The 2014 fall of the Boston Red Sox

Red Sox collapse

No team was happier to see the 2014 MLB season end than the Boston Red Sox. Last year’s World Series champs this season struggled for most of the year and finished 71-91 (.438 winning percentage) 25 games behind the division-winning Baltimore Orioles. The Red Sox also finished in last place in the A.L. East.

If that wasn’t enough, there are a few other stats that help define the Boston collapse:

* Their .438 winning percentage after winning the World Series the previous year was the second worst following season after a World Series title in baseball history. Only the Florida Marlins had a worse drop after a world championship; in 1997 the Marlins won the World Series… the following year they were 54-108 (a .333 winning percentage). That’s the worst drop in winning percentage for a team winning the World Series one year to the next.

* The Red Sox became only the fifth team in MLB history to play under .500 one season, win the World Series the following season, and then finish under .500 the year after winning the title. The others:

L.A. Dodgers: 1987 (.451); won title in 1988; 1989 (.481)

Cincinnati: 1989 (.463); won title in 1990; 1991 (.457)

Florida: 1996 (.494); won title in 1997; 1998 (.333)

Anaheim: 2001 (.463); won title in 2002; 2003 (.475)

The 2012 Red Sox had a .426 winning percentage; they won the title in 2013; their winning percentage in 2014 was .438.

* Boston had the biggest differential in wins from 2013 to 2014. The Red Sox dropped 26 wins… from 97 in 2013 to 71 in 2014. The biggest gain in victories? The L.A. Angels with a +20; they went from 78 wins in 2013 to 98 this past season.

Here’s a look at the teams with the biggest gains (and drops) in wins from 2013 to 2014. (Notice how the top three spots in the biggest gainers are all A.L. West teams.)

Biggest gainers
L.A. Angels +20 (78 to 98)
Houston +19 (51 to 70)
Seattle +16 (71 to 87)
Miami +15 (62 to 77)
San Francisco +12 (76 to 88)
Baltimore +11 (85 to 96)
Chicago White Sox +10 63 to 73)
Washington +10 (86 to 96)

Biggest drops in wins
Boston -26 (97 to 71)
Texas -24 (91 to 67)
Atlanta -17 (96 to 79)
Arizona -17 (81 to 64)
Tampa Bay -15 (92 to 77)
Cincinnati -14 (90 to 76)

Note: Of the 30 MLB teams, 16 improved their win total in 2014 from 2013, one (Philadelphia) had the same win total in 2013 and 2014, and 13 saw a drop in victories from 2013 to 2014. Fourteen of the 30 MLB teams saw a change of at least 10 wins (more wins or fewer wins) from 2013 to 2014.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp

 

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