For the Record

I won’t pretend to speak on behalf of my fellow Sox fans, but there is sure to be a hullabaloo from a portion of Yankee fans if the Sox do, in fact, win the division.  It’s already started, in fact (sorry, Trisk, don’t mean to pick on you!).  "Hey, I thought you didn’t care about the division!"…"you’re celebrating something you said was meaningless!", etc.   But I don’t think that a belief that the division is less important an accomplishment because of the presence of the wild card (a belief I hold) should either preclude us Sox fans from celebrating a division win or prevent us from being excited about (potentially) having the best record in the American League.  Certainly there are spoils from such accomplishments (schedule choice, home field advantage), and certainly there is symbolic importance in the Sox winning a division for the first time in 12 years.  For me, it might quiet the silly "hey, the Sox always choke against the Yankees" garbage that is still popping up on television and in the press, despite the corrective 2004 postseason.  If the Sox do prevail this regular season, that means they will have won an ALCS over the Yankees in historic fashion, won a World Series, and also won the division while fending off for a good two months what has been the best team in all of baseball, all this in three years’ time.   That’s a pretty sound rejection of the old mythology history of our two teams, and I hope it stays in a proper state of obsolescence, no matter the urges of fabulist television producers and newspaper columnists across our fair land.

143 comments… add one

  • I recall one of my many Sox-related mental breakdowns came at my favorite bar during game 3 of the 2004 ALCS. The Sox were in the process of getting clobbered by the Yanks when my SF buddy from San Diego called to lament the evening’s events. I lashed out into a rant, “1918 will never end! We’re going to hear this for the rest of eternity! I can’t take it!”
    This is our new 1918.
    I was a high school senior sitting in the first base grandstand at Fenway when the Sox last clinched the East. It seems so long ago, now. I just hope they can hold out and beat the Yanks, this year.

    MrBlackthorne September 26, 2007, 9:30 am
  • No problem SF.
    But let’s get something straight, I have no issue with Sox fans celebrating when the Sox win the AL East. It’s a great accomplishment. Regardless of the 12/13 game lead you squandered away, it’s still a victory no matter how you slice it. My problem is with Sox fans (not all) making the statement that the division doesn’t matter, then they watch the Yankee games like Hawks. If it doesn’t matter, then why pay such close attention? If it doesn’t matter why make stupid remarks when the Yankees lose? If it’s “All Gravy” like Sox fans (not all) keep saying, then watch your team and don’t worry about what happens to the team from the Bronx. Here’s an example, my father in law refuses to recycle. To him recycling doesn’t matter. (I strongly disagree FYI) Being a man of his word I never find him poking around the recycling bin or cans trying to see what is going on with them. But rest assured if I ever find him in the recycling bin, I will let him know he’s a hypocrite :)

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 9:38 am
  • Francona and [some of] the RS nation spent the last 2 weeks downplaying the division title (when they were freefalling out of it), now turn around and start hyping it again.
    That’s just WEAK!

    J (yf) September 26, 2007, 9:38 am
  • the Yankee fans who say that are just trying to salvage what they had left in their team. A team that has had the best second half record EVER under Torre couldn’t manage to make up enough ground and take the Al east. As a sox fan it really doesn’t mean much to us to win the Al east.
    however in that same vein it means a lot to not let the yankees win it. because to THEM the AL east is a big cou, it is something to hold up and be proud of, it is something to brag about. as you have seen numerous Yankee fans brag about rings and AL east wins right here on this blog.
    and if the sox can prevent those pretentious jackasses from being able to brag about it…then yes the AL east means something to me.
    in 24 hours I will be in my car embarking on a road trip from Lincoln Nebraska that will end in boson MA for the last day of the season and the home playoff games for the first round. along the way I will be at the great American ballpark, PNC park, and Shea before I get to Fenway. I would love to be there when they clinched on saturday/sunday but the sooner it happens the better. and the sooner the Yankees get swept in the first round….even better.

    TheTree1918 September 26, 2007, 9:39 am
  • ” If the Sox do prevail this regular season, that means they will have won an ALCS over the Yankees in historic fashion, won a World Series, and also won the division while fending off for a good two months what has been the best team in all of baseball, all this in three years’ time.”
    Is p*ssing away a 12/13 game lead, then playing decent enough ball to fend off a team that had to play .600+ ball to even get in contention something to put in your media guide?
    The Boston Red Sox…proud to have come back from the biggest deficit in playoff history, we ended 86 years of pain and oh yeah we had a 14.5 game lead in June, p*ssed away 13 of those games, then held on to win the AL East. Pride, Power, Red Sox. 2008.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 9:44 am
  • It’s a gravy that we love oh so much.

    Kevin (SF) September 26, 2007, 10:00 am
  • Ok, we lost some ground in the second half but don’t forget that the Yanks had to play .600+ ball in the second half of the season because the spent the first half collapsing. And apparently that collapse by the Yanks was still greater than the Sox loss of ground.

    soxgirl September 26, 2007, 10:00 am
  • Wow, Trisk, that’s a pretty high level of douchebaggery from you. I expect that from the other greasy, gold chained, pinky ringed, mouth breathing, arrogant, entitled, homophobic Yankee fans, but not from you.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 10:01 am
  • Was that really you, Trisk, in that last comment? The point is that if the Sox win, it’s not because they played insanely great ball under the pressure of playing in front of another insanely hot team, it’s that they still won the division despite being put under decent pressure (partly their own doing, for sure). In other words, the idea that the Sox always fold under Yankee heat will be (should the Sox prevail, of course) fiction.
    I do agree with you regarding Sox fans who say “the division doesn’t matter at all” celebrating the division as if they’ve just slain Goliath. That’s not a pretty sight. For me, it’s not that the division doesn’t matter at all, it’s that the division matters less. But just because the division matters less doesn’t mean that some praise for our team is inappropriate.

    SF September 26, 2007, 10:03 am
  • “”The Boston Red Sox…proud to have come back from the biggest deficit in playoff history, we ended 86 years of pain and oh yeah we had a 14.5 game lead in June, p*ssed away 13 of those games, then held on to win the AL East. Pride, Power, Red Sox. 2008. ”
    yanks media guides reads, “we should be entitled to a playoff spot based upon history and reputation alone.”

    Ric September 26, 2007, 10:08 am
  • The Boston Red Sox…proud to have come back from the biggest deficit in playoff history, we ended 86 years of pain and oh yeah we had a 14.5 game lead in June, p*ssed away 13 of those games, then held on to win the AL East. Pride, Power, Red Sox. 2008.
    The only way the Sox could have not “pissed away” a 14.5 game lead would have been to win 108 games. That’s a bit unrealistic. Or, the Yankees would have had to play .575 to .600 ball in the second half, as opposed to playing stupendous, near .700 ball. I imagine with some review you’ll recognize the mild silliness of your statement.

    SF September 26, 2007, 10:10 am
  • i’m all for celebrating the division title. i think, in this day, coming away with the best record in the game is probably a more impressive accomplishment than winning the series, even if it’s not the goal. so no qualms from me about the sox celebrating, although it’s kind of ironic that many here have essentially rained on their own parade in dismissing its importance.
    HOWEVER
    i find it entirely ridiculous that sf insists (here and elsewehere) on rejecting what he calls the traditional “narrative” or “mythology” that posits the sox as chokers to the yankees, while imposing his own “narrative” of a Sox in ascendancy since 2004, when the yanks had what has been oft referred to here asl “the biggest choke in baseball history.”
    why not dispense with loaded terms like “choke”? the history of this rivalry has been characterized by the yankees out-performing the sox in the front office and on the bench, resulting in dominance on the field. that’s changed recently. now both teams are well run, and have been fairly evenly matched. in 2003, the yanks squeeked by in the alcs. in 2004, the sox squeeked by. were the sox screwed by grady little in 2003? did the yanks lose their narrow advantage when they lost olerud mid-series in 2004? what’s a choke and what’s just losing?
    the narrative is defined by the winner. for a long time, that was the yanks. there’s a new paradigm now, and it’s about equality.

    YF September 26, 2007, 10:13 am
  • Yankees Media guide…
    “We got rid of Sheffield and Giambi went clean, so we’re finally off steroids, we lost the division of course, but we’re clean!”

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 10:13 am
  • “douchebaggery”
    lockland’s pot calling trisk’s kettle black
    sf, i’m torn by your suggestion that you team deserves praise…how do i true that up with the gloom and doom of many of your recent posts about how lousy they had played over that stretch and how seriously flawed they were…just like i don’t feel like praising the yankees for their “comeback”…their terrible play in the first half of the year put them in that mess…or, can i use the injury card like sox fans did last year and give the yanks a pass?…
    celebrate away gang, you earned it, but don’t drink too much of the champagne…i think you’ve reminded yf’s for the past 10 years that winning the division is nothing if you can’t finish the job in the playoffs…win the world series again, then i’ll tip my hat to you…

    dc September 26, 2007, 10:14 am
  • Just fighting fire with fire DC, I didn’t start it.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 10:18 am
  • how do i true that up with the gloom and doom of many of your recent posts about how lousy they had played over that stretch and how seriously flawed they were
    Easy, I was wrong about the regular season and the division – I picked the Yanks to win it before the season started and never undid my prediction. But I still think they have some flaws going into the postseason. To be factual, I haven’t ever said the Sox weren’t playoff-worthy, just that my confidence in them going deep in the playoffs isn’t high. It’s still not, just so you know.
    or, can i use the injury card like sox fans did last year and give the yanks a pass?…
    I think it’s totally fair to speculate that had the Yankees not had such devestating injuries early in the season they might have won the division. I don’t think this is “excuse-making”. I think it’s reasonable. But at this point, the Yankees can’t lean on that as an excuse, going forward. Nor can the Sox, if Manny and Youk are healthy.
    As for drinking Champagne – the Sox haven’t even won the division yet, so I am not even going near a bottle. When they do win, I think I’ll look at a bottle, and leave it corked for potential postseason successes, which is the ultimate goal.

    SF September 26, 2007, 10:19 am
  • I just want to say that I have never, ever gone on record as saying the division doesn’t matter. It’s obviously LESS important than getting into the playoffs, but I have been rooting for it since day one and expressing here and elsewhere that I would/will be disappointed (devastated would be closer to the truth) if the Sox cough it up, especially this late in the season.
    And the job is still not done. The Yankees have given the one “mathematically expected” loss we could have hoped for in the final few days. The Sox now have the chance to really just take care of business on their own terms. Winning record in the last 5 games against sub-.500 teams at home. It’s more within sight than it has been before, but still days of baseball to play. This could turn around horribly in two days.

    Devine September 26, 2007, 10:22 am
  • I didn’t realize what I said was so controversial? Sorry to disappoint you Lockland. I wasn’t trying to be a douchebag, that’s the truth. I am only trying to make a point. I gave the Yankees hell when they struggled and underachieved. If being honest is being a douchebag, then I guess that’s me.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 10:22 am
  • Didn’t they finished 3rd last year? ;) Okay, just trolling, ignore me.. grumbles on Yanks losing..

    Lar September 26, 2007, 10:28 am
  • i find it entirely ridiculous that sf insists (here and elsewehere) on rejecting what he calls the traditional “narrative” or “mythology” that posits the sox as chokers to the yankees, while imposing his own “narrative” of a Sox in ascendancy since 2004, when the yanks had what has been oft referred to here asl “the biggest choke in baseball history.”
    This is absurd, YF. You are reacting to something I am not doing. Your last paragraph summarizes what I feel exactly, we aren’t in any kind of disagreement on this one, so cut the phony indignance. I haven’t asked for a “new narrative” of a “Sox in ascendancy”, nothing of the sort. I have only stated that I don’t think the old narrative of “Sox-as-chokers-in-Yankee-heat” is, um, old/annoying/potentially irrelevant to the present. There’s no sentiment on my part that the Sox are the new Yankees, or that there’s a new paradigm of Sox dominance, or anything like that. YOU are twisting my statement into something it is not.
    Of course, the Sox still need to win the division. And not fold in a tense ALCS. ;-)

    SF September 26, 2007, 10:31 am
  • “That’s just WEAK!” – J (YF)
    What is weak beyond all weak is (some, but a whole lot) of Yankees fans throwing Joe under the bus for the first half of the season, calling for his demise, then when the team does a 180 praise him like he is the best thing in pinstripes. I am not trying to pick a fight but mirrors speak volumes in times of criticism.

    Shawn September 26, 2007, 10:32 am
  • I really don’t think it’s hypocritical to say that winning the division isn’t as important as getting in to the post-season, but still be excited if they do win the division.
    What ever, this is a silly argument, nothing is over yet. Hell, the Yankees aren’t even in the post-season yet.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 10:33 am
  • I am only trying to make a point.
    What point, Trisk? That the Sox should have won 108 games and held a 14 game lead? That the Yanks didn’t play GREAT baseball over the second half?
    I don’t understand how you could write that statement, which is nothing but a mockery of the Sox, and expect it to be seen as anything but that. It seemed extremely out of character for you, tone-wise. I even checked the IP to see if it was really you.

    SF September 26, 2007, 10:34 am
  • Ditto what SF just said. I really didn’t think it was you either.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 10:35 am
  • all i’ve learned from this season is that we have 2 good, not great, teams, and our emotions swing with their fortunes…sox won the first half and the yanks won the second half…the third half [huh?…] is about to begin…

    dc September 26, 2007, 10:48 am
  • Winning the division does not matter in any way close to the way it did before the (personally-detested) realignment. It does not carry the same clout (nor obvious necessity) as it did when the best from the east met the best from the west for the pennant. Now you end up with crap teams like the 82-win Padres of ’05 and the 83-win Cards of ’06 in the post as “Division Winners”. So be it; everyone tells me it is good for the game and it certainly comes in handy in the selfish sense this year, what with the Sox playing _unbelievable_ baseball for the first two months of the year while the Yankees ranged from mediocre to truly pathetic. I’m still sick over that late-June NL road trip where the Yankees gagged in Coors and in the Bay. Frankly, I’m still pissed.
    I’d be a liar if I said that seeing the Sox atop the East at the end of the season, bringing the string of div titles to a close, won’t make me feel a bit wistful but it is an academic conversation and ultimately meaningless. Besides, once the Yankees got first place in the division over Boston on a technicality in 2005 (identical W/L records, 10-9 in head-to-head, it BEGGED a one game playoff if the division title really meant all that much), the streak was already made meaningless except as a naval-scratcher.

    attackgerbil September 26, 2007, 10:53 am
  • Talking about streaks….
    The old and tired, and therefor streaky, Yanks have experienced 5 losing streaks this year which could eliminate them from the WC hunt. Each of those streaks have occured with their being on the road.
    Yeah, I know, almost an impossibility, right? But if it did happen just think of the positives for Yank fans. For example, nobody would remember 2004.
    :o)

    BostonRAW September 26, 2007, 11:10 am
  • What the hell are we arguing about?
    Whoever wins the AL East will have bragging rights for about a week. Then it won’t matter. All that will matter of the 2007 season is which team, Boston or NY, makes it further in October. That’s all that ever matters. The AL East title is always either a consolation prize, or a footnote.
    So can we stop with the bickering? This site was interesting for a while, but it seems to be descending back into standard Boston-New York idiocy. This comment thread is basically a mindless rehashing of stupid insults from both sides. Isn’t anybody else tired of typing the same arguments over and over and over again?

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 26, 2007, 11:11 am
  • SF: Are you kidding? You’ve been harping on the poor play of the Sox for months and now Trisk makes some tounge-in-cheek comment about how the Sox have lost most of their lead and you’re like, “should the sox have won 108 games”?!? give it a rest.

    YF September 26, 2007, 11:11 am
  • “The only way the Sox could have not “pissed away” a 14.5 game lead would have been to win 108 games. That’s a bit unrealistic…”
    “Using James’ Pythagorean theorum and PECOTA’s seemingly more realistic projections, 964 runs scored and 710 runs allowed would project roughly (I used the power of two instead of the power of 1.83) to a 105-57 record. Um, wow.
    Posted by Paul SF at 12:25 PM in General Red Sox, Predictions and Projections | Permalink”
    Maybe you thought so at the time, but you didn’t mention unrealistic in your comments in this thread.

    Anonymous September 26, 2007, 11:16 am
  • YF:
    Who pissed in your cornflakes these last two days? Honestly. You misread my original post, first of all. And Trisk’s comment seemed way out of character; it didn’t have much to do with the thrust of this post, it came off as a nasty piece of snark. What’s your problem?

    SF September 26, 2007, 11:17 am
  • me above
    and
    “Yeah, I know, almost an impossibility, right?”
    Honk-Honk!!!!

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 11:18 am
  • Um, that was Paul’s comment that was cited, not mine. I haven’t said much about pythagorean records at all, for good reason.

    SF September 26, 2007, 11:18 am
  • “Um, that was Paul’s comment that was cited, not mine.”
    did you miss: “Posted by Paul SF at 12:25 PM in General Red Sox, Predictions and Projections | Permalink”?

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 11:23 am
  • Pythagorean records are completely irrelevant because it fails to take into account blowout games where teams use “mop-up duty” pitchers to finish things out.
    Take the Red Sox game last night. Entering the 9th inning the Sox had a 7-1 lead, so they pulled Papelbon and put in Corey because they wanted him to get a little practice. Teams like the Red Sox and Yankees, who both tend to have a lot of blowout games because of the high amount of runs scored, tend to have skewed numbers.
    By the way, SF and YF: stop fighting. It’s silly.

    Atheose September 26, 2007, 11:26 am
  • Kurticus:
    I think your last statement sums up what I was getting at in my main thread, and which YF also reiterated in a comment above. I am not interested in the old, tired storylines. I am interested in the present. I love the history of the game and won’t ever forget the harrowing past events of Sox/Yanks, but this regular season, if the Sox hold on, along with the events of the recent past, don’t fit the old conventional wisdom of the Sox-Yanks rivalry. I think this is a good thing: our teams are two of the best and let’s see what happens from here on out.
    I am not sure why some of our YF commenters have misread it so badly: I am not proclaiming new dominance for the Sox, hardly that. I didn’t write that, I don’t believe that. I was simply pointing out that the division is worth celebrating even if it is diminished in importance, and that the media and some fans, if given the opportunity, will revert to a tired storyline; this is something I would/will find inappropriate.

    SF September 26, 2007, 11:26 am
  • Has it always been common practice in these parts to dump on the SOX when they are not doing well and harp on about how excellent NY is, but when the tide turns quietly mandate a policy of silence regarding the better team?
    For 2 weeks I have read about Wang being a shoo-in for the CY, Pudsada being the same for the HOF, and the Yanks generally being the best thing since sliced bread because of their stud starters (not), when in fact they have only been good enough to be a very good team for 2 1/2 months.
    Where are all the posts ackowledging the best team in baseball this year?
    Does a team really have to win its division and, afterwhich, the WS, to be recognized as the most consistant winner in baseball for a given year?
    Given the impact of injuries, I think not. The SOX are my champions of 2007. Winning their division will convince others of the same.

    BostonRAW September 26, 2007, 11:27 am
  • > Where are all the posts ackowledging the best team in baseball this year?
    Nobody here wants to talk about the Tribe.

    attackgerbil September 26, 2007, 11:34 am
  • SF’s, if Boston gets the best AL record and faces LA, which of the series do you expect them to opt for? I know what Cleveland will opt for vs. NY if they get the best record (the longer series that allows them to pitch Sabathia/Carmona twice each) and am wondering if it should make any difference from the Yanks perspective if Boston gets it because they too might choose the long series, thereby forcing Cleveland to go into their #3 and #4 starters vs. NY. Would Boston choose the longer series so they have more rest for their shaky bullpen and don’t have to dip into a #4 starter? Or would they go for the shorter series that forces LA deeper into their recently shallow starting rotation?
    Or is it simply a no-brainer that every team would choose the longer series simply to rest up its best starters and relief guys between all but games 3 and 4 of the ALDS?

    IronHorse (yf) September 26, 2007, 11:35 am
  • “For 2 weeks I have read about Wang being a shoo-in for the CY, Pudsada being the same for the HOF”
    BRAW: please find citations for each of these clownish statements. Oh yeah, you can’t. If you want to debate, try starting out by not lying off the bat.

    IronHorse (yf) September 26, 2007, 11:36 am
  • Agreed, IH. There’s been debate about Posada and Wang, but hardly like what RAW says.

    SF September 26, 2007, 11:39 am
  • IH:
    If the Sox get Cleveland, they pick the short series. If they get the Angels, I have absolutely no clue.

    SF September 26, 2007, 11:40 am
  • Atheose, just pointing out that SF didn’t call the 105 wins figure in Paul’s post “unrealistic” at the time.

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 11:41 am
  • SF- Yeah, I don’t have a problem with the post itself, it just seems like the comment threads have recently become less interesting baseball talk and more bleachertalk. I enjoy the bleacher taunts as much as anybody, but only when we’re in the bleachers. Otherwise, it just gets old.
    Attackgerbil- “Nobody here wants to talk about the Tribe.” hahahaha, nicely done. I feel tempted to respond to BRaw, but I don’t think there’s much point.
    Anyway, I just want this week to end so we can start watching playoff games. At this point, whatever happens happens. Let’s get it over with and get to the real games.

    KurticusMaximus- YF September 26, 2007, 11:42 am
  • “Anyway, I just want this week to end so we can start watching playoff games.”
    I don’t, it means another long winter of no baseball games to go to, to watch, not knowing what to do with 3 1/2 hours every night. Cold, snow…

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 11:52 am
  • “If the Sox do prevail this regular season, that means they will have won an ALCS over the Yankees in historic fashion, won a World Series, and also won the division while fending off for a good two months what has been the best team in all of baseball, all this in three years’ time. That’s a pretty sound rejection of the old mythology history of our two teams, and I hope it stays in a proper state of obsolescence, no matter the urges of fabulist television producers and newspaper columnists across our fair land.”
    How is this a “pretty sound rejection of the old mythology”? 2004 was one season. One championship, albeit in historic fashion. It’s funny how the following two season just didn’t matter…
    2005: Yankees 10, Red Sox 9- Yankees win AL East, both lose in first round of playoffs
    2006: Yankees 11, Red Sox 8- Yankees win AL East, effectively knock out Sox with “Boston Massacre II”, Sox finish 3rd
    2007: Yankees 10, Red Sox 8- Looks like SOx will win division, Yankees WC
    It would seem to me that minus one season, and of course what MAY happen this year, that your hypothesis that the “old mythology” (which is actually factual) is a little premature?

    krueg September 26, 2007, 11:57 am
  • “The SOX are my champions of 2007.”
    How heartwarming. I’m sure this means so much to Boston’s players and management. Did you put a cute little “my champions for 2007″ scratch-n-sniff sticker on the team logo to mark the momentous occasion? Hello kitty maybe?
    On more important matters, I’ve been surprised by LA’s recent struggles – are they just resting up key players and their bullpen or is something else going on with them? I know Vlad has played hurt for a while, but this team was playing so well I am surprised to see them lose 4 out of 5 this last week. Anyone actually following what is going on with them?

    IronHorse (yf) September 26, 2007, 11:58 am
  • I’ve noticed it Ironhorse, but assumed that they were resting key players. I haven’t done any research or anything, it was just a guess.
    One thing I’m enjoying is seeing the Rockies compete for the NL Wild Card spot. They’ve won 9 in a row and are tied with the Phillies, both 1-game back of the Padres (who are now without Milton Bradley). I would love to see the Rox in the playoffs.

    Atheose September 26, 2007, 12:03 pm
  • By the way, BRAW is an idiot. I don’t give a crap about the Sox having the best record in baseball if they don’t do well in the playoffs. It’s all about the World Series, dude.

    Atheose September 26, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • Atheose, just pointing out that SF didn’t call the 105 wins figure in Paul’s post “unrealistic” at the time
    The quote you cite was from a post from January ’07, an exhaustive theoretical job by Paul that generated some good discussion, but one in which I didn’t participate. I have generally been skeptical of pythagorean records, Andrews, and on the record as such.

    SF September 26, 2007, 12:09 pm
  • Krueg:
    I struckthrough “mythology” on purpose, since, as I say, the Sox’ track record is history. But the old history isn’t the same as what might be the new history. That’s the point.

    SF September 26, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • In fact, Andrews, my distaste for pythag was such common knowledge that Nick needled me for it way back in ’06!
    http://yanksfansoxfan.typepad.com/ysfs/2006/05/early_stories_a.html

    SF September 26, 2007, 12:14 pm
  • ” If the Sox do prevail this regular season, that means they will have won an ALCS over the Yankees in historic fashion, won a World Series, and also won the division while fending off for a good two months what has been the best team in all of baseball, all this in three years’ time.”
    -SF
    “Is p*ssing away a 12/13 game lead, then playing decent enough ball to fend off a team that had to play .600+ ball to even get in contention something to put in your media guide?
    The Boston Red Sox…proud to have come back from the biggest deficit in playoff history, we ended 86 years of pain and oh yeah we had a 14.5 game lead in June, p*ssed away 13 of those games, then held on to win the AL East. Pride, Power, Red Sox. 2008.”
    -Me
    Gentlemen, really I have been here for about a year and I think my track record shows that I am not your average jerk off Yankee/Red Sox fan. I have pretty much always spoken rationally, regardless of which team I am speaking about. I just don’t see why I am being tagged as a “Douchebag” for saying that. My comment was really a reaction to SF’s statement about things to be proud of over the past 3 seasons. Ending 86 years of not winning, proud moment. Coming back down 3-0, proud moment. How you played in the second half is NOT. That’s my point. Just as the way the Yankees played in the 1st half is also an not a proud moment and is really only easier to swallow just because they have played .600+ ball over the last few months. I still, as a Yankee fan, I won’t sit here and say this is a season to remember. I wouldn’t put this in the Yankee Media Guide either. If they hadn’t played such awful baseball early, they wouldn’t have had to play .600+ ball to get to the Wild Card. I apologize to SF, since he is the founder of this site if you honestly thought I was being a “douchebag” I was being honest, that’s all.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 12:20 pm
  • Hey, I didn’t call you a douchebag. I thought your comments were uncharacteristic, that’s all.
    No offense taken, Trisk.
    A minor quibble: the Sox haven’t unilaterally “pissed away” a 14.5 game lead. It took phenomenal play by the Yankees to make the current diminished lead possible. That’s a key component of the context, I think.

    SF September 26, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • OK, SF, that was before my time; but, it seems out of character for you not to dismiss a prediction of a 105 wins for the sox based on something you had a distaste for – unless maybe you believed it to be realistic? :)

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 12:25 pm
  • no “a” needed before 105… sorry

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 12:26 pm
  • I never would have predicted a 105 win season for the Sox. Hell, I predicted them to win the Wild Card this year, so that means that if I agreed with Paul’s study that I also expected the Yankees to win 105+. Two 105-win teams in one division? You really think I could think that?
    My silence in that thread shouldn’t have been taken as complicity, I don’t think that’s entirely fair.

    SF September 26, 2007, 12:28 pm
  • Let’s all focus on something a little cheerier: Jonathan Papelbon’s.
    -His career ERA is now 1.65, the second lowest of any pitcher after his first three seasons (minimum: 150 innings)
    -He has the best strikeout rate in AL history (13.34 per nine innings)
    I didn’t notice these stats until reading Boston Dirt Dogs this morning. Wow.

    Atheose September 26, 2007, 12:29 pm
  • I like how
    “pissing away a lead”
    in reality is holding off a team who played .700 ball and played the BEST SECOND HALF EVER under their current manager.
    yep…if that is pissing away a lead then let the urine flow. however the Yankees played out of their heads good in the second half….and it still isn’t good enough.

    TheTree1918 September 26, 2007, 12:31 pm
  • For the record, I didn’t call you a dbag either Trisk, I said it was a “pretty high level of douchebaggery from you.”
    I just thought it was odd from you, for the reasons you pointed out, for the reasons we all know. It was just very out of character.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 12:32 pm
  • Bobby Abreu… sweet as candy

    John Sterling September 26, 2007, 12:34 pm
  • Curious, Lockland how you feel that:
    “The Boston Red Sox…proud to have come back from the biggest deficit in playoff history, we ended 86 years of pain and oh yeah we had a 14.5 game lead in June, p*ssed away 13 of those games, then held on to win the AL East. Pride, Power, Red Sox. 2008.”
    gives you license to say:
    “I expect that from the other greasy, gold chained, pinky ringed, mouth breathing, arrogant, entitled, homophobic Yankee fans, but not from you.”
    Not cool.
    …and you refer to Trisk’s comment as douchebaggery…

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 12:43 pm
  • Understood Lockland, but put things in perspective. I was juding your team. You went a little overboard and made some pretty harsh remarks about Yankee fans. The shocking part is that nobody got all up in arms over your comment, but went crazy about mine. I really am sorry that I pissed you off so bad that you would say such disparaging things about Yankee fans. Not trying to get all PC, but come on. You have always been cool to me, so I guess we can chalk it up to anger speaking. For the record I have a pinky ring and gold chain, but wear neither. :)
    “Wow, Trisk, that’s a pretty high level of douchebaggery from you. I expect that from the other greasy, gold chained, pinky ringed, mouth breathing, arrogant, entitled, homophobic Yankee fans, but not from you.”

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 12:50 pm
  • My apologies for the overlap Andrews.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 12:51 pm
  • OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Sorry, just caught my pinky-ring in my gold chain. Luckily I was able to use the grease from my hair to loosen things up and disentangle myself.

    IronHorse (yf) September 26, 2007, 12:56 pm
  • Point taken, Trisk/Andrews. I’ve been moderating the name-calling much more lately and I should have been more proactive and said something about Lockland’s comment. So I’ll take some heat for not doing my own job as an author here. When I read it the first time I thought that he was just teasing about the idiotic stereotyping (like all Sox fans as “wicked pissah yelling racists” or something like that), but I can see how it might not translate. My bad – I should have mentioned it.

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • “Sorry, just caught my pinky-ring in my gold chain. Luckily I was able to use the grease from my hair to loosen things up and disentangle myself.”
    yeah, well me and sully totally soaked our goatees while chugging down our beeahs while making fun of black people ;)

    Ric September 26, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • Are you guys serious? You guys don’t see the point in my post?
    I felt that Trisk’s comment was a below the belt cheap shot, so I fired back with the laughable Yankee fan stereotype. I wasn’t at all serious.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • Sorry, just caught my pinky-ring in my gold chain. Luckily I was able to use the grease from my hair to loosen things up and disentangle myself.
    I just laughed so hard I almost spit up my turkey sandwich. Thanks IH ;-)

    Atheose September 26, 2007, 1:02 pm
  • At least IronHorse and Ric get it.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 1:03 pm
  • IH’s comment about hair grease is even funnier for those of us who have seen IH…
    Very Funny IH!!!

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 1:04 pm
  • SF: Your post seemed more like a statement that said history is already written, ie. 2004 World Series and 2007 AL East Champs. My point is that it is revisionist history, written by a Sox fan that leaves out the previous two seasons. If you are going to include 2004, then you have to take into account 2005-06. If you win the WS this year, you may have an argument, at least in the short term, but short of that there really is no argument for this “new history”…

    krueg September 26, 2007, 1:04 pm
  • P.S. I think you struck through mythology after I wrote my original post…

    krueg September 26, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • Krueg:
    The point is that the Sox shouldn’t have to be saddled with any more “the Sox always choke to the Yanks when under pressure” charges, which were prevalent this past week. For me, a division win would supplement 2004, which went a long ways but clearly not far enough based on the amount of claptrap that was aired this past week following the same, old narrative. This would be a positive collateral outcome, the ending of this narrative, as far as I am concerned. That’s not to say I think it should be replaced with a new, obverse narrative, not at all.
    But my hopes are probably naive: the same stuff will be trudged out if the Yankees beat the Sox in an ALCS, regardless of the merit.

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • IH for site MVP!!!

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • I struck through mythology when I wrote the post, K.

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:10 pm
  • ” the same stuff will be trudged out if the Yankees beat the Sox in an ALCS, regardless of the merit.”
    If that happens, you might have to reconsider the merit… :)

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 1:12 pm
  • True enough, Andrews!

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:14 pm
  • SF: I get your sentiments, but I think my point is that the Yankees MOSTLY do win and that one championship and one division title really don’t change that…until the Sox win the division 4 or 5 times in a row and win another two or three WS, beating the Yankees along the way, you are unfortunately going to have to deal with it. Obviously, the majority of writers and media type agree with me or else you wouldn’t still be hearing it, right?

    krueg September 26, 2007, 1:16 pm
  • My problem with the whole “pissing away” aspect of it is the Sox are 40-30 in the second half. Not super-fantastic (92-win pace for a whole season), but not crap at all.

    Devine September 26, 2007, 1:18 pm
  • So many comments, so little time.
    My problem is with Sox fans (not all) making the statement that the division doesn’t matter, then they watch the Yankee games like Hawks.
    I feel comments like this are in some way directed at me because I posted the “Why?” thread. I’m on the record as putting a high personal priority on the division. I’m also on the record as recognizing that given the choice, I’d rather the Sox align themselves properly and rest for the playoffs, even if it means losing the division. In that sense, the division — while eprsonally gratifying to me and worthy of celebration — is simply not as important in the current era of baseball, beyond the home-field and scheduling advantages (that seem to have mattered little in previous series).
    Trisk, it’s douchebaggery to say the Red Sox “pissed away” a 14-game lead when the reality is completely different from that. The Yankees played amazing ball, and the Red Sox (seemingly) have held them off. If you want to take credit away from the Yankees to make a petty point, then feel free, but a 40-30 record in the second half is not exactly “pissing away” anything.
    Andrews, no one “predicted” the Red Sox would win 105 games. You also conveniently leave out my very next statement: This is all in fun, of course. They play the games for a reason. The figures were derived from projections released by third-party sources using a formula from that same source. Pythagoras obviously has flaws, as does projecting players before the season begins. But having a little fun with it and coming up with a win-loss number is not “predicting” anything, particularly since you also leave out my comment later in that thread: I don’t think the Sox will do that well anyhow, but it’s fun to see. So, again, you’ve made a comment the purpose for which I fail to see except to be argumentative.

    Paul SF September 26, 2007, 1:20 pm
  • K:
    The narrative is extreme. “the Sox always fold to the Yankees!”, “the mighty Yankees always rise to the occasion!”.
    The way Fox, ESPN, some of the print media, and some fans tout it is what I hope dissipates. I don’t doubt it will always exist, but my hope is that the cliche begins to go away and that we can just watch our teams without the silly backdrop of hyperbole.

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:20 pm
  • Wait, the Sox have to win two or three WS AND beat the Yanks on the way before we can be free of these particular shackles?
    It’s always in Yankees fans’ and the media’s interest to promote this choke stuff. It won’t change if the Red Sox win two more WS and the Yankees win none in the meantime, so I choose to ignore that aspect of things and pay attention to the achievements in a given year.

    Devine September 26, 2007, 1:23 pm
  • and that we can just watch our teams without the silly backdrop of hyperbole.
    I can tell you right now that will never happen.

    Paul SF September 26, 2007, 1:24 pm
  • You don’t need to tell me, Paul. I know. I know.

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • Well, let’s see. The Sox won a World Series and a certain someone wrote that the Sox needed to win a division to exorcise the demons. If the Sox win the division then the next logical extension will be “the Sox need to win the division AND the series”. And after that it will be “the Sox need to win the division with the most wins in history then go on to win the series to be free of the demons”, and then it will be “and the Sox need to win the division with the best record in history and sweep all three series to be free of the demons” and then it will be “the Sox need to win the division with the best record in history and then sweep all three series and then cure cancer” to be free of the demons.
    It will never end. Count the rings and all that…
    This is bad for all of us, I think.

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:31 pm
  • “The way Fox, ESPN, some of the print media, and some fans tout it is what I hope dissipates”
    At which point Dan Shaughnessy will have to look for a real job.

    Ron Newman September 26, 2007, 1:31 pm
  • I like how all Sox fans are being tarred with one brush.
    This Sox fan never said the division didn’t matter and wants Boston to take it. Home field advantage is important in this postseason, especially since the Yankees are unusually strong when playing in The Toilet.

    Anonymous September 26, 2007, 1:32 pm
  • I’m actually not sure I’ve heard ANY Sox fan say the division didn’t matter to them. I’m sure they’re out there, though…

    Paul SF September 26, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • “I feel comments like this are in some way directed at me because I posted the “Why?” thread.”
    I can honestly tell you Paul they were in no way directed to you. You didn’t even come to mind when I was typing that.
    “Trisk, it’s douchebaggery to say the Red Sox “pissed away” a 14-game lead when the reality is completely different from that. The Yankees played amazing ball, and the Red Sox (seemingly) have held them off. If you want to take credit away from the Yankees to make a petty point, then feel free, but a 40-30 record in the second half is not exactly “pissing away” anything.”
    Again read all my comments, not just one. It seemed to me that SF was listing holding off the Yankees as an accomplishment. That’s what my comment was directed at. If you want to harp on the “pissing away” comment, knock yourself out. The point is and was that they didn’t play up to their potential in the second half. You have complained over and over again about how upsetting the final 80 or so games have been, even taking a break from your team, then you want be to believe that you are proud of this achievement? This second half has been almost as frustrating for you Sox fans as the 1st half was for us Yankee fans (judging from the reactions around here) and now holding them off is something hang your hat on? Pick a side of the fence.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 1:36 pm
  • I was frustrated enough by the 60 or so games in June and July to take a break, Trisk. The Red Sox since then have played much better ball, the Blue Jays series aside. Overall, the Red Sox in the second half played good baseball — not great like in the first half, but good, certainly good enough to hold a 14-game lead if the other team is playing great baseball. The problem is the Yankees didn’t play great baseball. They played AMAZING baseball.
    And considering how frustrating the second half was for us Sox fans, isn’t the fact that the Sox held off a Yankee team playing so well something we SHOULD hang our hats on?

    Paul SF September 26, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • Douchebaggery aside, I have no idea what anyone in this debate should be pounding their chest over.
    Yankee fans shouldn’t be celebrating a salvage job, no matter how unprecedented their second half winning percentage may be.
    The only thing lamer is Sox fans who STILL reference 2004 as if all before and after never happened. When Yankee fans bring up the 4 most recent championships, that’s somehow ancient history even though there are more Yankees from those teams (many of whom are still performing well) on the current roster than 2004 Red Sox carry-overs.
    But hey it wouldn’t be a Yanks Sox debate without some selective memory from RSN.
    And, for the record, the division title does matter between these two teams, and always has – WC or no WC. It’s cowardly on both sides to pretend otherwise.

    lp September 26, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • Certainly the second half has been frustrating, Trisk, but I don’t think staving off (if the Sox finish the job) the Yankees’ hardest ever second-half charge (and those second-half charges are not few in number) with a merely reasonable W-L record in the second half should taint the overall accomplishments of the season, or even be frowned on in its own light.
    Now *that* was a sentence.

    Devine September 26, 2007, 1:41 pm
  • “IH’s comment about hair grease is even funnier for those of us who have seen IH…”
    Ouch. Now that hurts. How true it is…sigh…
    By the way, I’ve seen more of the incredibly original “Choke, the official soft drink of the NY Yankees” t-shirts on Sox fans than I have the reverse on Yanks fans.
    2004 did away with one thing only as far as bleacher-fandom goes – that is the “1918” chants (and related pariphernalia). I imagine the “choke” thing will get thrown back and forth by some sector of each teams’ fans every time one of them comes back improbably against the other.

    IronHorse (yf) September 26, 2007, 1:42 pm
  • gentlemen please, this is baseball, a family game… now I have to go kill Susan because she’s ruining my broadcasting image

    John Sterling September 26, 2007, 1:46 pm
  • It seemed to me that SF was listing holding off the Yankees as an accomplishment.
    I listed is as an example of reality not fitting the cliche narrative” of “the Sox always folding to the Yankees, which was the main point of this post. This post wasn’t about the independent qualitative nature of the division win.

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:49 pm
  • “Yankee fans shouldn’t be celebrating a salvage job, no matter how unprecedented their second half winning percentage may be.”
    Me: “as a Yankee fan, I won’t sit here and say this is a season to remember. I wouldn’t put this in the Yankee Media Guide either. If they hadn’t played such awful baseball early, they wouldn’t have had to play .600+ ball to get to the Wild Card.”
    No chest pounding here.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • IH, I wasn’t making fun, I hope you know that buddy! You seemed very open about being folically challened and to me, that’s what made that extra funny. Sorry if I offended you.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • “When Yankee fans bring up the 4 most recent championships, that’s somehow ancient history even though there are more Yankees from those teams (many of whom are still performing well) on the current roster than 2004 Red Sox carry-overs.”
    i think thats only true if you count yankees that left the team for several years and then came back this season.

    Ric September 26, 2007, 1:51 pm
  • The four recent championships aren’t brought up in terms of the Sox/Yanks head-to-head rivalry for the main reason that they mostly didn’t involve the Sox! Other than 1999, the Yanks won the division and beat the Sox in the playoffs just one time. And in none of those seasons, not even the playoffs of ’99, were there any kinds of “chokes”, just simple superiority by the Bombers. Again, to repeat for the 8 millionth time, I am addressing the cliche of “Sox fold under pressure to Yanks”, not the reality of many seasons of “the Sox lose to a far superior Yankees squad”.

    SF September 26, 2007, 1:57 pm
  • Trisk, not in the least bit offended here…really. But thanks for the note anyway. I have less hair than my 1-year old and came to terms with it over a decade ago. It’s a sign of wisdom, or so I tell myself. My burgeoning weight problem on the other hand….sorry, I was beginning to think this was Dr. Phil.
    Back to the task at hand: Kyle Farnsworth is in the middle of mini-resurgence number 3 or 4 for this year, this time as a result of pitching from the wind-up for the first time in years. Any YFs buying it for October? Not that we have a choice.

    IronHorse (yf) September 26, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • I have less hair than my 1-year old
    My burgeoning weight problem

    Dude, are we the same guy!?
    ;-)

    SF September 26, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • If we can move on from the division-winning argument (as if), I’d like to call everyone’s attention to the following stat that I’ve been watching with interest all season:
    Runs Scored – Runs Allowed
    ——————————
    Red Sox: 839 – 637 = 202
    ——————————
    Yankees: 923 – 748 = 175
    ——————————
    Angels: 813 – 710 = 103
    ——————————
    Indians: 783 – 684 = 99
    ——————————
    Rockies: 822 – 738 = 84
    ——————————
    Tigers: 861 – 782 = 79
    ——————————
    Padres: 698 – 631 = 67
    ——————————
    Cubs: 730 – 669 = 61
    ——————————
    Mets: 780 – 723 = 57
    ——————————
    Phillies: 867 – 810 = 57
    ——————————
    Brewers: 775 – 745 = 30
    ——————————
    D’Backs: 710 = -15 (!)
    ——————————
    This to me shows that (A) the Sox and Yankees are in a league of their own, with only two other teams hovering around the 100-run differential — let alone the 200-run differential.
    If the playoffs were not so fluky, I’d say that either Boston or New York ought to go all the way this year.
    Boston has played very well-balanced, quality baseball on the whole, with several oddly dismal stretches that have kept the division close. (If not for one normally stellar reliever completely crapping the bed in 4-5 games — EGag! — the Sox would be closing in on 100 wins.)
    The Yankees, by contrast, have offset more erratic pitching by mashing the ball into a pulp.
    No contender this year except the Padres beats Boston’s remarkably low Runs Allowed; and no one approaches the Yankees’ high Runs Scored.
    So what we have once again is two teams that are very different yet extremely evenly-matched. It would be rather weird (and very disappointing) not to see another epic confrontation in the ALCS this year, causing a major uptick in heart attacks in both cities.

    Hudson September 26, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • (Sorry, typo there for Arizona; they’ve scored 695 and allowed 710, for a -15 difference. Which is pretty damning of the N.L. West.)

    Hudson September 26, 2007, 2:10 pm
  • Hudson, interesting comment. Since pitching beats hitting every single year in October, just as defense wins every single post-season in the NFL, it would seem strictly from the stats that Boston has an edge.
    At the same time, such stats are so aggregated as to be pretty misleading I think – as the D’Backs ranking in particular shows given how well they have played.
    As a further indication, regardless of these stats and notwithstanding the Angels’ recent stumbles, they as a team still concern me more than Boston does in October even though they have compiled one half the runs differential that Boston has this year – and that’s not meant as a knock on SFs or false-bravado vis-a-vis NY’s chances vs. Boston. It’s based on recent history for the Yankees with LA that we all know. But it’s interesting to see the whole league ranked.
    Oh, and SF, “Dude, are we the same guy!?” – lol…

    IronHorse (yf) September 26, 2007, 2:24 pm
  • Wow you guys get fired up over some trivial stuff :)
    The way I see it, the Sox pissed way what should have been a gimme. After their start, and with their starting pitching, they should have easily won 100 games. And they would have too had they not gone overboard and traded for Gagne. :) Winning the division by 8 or 10 games is a small statement. A significant lead dwindling to 2 or 4 games means much less with the wild card.
    Otherwise, I agree with the assessment of the winner writing the history. There was much gnashing in 2005 about the division and for all that it meant nothing when both teams got booted in the first round. And a lot of YFs had alot of fun last year talking about the third place Sox team. Too bad it meant little after the Tigers showed them the door.
    The regular season is almost meaningless so long as you make the post-season – the one difference being match ups and homefield advantage. But after that it’s the games everyone will remember. And no doubt, when these teams meet in the ALCS, the only thing that matters is who wins. End of story.

    Pete September 26, 2007, 2:24 pm
  • > Kyle Farnsworth is in the middle of mini-resurgence number 3 or 4 for this year
    Any time I put any faith or hope in Farns, he does this to me.

    attackgerbil September 26, 2007, 2:28 pm
  • SF: Just admit the Yankees are the better franshise…jeez. (just kidding)
    I think what is also overlooked in this conversation is the fact that the Sox did not put the Yankees away. They had their chances but the Yankees won 9 out of the last 12 head to head meetings. Last season, given the same opportunity, the Yankees finished off the Sox…Now they are going to win the division, but if they had stepped on the Yankees throat, they very things you hate would not have even been spoken???

    krueg September 26, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • The main adjustment that needs to be made from the regular season RS-RA equation for the postseason is obvious… Namely, the shortened rotations.
    In theory this might help the Yankees close the gap with the Sox in runs allowed; likewise, the Sox pitching might in theory be able to diminish the Yankees’ run-scoring bonanza.
    I’d be interested in looking at how the various contenders’ hitters have fared against quality pitching (and how their pitchers have fared against quality hitting).

    Hudson September 26, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • AG: I laughed VERY hard at that photo…perfect perfect perfect. Thanks.
    Hudson: I think the main adjustment that needs to be made isn’t just shortened rotations but the RS/RA differentials for the particular post-season matchups. It doesn’t matter to me that NY’s RS/RA dwarfs everyone else other than Boston, there are still some teams…well, one team, that just matche up better against us than anyone else, and has for years because of how well they play to our weaknesses. This would come out better in the head-to-head RS/RAs and be much more relevant in my view (when also calibrated for the shortened rotations as you state) for getting some perspective on the playoff matchups.

    IronHorse (yf) September 26, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • And no doubt, when these teams meet in the ALCS, the only thing that matters is who wins. End of story.
    Oh god, I don’t think I can handle another ALCS showdown. Part of me wants that amazing drama, but part of me also knows that I lose years off my life every time the Sox play the Yanks in October. Solid objects get thrown, people get screamed at, neighbors call the police. It’s like being in prison, only with more alcohol and less sodomy.

    Atheose September 26, 2007, 2:48 pm
  • 2004 came very close to actually killing me, not joking in the slightest, near death.
    I can’t do that again.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 2:49 pm
  • Not sure if anyone else has brough this up, but Ian Kennedy has been ruled out for the 1st Round of playoffs due to his back issues.

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 2:51 pm
  • Ironhorse — Clearly, the closer one can drill down to the specific match-ups, the more possible it becomes to “model” the potential outcomes.
    But I don’t have that capability and I also know that once the playoffs start, pretty much anything can happen. A series can turn on a key injury or a handful of clutch at-bats.
    But I stand by my sense that the “big picture” numbers should put the Sox and Yanks at the top of any oddsmaker’s list, because their run differentials have been so far above everyone else in the majors this year.

    Hudson September 26, 2007, 2:54 pm
  • //2004 came very close to actually killing me, not joking in the slightest, near death.//
    Do be careful out there!
    It is hard to imagine that these teams could come up with a more nervewracking A.L. finale than 2004, but I don’t rule it out… I mean, did anyone after 2003 think it could get any crazier?

    Hudson September 26, 2007, 2:58 pm
  • Good point Hudson. Though if 2005 taught us anything, it’s that the postseason can be extremely anti-climactic. Stupid non-AL East teams.

    Atheose September 26, 2007, 3:01 pm
  • “Andrews, no one “predicted” the Red Sox would win 105 games. You also conveniently leave out my very next statement: This is all in fun, of course. They play the games for a reason. The figures were derived from projections released by third-party sources using a formula from that same source.”
    “Using James’ Pythagorean theorum and PECOTA’s seemingly more realistic projections, 964 runs scored and 710 runs allowed would project roughly (I used the power of two instead of the power of 1.83) to a 105-57 record. Um, wow.”
    If you read my comments I never said YOU predicted anything. I guess you want to split hairs over projection/prediction, huh?
    As for why I brought it up, SF said that 108 wins was unrealistic – wanted to see how he weighed in when you posted the figure of 105, and was surprised to see that he offered no argument in that post…
    Is that just “trying to be argumentative? I really don’t think, given your track record, that you should be hurling such accusations…

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 3:07 pm
  • I for one desperately hope the Sox and Yanks meet in the ALCS, if only because it completely destroys my appetite and very often also makes me nauseated. (I’m just a seven game playoff series away from my goal weight…)
    Kidding aside, I’m unbelievably nervous about playing the Yankees in the postseason, because of what kreug said above: the Sox did not put the Yankees away. They had their chances but the Yankees won 9 out of the last 12 head to head meetings.
    I don’t know who has the better team overall, and based on the run differentials Hudson posted above I’d say the Sox have the edge (pitching beats hitting, right?) but it seems like none of that matters at all when these two teams face each other. Drives me nuts.
    Of course, the ALCS could end up being Anaheim vs. Cleveland, so I’m trying not to worry about it too much.
    And as for the actual topic of this thread – I always wanted to win the division, and it would have grievously injured my soul to lose it in the last few weeks after being up by so many games earlier in the season. But I would have rationalized it away pretty quickly, and if the Sox went all the way as a WC (again) I would have gleefully eaten my crow. And if the Sox win the division but get bounced in the playoffs, I’ll probably be wailing and moaning about them not being properly rested, and why oh why didn’t they sit more people after they clinched the wild card. I suppose it’s a bit hypocritical, but what else do you expect from overly emotional baseball fans?

    Jackie (SF) September 26, 2007, 3:11 pm
  • wow. this got a little heated, didn’t it?
    both fan bases cherry pick what historical events they bring to these discussions.
    yankee fans often cite the three bajillion* world titles. (* = that is an estimate.)
    lately, sox fans can counter with the ALCS and WS victories in 2004, saying that more recent events should take precedent.
    so that leaves yankee fans no choice but to cite the ’06 boston massacre and this year’s season series.
    sox fans counter with this year’s all but certain AL east title.
    YFs then say the postseason is all that counts.
    i’m obviously speaking in general terms, and not specifically about anyone here.
    that said, everybody sees things the way they want to. we’re emotionally attached to our teams. we’ll stick with them no matter what. just remember to breathe.
    a wise man once advised, “fight like you are right, but listen like you are wrong.”
    group hug?

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 26, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • I’m not hugging any Sox fans!!! (unless it’s a very attractive FEMALE Sox fan…hahaha)
    Are the Colts better than the Patriots? The Patriots won 3 SB’s and beat the Colts countless times…the Colts finally beat the Patriots one time…who’s better New England???

    krueg September 26, 2007, 3:32 pm
  • > “fight like you are right, but listen like you are wrong.”
    or, you can follow the advice of another wise man, and “shriek like a woman and keep sobbing until he turns away in disgust. That’s when it’s time to kick some back. And then when he’s lying down on the ground, kick him in the ribs, step on his neck, and run like hell.”

    attackgerbil September 26, 2007, 3:33 pm
  • who’s better New England???
    Who knows, but the thing is that we Pats fans can no longer use the “Peyton always folds against the Pats” line. If any Pats fan still trots that out, they will sound more than a little silly.

    SF September 26, 2007, 3:36 pm
  • “unless it’s a very attractive FEMALE Sox fan…hahaha)”
    An oxymoron if there ever was one… :)

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 3:37 pm
  • Andrews: Maybe if I said attractive Female METS fan… :)

    krueg September 26, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • ag-
    sounds like you took my self defense course.
    andrews-
    perhaps you have higher standards than myself, but i get whiplash everytime i go to fenway.

    Yankee Fan In Boston September 26, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • “we Pats fans can no longer use the “Peyton always folds against the Pats” line…”
    Do you miss that as much as I miss 1918? :)

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 3:38 pm
  • Andrews – hey now.

    Jackie (SF) September 26, 2007, 3:40 pm
  • YFIB, probably not, but it’s sort of like the beautiful woman who has chronic halitosis – in the end, just not attractive… :)

    Andrews September 26, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • Not for nothing, I thought 2003 was the better series with the much better clinching game. If you could survive that, then I think any series is doable. 2004 took the historical luster away from how good the baseball was in 2003. Of course, the result was better in 2004, but the things just started rolling for the Sox late in Game 4. And Game 7 lacked almost all drama after the third inning. :)

    Pete September 26, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • 2004 took the historical luster away from how good the baseball was in 2003
    Sometimes I think your mission is to demean every Sox accomplishment, Pete. As for “good baseball”, is the manager a factor in “good baseball”? If so, 2003’s Game 7 may not make the list, for obvious reasons.

    SF September 26, 2007, 3:48 pm
  • I hate to disagree, but going to school in CT with a ton of girls from Mass has taught me otherwise. There are some hooooooot Sox female Sox fans.
    (Hope my wife isn’t a regular)

    John - YF (Trisk) September 26, 2007, 3:49 pm
  • Again, one of the few benefits of the post-2004 Red Sox bandwagon fan surge is the rise in smoking hot women in tight Red Sox tank tops and crazy short shorts at Fenway. The surge of college girls, etc…
    Pre-2004, it was just Sheila and Tricia from Southie, both well over a two bills, built like trucks and could kick my ass easily.

    LocklandSF September 26, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • And sometimes I think you say stupid things SF just to say them. Are you serious?
    In my time here, I’ve ranted on the FO specifically the approach this past off-season and Gagne (with a bit of WMP thrown in). How are any of those an “accomplishment”?
    As for this thread, I simply don’t see the division as that meaningful. For the Sox it would have been “more” meaningful had they clinched a week or two ago and stepped on the Yankee throat in the process (As someone said above). That’s what they were capable of. But, meh, it really it doesn’t matter, not in this wild card age.
    Now, looking back objectively at the baseball that was played in 2003 versus 2004, the former was just more dramatic. 2004 was like a balloon where the air slowly leaked out from that Yankee team. It’s not like 2004 was well-played baseball. 2003 feels more like that to me. And if I had to choose this year, I’d rather the 2003 version though the Sox at least will have the last at-bat.
    As for managers, when Tito relies on Gagne this off-season, who’s fault is that? That’s what I’m prepared for and that disgusts me through and through.

    Pete September 26, 2007, 4:17 pm
  • Don’t forget your endless hate of the Beckett trade, Pete. Wouldn’t want the potentially most valuable cog of this year’s run at the playoffs to slip your mind.

    SF September 26, 2007, 4:22 pm
  • As for managers, when Tito relies on Gagne this off-season, who’s fault is that? That’s what I’m prepared for and that disgusts me through and through.
    When Tito brings Gagne into a game in the off-season, there’ll be some splainin to do. There won’t even be any hitters or fielders out there!

    QuoSF September 26, 2007, 4:27 pm
  • When Tito brings Gagne into a game in the off-season, there’ll be some splainin to do. There won’t even be any hitters or fielders out there!
    I don’t know Quo, it sounds like the prime situation to let Gagne get some work in.

    Tyrel SF September 26, 2007, 4:33 pm
  • 2004 wasn’t well-played baseball? What about Games 4, 5, 6? Those were awesome games (in retrospect…at the time, they were merely terrifying) with lots of unexpected bullpen contributions and decent to great starting pitching from both sides.

    Devine September 26, 2007, 4:36 pm
  • “As for managers, when Tito relies on Gagne this off-season, who’s fault is that?”
    If I were Tito, I’d rely on Gagne this off-season too. As a magnet for criticism!

    FenSheaParkway September 26, 2007, 4:36 pm
  • Tyrel, are we sure he could protect a lead even in that situation?
    …still, good point.

    QuoSF September 26, 2007, 4:37 pm
  • Game 2 was also good baseball and Game 1 was a great game as well in that ALCS. Games 3 and 7 were the head-shakers if you were after a good game.

    Devine September 26, 2007, 4:37 pm
  • FSP,
    Even given Pete’s comment, I’m not sure why you’d wait until the off-season to use him like that.

    QuoSF September 26, 2007, 4:38 pm
  • Damn work getting in the way of some good baseball discussions…
    SF – My hate of the Beckett trade has more to do with trading Hanley than acquiring Beckett. The former is WAY more valuable and will be for many more years. Sorry, I love the analogy to trading Jeter for Pettitte and Brosious. And Hanley is already a WAY better hitter than Jeter was at the same age.
    See, if there’s a general trend to my madness, it’s the Sox giving up on players WAY too soon. That drives me crazy – from Lowe to Cabrera to Hanley to Arroyo to WMP to Gabbard and Beltre. Even still, I can’t see how that’s an “accomplishment” I’m hating on. Beckett has been on average a 115 ERA+ for the Sox. Funny enough, that’s his career average as well. He’s very inconsistent year to year and that’s what we’ve seen too. It’s going to take him putting up these numbers year after year for me to feel better about that trade. Even then I’ll still rue the fact that Hanley is MVP material at the same time. He is this year.
    And thanks, kids. My bad on the typo.
    2004 was a very good series, but it just had that letdown in the end – in “good” baseball terms only :) 2003 was ridiculously fun throughout – except the ending. I’m just saying which series I’d rather watch again. And I’m happy the Sox will have homefield this year. :)

    Pete September 26, 2007, 8:05 pm
  • Just wanted to throw in this tidbit from the AP article on tonight’s Y’s game:
    New York was 9 1/2 games back in the wild-card race after play on July 7.
    Friggin chokers in Seattle and Detroit. :P

    Jackie (SF) September 27, 2007, 12:21 am

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