Sunday, October 14, 2007

The 2007 New York Yankess (Sixth and final in a series)

by Ken Houghton

With Jeremy and Erin both celebrating, and even The Curse of Scott only having extended their playoff life one game, it's well past time for the final Yankees v. Mathematician v. Gamblers post of the year.

My original post was all too accurate, and the absurdity (not Joe Torre's decision) of starting Wang* on three days's rest instead of Mike Mussina only proved the initial point.

In the end, though, the Yankees ended up 3.5 games below where the bettors had them at the beginning of the year—which is quite an accomplishment, given the injuries and changes the team went through this year.

I freely admit being no fan of Joe Torre's;I remember his Mets team that battled Roger Maris for the single-season home run title. I generally give most of the credit for Torre's "success with the Yankees" to Woody Woodward and Brian Cashman. But even I have to admit that this year's team—aging, fading, increasingly weak defense, and without the dominant closer than Rivera was since the year after Jeffrey Maier—overachieved in retrospect.

By contrast, the mathematician predicted the Mets to win 90 games, two more than they did and virtually the same as the "over 89 1/2" SportsMemo predicted.

So we have one team that achieved 3.5 less wins than it was predicted to, in the face of its own injuries, and one that achieved 1.5 less despite major injuries to its closest rivals and which ended with Carlos Delgado declaring that they are "so good they get bored," even as they lose nine of their last ten home games.

If you're asking a fan which one was motivated, they can tell you the answer. Seems a pity that management doesn't know it.

The previous posts in the series are one, two (really a throwaway), three, four, and five.

*Or, as FoxSports referred to him, BLEEP.

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