What do I want for the playoffs? 40 GAMES!

Last night’s victory by the Cardinals was the 29th playoff game played this year. Between the 4 Division Series, the ALCS and the NLCS, the tally so far has been 29 games.

And both LCS are still up in the air. The Tigers can win today and the Brewers could win tomorrow and we’d have a pair of 7th games.

Now keep this in mind. In 2007, between the 4 Division Series, ALCS, NLCS and World Series, only 28 games were played… total.

Three of the Division Series were sweeps. The NLCS and the World Series were both sweeps.
Only the Indians 4 game victory over the Yankees and the Red Sox 7 game ALCS clinching kept the post season from being the minimum. (I could be generous and say there were 29 post season games by including the Padres and Rockies one game playoff.)

The MAXIMUM number of possible post season games is 41.
That’s if all Division Series, the ALCS, NLCS and World Series all go the distance.

That’s impossible this year because the Rays and Rangers series went 4 and not 5 games.
But the other three Division Series went the full 5 and there is the possibility of both LCS going all 7.

The maximum number of games that can be played this post season is 40.
And THAT’S what I am rooting for.
Two LCS being decided by one game and the World Series going 7.

Now, because I wonder about things like this, I tried to see how many games each post season went since the Wild Card was introduced.

2007 was the quickest post season with 28.
The longest? That would be 2003 when 2 Division Series and both LCS went the distance.

In 1998 and 2009, not a single post season series had a winner take all deciding game.

Here are how the post seasons unfolded.

1995 31 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.
1996 32 games. NLCS went the distance.
1997 34 games. 1 Division Series and World Series went the distance.
1998 30 games. No series went the distance.
1999 31 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.
2000 31 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.
2001 35 games. 3 Division Series and the World Series went the distance.
2002 34 games. 2 Division Series and the World Series went the distance.
2003 38 games. 2 Division Series, the NLCS and ALCS went the distance.
2004 34 games. 1 Division Series, the NLCS and ALCS went the distance.
2005 30 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.
2006 30 games. NLCS went the distance.
2007 28 games. ALCS went the distance.
2008 32 games. ALCS went the distance.
2009 30 games. No series went the distance.
2010 32 games. 1 Division Series went the distance.

So unless you are from Texas or St. Louis or have a friend or family member on the Rangers or Cardinals, root for the Tigers and Brewers in Game 6. Let’s have some 7 game series.

It’s been 9 years since a World Series went 7 games. It’s been 3 years since the ALCS went 7 and 5 years since the NLCS had 7.

Let’s have 40 post season games for the first time ever.
Trust me, it will be fun.

Follow sullybaseball on Twitter

The First Grade

My sons started the first grade this year… and that makes me feel older than my 39 years.

First grade was a significant grade for me and it led directly to this blog you are currently reading and everything Sully Baseball.

Let me explain.

When I was in nursery school and kindergarten, I watched baseball with my parents and my grandfather and our wonderful neighbor/baby sitter/member of the family Mrs. Bianchi.

And I also liked baseball cards. But all I was interested in was seeing all the different teams a player played on. I called it the “Year Club.” (That’s what it said on top of the card. Year. Club. So naturally it was the Year Club.)
But I didn’t know who was a good player (unless they were a Kellogg’s 3D Super Star!)
All of that changed in the first grade.

I went to the Country School in Weston Massachusetts for First Grade. My teacher was Mrs. Bresciani.

The first day of school in September of 1978 I was blissfully unaware of the massacre that the Yankees were giving the Red Sox. I hadn’t understood how the playoffs worked and I wasn’t following the day to day events of a baseball team.
Instead I was sitting in a classroom where Mrs. Bresciani asked us to draw something we did during our summer vacation.

My aunt Mary and uncle Marty had taken my brother and me to Yankee Stadium that year and it made quite an impression on me.

So a 6 year old Sully drew Yankee Stadium as best as I could.

Mrs. Bresciani saw the drawing and asked me if I liked baseball. I said I did.

I also liked Star Wars, Batman and Sid and Marty Kroftt shows.

Mrs. Bresciani told me that her husband worked for the Red Sox. I wondered if he was a player.

Instead I found out he was the statistician for the Red Sox.

So all throughout first grade, I learned how to spell, add, subtract and reading comprehension

But I also learned what all of those numbers on the back of the baseball card meant.
I would ask what an RBI was. What a save was. Why some pitchers get a win and others don’t. Why do some pitchers start and some don’t.
I even learned what batting average and ERA were (even if the division was a little over my head.)

I knew if you batted .300 or more you were really good.
I know if your ERA was under 3.50 you were really good.

So all of those baseball cards stopped being pictures of players and the key to understanding their value to a team.

Mrs. Bresciani taught me how to keep score and I would sometimes bring a piece of paper and a pencil out to recess and keep score of a kick ball game.

At Halloween, she brought in Jerry Remy’s uniform for us to see. It was like seeing the Shroud of Turin.
And when the 1979 season began, I REALLY followed baseball. Day in and day out I read the box scores and checked the standings. The Red Sox were good that year but no match for the Baltimore Orioles.
I knew all the players. I knew who was doing well. Who was hurt. And in 1979 there was Carl Yastrzemski’s chase for 3,000 hits and 400 homers.

My favorite player was Butch Hobson. But I crowned him my favorite player before Mrs. Bresciani taught me about stats. I made Butch my favorite because I liked the name Butch.

In 1979 I understood that Jim Rice and Fred Lynn were better players.

The seed was planted in the first grade. And from that seed did an obsessive compulsive tree grow!

So as MY boys start their first grade voyage, I am continuing mine to this day.

Dick Bresciani is now the Vice President of Publications and Archives with the Red Sox and often appears on TV talking about Sox history.

If you are still out there, Mrs. Bresciani, thanks for teaching me what an RBI is.

And be thankful I wasn’t asking “What is the difference between OPS+, VORP and WAR?”

Follow sullybaseball on Twitter

New Sully Baseball Video "Miami Marlins Monstrosity"

Did you see that INSANE new monstrosity that they are putting into centerfield for the new Miami stadium?

It’s bonkers. And I kind of like it.
It’s the subject of the latest Sully Baseball video.

Enjoy the video.
And as always, you can see all the videos at my ShortForm TV page.

Follow sullybaseball on Twitter