Discussion

Don't start believin'

Updated: April 19, 2011, 9:32 AM ET
By Keith Law

On April 19, 2009, the Florida Marlins had the best record in baseball at 11-1. The Blue Jays had the best record in the American League at 10-4. The Padres were second in the NL West at 9-4, and the Royals were in a three-way tie for first place at 7-5. None of those teams made the playoffs or came close to keeping up their opening paces. The Marlins barely played .500 ball the rest of the way, while none of the other three clubs would win even 45 percent of their remaining games.

Most years don't turn themselves upside down to that degree, but it sticks out in my mind because I appeared on ESPN Radio late that month (while I was scouting a New Jersey high school player named Mike Trout) and answered questions about whether any of those "hot start" teams could keep it up. The answer, most of the time, was and is "No."

The flavor of the week right now is Cleveland, fresh off a sweep of last week's flavor, Baltimore. I had Cleveland finishing in fourth this year at 67-95, and I still think the Indians are a lot closer to that than they are to a 90-win season.

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