2. But we do have the wild card. And so it is a virtual certainty at this point that both the Red Sox and Yankees will make the playoffs. So what exactly is being "choked away"? Not a whole hell of a lot, even if you subscribe to the "choking" theory -- and I do not. The dubious edge of home field advantage? Bragging rights for the AL East? I remember joking at SoSH about the Yankees proudly holding a 2004 AL East parade and wondering how many fans would have shown up for that.
3. There's not a whole hell of a lot you can do when your main rival plays .656 ball for four months (63-33). If the Yankees stay hot for another week and a half, well, bully for them. All we have lost is the massive cushion we built to prepare ourselves when the Yankees finally got their heads out of their asses. We are in first place and I expect us to be in first place on October 1.
4. Of course, if the Yankees do win the East, all you will read and hear about is how the Red Sox "choked away" the division, but since when have we given the time of day to misinformed media writing stuff that has no basis in reality? Since never, that's when.
5. As Newsday (and JtC, apparently) proclaims:
If you care about winning the East, yes, it's a race. As we expected way back in March. If you care about making the playoffs by any means necessary, then, there is no race. As we kind of expected before the season began. (Blame or give thanks to the wild card for that.)
6. We have nine games left. New York has 10. Both Boston and New York will be playing playoff baseball -- so what's the big deal?
7. The 1997 Florida Marlins finished the season 2-7 -- and won the World Series.
8. The 2000 Yankees lost 18 of their final 21 games -- and won the World Series.
9. The 2002 Anaheim Angels finished the season 4-7 -- and won the World Series.
10. The 2005 White Sox saw their 15-game lead on August 1 shrink to 1.5 -- and won the World Series.
11. The 2006 Cardinals were 7 GA on September 20, saw their division lead drop to .5 GA in only eight days (and with three games remaining) -- and won the World Series. (The 2006 Tigers were 10 GA on August 7, went 19-31, finished 1 GB the Twins, and won the AL pennant.)
12. Playoff bound teams fall into four categories:
Suck in September, dominate in OctoberWhat category do the Red Sox fit into? What about the Yankees? We have no idea. All we can do is watch the games (and live and die by their results). The games in September -- and the upcoming games in October.
Suck in September, suck in October
Dominate in September, suck in October
Dominate in September, dominate in October