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Cool pennant race factoid of the day

Sep 24, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

Orioles Getty Getty Images

Bob Nightengale got this one from Elias:

Meanwhile, the Yankees and the Orioles have been winning and losing practically in tandem. They haven’t been separated by more than one game in the standings since Sept. 3. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the longest such streak in September or later since 1889 .

That’s cool, and I like that two teams are in a fight for the division title and that it matters.

There are other factoids in that piece, mostly surrounding the scramble for the wild card.  I think that’s all fun, but in reality, most of the these sorts of things — team comes from the farthest back! — are the product of expanded playoffs and the notion that it is now the case that even the mildly-above-average will have a legit shot until the final week almost every year.

It’s excitement of a type, but it’s a function of the process, not a function of baseball teams doing anything different than they ever have before.

  1. goskinsvt - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    The remaining schedule seems to slightly favor the Yankees (upsetting as an O’s fan), but I hope it stays this exciting all the way down the stretch. I just wish the O’s/Yanks played one more series, oh well.

  2. kopy - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Don’t worry, the Yankees are rolling into Minneapolis and about to enter a world of pain!

    Jk, sorry O’s fans :-/

    • ptfu - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      The Yankees are entering a world of pain? Apparently Gardenhire will channel his inner John Goodman. The Yankees had better toe the line…


      • kopy - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        I’m so glad someone picked up on that, even though it was only a matter of time. Mark it zero.

  3. Lukehart80 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    If memory serves, the Twins haven’t beaten the Yankees since Kirby Pucket and Dan Gladden were roaming the outfield.

    • number42is1 - Sep 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      The Yanks are 2-2 against them this season

      • Lukehart80 - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        Damn you and your “facts,” I’m going with the narrative here!

        …Cabrera for MVP!

      • natstowngreg - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” — John Adams

        “Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” — Mark Twain

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 24, 2012 at 3:57 PM

        The Yanks are 2-2 against them this season

        And the Yanks are 65-19 (including playoffs) in the Gardenhire era (since ’02).

      • bigharold - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:14 PM

        ““Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.” — Mark Twain”

        Or ones slant on a the news – Fox News

  4. nategearhart - Sep 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    It’d be cool in a totally bizarro-world kind of way if the Yankees have to play a one-game play off because the friggin’ Orioles won the division.

    • bigharold - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      No it wouldn’t.

  5. willclarkgameface - Sep 24, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    If this were the Red Sox in 2nd place, you could have easily expected them to roll over and take 2nd place like like the 1st losers they always want to be.

    I’m glad Baltimore is keeping this thing tight and not letting New York bully their way to the top.

    Go O’s!

    • bigharold - Sep 24, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      “..and not letting New York bully their way to the top.”

      You mean by winning ball games?

  6. stabonerichard - Sep 24, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I wish MLB would have left things alone, rather than add the 2nd wild card spot.

    The Yankees & Orioles are both going to make the postseason. Why should they have to worry about who wins the division? They oughtta be taking it easy the final week of the season, getting the starting rotation in order and making sure the bullpen arms are fresh. Hell, instead of Buck Showalter hosting Saturday night karoake for the boys (Buck’s rendition of Slayer’s Angel of Death is impeccable), they might be stuck preparing for the Sunday afternoon finale.

    Besides, who wants to see the A’s in the playoffs? Moneyballs does not work in the postseason.

    And why should Milwaukee fans be distracted by the Brew Crew catching fire of late to make a run at the 2nd wild card spot? Lame. They should have been able to tune out after the AS break, which would’ve allowed them to be 100% geared up for Packers football by now.

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