Our Magic Number is 163

Magic NumbersNothing brings me back to the innocence of childhood the way baseball does. Throughout the 1980s, I was as big a Blue Jays fan as I was a Maple Leafs fan. In fact, because we had such a competitive baseball team starting in 1983 while our hockey team was always a threat to finish dead last, I followed baseball and particularly Blue Jays statistics closer than any other sport or team.

My fondest memories are of the Magic Number. The Magic Number is simply the number of games that the team leading a division needs to win to ensure winning the division. If you're leading the division with ten games remaining and your Magic Number is three, you only need to win three of those ten games to ensure winning the division. Each time you win, your Magic Number goes down by one. Each time your nearest divisional competitor loses, your Magic Number also goes down by one. When your Magic Number hits zero, you've clinched the division.

During the home stretch of late August and September, I would anxiously attack our delivery of the Toronto Star and head straight for the Sports section. If the Blue Jays were leading the American League East division, and we usually were during the 1980s, there would always be a Magic Number feature. Counting that number down to zero and another Blue Jays pennant is something I fondly recall, especially that first one in 1985.

It's been a very long time since I've been aware of our Magic Number. We haven't been in the playoffs since 1993, and it doesn't look like that streak is going to end any time soon.

Oh yeah, our Magic Number right now is 163. Go Jays Go!


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Comments (9 - click here to join in!)

Andrew

Please don't remind me! 81 home games between now and October... plus a handful of road games. Let's hope they're at least somewhat enjoyable.

:)

March 25, 2010 @ 12:30 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

Ricky Romero will win at least 10 games,
Shaun Marcum is good for 10 if he stays healthy....
thats 20 wins
Can we come up with more?
Aaron Hill and Adam Lind will each win them 5 games with their bats so we are up to 30 wins.

March 25, 2010 @ 1:30 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

can we get George Bell and Tom Henke to come out of retirement in their prime?

March 25, 2010 @ 3:15 PM

James

I've always been a Jays fan first and foremost.

It's funny, I know the Jays have kind of lost the casual sports fan over the past 15 years, but around my age range (27) I notice a ton of hardcore Jays fans. I'm guessing it's because we were about 10/11 years old in 92/93. Formative years I guess.

March 25, 2010 @ 3:20 PM

James

This year may get ugly at times, but I think this season will be quite a bit more enjoyable than last year.

It's a lot more fun to see young, enthusiastic guys with potential win 70 - 75 games than watch older, grumpy guys on the downside of their careers win about the same.

March 25, 2010 @ 3:24 PM

Bryon

I'll admit to losing interest in the Jays for a few years in the late 90's early 2000's, but have regained some of that over the past few years. The Jays have an exciting young core of players who could grow into something great.

Of course, that is always tempered by the fact that the Yankees & Red Sox are able to spend almost 3x than the Jays can.

March 25, 2010 @ 4:38 PM

Megan

Go Jays Go! I have hope as always. I hope they surprise everyone this year. Got my home opener tickets!! Can't wait.

March 25, 2010 @ 6:11 PM

CQ

Baseball is a complete non sport when you're stuck in a weighted schedule division against two(!) giga-spenders while watching the rest of MLB rotate even chance outside-of-A.L.East playoff positions for over a decade.
The sheer yippiness of Toronto's sports marketing then, or beforehand actually, denies any pure audience enjoyment from overall sports regardless.

March 26, 2010 @ 12:22 PM

James

I actually think the support the Jays get these days is pretty impressive when you consider that the team has had pretty much no hope of the playoffs for 15 years. It's not easy to sell tickets after a while when you know 3rd place is the best case scenario.

Luckily, MLB seems to be catching on to how screwed the Jays, Rays and O's have been. There's been reports in the past couple of weeks that they're looking at re-alignment ideas.

March 26, 2010 @ 4:19 PM

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