So as I type this, the Boston Red Sox hold the lead in the American League East division by a slim 1.5 games over the New York Yankees. At one point in the season, they were at least 13.5 games ahead of Evil Empire from the Bronx. The Sox have won one game out of their last 6. It's not quite a freefall, but it sure seems close to me. Management is trying to spin the situation by saying that they're more concerned with post-season play than winning their division; since they'd probably be a lock for the Wild Card spot if they did lose the division race, they'd still make the play-offs, anyway.
Honestly guys? Bullshit. Leading the division - often intimidatingly so - for an entire season, only to lose in the last week? To a team that's your hated rival? A hated rival that you were more than a dozen games up on for a really long time? That's both demoralizing and completely pathetic. Plus, as my wife likes to point out, before you can actually focus on any sort of post-season play, you actually need to win a little bit more in the regular season.
Plus, and feel free to call me old-fashioned here, I like to believe that you go out and actually try to win every game you play, whether you're in first place or last, whether it's March or October. Just writing off games because you've got better things to worry about? That's neither demoralizing nor pathetic. That's just insulting.