09/20/2004: Magic Number "pre-watch": we're in, for sure
I'm showing the Magic Number as still 1, but Lee Sinins in his daily stat-head newsletter yesterday stated that the Cardinals had clinched the National League Central championship.
Confusing? Sure, but life is confusing. The bottom line: with Cincinnati's victory over the Cubs Saturday, the worst that could happen, assuming that the Cardinals lost all their games and the Cubs won all theirs from that point on, is that the Birdinals and the Baby Bears would tie in the division with identical records. Under the rules that MLB uses to break ties in divisional races (no time for sudden-death playoff games anymore), the Cardinals would be crowned division champs because they have dominated the Cubs this season in their head-to-head games: 11-8, and the Cubs would enter the playoffs as the NL wild-card.
I'm still going to show the Magic Number as 1 because I'm selfish; I don't want the Cardinals winning the division in a tie-breaker scenario; I want them to take it all, by themselves, with no ambiguity. And they still need one more win (or one more Cub loss) to do that.
But, there ain't no way the Cards are not making the post season. Not bad for a team predicted to finish third in the division.
Way to go, guys. Now go win that one game, so we're undisputed champs.
Len on 09.20.04 @ 05:41 AM CST