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So This is Life in the AL Central

In December I argued that the AL Central wasn't weak, it was average. Since 2005, we've had two eerily similar results for the division winner. In 2006, 2007, 2010, and 2011, the division winner had 94-96 wins. In 2008 and 2009, there were one game playoffs at 86 and 88 wins.

I essentially objected to a straw man argument that I saw lingering behind discussion of the Royals chances, namely that the division is weak and that if you get to 85 wins you're a contender. Of course, division strength is a multi-layered discussion, and we're all in agreement that the AL Central isn't the AL East.

Anyway, the Royals have had just about everything imaginable go wrong since the beginning of Spring Training, and they've played poorly in their first 21 games. Nevertheless, at 6-15 the Royals are just 5.5 games out of first and just 4.5 games behind division favorite Detroit.

AL Central Standings

Cleveland 11 9 .550 0 Won 1
Chicago 11 11 .500 1 Won 1
Detroit 11 11 .500 1 Lost 1
Kansas City 6 15 .285 5.5 Lost 1
Minnesota 6 15 .285 5.5 Won 1

(updated 4.29.2012 at 8:01 PM EDT)

For a team that has already managed to lose 12 straight games, it's pretty incredible to only be 5.5 games out.

OK, actually, it isn't. Other than the Angels -- who are an amazing 9.5 games behind Texas - nobody's technically buried yet. The Red Sox are in last, but are only 3.5 games back, the Marlins are in last, but are only 5.5 games out too. Nevertheless, the Indians, White Sox, and Tigers appear to be roughly similar, interchangeable blobs.

So to quote Yost, I believe, the Royals are just six good days from first place. Our Time.