Got your Collapse 2011 hat yet?

Or how about a commemorative beer cozy?

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For crying out loud!!

Twenty two of the thirty one teams in baseball did not make the post-season. People have to stop acting like the Red Sox had a reservation for the World Series. Our numbers looked good in March, but numbers don't win a World Series. Good pitching, a deep bullpen and lots of talent in the minor leagues that can be pulled up to cover injuries is how a team gets to the post season and wins a World Series. We had none of those things, and while I did not expect the September melt down I did not expect a guaranteed post season berth.

The only meltdown I see is from newbie fans who got use to a team always winning and could not handle the real world of competitive professional sports. I expect to see an almost instant replay at the end of the hockey season; if the massive number of people who discovered Boston has a professional hockey team in the spring, don't see a repeat win.

Stats don't lie

Going into September, we WERE virtually guaranteed a post-season spot. That's why it's called a collapse. Our probability to make the post-season was SO high, that it was the highest percentage any team has ever had that didn't ultimately make the playoffs. It was OVER 99% likely that we would make it based on our winning rate, our final opponents in September (and our season record against those teams), and comparing those values to Tampa Bay who was in single digit odds for making it in comparison (more of that came from a Yankees collapse instead of from the Red Sox!).

So, it's completely immaterial how many teams make it or don't when you've been able to use 5 months of the season to predict how a single final month of the season will go. We basically did EVERYTHING necessary to lose our playoff spot. Anything goes differently in September, ANYTHING, and we make the playoffs instead of the Rays. We had a reservation, we were at the doors of the restaurant...and we crapped our pants and had to head home instead. There's absolutely every reason to act like we had the reservation, because we did. That's why this was statistically the ABSOLUTELY WORST collapse in the history of baseball (judged by looking at the final 25 games of the season against every other team in baseball ever).

This wasn't the normal "real world of competitive professional sports". To act like it IS the aberration, not the people dismayed and surprised by this collapse.

It's like you've decided to walk around Japan after the earthquake looking at fallen buildings going "well, of course, this building was going to fall for sure given that it was built in Japan"...really? Because the day before and the day before that for years it never fell "just because it was in Japan". It took a disaster like an earthquake to knock it down...the Red Sox in September made their own earthquake and it wasn't normal or your average "well, that's baseball!" dismissal that makes sense. This was a complete disaster and the players were largely to blame for it.