Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 167: The Magic Number is 6.

Today is September 14th... the Boston Red Sox have just taken the first two games in the final Yankees series of the season—including a spectacular performance this afternoon by Jon Lester. They currently have a nine game lead in the AL East (pending the outcome of the Rays game.) And the magic number is six...

I can't believe I'm actually talking about the "magic number" and the Red Sox in the same post. Since their last trip to the post season in 2009, there have been mostly not-so-magic numbers—painful and disturbing not-so-magic numbers.

In 2010, the not-so-magic number was seven. The number of games they finished out of first place behind the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees. In 2011, the not-so-magic number was one. All they needed to do was win the final game of the season and they would've made it to the post season. They didn't. Instead, they were ridiculed for the infamous "chicken and beer" September where they went 7-20 for a complete season implosion.

And then there was 2012 and the not-so-magic number was 26. That's a number is last place where the Sox finished the season. Alone. In the basement. Or how about eight? The number of games they lost to finish out that season. Or one? The number of ridiculously moronic managers who steered this team to the worst year since 1965. But there was at least one magic number in 2012... four. The number of overpaid and underwhelming players they unloaded in a trade with the Dodgers.

So it's fun to be able to talk about an actual magic number this season. For a team that was said to be "rebuilding" and was not expected to win much more that 80 or so games, this year has been nothing but magic. With just 12 games left, a combination of six Red Sox wins and/or Tampa Rays losses will clinch the American League East title for the first time since 2007. Remember what else happened in 2007? Yup...

I will continue to try not to think too much about this magic number—especially with the way the tables can turn so fast in baseball. But I have a hard time imagining this Sox team, who is 10-3 so far this month, will miss the playoffs this year. If they do... well, I can't talk about that right now.

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