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The False Narrative that Tony La Russa Teams "Turn It On" in September

Yesterday I heard Randy Karraker say on his radio show "The Fast Lane" on 101 ESPN that (paraphrasing) "Tony La Russa teams historically perform well in September." While I was immediately shocked that Karraker could make it through a sentence without either being misogynistic or reffering to a well endowed young man (Freud would have a field day with that show), with visions of the collapses of 2006-2008 still fresh in my head, I questioned how truthful his statement was.

The notion that La Russa's Cardinals play their best ball in September was once true. The 2000-2002 teams played an incredible 61-23 for a .726 winning percentage. Which is absurd. However, since 2002 no Cardinals team has had a higher winning percentage in regular season games during September and October than they had over the course of their respective seasons.

After the jump, records!

Year - Sep/Oct record v. Full season record

2010 - 17-15/.531 v. 86-76/.531

2009 - 14-16/.467 v. 91-71/.562

2008 - 12-13/.480 v. 86-76/.531

2007 - 13-18/.419 v. 78-84/.481

2006 - 12-17/.414 v. 83-78/.516

2005 - 15-13/.536 v. 100-62/.617

2004 - 18-13/.581 v. 105-57/.648

2003 - 13-13/.500 v. 85-77/.525

2002 - 21-6/.778 v. 97-65/.599

2001 - 20-8/.714 v. 93-69/.574

2000 - 20-9/.690 v. 95-67/.586

1999 - 11-17/.393 v. 75-86/.466

1998 - 18-7/.720 v. 83-79/.512

1997 - 10-16/.385 v. 73-89/.451

1996 - 17-9/.654 v. 88-74/.543

TOTAL- 231-190/.549 v. 1318-1110/.543

In his Cardinals career, Tony La Russa has a perfectly cromulent winning percentage of .543. His late season teams, which have supposedly "turned it on," have a winning percentage 0.006 points higher. Which makes all the sense in the world, as these types of things generally have a way of evening themselves out.

I'd expect a radio station as reputable as 101 ESPN to do their homework, but those always timely Greg Oden jokes don't write themselves.