(the following was contributed by poster Jeff Molby)
There’s been a lot of talk about “slow starts” and “choking down the stretch” during the Leyland years. With 7 years of data points available, I figured it’s time to see if there’s anything to it.
There’s not. I didn’t bother to weight the numbers based on games played, so data isn’t perfectly accurate, but it’s close enough for our purposes. The most you could say is that June is a good month and August is a bad month, but really that’s just because of the volatility (mostly due to injuries) of the 2007 and 2008 teams.
Pull those two years out of the sample and what you have is a team that’s consistently a bit above average. I know I’m viewed as one of the resident apologists, but I remember The Lost Decade all too well. If you had approached me in 2005 and offered a decade of “slightly above average”, I’d have kissed ya and invited ya over for dinner.