four teams in the American League are below .500 as I put the
finishing touches on this column. Baltimore and Kansas City were
predictable. You won’t find anyone surprised by those two. Oakland
is a bit of a head-scratcher, but I can’t say that their performance
to date is stunning when you think about it. Instead, they were
the team that everyone mentioned as potentially being good where
everyone should have looked at the club and wondered where the
performance was coming from because it was alot of questions and
potential and not much on history. Cleveland though… yuck.
big fight though is the AL East… where Toronto has been hanging
with the big boys in a contest that promises to come down to the
very end for the top three. Are you ready for this one? Ok… you
asked for it… New York will be playing in October. (Easy now…
easy… it’s part of the regular season schedule. They travel to
Tampa for the final three games of the year. And I think there’s
a decent shot that those games will determine if I’m right (and
the Yankees go home when those games are done… with the Rays making
the playoffs) or wrong (and New York plays on).)
said… only two of the best three American League teams are making
Boston… currently 49 – 33… I thought mid 90… projects to 97 –
New York… 48 – 34… high 80, possibly low 90… projects to 95 –
Tampa Bay… 44 – 39… low 90… 86 – 76
Toronto… 43 – 41… low 80… 83 – 79
Baltimore… 36 – 47… low 70… 70 – 92
~ Maybe this is just a tad bit of self-protection for my pick,
but let’s understand how this season began. They started by playing
Tampa Bay (potentially a great team), California (a likely division
winner), and Oakland (people thought at the time they might approach
90 wins). Six of nine games from that batch on the road. And then…
with May wrapping up… they’d already finished their trips to the
should be stunning that they finished the first months doing better
yet here they sit, in front of the division, bordering on a pace
for 100 wins, and… hold on, because this is true… they’ve finished
the worst part of their schedule AND they’re getting healthy.
I mean seriously… thanks to the David Ortiz sightings in June
and the approaching return of Jed Lowrie (which gives them even
more options in case Mike Lowell is out for a bit)… this Boston
team is actually looking at the trade deadline with eyes fixed
on how to improve for the future, because this season they are
just about locked in place.
let’s not go too crazy and hand out championship rings just yet.
I still believe it is the most impressive collection a bullpen
has assembled in quite some time, there have been some leaks in
recent weeks when it comes to relief work. And if the team decides
to make some trades, it is a lock that one of the relievers from
the big club will be involved… someone like Delcarmen the likely
have demonstrated amazing flexibility such as Mark Kotsay able
to play the outfield and first base. Along with Baldelli the outfield
has some good depth, but he’s also proven able to play first pretty
well. That allows Youkalis to move to third, and just shows how
deep a club they are by being able to play all of these guys with
the entire roster getting time and without a logjam at DH.
this is also a club that runs really hot or really cold. They
have scored two or fewer runs in about 20% of their games this
season. And it’s happened to them more than it has to New York
or Tampa. So sure it looks like they’re scoring runs… they’re
wish I had more… but the big thing to understand with Boston is
how much is involved in movable parts and how loaded… how flexible…
and how settled this team and organization is. For example… let’s
say Lowell is hurt more than anyone seems to think right now.
The Red Sox don’t automatically need a replacement for Lowell.
They have Youkalis… meaning they could look for a first baseman
instead of someone for third. They have Lowrie coming up, and
could place him at third with Youkalis remaining at first and
then leave Nick Green at shortstop… meaning they trade for nothing
has played well… so they don’t need to find a catcher for this
have a ton of starting pitching, but now none of it is on assignment
or out of options… so they don’t need to trade Buchholz or Bowden,
part with Masterson, or force any of them into the rotation.
cut down on their salary… so they could take advantage of a bargain
if it presented itself.
with a starting punch of Lester and Beckett, the club already
has a solid… and tested… rotation for playoff baseball.
about this (and if you don’t like Boston, sit down). On top of
everything else, Boston has Bard as an option for Papelbon (who,
funny enough, is actually the oldest of Boston’s big pitching
names)… they just drafted a player that could become Ellsbury’s
replacement and signed a 19-year old shortstop… and all in all,
just have an amazing wealth of talent and flexibility right now.
club doesn’t have to do anything. If they get healthy and are
hitting, they are very scary in all areas.
York ~ Did anyone else notice the Yankees switched around their
starting rotation early on? Yup, they flipped Sabathia and Chamberlain
over a weekend against the Royals. And to me, that said something
that no one else has mentioned. A quick recap of it…
pitched Saturday in Kansas City. His second start. Joba pitched
Sunday. His first.
quick initial glance should earn a shrug of the shoulders
on that one. Several teams tinker with their rotation early on.
Fifth starters often get less starts over the course of the year.
So Sabathia going again and Chamberlain being held back? Not much
to talk about.
off… Joba. Now entering the third season of his career, he has
yet to deliver many innings. Last year… 100.1. Career high. And
he had arm troubles. So, in part, this switch was probably, at
least slightly, an effort to ease back on the gas here and get
him into fewer games… meaning less pitches/innings.
too bad an idea, except if that one is true…
associated item… Sabathia. This guy dies in the playoffs.
Plays on fumes. Doesn’t show it in August or September. Does well
then. So flipping him to get an extra start? I see the value in
it on the surface. But if we’re reducing Joba’s innings, and looking
more deeply at the details, put me in the so-far-silent group
that says if you think you’re going to cruise into the playoffs,
then having Sabathia pick those extra innings up isn’t a wise
that leads to our third point… they were playing the Royals! Boston
started out with Tampa, California and Oakland. They didn’t switch
their rotation around. But the Yankees make the flip in Kansas
City… which just makes no sense to me.
I meant to say this stuff all along. And that was kind of going
to be the end of it, while I hoped for something to happen in
August so I could chuckle. But in may, my rant about stuff was
summed up by that one passage.
something crazy happened in June. Here’s what I said in the June
and I traveled up to Fenway to see game one of the Yankees –
Red Sox series. It was a good game… I called Ortiz’s home run
before the first pitch had even been thrown… but there was something
else that happened and I’d like to comment on it.
the Yankees might be dead by mid-August.
the game we went to, Dad was running an informal count. According
to his math... and admittedly, between rain and mist and some
other conversation, we weren't paying specific attention to
it all the time... in the eighth inning as the Red Sox finished
batting, the Yankees had finally retired the side in less than
20 pitches. Robertson accomplished that with his wonderful total
of 19 thrown. We can’t be 100% sure of it, and the math doesn’t
completely work when you realize how many pitches Burnett threw
in less than three innings. Still… New York pitching… 179 pitches
in 8 innings of work. 22+ an inning. (And, Burnett threw 84
pitches. Hardly a quick exit… that’s just barely less than a
full game and it was a lousy, stress-filled effort. Essentially,
he pitched a full game.)
next night, Wang couldn’t record nine outs either, though his
night was over after just 69 pitches. The New York staff came
out of the second game averaging just under 20 pitches an inning
for that contest (and if you round off… it was 20… since they
threw 158 in another 8 innings of work).
initial glance at the third game seems to indicate better things.
After all, Sabathia went deep into the game. But hold on… Sabathia
threw 123 pitches overall and is credited with finishing seven
innings… he went back to the mound to start the eighth because…
well… the Yankees have no reliable arms in the bullpen.
starters not going three innings… no reliable relievers, at
all… and LOTS of pitches being thrown.”
then before I can develop another comment beyond the diary entry…
I mean the very next thing you know… Sabathia is coming out quickly
know… I know… it looks like the Yankees are playing better now.
Sabathia made his next start and the gap has actually closed to
two-and-a-half as I write this. But New York hasn’t traveled to
the west coast yet, the bullpen is still sketchy (although Phil
Hughes, I will grant you, looks like an answer to help solidify
things), and their starting rotation… to me at least… is still
the equivalent of four tires plus the spare with two blow-outs
believe me? Ok… then that’s probably because of how rested the
Yankee starters are. See… as I mentioned in the NL review, Yankee
starters can’t go as deep into games as Rockie starters. (And…
no joke… Colorado starters have managed to pitch more innings,
and yet none of them are really close to the number of innings
Sabathia has thrown.)
team is very likely heading to a collapse. You heard it here.
They don’t have the pitching.
Bay ~ There’s an old saying about water. Goes something like this…
water always finds its own level.
mention this because… for the most part… you could use that expression
for baseball teams too. 162 games has a tendency to balance out
hot streaks… cold streaks… hiccups… and general oddities. And
out of the 30 teams, at the end of the year if we looked at the
standings I don’t think we’ll see too many results that would
be considered surprises. Oh there’ll be Texas and Seattle possibly
finishing strong… but Detroit, Minnesota and Chicago fighting
for the AL Central won’t raise too many eyebrows. Cleveland in
the bottom of the division wasn’t expected by the majority… but
Baltimore pulling up the rear in the AL East certainly was.
games… ball clubs always find their own level. It’s a perverse,
marathon example of the Parcells idea that a team is what their
key words in the description I just offered are “most” and “tendency”
though… because it isn’t a perfect concept. Injuries… trades…
and good old fashioned overachieving and underachieving can all
chip in and screw up the seemingly wisest of predictions.
the most part, many teams are exactly what you sort of expect
them to be. Ahh… but what are those expectations? Because the
Twins at 85 wins and the Twins at 90 wins doesn’t seem like much
of a difference… you might have accepted either total from me
back in March (even if one was the thought that I had them a bit
high, but you could at least see it as possible)… but those five
games could be the difference between first and third when that
division is settled.
year, people in Boston tend to wonder why the Red Sox aren’t winning
enough… and yet somehow, without any point in the season satisfying
the craving for a 45-game winning streak or three, the Sox hit
94… 95… 96.
Water finds its level… but what was that darn level?
mention all of this… or maybe, better said, babble about
all of this… because here we are looking at Tampa and I’m not
certain what to say.
they want to be water. They want to be a consistent winner and
have that be our expectation of them. And they have youth, talent
and to a degree now, even playoff experience. But at the beginning
of the season I didn’t think they were ready to actually be water.
I felt they were good, but had overachieved last season, and that
as a result, we were heading for some finding of the proper level
in 2009… some reality checks… some “that’s a bit more like it”
a pace for 86 wins sounds just about right for that looking at
things today. But I thought they’d do better than that. And you
know what? I still do. I think this is the wild card team.
picked a day at random… May 29th… and looked up the Rays. They
were 23-27 at the time… 6 games behind Boston. Since then… 21
– 12 to reach 44 – 39 on the year. And everyone is in roughly
the same position except Toronto.
a bad start, and all sorts of other things… and yet the Rays are
playing decent ball for about five weeks now. They didn’t curl
up and disappear. (Hello Mr. Met! I’m waving at you! And while
you keep claiming injuries… injuries… injuries with some justification
as the Phillies prepare to pull away… the fact remains that you
didn’t make the playoffs with those guys the past couple of years.
Suck it up, put on a jock and play some real ball.)
I think the Rays are going to stay in this thing and be a factor
when September rolls around.
~ Want to know why Roy Halladay isn’t likely to get traded? Because
neither Boston or New York want him. I know… I know… crazy talk.
Stay with me.
is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and many people would
argue the best. (I’m not one of those. One of the best… yes. The
best… no. I’d probably go after Tim Lincecum first… I think he
may be the best, has downright nasty stuff, and of the
candidates we could discuss he’s also the youngest and least expensive.
Of course, he’ll be wearing a San Francisco uniform for quite
some time. And debating who is the best might not really be the
most important point. See… back to Halladay specifically… and
the age and expense topics…) He’s also 32-years old and will be
seeking a monster contract in about two years since this is the
tail end of those prime years of a career and the last make-it-rich
trip to the market. So… to start… you’d have to give up a ton
to get him, and then pay him a ton to keep him long term. Plus,
suppose he doesn’t want to stay. He could force your hand when
this season is done. (Though I wouldn’t expect that to happen.)
He’s a very unusual and unexpected player on the market this year…
expensive on all sides. No giving up only a little because you’ll
pay his contract, and no giving up alot and getting him cheap.
But that’s not all…
Boston isn’t scared by him. Don’t believe me? Ok… then you go
find another team that has gone 12-12 against him and left Halladay
with a 4.46 ERA. (Amazingly… the California Angels aren’t afraid
of him either and might qualify as an “other” team… they’ve got
a losing record at 5-8 against him but that’s with a 4.33 ERA,
so they do score on him. The point is, since the Angels seem to
love bashing New York around, it is kind of funny that Halladay
doesn’t pitch brilliantly against either of New York’s main AL
New York? The guy owns the Yankees… Halladay is 16-5 against New
York with a 2.91 ERA. But let’s start adding this up…
you’re Boston, you aren’t afraid of him opposing you… and you
don’t have to overpay for anyone to fix holes… and why would you
want to pay a ton for him when he’s older than the heart of your
current or blossoming staff? (Beckett, Lester, Matsuzaka, Masterson,
Buchholz and Bowden are all significantly younger than Halladay.)
Read: Without even needing to go deeply into this, he’s not coming
Boston. The Sox are in this only to drive up the price. Unless
something unfathomably ridiculous happens, he will never be wearing
you’re New York, sure it would be great to have him. But, unless
Sabathia opts out… which doesn’t happen this year… he’ll cost
you a fortune and doesn’t have the track record against Boston
or California that makes him a must to trade for. No, for the
Yankees it makes more sense when he approaches free agency to
pursue him. When… naturally… he’ll be about 34-years old and a
perfect fit on the geriatric roster of misfits, especially if
Sabathia decides New York isn’t where he wants to stay. (And seriously…
after the 2010 season… if New York hasn’t been to the playoffs
or keep struggling to win a round if they do make it… Sabathia
might just be looking at the opt out clause and counting the seconds
until he can use it.)
I really like Halladay and would enjoy having him on my team.
But I wouldn’t be doing anything crazy to trade for him. For most
teams, he won’t be worth the price they’ll have to pay.
than that, life in Toronto is a mixed bag. And to that end… I
give you Vernon Wells.
the Blue Jays were finishing third in the American League East
races virtually every year, they could talk all about how they
had some really good players, but needed the stars to align if
a window was going to open to truly compete with the Red Sox and
the Yankees. But they’d point at Halladay and at Wells, and talk
about how they had some talent. Then they made moves for players
like A.J. Burnett and B.J. Ryan… because that would help… and
in the end failed.
2008, the good ship Disaster struck the Blue Jays, as the stars
aligned not north of the border, but in the desolate baseball
locale of Tampa. Good lord… the Rays are solid, young, money-safe
(so to speak), and arguably one of the three best teams in the
American League. (Read: League, not just division. Hecl,
they could be the best three teams in baseball.)
go ahead and claim you don’t want to trade in the division. Sounds
smart when stated simply. But as a practice? That’s just stupid.
Stupid on top of stupid. You trade for the best offer or you don’t
trade. Is it really worth sacrificing the best deal so that Boston
or New York doesn’t get Halladay for… what… like 5 starts against
Toronto this year and next? Either club could get him through
free agency eventually, and, maybe even after this very season
if he gets traded and opts out of the deal or demands a trade
(as I believe is his right if he gets traded in the middle of
his multi-year deal). Having Halladay or not having Halladay will
not be the reason for either club to finish ahead of the Jays
in 2009 or 2010. But… if they should be the team offering the
best deal… the idea is simple… turning it down just to get him
out of the division is dumb.
starting to vent a bit at the absutrdity…
are that Toronto is beginning to wonder about the contract that
is Vernon Wells, and even wondering if maybe it would be worth
getting less for Halladay if someone would just take Wells along
with him… when the cold reality that they have to face is that
they aren’t third in this division any more.
oh yeah… speaking of the future and adjusting in this division…
we now get to…)
~ …where things aren’t great, but it appears that there are barnacles
and lots of rust finally getting scraped off. Youth is being developed
and talent has been sighted. Maybe it’s about as big a difference
in the grand scheme of wastelands as the small plant being a sign
of overall life in Wall-E… the fact remains that if you
like the Orioles, a tiny plant is a very big deal, and the comparison
to the film may apply on a deeper level.
need pitching. Tons of pitching. Any kind of pitching
at all… starters… relievers… righties… lefties… hit 85+ on a gun
and get an invite next spring. Heck, I think out in the fun and
games sections of Eutaw Street you can meet a scout, run some
drills, and have a report filed about you with the club. Big incentive
for all of you Maryland-resident parents out there to teach the
kids to throw lefty and start attending games more often when
they can break 60 on a radar gun reading.
Jones is making last year’s trade look like a no-brainer in their
favor. And Nick Markakis is in town for the foreseeable future.
And Matt Wieters has arrived.
don’t need to spend a ton of time talking about the Orioles. The
only thing 2009 has in store for them is trade possibilities for
players like reliever George Sherrill. That said… this is a different
kind of feel for a Baltimore club in the bottom of the division.
There might be… you know… an actual plan at work that could show
up in two or three years as realized progress.
Detroit… 44 – 38… mid 80… 87 – 75
Minnesota… 43 – 40… high 80… 84 – 78
Chicago… 42 – 40… low 80… 83 – 79
Kansas City… 36 – 46… mid 70… 71 – 91
Cleveland… 33 – 50… low 90… 64 – 98
~ While the AL Central is a bit different than the NL Central,
the story line is sort of similar.
there, no teams are running easily above a .500 record… and with
so many clubs looking positively average, everyone wants to believe
they have a shot at the first round of the 2009 playoffs.
over here in the American League Central, we also have a grouping
of teams all believing October might not be 28 days of raking
leaves or heading out on vacation. Several of them believe they
have a shot at the postseason.
has done well, but when you map out where they are and where they
seem to be headed, not so well as to actually be dominant (or
even very good). It’s an 87-win pace. A casual jog you might say.
Let us compare… a look at the AL East third place team finds Tampa
with the same number of wins. See what I mean?
for the Tigers, the Royals and the Indians have been bad enough
that playing marginally above average so far has already whittled
the competition for the division down to two teams. And, realistically,
the Tigers should have the firepower to hold both of those other
Verlander will not be winning the Cy Young award… but he’s the
best starter on the three clubs in contention here right now.
good can Minnesota be? That should interest the Tigers. Is there
a trade or two to get some players into Detroit without raising
the salary? That should be investigated as well. Because the questions
about Joe Mauer and his start-of-the-season injury have been answered.
The Twins didn’t falter without him, and are right there in the
rear view mirror.
think the Tigers have the upper hand… and I think Mauer’s production
will drop as the season drags on… and yet I don’t think the Tigers
are much better than the 87-win pace they are already on.
~ Here’s a prediction… and this is why I can’t take the Twins
seriously. As I put the final touches on this column, Minnesota
is preparing for the arrival of the mighty New York Spankees.
(Not the classy or legendary New York Yankees. They’re tearing
that building down.) And the local paper… the mythical Star
Tribune… is eagerly covering the arrival and saying the team
is ready for this huge test.
to bet the Twins get swept? I say yes, they do.
that’s what Minnesota does when New York shows up in the same
stadium… whether in New York or Minnesota… they roll over and
that folks is why I can’t put the Twins into serious playoff contention.
and Nathan and Mauer… dangerous club.
when the chips are on the table, it always seems like their being
congratulated on a good effort.
~ I have to admit… I never give the White Sox much credit. They
probably deserve… actually, they definitely deserve…
more attention from me.
this organization… from the front office to the manager… reminds
me of the family member you rarely call because anything
could happen if you do. He (fine… or she) might ask you for money.
He might offer you a pair of tickets for a great show that he
can’t use. He might trick you into helping him move. He might
offer to treat you to an expensive dinner. There usually is no
middle ground… if you pick up the phone you’re going to be shaking
your head by the time you hang up.
general idea I am trying to make is… the White Sox could be in
the playoffs… the White Sox could finish fourth… Chicago could
run off ten straight wins and take off from the pack in this division…
Chicago could lose seven straight and fall double-digits behind…
there is just really nothing that should shock you, even though
every story out of the Windy City seems like a surprise.
got a pitching rotation fronted by the ultimate so underrated
he’s overrated even though everyone forgets about him poster boy,
Mark Beurhle. All the guy does is look like he’s going to approach
20 wins, while actually hitting 16 with an ERA around 3.70 when
all is wrapped up. Bobby Jenks is in the bullpen… he’s going to
save 35 – 40 games while not being one of the more impressive
closers in the American League again.
nothing flashy there.
about the hitting?
they’re led by Paul Konerko, Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye. Now that
was awesome when Konerko, Thome and Dye were in their primes,
just falling short while leading the White Sox against Baltimore
in the 1983 playoffs. (Ok… that’s simply not fair of me. Actually
those three… along with Scott Podsednik and others… are doing
a great job with the offense. While Thome has missed a couple
more games than the rest, they are all turning in solid years…
with the big three a threat to all cross over 35 home runs and
100 RBIs by the time we finish things off.)
it’s offense that’s winning in Chicago folks. With the exception
pretty much of the player that for some amazing reason cannot
be replaced… Brian Anderson (luckiest regular position player
in baseball, consistently getting on the field for a team that
has made the playoffs)… just about everyone in the order has on-base
percentages solidly over .325 and batting averages over .260.
(The Red Sox must hate them.)
City ~ You could make the case… and I would let you… that while
Washington struggles, the Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh
Pirates are the two worst run franchises in major league baseball.
did they expect with players like Bruce Chen… Sidney Ponson… Kyle
Farnsworth? Hell… it’s Kyle Farnsworth!
Greinke and Joakim Soria would be welcomed with oopen arms by
any club in the major leagues. And Gil Meche? I owe the man (and
the club) and apology for that one, because I can’t say he’s been
awful. Hell… even Brian Bannister is a decent player.
I don’t know if there is a single position player on this roster
that I would want starting for a team I managed. I like some of
the guys as role players… say like Mark Teahen. And maybe he could
start. But there isn’t much here.
kind of funny too… because if you study their stats, you could
go blind. I mean it. They actually start to look acceptable.
second baseman with roughly a .300 average and .350 on-base percentage?
Why… with that… I could build around Alberto Callaspo.
like I said… you miss things… you go blind. You stare long enough
and if the numbers start swimming in your head, you miss that
they don’t have a shortstop… some of their pitchers would be better
playing short because they get on-base during interleague play.
Or you miss that despite a number of guys getting on-base a third
of the time, they can’t score any runs. And it’s not that a third
of the time is anything extraordinary or even good… it’s just
that the club seems so… well… blah.
this the same place that didn’t have enough room for all of its
young outfield talent?
~ I feel sorry for the Indians. Not only do they come out of the
gate like a turtle strapped to a concrete block, but before his
suspension Manny was talking about how lovely a place it would
be to end his career. Lucky them.
course… we’re now in July… and that turtle pulled over to the
side of the road and came to a complete stop. 31 – 49? 31 – 49?
Do you want to know how hard it is to go 31 – 49? The Orioles
have zero pitching… a worse road record than Cleveland… and
they play in the American League East, where every other team
has a winning record. They’re 35 – 43. That’s 5 games better than
the Indians in the standings. (While cruising in at 11-18 against
the AL East to start, Baltimore is… 1-11… on the road against
divisional foes. Still… better than Cleveland.)
the Washington Nationals are worse this season… and despite my
ramblings about the Pirates and the Royals, I’m pretty sure the
Nationals aren’t a real team. Judging by what I saw during interleague
play, the villagers in Washington think their club is the Boston
will be interesting to see is how much of this club they keep
together. Because it will likely be very tempting to trade off
California… 46 – 35… low 90… 92 – 70
Texas… 45 – 36… high 70, possibly a winning record… 90 – 72
Seattle… 43 – 39… high 60… 85 – 77
Oakland… 35 – 46… mid 80, possibly as high as 88… 70 – 92
~ As opposed to past years, the Angels aren’t running away with
the division this year. And Texas is doing a great impression
of a 90-win team so far. In other words, no walk in the park to
is their division to lose… and they won’t.
still needing some time to be in reliable shape, John Lackey is
back and pitching ok. Against Arizona recently he went 7 innings
giving up 0 runs while striking out 9.
Fuentes could cross 50 saves on the year. (Who says the closers
role in California allows you to compile numbers easily? Not me…
ha-ha.) And actually, Fuentes is turning in results equal to…
if not better than… his best efforts while in Colorado.
the team seems to be getting healthier… and seems to be winning…
and seems to be quietly moving along.
is Vladimir Guerrero? He’s missed virtually half of the season
so far, and it ain’t pretty. While still a threat when he does
reach the batter’s box, the power is gone this year and there
is a chance he won’t be around for 100 games this season… his
lowest total since 1997 is definitely a possibility.
club is aggressive and has lots of ways to beat you… but without
Guerrero I wonder if they can make it out of the first round of
the playoffs. And… perhaps… if they can hold off the Rangers.
~ Seriously… California should hold them off, but there
is an every-so-slight chance they won’t.
originally thought that if everything went perfectly in Texas,
85 wins would be the likely result. And that would be my current
prediction for where they’ll land. But that’s a bit above what
I expected to happen… a losing record and struggles.
take a look at… of all things in Texas… pitching.
man… Scott Feldman… is making his starts, winning about half of
them and getting no decisions in many of the others. The 26-year
old has made a huge jump this season… which is strange because
other than a lowered ERA, most of his numbers are consistent with
the Scott Feldman that had an ERA over 5 last year as a starter…
just about 6 innings per start, a strikeout every 2 innings… a
walk every 3 innings… this is a recording.
honestly, Feldman is a great example of what confuses me about
the Rangers. There’s nothing unusual here.
Murphy is doing well and Michael Young can still hit. They have
a couple of guys that will threaten 40 home runs. But nothing
we really supposed to believe that by doing the same things they’ve
done every year this club is going to just stop opponents from
scoring as many runs and make it to the playoffs? I’m not ready
to buy into that just yet.
is wrong here… and I think the concrete block in Cleveland will
be looking to hop a ride with Texas by mid-August. There’s an
old saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over
while expecting different results. I did some research… and I
see the same stuff happening.
~ Franklin Gutierrez.
saw this coming?
if things are staying the same in Texas, then the differences
in Seattle explain the results.
is likely going to finish this season with a career high in batting
average… beating it by 20-30 points! He’ll likely top highs in
home runs as well. Solid year.
Suzuki and Russell Branyan are delivering strong efforts for the
club as well.
Hernandez will be in the Cy Young discussions before all is said
and done. David Aardsma… come on, seriously, David Aardsma
is turning into one of the league’s top closers this season.
Exactly why is Texas threatening in this division with nothing
new or different while Seattle is getting alot from really unexpected
like this Seattle club right now. I made a joke about the Angels
holding off the Rangers. The reality is, they should be concerned
about the Mariners. They pose a bigger threat to California than
~ Stupid… stupid… stupid… why the heck did I buy into the hype?
should have been a no brainer.
brings in Cabrera and Giambi and Garciaparra… all of which I mentioned…
and they expect to be big winners? No… we shouldn’t expect that.
leaves his comfort zone… and we expect big numbers? He;s had moments…
but geez… it wasn’t a given that he’d play well. And honestly,
moments or no, he really hasn’t earned a big contract for 2010.
pitching staff is made up of players you don’t know… and if you
tell me you do know Dallas Braden and Trevor Cahill and Brett
Anderson then you either live in northern California or you’re
lying to me. And… more to the idea here… only those three have
been regular starters for the club. If you want to know why this
club faltered, in addition to the regular position players, just
consider that only four pitchers have managed to reach 10 or more
yet… even with a pitching staff in chaos, which I really didn’t
think of in March… I shouldn’t have bought the hype. I should
have seen this one coming.