I’ll Tell You Right Now They Got Nothing to Lose

It’s a nice feeling when the Good Guys are 8-5 through 13 games. Maybe Todd Jones and Joe Borowski really aren’t going to get the job done for those hated representatives of fading Midwestern cities. Maybe Joe Crede is going to hit a grand slam every three games. Maybe John Danks will be good for seven scoreless innings every other time out to the hill.

But in a less sarcastic light, with 13 games down and assuming 93 wins makes the playoffs, could it be reasonable to start our collective wishful thinking? In those terms, Detroit suddenly can only afford to at worst play .600 ball (89-59) from here on out. Using the Sox as a case study in how performance out of the gate ties in to overall season performance, it may be possible to see just where things stand:

  • 2007: 6-7, finished 72-90
  • 2006: 8-5, finished 90-72
  • 2005: 9-4, finished 99-63 [1st in ALC, won World Series. Of course.]
  • 2004: 8-5, finished 83-79
  • 2003: 7-6, finished 86-76
  • 2002: 8-5, finished 81-81
  • 2001: 5-8, finished 83-79
  • 2000: 7-6, finished 95-67 [1st in ALC, crushed by Mariners in ALDS.]
  • 1999: 7-6, finished 75-86
  • 1998: 6-7, finished 80-82
  • 1994: 8-5, finished 67-46 [1st in ALC, no playoffs, thank you Jerry.]
  • 1993: 6-7, finished 94-68 [1st in ALW, obliterated by Blue Jays in ALCS.]
  • 1983: 6-7, finished 99-63 [1st in ALW, lost to Orioles in ALCS]
  • 1970: 5-8 finished 56-106 [6th in ALW, widely considered the worst Sox team ever assembled.]

So what we’re looking at here is any of a .500 team, an overqualified third-place team, a World Series victor, or a winner in a weak division, which in all means nothing and ultimately means we’re exactly where we were at the end of March. The lesson in all of this: relax. It’s a long season, and Kansas City can’t be that good. . . or can they?

Remember, the Royals kicked off 2003 by going 11-2 through 13. Of course, they finished in third at 83-79. And who, you ask, finished fourth and fifth? Why, the Indians and Tigers, that’s who.

This could be a good year after all, friends. A very good year indeed.