Let's all take a knee, shall we? All is not lost, the past can soothe our wounds!
First the Good
The 2008 AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays waltzed into Fenway park on June 3rd in first place. They were 13 games over .500, sported a run differential of +26 and a divisional edge of one half game.
They promptly lost 3 straight to the Sox to slip into second place. The Rays then split their next 6 games before destroying interleague to regain their divisional edge. They lost in the World Series.
The 2006 Detroit Tigers sort of came out of nowhere, lead their division all year long until they stumbled, losing their final 6 regular season games--including 2 of 3 to the Toronto Blue Jays--but winning enough games to claim the wildcard.
They went into a mini tailspin at the end of May losing 4 in a row and 8 of 10. Included in that swoon were 3 losses in 4 home games versus the Yankees, losing 2 of 3 at home to the Red Sox and 2 of 3 to the White Sox. They went on to win 20 games in June and lose the World Series.
The Other Kind of Good, the "Not Bad"
The 2005 Baltimore Orioles ran out to a crazy start. They were alone in first place until the end of June. At the end of May however, they were swept at home by the Detroit Tigers.
The Orioles managed to hang on for another month before losing 3 of 4 to the mighty Toronto Blue Jays sent them into a predictable yet pathetic tailspin. Those Orioles gave considerable innings to Rodrigo Lopez, Bruce Chen and Danial fucking Cabrera which eliminates them for worthy comparison. But still, another month of first place? I'll take that.
The 2007 Milwaukee Brewers were in first place on May 21st with a 27-17 record. They went on a West Coast road trip and lost 7 in a row and 8 of 9. They were still in first place when it was over, staying there until the middle of August. The Brew Crew made a return to the top of the division mid-September before faltering down the stretch. They made the playoffs the following year (aka their for it all 2010). Again, I'll take that.
The Braves and the Orioles? That shit is good for what ails you. Then Red Sox Revenge! LET'S ALL RELAX!
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