May 24, 2007
Schilling's Comments After Losing To Yankees
Curt Schilling speaks about the Red Sox chances this year:
Players on both teams know how far is left in the race, neither team is even remotely thinking it’s over one way or the other. Bottom line is that we have complete control of our own destiny. Playing this schedule means that when you get a lead this big you’ll play the teams behind you enough to finish them off, or let them back in. Throw out my inconsistency and I like our chances. Obviously we need to stay healthy, but we have a solid deep team with tremendous character and those two things are tremendously important over the course of 162 schedule. Add to that a front office that you know will fill any hole we might have come the trading deadline and you have to feel good about this team.
OK, let's look at the facts: The Sox have 116 games left and the Yankees have one more than that total. Boston is not going to go 78-38 in their remaining games (as their current pace would suggest). However, the Red Sox could go 68-48 in the games that they have left...as their team is that good.
This means the Yankees would have to go 79-38 (which is a .675 clip in terms of winning percentage!) to pass the Red Sox. And, that's not going to happen.
Bottom line, if the Red Sox play well, New York won't catch them.
As I have stated many times this season, the only way the Yankees catch the Red Sox at this point is if Boston chokes.
In 2005, the (first place) Red Sox lost 12 of 18 games from June 27th to July 18th. And, in 2006, the Red Sox lost 21 games in August (and went 8-21 on the month). Those 21 losses tied the all-time record for losses in a month by a team that started the month in first place. (Boston held a one-game lead over New York at the end of July 2006.)
Assuming New York plays well in their remaining games, Boston will need to choke for the third year in a row for the Yankees to finish first this season. Can that happen? Sure. But, it's far from a given.
Schilling should like his team's chances this year. But, to come out with these statements now, to me, is the same as someone saying "I like the sun's chances to rise in the east and set in the west tomorrow" with the intent to make themselves look like some kind of hero because they are willing to 'stick their neck out' against all those who may dare make claim that the sun will not come out tomorrow.
Heck, Manny Ramirez makes bigger reaches than this when he goes to pick his nose.
I guess the paint-myself-the-hero moves are all downhill after the mercurochrome "stained" sanitary sock trick - if this is the best that Schilling can offer now.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2007 09:33 AM
I can't stand Schilling and wish he would STFU just as much as everyone else does. But I don't think there's anything wrong with him saying "I like our chances."
If he'd said "Saying we're going to win the division is like saying the sun will rise in the east and set in the west," we'd all be ripping a new one for his arrogance.
All he's doing is showing some confidence and pride in his team - confidence and pride that's earned this time, I think - and doing it in a way that's actually pretty humble and respectful, for a change. I don't see why you'd criticize those remarks or conclude that he's somehow trying to puff himself up with them.
Posted by: carla at May 24, 2007 10:49 AM
~~~I don't see why you'd criticize those remarks or conclude that he's somehow trying to puff himself up with them.~~~
How about the timing of his statement - right after he was lit up like a X-mas tree? A little deflection here, maybe?
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2007 11:13 AM
"the only way the Yankees catch the Red Sox at this point is if Boston chokes"
Q1 So you're saying that a 10 game lead the end of May is insurmountable?
Q2 Or you're saying that any team who loses a 10 game lead in May "chokes"?
The more reasonable analysis is as follows: Boston has the best record in mlb. What's wrong with that picture? Do you think Boston IS the best team?
I say no. A team changes during the course of a year. Right now the sawks are riding the crest of a great start. They are 15 and 8 on the road vs 16-7 at home. What's wrong with those numbers?
You say that no one is going to play .675 ball till the end of the year -- well that's what the sox have been playing until now. teams can start the year playing over .700 ball.
Things that will even out naturally:
The sox are 7-3 in one run games while the Yanks are 2-8. Even these numbers out and there's a five game swing right there. The Yank's numbers are further disastrous in under 3 run games. Those things aren't going to hold. Last year the sawks were 29-20 in one run games, damn good. and the Yanks were 24 and 22. Do you really think the Sawks will go 35 and 15 this year in one run games? And do you think the yanks will wind up 9-35?
The sox are 6-3 against the yanks. do you really think they will maintain that and be 12-6 after 18 games against the yanks? Closer to 9 and 9, don't you think?
Well there goes your insurmountable lead, Stevie. The point is that the sawks will lose their lead, but they will do it naturally. It appears that anywhere from 92-95 wins will take the AL east this year. That's a .586 clip for the 95 wins.
Beckett is already out for a couple weeks, he'll add to that and Schwill will have a recent Moose dead arm three or four outings during the course of the year. And Okajima will not hold. A couple of prolonged aches and pains with Schwill, Beck and Wake (age) or Dice-K when the every 5 days begins to catch up with him in July/August and then you will look to Lester, Gabbard, Hansack and Delcarmen? If that doesn't sound like the four stooges of the apocalypse, I don't know what does.
If the sawks had gotten to 31-14 using the latter four and the big guys were getting ready to come back in, I could see your point. But they haven't. An auspicious start with a whole bunch of creaking parts and a team that QUITS when the going gets tough -- character, my ass, Schwill -- you took time off yourself last year after Manny led the way. And what holes did the front office fill for you last year, heh? Prove it ONCE with this group and then I'll factor it in. Until then NO WAY do these 10 games hold. I'll even give you another 5 games to make it a race.
~~~Q1 So you're saying that a 10 game lead the end of May is insurmountable?~~~
Yes, pretty much so - sans a choke.
~~~Q2 Or you're saying that any team who loses a 10 game lead in May "chokes"?~~~
Yes, see above.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at May 24, 2007 12:28 PM
and you totally reject the theory that things will adjust to something more reasonable. You know the sawks meltdown of last year had them finish 10 games behind. sans the meltdown the yanks may have won it by only a game or two. the "meltdown" simply exaggerated things. 10 games is nothing, steve.
these teams are so even I don't see how you can continue with the apocalyse now scenario of the yanks finishing 10 behind or the "choke" scenario that says the sawks have to maintain this lead. the chances are overwhelming that this will not happen.
it will even out. Kevin Youkillis will not end the year at .344 Manny will not end the year at .244
by the end of June Cano will be flirting with .300.
if you waswatching you would know these things...
"How about the timing of his statement - right after he was lit up like a X-mas tree? A little deflection here, maybe?"
Nope, I'm still going to be contrary. :)
He said "Throw out my inconsistency and I like our chances." That sounds like he's owning up to having been lit up.
As for timing, the timing I see is right after a series in which they lost two out of three to the Yankees - partly due to his acknowledged inconsistency - seems like a perfect time to reassure his fans that he's confident that the series loss doesn't signal the beginning of the end. Despite the series loss, he still likes the team's chances.
Posted by: carla at May 24, 2007 02:15 PM
"it will even out. Kevin Youkillis will not end the year at .344 Manny will not end the year at .244
by the end of June Cano will be flirting with .300.
if you waswatching you would know these things..."
And posada won't be hitting 380 nor will a-rod reach the 125 home runs he was projected to hit a few weeks ago.
And all the talk about future boston injuries, have you looked at your own staff? Clemens? Moose? Pettite? Any of them ever been injured? Just because you've had injuries at the beginning of the season doesn't give you a pass on the rest.
You might want to consider 'watching' without the blinders on.