April 06, 2011

The sky is falling!

Look up!  The team that was named 2012 World Champions before the season even started is 0-5!  For those of you who are bad at math, that projects to a 0-162 record over the season  So why aren't more people panicking?  Is it because here in Canada most fans are too busy following the last few days of the ice hockey regular season, to notice that baseball has started?
Or is because in this new age of SABRmetrics and the internet where you can actually look up facts (*) and not just spread panic we know that an 0-5 start isn't much more meaningful than a 5-0 start.  When the Sox won the World Series in 2004 they also had a 5 game losing streak - it just wasn't the first 5 games. In fact, since 1999 every single World Series winner has had a losing streak of at least 5 games, except for one. That was our very own 2007 team, who lost 4 games in a row 3 separate times.  Going back to 1990, the only other team to not have a 5 game losing streak was the '98 Yankees.  And they started off 0-4, and still ended up winning 114.

So, maybe the reason fans aren't panicking isn't because they haven't realized what's happened.  It's that we're more educated than we used to be, and even though a game in April is worth the same in the standings as a game in September, we are likely to have losing streaks eventually, and we may as well get it over and done with sooner rather than later.

I also won't worry if we go 0-6 or 0-7.  If we get to 0-15 then I'll post an update.

* By the way, I could have gone through the available data on baseball reference or another site to come up with these numbers, but another blogger already did, and I used his post to get the info for this, so I'll give credit where it's due.  You can read the "Joy of Sox" blog post "More Meaningless Examples From The Past Offered (I Suppose) To Give You Hope, Though You Shouldn't Actually Be Worried" here for a more complete perspective.

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