Monday, May 24, 2010

Mine's On The RPM

I'm not doing this to convince myself, since I haven't done too much worrying about my team this year, not only because I know they'll be fine, but out of respect for Pittsburgh Pirates fans everywhere. I'm doing it for people who had the ridiculous idea that a season can end in May. Here goes:

45 games. 24-21. Yes, our worst record after 45 games since '97. But not by much! We're basically playing about 2.5 to 4 games worse than we usually are at this point, based on the last few seasons, depending on how far back you wanna go. (Last year we were only three games better--and that had us in first place.)

We're 2.2 games behind the average record of the five current first-place teams outside our division. (Based on my patented FTHEYANKS formula.)

And finally, we're exactly 2.5 games behind the unbeatable, unstoppable, team-that's-so-far-ahead-of-us-we-couldn't- possibly-catch-up Yankees. And we're on a little roll, putting that crappy April further back in the R-view each day.

If the Rays somehow continue to play .727 ball all year long, than they deserve to win the division. But if that happens, there is absolutely no reason we can't win the wild card. But we can take a prelim. step toward a division race starting tonight.

Oh, and Mets, if you're collectively reading this random fan's blog you've never heard of: thank you.

Forgot to mention, also 2.5 out of the Wild Card with 117 to play, in a year when people were saying (within the past few weeks) how it would be virtually impossible for the Red Sox to make the playoffs in 2010.
Very nice win all around last night. The Rays won't play .727 (or, as of last night, .711 ball) all year because that would put them at 115 wins, but the problem is, they don't have to be even close to that. If they just play .580 ball from here, they get to 100 wins, and that is very likely enough to take the division. No Sox team has won 100 since 1946, and I don't see this version having enough overall talent or depth to get to that level. The starting pitching should continue to move in the direction expected at the start of the year, and the hitting appears to be better than I expected, but Oki's solid outing last night not withstanding, I still don't trust this bullpen much at all outside of Bard.

But that brings us to the good news: the downside case for the Yanks seems like it might be playing out. Their old guys are starting to show their ages through nagging injuries like Dumbo's stress fracture and declining performance, and if that continues, then they're done...Brett Gardner and Francisco 'Gazoo' Cervelli, who have both played well over their AAAA heads so far this season, aren't gonna save them.

So, yeah, given the way this season started, we can't be displeased w/where the Sox stand right now...the Wild Card is very much attainable.
There's also a lot of time for things to change dramatically in any direction.
Very true; the Rays actually went into free-fall late last season. They could have another precipitous decline, but I don't see it. They are still pretty young, healthy, obviously very talented, and it looks like they've fixed their bullpen again. What's scary is that they got off to that blazing start despite the fact the Upton, Pena and Bartlett aren't even hitting yet. Even last night, in a game the Sox won comfortably, they gave Clay fits in those first few innings when they really weren't even hitting him.

And again, on what I think is a reasonable assumption that the Rays end up right at 100 wins, the flip side of the Sox' start is that they'd have to play .650 ball to tie them. Even with a lot of season left, the math doesn't really work.
By the way, since you thanked the Metsies in this post, have you ever read the Faith and Fear in Flushing blog? In their post about Sunday's game, they had this fantastic paragraph:

There’s no shortage of things to despise about the New York Yankees and their fans. There’s the insane payroll. The thoroughly awful combination of a sense of entitlement and an animal delight in others’ misfortunes. The humorless fetishizing of history, Kultur and numbing scale. The insistence among Gotham media hacks that any baseball story is ultimately about them. Their paranoid Tokyo Rose approach to covering themselves. The enshrinement of vaguely fascist rules. The overt, not even faintly apologetic appeal to greedy, front-running wannabe overdogs. I could go on, until I was punch-drunk with hatred for them.
But I'm just sayin', the Yanks were deemed "uncatchable" mere days ago, and now we're 2 back of them.

In one week, the current math wouldn't matter if we're tied, OR, 14 back. There's just so much time to reach alternate universes which will bring on new math. s.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States