Ninety-Nine Wins on the Board, Take One Down, Pass It Around

The Red Sox currently stand at 89-59, thirty games above .500, at a .601 percentage. The Red Sox have fourteen games left, and with their current record, are projected to finish 97-65. However, if you start from the August 1st game on, we have a .717 winning percentage (33 wins, 13 losses), and would be projected to finish 99-63 (if we had played .717 ball from the start, we would be finishing around 116 wins). If we can get to 100 wins, it would be the first time since 1946 we had won at least 100, and only the fourth time total (1912, 1915, 1946).
The first two times the Red Sox finished above 100 wins (105-47 in 1912 and 101-50 in 1915), they won the World Series. In 1946, they won the American League pennant en route to losing to the Cardinals in Ted Williams‘ only World Series appearance – an appearance that was forgettable (.200/.333). (Legend has it he wept on the train home.) Clearly, it bodes well for the 2004 Red Sox if they win at least 100 games, for every Sox team that has, has advanced to the Series. (I love factoids like these, they make it seem like such an utter certainty the Sox would get to the Series if they won 100 games.)
Let’s assume for a second the Red Sox just miss out and finish with 99 wins. The last time the Red Sox finished with 99 wins was … are you ready for this? 1978. So yeah, I think we’d have better karma if we won 100. Last time we won 97, you ask? 1977. So it’s been a while. (For those with memories that aren’t very good, we won 95 last year.)
Orlando Cabrera has taken a flight back to his home in Colombia to be with his wife, who is undergoing surgery. Cabrera will not be available for a few days. Some people (including myself) were initially surprised he was sitting out the game, because he was sitting on a games-played streak. He may never have challenged Cal Ripken, but he certainly could have been up there in terms of longevity in active streaks. I know Miguel Tejada was first among active players in games-played streaks.. I can’t find where the list is, but Cabrera should be in second or third – or rather, was.
Nice to see Cabrera, and by extension, the Red Sox, not care so much about the games-played streak. Family and the team come first. When Cabrera was acquired, Terry Francona said he would honor the streak. Now that Cabrera has broken it of his own accord, perhaps this will not be a handicap for the rest of the season/seasons to come.

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