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Friday, September 09, 2011

Romano: History suggests Tampa Bay Rays fans should temper their hopes

Yeah, and the last time someone had high hopes in Florida they ended up with a hole in their head!

I do not say this to be a party pooper or a contrarian. And it is not because I have too little faith in the Rays or too much respect for the Red Sox. It is simply because I trust history. And history pretty much says it ain’t going to happen.

...This is the time of year when we begin talking about magic numbers for teams in contention. Okay, so Tampa Bay’s magic number is 27. That means, if the Red Sox stumble to an 8-11 finish, the Rays would still have to go 16-4 to finish ahead of them.

On the plausibility scale, that falls between “Holy crap!” and “Thanks for your support on the stadium, Mr. Selig.”

The lure, of course, is that it has happened before. Happened memorably. Happened gloriously or regrettably, depending on your point of view.

Happened just enough times that you cling to the stories and recite them like liturgy.

Repoz Posted: September 09, 2011 at 03:04 AM | 78 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, rays, red sox, yankees

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   1. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2011 at 03:18 AM (#3920007)
But it would help a lot more if the Rays had given some recent indication their offense was capable of coming through against good pitching


Oh.
   2. tfbg9 Posted: September 09, 2011 at 04:17 AM (#3920035)
Congrats to the TB Rays, 2011 AL WC Champs. Now win the WS!

/smashes empty JD bottle
   3. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: September 09, 2011 at 07:13 AM (#3920058)
I kind of hope the Rays do the improbable. The pants pissing with regards to the Red Sox this season has been absurd. Plus, it would give us something to actually care about this last month of the season.
   4. Rally Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:15 PM (#3920110)
That means, if the Red Sox stumble to an 8-11 finish, the Rays would still have to go 16-4 to finish ahead of them.


Take out the 7 head to head games, and if TB power sweeps then they have to go 9-4 in the other games while the Red Sox go 8-4. Or any combination that simply involves the Rays being 1/2 a game better. Still not easy given the Red Sox have 7 against the Orioles while the Rays have 6 vs the Yankees.

Rays pretty much need to sweep 7 games. Even one loss would probably finish them. If we treat the games as coinflips to simplify (Red Sox have had better talent, but current pitcher health and Rays having Jennings around even things up a bit) the chances of flipping heads 7 times in a row is just slightly under 1 percent.

So I'm sayin they have a chance. Take what you can get for exciting pennant race baseball.
   5. Matthew E Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3920113)
Sometimes I get the idea that Red Sox fans don't really get that their team has won two World Series in recent memory. Obviously they know it intellectually. But I don't think they understand it deep down.
   6. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:26 PM (#3920117)
Sometimes I get the idea that Red Sox fans don't really get that their team has won two World Series in recent memory. Obviously they know it intellectually. But I don't think they understand it deep down.


Speaking for myself (and as one of the primary Chicken Littles here) I think we understand it just fine. If 2004 proved anything it is that what has happened in the past has no bearing on what will happen in the future.

If the Sox were rolling out Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and Bronson Arroyo this weekend I'd feel pretty good, instead it's John Lackey, Kyle Weiland and Jon Lester. Obviously Lester is phenomenal but James Shields (who is scheduled to face him) is not some kind of stiff.

Look, the reality is that the Sox are likely to make the playoffs, I get that. But I don't think it is nearly as certain as others do. I'd peg it at 75-80% rather than the 95% or so that most seem to think.
   7. Avoid Running At All Times- S. Paige Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:36 PM (#3920124)
If the Sox were rolling out Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and Bronson Arroyo this weekend I'd feel pretty good, instead it's John Lackey, Kyle Weiland and Jon Lester. Obviously Lester is phenomenal but James Shields (who is scheduled to face him) is not some kind of stiff.


It's funny. I think if their pitching staff was all healthy and doing well, but Ellsbury, Pedroia and Youkilis were hurt, Sox fans would feel a lot less anxiety. I don't think it's rational, but bad pitching gives fans a lot more anxiety than bad hitting. That said, the Sox get to put out a line-up that is ridiculously good.
   8. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:47 PM (#3920133)
Sometimes I get the idea that Red Sox fans don't really get that their team has won two World Series in recent memory. Obviously they know it intellectually. But I don't think they understand it deep down.

As a Red Sox fan, I also feel that was about some of my brethren. 2004, in particular, was enough to keep me basically happy as a Red Sox fan for a long, long time. Some people like to overreact to every cold and hot streak, though - I guess it's their right, even if I think they are a little nuts.

The Sox are 6.5 up with 19/20 to play. Maybe they collapse, maybe Tampa comes back, whatever. It's highly unlikely, and it's way too soon to worry about it anyway.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#3920137)
Rays pretty much need to sweep 7 games. Even one loss would probably finish them.

If the Rays go 6-1 against Boston, much of Red Sox Nation would have an "Ich bin ein Pants Pisser!" moment. Losing 6 of 7 to Tampa would cut 5 games off a lead that now stands at "only" 6.5 games. Playing that poorly wouldn't bode well for holding onto a slim lead with another 12 games to account for. It's a very steep path for Tampa, and I don't think they're likely to make it all that close, but Boston needs to beat them more than once to finish them off (absent the unlikely scenario of the Rays playing poorly against everyone but Boston while Boston plays well against everyone but Tampa).
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#3920138)
If the Sox were rolling out Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling and Bronson Arroyo this weekend I'd feel pretty good

Really, I think they'd get pounded. Pedro and Schilling haven't pitched in years.

I guess they're younger than Wakefield, and no worse than Lackey and Miller.

Go Rays!
   11. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2011 at 02:01 PM (#3920147)
Sox are 19-18 since August 1st.

Lackey vs. Davis . Davis has thrown a quality start in 4 out of his last 6 appearances. Lackey is 2 for 6 in the QS department.

Hellickson vs. Weiland, and Lester vs. Shields sort of speak for themselves.

Also, the Rays will be fielding 5 players with an OPS+ of over 130. Sox have 2 players with an OPS+ over 130. 5 also if we go down to Reddicks 124. Who ,like Joyce, will be platooned against lefties.

So...I don't see it as being anywhere close to a coin-flip.
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 09, 2011 at 02:08 PM (#3920155)
So...I don't see it as being anywhere close to a coin-flip.


Except that it's baseball, so it's pretty close to a coin flip when a bad team is playing a good team.

They'll be fine.

The slacks soiling is starting to remind me of 2007, which I suppose is a very good thing.
   13. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2011 at 02:17 PM (#3920163)
The slacks soiling is starting to remind me of 2007, which I suppose is a very good thing.


See. I didn't soil my slacks in 2007. I looked at the schedule, looked at the team, the general health, and said 'Yanks arn't catching up'.

I don't think the Rays will catch up either, but the smell from poopied drawers is gonna be pretty thick come Sunday.

edit: I just poked my nose around 2007. You know who was better than Carl Crawford? Besides JD Drew. JD Drew's 2007 stacked against Crawford's 2011 is a no-brainer. In 2007, CC was better than CC. Coco Crisp had a better 2007 than Carl Crawford is having. That's not including defense. Hell, Coco Crisp today is better than Carl Crawford.

Holy ####, Crisp has 40 Stolen bases?
   14. Kurt Posted: September 09, 2011 at 02:25 PM (#3920173)
Still not easy given the Red Sox have 7 against the Orioles while the Rays have 6 vs the Yankees.

As someone (Andy?) mentioned in the last pants-pissing thread, if the Red Sox fall into a race with Tampa there's a good chance the Rays will be facing the B-squad Yankees the last three games of the season.
   15. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 09, 2011 at 04:58 PM (#3920285)
Also, the Rays will be fielding 5 players with an OPS+ of over 130. Sox have 2 players with an OPS+ over 130. 5 also if we go down to Reddicks 124. Who ,like Joyce, will be platooned against lefties.

Huh? The Red Sox have three over the completely arbitrary 130 cutoff, as well as Pedroia at 128 and Youkilis at 127.

I want to play this game too. The Red Sox have three players with an OPS+ over 140. The Rays have only 1, if you count Jennings!

(Note the key cutoff there - OVER 140, not exactly at!)
   16. BDC Posted: September 09, 2011 at 05:07 PM (#3920302)
The Sox are what, 6½ games ahead of Tampa Bay? The Rangers are 2½ ahead of Anaheim this morning, and I haven't had to get an extra pair of Depends yet. Count your blessings, Nation :)
   17. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 09, 2011 at 05:17 PM (#3920315)
The Sox are what, 6½ games ahead of Tampa Bay? The Rangers are 2½ ahead of Anaheim this morning, and I haven't had to get an extra pair of Depends yet. Count your blessings, Nation :)


To be fair to the many many many normal and sane people out there I think the pants-pissers are limited. I'm clearly one of them and I think Dale and maybe Teddy are the other two. I think everyone else among the Sox fans here (Ray, MCoA, Darren, Dan, etc...) are appropriately confident.
   18. Rally Posted: September 09, 2011 at 05:30 PM (#3920322)
Also, the Rays will be fielding 5 players with an OPS+ of over 130. Sox have 2 players with an OPS+ over 130. 5 also if we go down to Reddicks 124. Who ,like Joyce, will be platooned against lefties.


Silly arbitrary endpoints. And factually incorrect as well. Red Sox have 3, not 2, fulltimers who are well over 130. Ortiz 166, Gonzalez 159, Ellsbury 144. And two just under - Youkilis and Pedroia. Rays have a rookie at 164, but in only 44 games and with numbers that look out of place compared to his minor league numbers. Joyce is at 140, and Kotchman, Zobrist, and Longoria just barely over 130. Considering performance over more than a single season, it is laughable to draw a line that counts Casey Kotchman but deems Pedroia and Youkilis not quite worthy.

Red Sox have scored 775 runs on the season to Tampa Bay's 603. The Red Sox top hitters will all be in the lineup this weekend. Their lineup is markably superior to the Rays. The only things giving the Rays a chance are 1) better current pitching rotation and 2) this is baseball and anything can happen.
   19. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 09, 2011 at 05:43 PM (#3920339)
It's too bad the Yankees pissed away two extra inning games against Baltimore. They could have sewn up the division with a 5 game loss column lead. Bah, flimshaw.
   20. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 09, 2011 at 05:45 PM (#3920344)
I think everyone else among the Sox fans here (Ray, MCoA, Darren, Dan, etc...) are appropriately confident.

Man, I posted in this very topic and I can't get a mention here. And then one post down, AROM basically just copies my previous post! Hello? Are my posts invisible? CAN ANYONE READ THIS?!?!
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 09, 2011 at 05:53 PM (#3920353)
It's too bad the Yankees pissed away two extra inning games against Baltimore.
It's hard to count yesterday as truly pissing away since they ran Proctor out there in the tenth. That would be a fine move if it were 2005* but here in 2011 it's a sign you don't really care.

*Of course, if it were 2005 Torre would have had him pitching 7th and 8th innings
   22. John DiFool2 Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:01 PM (#3920360)
Sometimes I get the idea that Red Sox fans don't really get that their team has won two World Series in recent memory. Obviously they know it intellectually. But I don't think they understand it deep down.


I understand it perfectly-so much so that I am wondering where all these articles were about a week ago when the Rays were (for one day) only 6 games behind the Yankees. But I guess the Yankees never choke, so that must explain it. [<ahem> 2004 ALCS <ahem>]
   23. BDC Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:04 PM (#3920366)
Hello? Are my posts invisible? CAN ANYONE READ THIS?!?!

Something's coming through very faintly on the shortwave ... Amelia Earhart, is that you?
   24. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:07 PM (#3920372)
If the Rays sweep Boston this weekend, a comeback is plausible. If not, it's not.

It's hard to count yesterday as truly pissing away since they ran Proctor out there in the tenth. That would be a fine move if it were 2005* but here in 2011 it's a sign you don't really care.
Joe Girardi turned into the Honey Badger in September.
   25. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:10 PM (#3920375)
20. Biff cured his disease with his brain Posted: September 09, 2011 at 01:45 PM (#3920344)







That's kind of weird. Wonder whatever happened to ol' Biff.
   26. Famous Original Joe C Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:14 PM (#3920382)
Man, I posted in this very topic and I can't get a mention here.

Tell me about it.
   27. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:24 PM (#3920399)
Silly arbitrary endpoints


I was going to respond to Biff (R.I.P.), but I thought it was plain by my silly arbitrary datapoints, that my...point..was that the Rays right now arn't the Giants. They actually have a formidable offensive line-up at this point in time, as Lackey* and Weiland are going to learn very soon now. I do disagree completly that at this point in time, the Sox's lineup is *markably* superior to the Rays.

And for the billionth time I think:

1. The Sox will finish 9-10 (dead on course for my previously predicted 10-12)

2. The Sox will make it.

also Jose gave the Sox 75-80% chance of making it. I'd say 85%.

*I actually think there's a decent chance Lackey will pitch well tonight. Not because it's baseball and Lackey is a professional pitcher. Every once in a while Lackey does this "The line must be drawn here!" bit. Look for about 75% breaking stuff.
   28. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:49 PM (#3920440)
also Jose gave the Sox 75-80% chance of making it. I'd say 85%.
That's crazy talk. The Red Sox are way over 90%, way over 95% to make the playoffs by any objective accounting.

The Rays have to win 7 of 7 just to be 50-50 to beat the Sox. The odds of winning seven straight against an equally good club are 127-to-1. The odds of winning 7 straight against a team you're somewhat better than are in the range of 70- or 80-to-1. It is just extremely unlikely that the Rays will catch the Red Sox.

It could happen - weird and unlikely things happen in the world all the time - but the numbers in this thread are simply divorced from reality.
   29. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:55 PM (#3920449)
I was going to respond to Biff (R.I.P.), but I thought it was plain by my silly arbitrary datapoints, that my...point..was that the Rays right now arn't the Giants. They actually have a formidable offensive line-up at this point in time, as Lackey* and Weiland are going to learn very soon now.
What you showed is that the Rays have had a good lineup. Desmond Jennings isn't actually an elite hitter, and Casey Kotchman isn't actually a very good hitter. They do not project to be nearly as good as they've been. Taking small samples as definitive evidence of projected talent going forward is like the single biggest no-no in sports analysis.

Of course, that's what all the pants-pissers are doing more broadly, so, have at it.

During the Sox recent 3-7 slump, they have scored 57 runs and allowed 61. They've had some bad luck in close games, while playing some of the best teams in baseball, without a fully healthy staff. They'll be fine.
   30. Rally Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#3920452)
Man, I posted in this very topic and I can't get a mention here. And then one post down, AROM basically just copies my previous post! Hello? Are my posts invisible? CAN ANYONE READ THIS?!?!


I didn't copy, more like agree with, expanded on, and went on a few tangents. I did read your post. I guess I could have quoted yours in addition to Dale's, coming up with different formating to distinguish them, but I'm not Andy.
   31. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2011 at 06:57 PM (#3920454)
You really think the chances of losing today and Saturday are 25%?
   32. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 09, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3920460)
You really think the chances of losing today and Saturday are 25%?
In order for the Sox to be just 85% to make the playoffs, the Rays have to have at least a 15-20% chance of sweeping the series. That would make the odds of the Rays winning an average one of these games in the range of 80%. Will you give me 4-to-1 odds on every game of the Rays-Red Sox series?
   33. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 09, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3920461)
I didn't copy, more like agree with, expanded on, and went on a few tangents. I did read your post. I guess I could have quoted yours in addition to Dale's, coming up with different formating to distinguish them, but I'm not Andy.

I was just going on a riff, no worries. It's generally not a good idea to take me very seriously.
   34. DFA Posted: September 09, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3920464)
Sox are 19-18 since August 1st.


Oh for the good ole days...
   35. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2011 at 07:14 PM (#3920474)
n order for the Sox to be just 85% to make the playoffs, the Rays have to have at least a 15-20% chance of sweeping the series. That would make the odds of the Rays winning an average one of these games in the range of 80%. Will you give me 4-to-1 odds on every game of the Rays-Red Sox series?


Augh! Math! Brain hurts.

I'd give you 4-1 on Sat. If Miller were pitching tonight I'd give you 4-1 tonight too. (insert required crack about how Vegas would love to do business with me)
   36. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2011 at 08:26 PM (#3920553)
New injury news: Youk having hip MRI'd. Bedard daling with new injury. I would not be surprised to see them gone until October.
   37. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 09, 2011 at 08:52 PM (#3920568)
That does not improve my confidence level that's for damned sure.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 09, 2011 at 08:53 PM (#3920571)
New injury news: Youk having hip MRI'd. Bedard daling with new injury. I would not be surprised to see them gone until October.

Just until October?

With Bedard, it's a shock he's thrown a pitch in Sept. He's used to staring his vacation on Aug. 15.
   39. Walt Davis Posted: September 09, 2011 at 08:56 PM (#3920577)
CAN ANYONE READ THIS?!?!

I see dead people.
   40. McCoy Posted: September 09, 2011 at 09:05 PM (#3920583)
Tampa isn't going to catch the Red Sox but if they did I think that would go a long way to creating the fanbase that the Rays have lacked since their inception. A fanbase needs moments like that to create connections and memories. So really it would be better for all of baseball if the Red Sox were to tank this final month.
   41. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 09, 2011 at 09:11 PM (#3920591)
So really it would be better for all of baseball if the Red Sox were to tank this final month.


Yeah, it would be a terrific story. Wouldn't it be better if they caught the Yankees though? THAT would be truly amazing!!!

Now excuse me, I have to figure out what small appliance I can break when the Sox are down 4-0 in the 3rd tonight.
   42. Dale Sams Posted: September 09, 2011 at 09:31 PM (#3920604)
Tampa isn't going to catch the Red Sox but if they did I think that would go a long way to creating the fanbase that the Rays have lacked since their inception. A fanbase needs moments like that to create connections and memories. So really it would be better for all of baseball if the Red Sox were to tank this final month


It might create 10 new fans. TB has already sone the whole 'smash the Red Sox' thing.
   43. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 09, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#3920611)
I'd absolutely enjoy it if the Rays made a race of it, as it would make the final month meaningful (and this Red Sox team is fun to root against). But it isn't going to happen. The Rays pissed away too many games and the Sox played too well in June/July.
   44. Gotham Dave Posted: September 09, 2011 at 09:42 PM (#3920612)
Sox are 19-18 since August 1st.
Strangely, I have a sudden urge to start chanting.
   45. Greg K Posted: September 09, 2011 at 09:44 PM (#3920615)
I'd absolutely enjoy it if the Rays made a race of it, as it would make the final month meaningful (and this Red Sox team is fun to root against). But it isn't going to happen. The Rays pissed away too many games and the Sox played too well in June/July.

It would be fun to go to those early season doom and gloom Red Sox threads where people were calculating what Win-Pace the Sox would need to play to get back in it, and say..."oh by the way, they also play .500 ball in August and September....and still make the playoffs!"
   46. TVerik - Dr. Velocity Posted: September 09, 2011 at 09:50 PM (#3920618)
This, by the way, has to be pretty much the worst case scenario for Bud and the Wild Card bunch. The Yankees and Red Sox more or less sewed up playoff appearances by about August 1, and are coasting for a soft landing. The Yanks have been playing with all the urgency of Spring Training, and the Sox, once they avert a historical collapse by winning two against the Rays, will join them. There'll be nothing but boring baseball in the AL East for the rest of the season.
   47. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:34 AM (#3920712)
Now excuse me, I have to figure out what small appliance I can break when the Sox are down 4-0 in the 3rd tonight.

So which small appliance did you pick?
   48. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:47 AM (#3920720)
I was in my car so I honked at some jackass who tried to cut me off. It didn't help.

Seriously, this team is absolute toast. The pitching is a joke and the offense isn't much better. They are explosive but basically they have 1 or 2 games a week where they score like 12 runs and then they swing like rusty gates. Everyone got on me for pissing my pants but this has been coming for awhile. They were fortunate in August (and it might yet save their bacon) to have a streak where they won 4 consecutive games that were tied or trailing going to the ninth inning.

I just can't see this team winning more than 6 games the rest of the way. You can't win when your starting pitching has you in a 4 run hole 4 times out of 5.
   49. Jim Wisinski Posted: September 10, 2011 at 12:57 AM (#3920734)
Although it's very unlikely that the Rays can pull this off and make the playoffs it's pretty nice to at least give the Red Sox something to be concerned about for the moment. Them missing the playoffs this year would be rather more palatable than in 2009 when they were miles out of the race and only a bit above .500. At least they're competitive and making some noise in what was expected to be a down year.
   50. Accent Shallow is Having an Average Weekend Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:03 AM (#3920742)
Them missing the playoffs this year would be rather more palatable than in 2009 when they were miles out of the race and only a bit above .500. At least they're competitive and making some noise in what was expected to be a down year.


Wait, what?

Oh, this comment is about the Rays. Nevermind.
   51. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:03 AM (#3920744)
They're a damned good team. Even if they don't complete this comeback (and obviously I think they will) they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

EDIT: By "not going anywhere" I mean they are going to be a meaningful part of the AL playoff picture, not that they won't win a lot.

And 50 - I think Jim is talking about Tampa when he says "them".
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#3920752)
Wait, what?

Oh, this comment is about the Rays. Nevermind.


Jim is BTF's longest-standing Rays fan.
   53. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq., LLC Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:17 AM (#3920759)
Man, if the Red Sox stumble into the playoffs like this, there's no way they'll win the World Series. That's the lesson the 2000 Yankees and 2006 Cardinals learned the hard way.
   54. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:20 AM (#3920763)
Man, if the Red Sox stumble into the playoffs like this, there's no way they'll win the World Series. That's the lesson the 2000 Yankees and 2006 Cardinals learned the hard way.


I had a conversation with a friend of mine earlier tonight on this topic. I'm actually less worried about how they'll play in the playoffs than about making the playoffs. I think if Beckett gets healthy then this team can do serious playoff damage. The problem is that right now they are looking like they aren't getting in.
   55. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:26 AM (#3920768)
The problem is that right now they are looking like they aren't getting in.


6.5 game lead (assuming a loss tonight) with 18 to play. Sure, one or 2 teams have blown leads like that, but it's very, very rare.
   56. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:27 AM (#3920771)
5.5 after tonight, not 6.5.

Yes it's rare, but not impossible and I do think likely. I hope to God I look ridiculous in two weeks but I'm not seeing it.
   57. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:53 AM (#3920806)
I'd say "likely" is a pretty relative term. As in compared to the odds that some alien bug culture poops out an asteroid 300 Milky Ways away and sends it hurtling towards Buenos Aires it is pretty likely the Red Sox will miss the playoffs this year.
   58. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:02 AM (#3920818)
I honestly believe the Sox are 50-50 right now. I know everyone thinks I'm being ridiculous but watching this team nightly...I don't see this slump ending anytime soon.
   59. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:05 AM (#3920820)
I'll take an even up bet on the Red Sox.
   60. Dale Sams Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:17 AM (#3920827)
I honestly believe the Sox are 50-50 right now. I know everyone thinks I'm being ridiculous but watching this team nightly...I don't see this slump ending anytime soon.


I'm calling sweep. I was going to give Lester a 50/50 chance, but not now.

BUT I still think the Sox will right the ship in time.
   61. Dale Sams Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:22 AM (#3920830)
At least they're competitive and making some noise in what was expected to be a down year.


I never count the Rays out and laugh at the arrogance of Red Sox and Yankee fans who pull the "Look at the Rays, they had a couple of decent years and are done now!"...card.
   62. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:31 AM (#3920869)
I honestly believe the Sox are 50-50 right now. I know everyone thinks I'm being ridiculous but watching this team nightly...I don't see this slump ending anytime soon.


Jose: They have a 5.5 game lead with 18 to play. It's _really_ hard to blow that. As to the "slump," two of the last three losses have been by 1 run -- and at least one of them was because Terry Francona sucks at managing. (Yes, he sucks at managing.) I didn't see the other loss, so I don't know whether he found a way to screw that one up as well.

They're down Beckett, but they've got their entire lineup right now other than Youkilis. And Lester and Bedard and pray for rain three times really ought to be more than enough.
   63. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:51 AM (#3920873)
Except they don't have Beckett either.
   64. rr Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:52 AM (#3920874)
There is almost no chance that Boston will miss the postseason. My guess is that BPro has them at about 99%.
   65. Rally Posted: September 10, 2011 at 04:59 AM (#3920900)
Although it's very unlikely that the Rays can pull this off and make the playoffs it's pretty nice to at least give the Red Sox something to be concerned about for the moment. Them missing the playoffs this year would be rather more palatable than in 2009 when they were miles out of the race and only a bit above .500. At least they're competitive and making some noise in what was expected to be a down year.


If the Rays pull really close but fall just short at the end you'll have some serious questions to live with all winter. Keeping Jennings down is defensible, given that his minor league numbers did not show what was to come, and that he started the year slowly and probably wasn't 100%.

Matt Moore not having yet thrown an MLB pitch is a tougher question. What are they saving him for? Hoping to get to the ALCS anyway so when the bullpen seems depleted they can bring him in game 7 to strike out Curtis Granderson?
   66. Dale Sams Posted: September 10, 2011 at 05:03 AM (#3920902)
I want to know who Okajima ###### to stay off the 40 man. His Pawtucket numbers are fantastic, and he can't be worse than Albers right now.
   67. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: September 10, 2011 at 05:16 AM (#3920903)
Performance to date isn't a fair baseline for expected future performance considering the current state of the rosters, so there's no reason to believe Prospectus's playoff odds are accurate in the slightest.

Their six remaining head-to-heads could well be started by Weiland (2), Lester (2), Miller and Wakefield. With Lester matched against Shields both times, 1-5 would very distinctly be in play. And if Beckett or Bedard isn't ready by the 19th, you can throw in a start by TBD against Baltimore for good measure. It's not 50/50, but anyone claiming there's virtually no chance is almost equally deluded.
   68. rr Posted: September 10, 2011 at 06:52 AM (#3920928)
Performance to date isn't a fair baseline for expected future performance considering the current state of the rosters, so there's no reason to believe Prospectus's playoff odds are accurate in the slightest.


Not seeing it. ESPN has Boston at 95.9 and Tampa Bay at 3.9.

Boston is 5.5 up on TB and 6 up on LAA with 18 games remaining on the schedule. Yes, of course it could happen. It happened to the Mets in 2007. But it is extremely unlikely. Simple numbers, like in the excerpt, even after tonight: if Boston goes 8-10 the rest of the way, Tampa Bay has to go 14-5 to tie them. This scenario is, ultimately, based on the idea Boston will go something like 5-13 from now until the end of the season. Since they are 3-7 over the least 10, that would put them at 8-20 over 28 games. I think they score too many runs for it to go down like that.

Their six remaining head-to-heads could well be started by Weiland (2), Lester (2), Miller and Wakefield. With Lester matched against Shields both times, 1-5 would very distinctly be in play. And if Beckett or Bedard isn't ready by the 19th, you can throw in a start by TBD against Baltimore for good measure. It's not 50/50, but anyone claiming there's virtually no chance is almost equally deluded.


Sure. But 2-4, 3-3, and 4-2 are also very distinctly in play, and a TBD against Baltimore is far from an automatic loss.
   69. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 10, 2011 at 08:06 AM (#3920933)
Yanks have now lost three straight one run games in the last ab. Annoying as ####
   70. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 10, 2011 at 11:27 AM (#3920950)
It's still notably more likely that the Sox will catch the Yankees for the division than that they'll lose the WC to Tampa.
   71. Ray (CTL) Posted: September 10, 2011 at 01:14 PM (#3920957)
Jose, I mentioned they don't have Beckett right now.

Look, if the Rays had played Jennings all year instead of fooling around with Sam Fuld, this race would actually be interesting right now. But they didn't, and it isn't.

(They were also hurt by Manny getting himself suspended and then retired. Too bad they couldn't convince him to serve his suspension and come back.)
   72. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3920975)
Of course Desmond Jennings is putting up a .384 OPS in September so far.

Fuld put up a not so good May and consequently is playing time was reduced. For the most part he has put up two not very good months with the second month being in reduced starting time capacity.

If we want to look at why they can't score more runs I think we have to look at the Rays inability to find somebody who knows what a bat is for their SS position. A .534 OPS in 143 games in the AL East is just not going to cut it.
   73. Lassus Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3920979)
Ah, please, no one ever loses a lead like that, you guys are set for the playoffs, easy.
   74. Greg K Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:41 PM (#3920986)
Yeah I think this Jennings hand-wringing is a little misplaced. It's not like he's Buster Posey of yesteryear. He was having a nice season in Durham, but it's not like he was battering down the door.
   75. Greg K Posted: September 10, 2011 at 02:45 PM (#3920988)
If we want to look at why they can't score more runs I think we have to look at the Rays inability to find somebody who knows what a bat is for their SS position. A .534 OPS in 143 games in the AL East is just not going to cut it.

I'd say letting Bartlett go was a mistake, but he's been pretty terrible this year too.
(Though he would be an improvement on what they've trotted out there)
   76. McCoy Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:04 PM (#3920998)
What would a .632 OPS in SD translate into in the AL East?
   77. Rally Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3921005)
"(They were also hurt by Manny getting himself suspended and then retired. Too bad they couldn't convince him to serve his suspension and come back.)"

It would have been a 100 game suspension. After which he would have needed some minor league games to get into shape. At his age, how much he had left anyway is a serious question. Hard to see much impact there.
   78. Jim Wisinski Posted: September 10, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3921006)
Shortstop and catcher are pretty obvious holes on the team this year though at least Jaso has been hitting pretty well lately. The real flaw in my eyes though is the bullpen, it's 9th in the league despite a favorable park, great defense, and throwing the fewest innings in the AL. The starters are actually more than a quarter run better in ERA. Other than the weird Kyle Farnsworth thing they haven't had the same success in finding good relievers this season.

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