AL East.


Zenslinger said...

The first of those two posts ("Yankees Division Dreams Dashed but Playoffs possible still") is interesting. They recall some very impressive climbs to win the wild card in the last several years ('01, '02 A's, '03 Marlins, '06 Twins).

But moving up in a wild card race is not the same as chasing a division leader. It may seem at first that overcoming a 7.5 game deficit is much easier than the 12.5 game deficit our team holds over the Yanks' heads. But look at what that means:

Over ther rest of the season, the Yanks have to win more games than the Devil Rays, with whom they're tied today. No problem.

They have to win four more than the Orioles. All right, no one fears the Orioles too much, not in the long run.

Six more than the Jays. Sure, the Jays' luck with injuries is as bad as the Yanks'.

They need to win seven more than the White Sox. Well, the Yanks didn't get a good start on this last night (and as these projections go on and the Yanks continue to lose games, the margins only get slimmer -- it's way past April and well into June now, and their resurgence hasn't seemed to begin). But, still, the White Sox aren't a great team this year. This is well within the Yanks' ability.

They have to win eight more than the Twins. The Twins can play some very good ball (see the article Allan refers to for how their wild card picture looked this time last year). But, of course, the Yanks can do that, you might even give them a better than average chance of it. Maybe even solidly in the Yanks' favor, considering what they can do when (if?) their pitching solidifies. What they should be able to do.

The Yankees must win ten more games than the A's for the remainder of the season. I don't know about you, or whether you stayed up to watch the game last night, or whether it matters to you that in that same article, several of the long-shot wild card winners were A's teams, but I'm not sure I'd bet that the Red Sox will win ten more than the A's from here on out. The Yanks? Maybe. If they get their shit together in a big way -- but, of course, any projection for the Yanks to make the playoffs requires this.

Seattle has to lose steam and win tweleve fewer games than the Yanks. This one I don't doubt too much. But, if their pitching holds up, who knows what Seattle could do.

Finally, the Yanks have to win sixteen more games than the Tigers. Or catch up to Cleveland at a similar pace should the Indians fall out of first. The Tigers ain't what they were last year, but this is a tall order. Remember the feeling of dread we felt when we realized last year that the wild card would almost certainly come from the Central? With the second-place team in the East below .500, this projection hasn't changed much.

Now, take all these possibilities, some probable and some questionable and some downright doubtful, and combine them. The Yanks essentially must go head to head with every one of these teams. No one of them can have a good year from this point on. Or if they do, the Yankees have to have an absolutely incredible year to counter it.

Nothing's impossible. Shit, their catching us isn't impossible. But I honestly think they have as good a chance of catching us than doing in the Tigers, Twins, Mariners, A's and White Sox. I'm sure Pythagorean projections disagree. But it's like playing poker at a big table -- only one hand's gonna win.

thatdietcokegirl said...

psht. that is such a crepe-hanger comment by terry. it was not heartbreaking at all. i think we all felt it...it was a total battle. it was great even. if a loss can be great, that loss was.
yeah, i disagree too. completely ;)