• The Way They Were…And What It Means Now

    Posted by on August 24th, 2008 · Comments (12)

    So, it’s August 24th and the Yankees are five back (in the loss column) in the Wildcard chase. What does that mean? Well, let’s see where some recent A.L. Wildcard “champs” were on this same date:

    2007: Yankees were 4 games back, in the loss column, of the Mariners
    2006: Tigers were in first place in the A.L. Central – by 5.5 games
    2005: Red Sox were in first place in the A.L. East – by 3.5 games
    2004: Red Sox were one game ahead, in the loss column, of the Angels
    2003: Red Sox were tied with the A’s for the Wildcard lead
    2002: Angels were one game ahead, in the loss column, of the Mariners
    2001: The A’s were one game ahead of the Red Sox – but tied in the loss column
    2000: Mariners were in first place in the A.L West – by 2.5 games
    1999: Red Sox were tied with the A’s for the Wildcard lead
    1998: Red Sox were nine games ahead, in the loss column, of the Rangers
    1997: Yankees were eight games ahead, in the loss column, of the Angels
    1996: Orioles were two games ahead, in the loss column, of the White Sox
    1995: Yankees were 4 games back, in the loss column, of the Rangers

    Therefore, if my research is correct, there’s never been an eventual A.L. Wildcard winner that was five, or more, games back in the loss column (of the ‘card lead) on August 24th. And, the only two teams, in 13 years of Wildcard play, to comeback from being 4 games back (and win the ‘card) were the 1995 and 2007 Yankees.

    But, the 1995 Yankees had to go 26-9 while the Texas Rangers went 16-18 to reverse the gap. And, the 2007 Yankees had to go 23-11 while the Seattle Mariners went 15-21 to reverse the gap.

    So, for the 2008 Yankees to win the Wildcard, they’re going to have to win something like 22 out of their remaining 32 games…and hope that the Red Sox, Twins and White Sox all play .500 ball, or worse, for the rest of the season.

    Can that happen? Sure. Anything can happen. But, what are the odds of this happening?

    Comments on The Way They Were…And What It Means Now

    1. radnom
      August 25th, 2008 | 1:02 am

      “But, the 1995 Yankees had to go 26-9 while the Texas Rangers went 16-18 to reverse the gap. And, the 2007 Yankees had to go 23-11 while the Seattle Mariners went 15-21 to reverse the gap.”

      Incorrect. The did not “have” to have at least that record. In 95 this would put the Yankees 5.5 ahead of the Rangers, while in 2007 these records but the Yankees 5 ahead of the Mariners. (+/- a game, quick math but the point stands)

      The point is either time they just as easily would have come back from 5 games at the same point. In fact they made up almost 10 games each time. So I think 5 games this year is less than a longshot…if they play like they can they will do it. The real question is if the multicolored Sox will lose enough to make it possible. The Red Sox probably will, as banged up as they are and playing the Yankees 6 times before the end of the season, but i’m not so sure about the Whie Sox

    2. Joel
      August 25th, 2008 | 6:59 am

      One game at a time, Steve.

      Remember, many so-called smart guys wrote this team off numerous times this year and in past years. (For some reason, they always rush to write off the Yankees.)

      Paging Seth Mnookin…

    3. August 25th, 2008 | 7:39 am

      Granted, if the Yankees can sweep the Red Sox, then this would help…but, that’s a big task.

    4. Joel
      August 25th, 2008 | 9:32 am

      They don’t even have to sweep the Red Sox. Two out of three will be just fine. There is enough time. We still have 20 percent of the season left.

    5. August 25th, 2008 | 10:17 am

      Two of three gains one game, in the net end. That’s not much at all.

    6. August 25th, 2008 | 10:18 am

      ~~The real question is if the multicolored Sox will lose enough to make it possible. The Red Sox probably will, as banged up as they are and playing the Yankees 6 times before the end of the season, but i’m not so sure about the Whie Sox~~

      Don’t forget about the Twins and Blue Jays too.

    7. Raf
      August 25th, 2008 | 10:58 am

      Remember, many so-called smart guys wrote this team off numerous times this year and in past years. (For some reason, they always rush to write off the Yankees.)
      ——————
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-LFBNbDzBs

      :D

    8. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 25th, 2008 | 11:14 am

      The real question is if the multicolored Sox will lose enough to make it possible. The Red Sox probably will, as banged up as they are and playing the Yankees 6 times before the end of the season

      _______________________________

      After the Yankee series, the Sox are at home for 19 of the last 28 games, where they play .705 ball. Do you really expect that they will play .500 the rest of the way? On top of that, the Yankees play a majority of their remaining games are away.

      If the schedules were reversed I would say that the Yankees have a shot at making up the deficit. But as things stand, and all things considered, its an extremely long shot to make up the deficit and climb over two teams for the wild card.

      Not impossible but extremely difficult and unlikely.

    9. butchie22
      August 25th, 2008 | 12:24 pm

      It is very difficult for the Yanks to make it to the playoffs at this point. Why? The Yanks do play the weakened Red Sox BUT who comes into town after the Beaners? Yankee kryptonite….Halladay and Burnett! The Jays will not lay down and die against the Yankees. So there are no gimmes, except for maybe Seattle. Then the Yanks have to play too many winning teams. It’s an uphill battle. In addition, who says that the Twins or White Sox trail off to allow the Yanks to make it to the Wild Card top spot? I think that Chicago and the Twinkies are right now better than the Yanks, Sox ,Jays and all the other teams in this hunt. It will be interesting to see how Minnesota does on their road trip, that would decide the season.

      BTW, Once was I don’t think that the Sox are that strong right now with so many injuries including Ellsbury now. Yeah, they are a dominant home team BUT with no Manny and Beckett being a question mark after that rout by Toronto , who knows? Thanks to a lucky call yesterday( Baseball seems like it’s becoming like wrestling with these activist umps especially this year, thank God for instant replay), Stairs was safe at the plate, Boston would have lost two to the Jays. With these injuries, the Red Sox are just like the Rays , Yanks and Jays in their division: injury plagued teams. The one caveat seems to be Tampa. Did anyone think that after Longoria, Crawford and Percival being out that they would be this good even still?

    10. Joel
      August 25th, 2008 | 1:57 pm

      The Yankee offense is a big, fat, ugly, overfed sleeping dog. Should the offense wake up–and we saw signs of that in Baltimore where they crushed Cabrera–they will make the post-season.

      This offense is capable of scoring 250 runs in the last 32 games. The maddening Robinson Cano alone could hit .450 the rest of the way, and would anyone be surprised?

    11. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 25th, 2008 | 3:48 pm

      Butchie,
      Ellsbury is not injured. He didn’t come out of the game, and there is nothing I’ve seen that indicates that he is anything other than a little banged up.

      Furthermore, they are 14-7 since Manny was shipped out, a .667 clip, and have scored more runs in August than any team other than the Orioles (they may have scored more than them now, too, I’m not sure).

      So long as Beckett makes his return on Friday, I am not at all concerned about the injuries. Yes, I’d rather have Drew in the lineup than Crisp but even Coco, like Varitek, is starting to hit a little.

    12. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 25th, 2008 | 8:30 pm

      This offense is capable of scoring 250 runs in the last 32 games. The maddening Robinson Cano alone could hit .450 the rest of the way, and would anyone be surprised?

      ___________________________________

      An average of 7.8 runs a game. Wow. Have you got them penciled in for 100 wins? Even with a rotation that is 60% garbage on any given night, that’s gotta give them about an .850 winning percentage the rest of the way, doesn’t it?

      Or maybe you meant “is capable of” in the sense that Hillary Clinton “is capable of” campaigning extremely hard for Obama, it just doesn’t look like she’s really going to do it.

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