I would like to begin by looking back at the predictions I made at the All-Star break on which teams would make the playoffs. These predictions were based on using the formula I developed to predict a team’s expected winning percentage based on their runs scored (RS) and runs allowed (RA). The formula is: A team’s Expected Winning Percentage = .000683*(RS-RA) +.50. The runs scored (RS) and the runs allowed (RA) totals were taken at the time of the All-Star break. A complete discussion of this formula can be read by going to my July 23 Blog. I am proud to say I got all the division winners correct. I got the two NL Wild Card teams correct. I got the Rays correct as one AL Wild Card team. The only mistake was I predicted the second AL Wild Card to be either the Orioles or the Rangers. Of course, the Indians made it. I predicted the WS would be between the Tigers and the Cardinals with the Tigers winning. Here I was wrong because the Red Sox beat the Tigers in the AL Championship. Yes, I predicted my beloved Yankees would not make the playoffs.
Even though the Yankees failed to make the playoffs and played most of the year without A-Rod, Jeter, Tex, and Grandy, there were some special Yankee moments. On August 13, 2013 Ichiro Suzuki, from the “Land of the Rising Sun”, provided the sunshine in the first inning of the game with the Blue Jays when he drove an outside knuckleball delivered by R.A. Dickey into left field for his 4000th hit. His 4000 hits represent the sum of his 1278 hits in Japan for the Orix Blue Wave and his 2722 hits in MLB. To Ichiro’s surprise the entire Yankee team came out of their dugout and walked toward first base to hug and congratulate him. Ichiro then showed his respect by bowing to the fans and then to R.A. Dickey. On September 26, 2013, the last home game for the Yankees, Joe Girardi walked to the mound in the eighth inning and signaled to the bullpen. For the last time ever, “Enter Sandman” blared as Mo made his final appearance as a Yankee. Rivera retired the first four batters he faced and with two outs in the ninth he was given a chance to depart. Instead of Girardi out of the dugout popped Jeter and Pettitte. Upon their arrival at the mound, a tear-jerking moment occurred when Mo was hugged by his two long–time teammates. This moment will forever live in the memory of Yankees fans. As the crowd went wild, all three then walked to the dugout.
We now turn our attention from the Yankees to their arch rival the Boston Red Sox. What a year for the city of Boston. The people of Boston went from the despair of the Marathon Bombing in April to the jubilation of winning the WS in October. The Boston Red Sox bearded heroes went from 69 wins in 2012 to 92 wins in 2013 capping their remarkable turnaround by beating the Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6 on October 30 to win their third WS championship in 10 seasons. David Ortiz, not only was the MVP of the WS but also the MVP of the people of Boston. After winning game 6, Ortiz took a microphone on the field and addressed the city, just as he did a week after the Boston Marathon Bombings in April. “This is for you, Boston. You guys deserve it,” the Series MVP said. “We’ve been through a lot this year, and this is for all of you and all those families who struggled.” For the first time since 1918, Boston won the title at Fenway Park. In 1919 the Babe was dealt to the Yankees and the Curse of the Bambino began. On Saturday, November 2, the WS victory parade passed the site of the Marathon Bombing in April and the WS trophy was placed on the finish line. To me this represented the end of the mourning period for the people of Boston. As a diehard Yankee fan, I have nothing but respect for David Ortiz and his fellow Red Sox players for their role in helping to relieve the pain of the people of Boston.
In December the Hot Stove League was very active. To be discussed in 2014…