Monday, June 20, 2005

Is This Year Different?

Browsing through the ESPN Message Board for the Twins, you'll find nuggest like this:
first of all....chicago and clevland fans, go to ur own post.. sencond of all.. u people need to stop being so ignorint. this happens every year..twins fall behind and after the all star break... they wont stop winning..all u white sox and indians fans...dont give me crap about our starting rotation..radke just doesnt have much run support right now..santana is just good..lohse is having a good strech right now and maybe mays can be better...but we have a much better closer than you guys do and we probly have the rolaids relief award rapped up with crain....its already over guys...twins will once again win the central division with a week to spare(again.....) and finally the yankees wont kill us in the first round (cause they wont go and u know it) so all u *** **** chicago and clevland fans can go **** * **** once again because you just wont win....you dumb ***** were like this last year..but wait who won last year? o yeah the twins and they will again...so go back to your little league baseball
I'm not sure this post is representative of the intelligence of Twins fans, but the bolded portions gave me a thought - how do the Twins' comebacks of the last three years compare to what they would need to do this year?

In 2002, the Twins were 7.5 games ahead of the White Sox at the All-Star Break. This would not be considered a "comeback" for the Twins. They actually played better ball in the second half, on the way to a 13.5 game final margin over the Sox.

In 2003, the Twins were 7.5 games behind the KC Royals (who were only 51-41 at the break). They played .667 ball the rest of the way to win the division over the White Sox by 4 games.

In 2004, the Twins were only 0.5 games behind the White Sox (who were only 46-38 at the time). They played .600 ball the rest of the year to finish 8 games ahead of the White Sox.

In really only one of these years, 2003, did the Twins ever mount a real "comeback." And they did so because the division leader - who was only 10 games over .500 - utterly and completely collapsed.

Even if the Twins played .600 ball the rest of the way (going 58-39), the Sox would need to only go 50-46 (.520 record) to cruise into a first-place tie with the Twins.

There's still a long way to go, folks, but a Twins comeback would have to be pretty fierce if it's going to work.

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