02:12 PM - May 28, 2014 by MMChrisS
For moderate to casual fans of Major League Baseball there may not be enough tension throughout the middle of the season to cultivate a devoted following.
Once the end of the year approaches we'll slowly tune in for the award chases, farewell tours and division races -- that is, of course, if they're even close. I'd love to invest some time following the MLB during the dog days of summer, but what if all the division races turned out to be runaways? When there are other choices for sports and summer activities I'm not sure I want to take that chance -- and if recent trends for this point in the season mean anything, we could be looking at another ho-hum finish to the 2014 regular season.
Looking at the last five seasons, comparing results at the end of May to the finishing order of teams in each division, this current year is lining up to be much like the 2011 and '13 seasons. In 2010 and 2012 at the end of May there were only twelve and eleven teams with losing records in all of baseball. By the season's end the average gap between the eventual division champion and second-place was 4.5 games -- a pretty tight race. In '12 and '13 the number of teams with losing records at this point grew to fourteen in both seasons which led to divisional race gaps of 9.6 and six games at season's end -- a much less competitive showing.
As of today, the number of MLB teams with losing records so far in 2014 stands at fifteen (highest among the past five years) which points to a potential snoozer of a finish at season's end. In a game where numbers rule, let's hope for the sake of excitement that divisional races ignore recent trends or this current baseball season may slip through the attention span of American sports fans.
Sound Off: Which MLB divisions races will be the closest of 2014?
Sports Headlines for May 28, 2014
- 50 Cent's first pitch is just god awful. [Vine]
- What a 97mph fastball looks like coming at your head. [YouTube]
- UW-Whitewater just became the first school is NCAA history to win a football, basketball, and baseball championship in the same year.
- In the middle of the JUCO World Series when this happened. [Image]
- Sweet Sports Posters from the '80s - Courtesy of the Costacos brothers.