Thursday, September 20, 2007

The AL East: Does It Even Matter? [Addison Quale]

First off, props to the Yankees for coming back--almost all the way--from being 14.5 games back in late May. I never doubted the fact that this team was good and knew that the Sox lead wasn't ever that safe. But, does the victor of the AL East really mean anything? Call it a case of sour grapes or what have you, but the Sox are in the playoffs. They have a 1.5 game lead on the Yankees and a 7 game lead on the Tigers with about 9 games to go. It's pretty much a sure thing. And does it really matter that much what regular season record a team ends up with as it heads into the post-season? I can recall two teams in recent memory which limped into the post-season. One was the 2000 Yankees who stumbled to an 87-74 record losing a string of games in their last week. I think we can all remember how that juggernaut of a team bowled through the playoffs to its third consecutive WS title. Then there is 2006, last year. The Cardinals were all set for the playoffs--that is until an big losing streak and an Astro surge almost nipped them at the end. But the well rested Cardinals found their way to the World Series and made short work of the Detroit Tigers who were supposed to wipe the floor with them. My point is this--a team's record in getting into the playoffs doesn't matter so much. What does is how well a team plays once they are IN the playoffs. To be well rested is definitely a good thing. Perhaps that's what the Red Sox are doing. Either way, kudos to the Yanks for a job well done. Hope to see 'em in October!

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