Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
The Yankees slid into first tonight behind a wild Tanyon Sturtze-led 11-10 win over the Rangers as former Yankee-Lou Piniella and his lowly Devil Rays knocked the Red Sox out of the top berth, 3-1. (It seems apropos that the evil of the unrestrained arrogance that is the Red Sox should be eclipsed at a time that, hopefully, the same thing happens to the evil represented by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. OK, off the soapbox.)
As I was "watching" the end of the gameI say "watching" in quotes since the YES video feed was lost so I was witnessing the worst of all possible worlds, a pseudo-YES radio broadcast on TV, oy!as I listened to the end of the game, I thought about the low winning percentage for all three of the leading clubs in the AL East. I looked it up and the Yankees lead with a .549 winning percentage followed the O's and Sox at .543. In the NL West, you have the Padres leading a sub-pat pack with just a .538 winning percentage. Throw in two dogfights in the NL East and AL West, and you could get a bunch of sub-.550 division winners.
That made me wonder how often that happens. I know the '73 Mets won barely more than they lost, but they were an aberration, right? Here are all the sub-.550 teams to finish number one in their division or league for any full season (i.e., let's ignore the strike-shortened 1994 season):
|New York Mets||1973||82||79||.509|
|Kansas City Royals||1984||84||78||.519|
|New York Yankees||2000||87||74||.540|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||1995||78||66||.542|
|Boston Red Sox||1990||88||74||.543|
|St. Louis Cardinals||1996||88||74||.543|
|Boston Red Sox||1988||89||73||.549|
|Toronto Blue Jays||1989||89||73||.549|
In both leagues, the wild card leaders hover at around .550. There have been just three sub-.550 clubs that have won the wild card:
|New York Yankees||1995||79||65||.549|
With so many teams seemingly constructed to win in the 85- to 90-win range, I guess it comes as no surprise. Heck, the perennially 86-game-winning Phils are still in contention. The difference may be that 86 wins bring a wild card slot this year.
...and the Phils run out Myers, Lieber and Lidle and dismissed in 4...Ed Wade keeps his job. There is no justice for Phils fans.
Psst, confidentially, it's all temporary. Just like Graham Parker said, we all "need temporary beauty, even though it might be love in vain."
And nothing lasts forever, even cold Randy Johnson meatballs.
"Is it a Russian conspiracy or is it just idiocy - this is a Chinese burn.
I've got a dinasour for a representative, its got a small brain and refuses to learn."
I say he does nothing for the next 11 days - not sure if this is a bad thing, however given his penchant for getting cleaned.
Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.