I ended my July 19th post about Major League Baseball’s All Star break with the following:
“The All Star break and the second season have not been good to Red Sox fans over the past decade. But the Sox have staged a truly amazing turnaround from last year’s disastrous season, going from worst to first (so far). Maybe, just maybe, this year will be different and the momentum will continue in the second half.“Perchance to dream, right?”
I’m delighted to say that my dreams have come true. Well, at least one of my dreams. On Friday night the Boston Red Sox clinched the American League East Division.
This year, though, the Sox have totally turned it around and have spent most of the year atop their division. In fact, at 95 wins versus 62 losses, the Sox currently own the best win-loss record in all of Major League Baseball.
Back in that July 19th posting, I wrote, “the Red Sox typically suffer a significant collapse after the All Star game, oftentimes dropping from the top of the division to second or even third place by season’s end.”
But this year the Sox overcame their typical second-season malaise and are on a roll. The team’s record of 37 wins against 23 losses just since the break is pretty damn good.
Yet, to demonstrate just how competitive baseball is, that’s only the 3rd best record since the All Star break. The LA Dodgers have won 43 of the 62 games they’ve played since the break. The Atlanta Braves are 38-22.
The Red Sox have only five regular season games left, all of which are “away” games. But with home field advantage through the playoffs riding on the outcome of those games, my boys cannot afford to slack off now.
Red Sox West
In fact, the team that the Sox may end up facing in the American League Championship Series to earn the right to play in the World Series is the Oakland A’s.
I call the A’s “the Red Sox West” because five of their eight starting players, not counting pitchers, are former Red Sox players. And their ace pitcher is also a former Sox pitcher.
So to me it's somewhat ironic that the road to the World Series may very well pass through Oakland. And the A’s, having convincingly won their last four games and 8 of their last 10, are red hot going into the final week of the regular season.
But the good news for us loyal Red Sox fans is that the Sox did not suffer their usual post-All Star break collapse. They won their division for the first time since 2007, and are in the post-season playoffs for the first time since 2009.
There’s still a long way to go before the World Series, but given this remarkable “Worst to First” season for the Sox, a third World Series title in nine years is not just a pipe dream.
You know, I’m not a superstitious guy, but hey, let me say it again, since it seemed to worked the last time I wrote it.
“Perchance to dream, right?”