I've been counting down the days until it would happen and now less than 72 hours before the trading deadline, the Padres having lost 9 of their last 10 games, sitting atop the NL West with a .500 record. Before the season I commented on how bad the division was, but I figured the Dodgers would slide by the Padres with about 85 wins. Now I'm hoping that the Padres become the first full-season team to win their division with a losing record, as that will just put into larger focus how bad the National League is in 2005.
While I don't think the NL West 2005 champ will be able to "top" 1994's strike-shortened AL West champ Texas Rangers winning percentage of .456, I do think they have a decent opportunity to "best" the 1994 Dodgers .509 percentage for worst first place record in NL West history.
The real number to keep an eye on is the 1973 New York Mets, who won the NL East with a 82-79 mark. In truth, they might have been the most "Miracle Mets", as they barely were over .500, but beat the Big Red Machine in the NL Championship series and then almost knocked off another of the great teams of all-time, the Oakland A's, losing in the 7th game. So NL West, even if you finish with a record below .500, remember, "Ya Gotta Believe" it's still possible to be World Champs!