Re: Baltimore is
posted at 9/19/2013 11:00 PM EDT
In response to pumpsie-green's comment:
In response to LloydDobler's comment:
In response to Flapjack07's comment:
Yup. We have gone 11-5 so far this month, almost entirely against playoff or playoff-contending teams like Detroit, Tampa, and New York. Two very frustrating losses the past couple of days, to a team that has played us tough for several years now, but nothing worth panicking over. To say that we are "backing into the playoffs," as I have seen several times now, is rather silly.
Exactly. Two very frustrating losses, to be sure, but the Sox still have the best record in MLB and, as you said, are 11-5 this month.
The panic on the board today is hilarious, but it's also familiar. In 2007, I freaked out with every loss down the stretch. In mid-September, they were swept by the very mediocre Blue Jays. and I was convinced they were done. Then, when the Sox won the Series, I was more relieved than happy.
No more. Last night sucked, sure, but I'm enjoying the ride. After all, I expected us to have been eliminated long ago.
Oh, and my dream is to clinch before going to Baltimore, but sweep them anyway to screw them. I remember how in 2011 they acted like they had won the Series when they came back to beat us in game 162.
I don't see any panic here, just a little dose of reality. The truth is that so far we have clinched nothing. Is it likely we will win the ALE? Absolutely! Its going to be hard to oinglose that. Its also likely we will be the best AL team this year by way of W-L. Still, the playoffs is all about momentum. Whoever wins it will be the team playing the best baseball among a group of very good teams. If we are dogging it going in, if we are failing to play smart baseball, if we are not executing, and if Farrell remains somnolent, our trip to the playoffs will be a short one.
There are plenty of studies out there disproving the 'momentum' theory. Here is a snippet of one-
The data shows that from a predictive standpoint, a playoff spot is like a parking space: you can enter front first, or you can back into it, and in the grand scheme, it makes little difference. What I did in this 2009 study was examine the records of all playoff-bound teams from 1995-2008, searching for correlations between the records over their final seven, 14, 21 and 28 games — “weeks,” essentially, though the schedule didn’t always line up as such, and I wanted to ensure uniformity in my sample sizes. The correlations — which is to say, the predictive values — that I found between those segments and Division Series records were negligible and clustered around zero, ranging from .02 to -.04; keep in mind that a perfectly positive correlation is 1.0, a perfectly negative one is −1.0. Extending the latter to include the subsequent rounds, the largest correlation I found in either direction was -.12, between a team’s record over the final 21 games and their postseason won-loss record. Even then, the correlation was negative, which is to say that the ever-so-slight advantage was held by teams that actually fared slightly worse, perhaps because many had sewn up playoff berths and could afford to rest their regulars down the stretch.