Friday, August 9, 2013

Good News and a Note of Caution

The Good News

After the 9th inning 3-run homer from Stephen Drew on Wednesday night the Red Sox had a total of 70 wins. No team in Major League Baseball had more, and 70 wins is more then the Sox had for the entire season in 2012. And we're still in the single digits of August. A year ago at this time they had only 55 wins and were in 4th place 11 games out.

The Note of Caution

Go back another year. On this date in 2011 the Red Sox had 72 wins and were in 1st place by 2-1/2 games. Remember, the big chicken-and-beer collapse didn't start until September.

Let's look at some big years of the past on this date:

2007 World Series Champions. 69 wins, 1st place.

2004 World Series Champions. 60 wins, 2nd place and 10-1/2 games out. Can you believe it?

2003 Went to the ALCS and lost to the Yankees in 7 games (the Aaron Boone walk off). 68 wins, 2nd place, 6 games out.

1999 Went to the ALCS and lost to the Yankees. 61 wins, 3rd place, 8-1/2 games out.

1995 Won the AL East but were swept by Cleveland in the playoffs. 56 wins (but the season started late due to the 1994 strike), 1st place by 7 games.

1990 Won the AL East but were swept by the A's in the playoffs - that was when Roger Clemens was tossed for mouthing "vaccuum" (so he claimed) at the umpire. 60 wins, 1st place by 2 games.

1988 Won the AL East but were swept by the A's. 64 wins, 2nd place, 3 games out.

1986 AL Champions, lost the World Series in 7 games to the Mets (the Bill Buckner year). 64 wins, 1st place by 5 games.

1978 Blew an 11-1/2 game lead but tied the Yankees on the final day. Lost the one-game playoff when Bucky Bleeping Dent homered. No Wild Card back then. 70 wins on this date. Hmmmph. 1st place by 7-1/2 games.

1975 AL Champions, lost the World Series to Cincinnati in 7 games. 69 wins, 1st place by 6 games.

1967 The Impossible Dream Year. Lost the World Series to St. Louis in 7 games. 60 wins, 2nd place, 1-1/2 games out.

1948 Ended the season tied for 1st with Cleveland. Lost a one-game playoff. If they'd won, it would have been a Boston Red Sox v. Boston Braves World Series. The Braves also lost. 4th place, 3 games out.

1946 American League Champions, lost the World Series to St. Louis in 7 games when Johnny Pesky was slow making a relay throw. 76 wins (wow!) in 1st place by 14 games.

1918 World Series Champions, beating the Cubs. 63 wins, 1st place by 3-1/2 games.

They've been better off, they've been worse off.

Worse off much more frequently over the years, but right now they're better off than in any World Series year since 1946. And much much better off than anyone predicted.