Much is being made of the 14.5 game lead over the Yanks that the Red Sox had on May 29th (it is May 29th, despite what you are being told. Though the Yanks woke up down 14.5 games on the 30th, they went to bed down 13.5) now being only 1.5 games. And while I'm not a fan who is going to take the "it doesn't matter if they win the division, it only matters that they get in the playoffs" line (because it will SUCK when the Yanks win the division for the 80th fucking year in a row), the change in the standings since May in and of itself is WAAAAAAAAAAY overblown.
First, on May 29th, 50 games into the season, the Sox were playing .700 ball. If they kept that absurd pace up and won 115 games, they'd wind up with the 9th best record of all-time and the third best in the modern era. Assuming that the 115 win pace was unreasonable and they would come back to reality a little at some point and only won say 106 games (a still absurdly high number of games), and the the Yanks kept up their current pace and finised the year with maybe 96 wins, the Yanks still would have made up 5 games in the loss column. So even if the Sox won a ridiculous 106 games, the Yanks would still have played better over the last 100 games by 5 games.
Second, on May 29th, 50 games into the season, the Yanks were playing .420 baseball and were tied with Tampa for worst record in the East. Though they took a ton of shit and Torre was almost canned, did anyone really think they were going to finish the season under .500? They had to get better, right? You figure they'd at least finish maybe 5 or 6 games over .500 at worst. So in their worst case scenario, they go 87-75 and they still would've made up some ground on the Sox even if the Sox finished with the best record in baseball and won 100 games! So using the May 29th record is a little unreasonable. All it goes to show is that at that time the Yankees sucked.
So what I'm really trying to get at here is that the May 29th standings were not a reasonable reflection of what EITHER TEAM was going to do over the course of an entire season. Sure it would've been nice for the Sox to win 115 games and the Yanks to not break 70 wins, but that was never going to happen and no one expected it to. The reality is that over the last 100 games the Yanks have been out of control. They're playing .650 baseball. In their last 21 games, they're 16-5. They would've caught up with anybody (especially the Sox who are 14-12 in their last 26). The Sox still have the best record in baseball and the only way that the East would not be close is if the Sox continued at their absurd pace of May and the Yanks continued to shit the bed. If that were the case, the Yanks would be over 40 games back right now. And I'd be happy as a friggin clam.