Friday, April 24, 2009

It’s NOT just another series

The players can talk all they want about this weekend’s games just being 3 of 162. Terry Francona can drone on and on about how he’ll manage these games just like a game against Kansas City. They don’t mean it. And, if they do mean it…they shouldn’t. The games against the Yankees are different than the 143 games against other teams. Whether it’s just for the fans, or for the team…it’s just different.

From a fan standpoint, this series either subjects us to an extra week of abuse, or not. If the Yankees come in and sweep, the badgering from the Yankees fans will be piled on pretty think until the teams can meet again. The constant reminders of the super offseason pick-ups and the brand new palace they play in will be enough to make you sick. If, however, the Sox can sweep, fans will be treated to even more stories of the Yankees struggles. Stories of the launching pad they play in, and the ineptness of the relief corps will be everywhere. It will make for another sweet week in the season. Even a series will would help a bit it tilting the media coverage one way or another.

Obviously, I don’t expect the players to play or Francona to manage differently just for fan bragging rights. But, there are reasons why even they should treat this series differently. Basically the Sox and the Yankees are pretty well matched. It’s a little scary how if you go through the teams player by player they’re almost identical. So, you’d expect that they’d have similar records at the end of the season. I’ve mentioned it before. I expect the Sox and Yankees (and Rays for that matter) to be about the same against other teams. They both should with about 80% of the games against Baltimore and Kansas City. They both should win about half their games against LA. They should both win about 55% of the rest of the games. So, when all is said and done, the games against each other are the difference maker. (A couple years ago, that was literally the case as it came down to a head-to-head tiebreaker for the division.) If the Sox can take 15 of the 19 games, that’s a lot different than taking 10 of 19. Suddenly, the Yankees need to make up a lot of games against other teams. It quickly becomes a numbers game where the Yankees don’t play enough games against other teams to make up enough ground. Go through the schedule sometime and divvy up the wins as you see it series by series. The season record really hinges on the results of a couple “pick-em” series, and the Yankees are a big example of that.

So, no matter what the players, manages, coaches, owners, or anybody else says…these aren’t 3 of 162. They’re 3 of 19 that could decide the division.

Isn’t that worth a little extra effort?

1 comment:

  1. When you have a chance, pls. email us your po box or address, because if there's one thing we have, it's Red Sox cards. :)


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