October 08, 2016

Game 3 of the ALDS is a MUST WIN Game

But not for the Red Sox.  The Red Sox are down 2-0 to the Cleveland Indians in their Division Series, so by any logical, reasonable, literal definition of "must win", game 3 is one.  Any elimination game is. When they were down 3-0 to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, Game 4 was a literal "must-win", so was Game 5 and 6. Game 7 became one for both teams.   But this isn't what I'm talking about.  If Boston loses tomorrow, it will be disappointing. Any time a team makes the playoffs and doesn't win the last game they play, it's a disappointment.  Mets and Orioles fans are disappointed and before we crown another World Series Champion, seven other fanbases will be disappointed.

But this doesn't make tomorrow's Clay Buchholz start at Fenway Park a "MUST WIN" for the Red Sox.  Their fans have been disappointed before, and they will be disappointed again.  You can't win it all every season.  Even if we win five World Series in the next six years, we will be disappointed the other time.   And that's ok.  What is tougher to handle are the  heartbreaking, soul-crushing defeats when you think you are going to win and it's pulled out from other you. That takes all off-season to get over.  Sometimes it takes many seasons. Think Bucky Dent, Buckner or Boone.

October 03, 2016

Why the Cubs will NOT Win the World Series

The Curse of  the Billy Goat
(or why the Red Sox won't.  Or the Rangers or Nationals or Giants or Dodgers or Blue Jays or Orioles or Indians or Mets for that matter.  Insert any team name into the title, and this post still makes sense).*

At the trade deadline I had a post showing what the impact of a adding a player to a team would be on its likelihood to make the playoffs and/or win it all.  There were two separate points. One was that a single player, no matter how good, will not make a large difference in one team’s win totals over two months. The second, more interesting point, was to show how little of an edge a great team has over a good team in a playoff series.

I have updated the spreadsheet I used to calculate the odds in that post to show the actual season end records.   Here are the results: