Sunday, April 29, 2007

Yo, Meathead!

Okay, a month has gone by in the baseball season! Can you believe it’s been almost a whole month? And while things are maybe not quite how I’d like them, some things are EXACTLY the way I’d want them to be!

Like the Yankees being in last place, for example. It seems like a stretch to have thought that the mighty New York Yankees, with a payroll equal to that of several small-market teams put together, could actually be in last place in the AL East after almost four full weeks of play. Yes, they’re even percentage points worse than the Devil Rays at the moment! Why, only last week, they were hanging tough with the boys from Boston—and then the Red Sox swept the Yankees in Boston last weekend. Since then, New York lost a pair to Tampa Bay and another game to Toronto, boosting their division rivals while taking a fall themselves for their longest losing streak in two years. Can’t wait to see what the Yankees–Red Sox rivalry holds this coming weekend when the teams play in New York.

Now, I rarely get off too much on other people’s misery—but I wonder what George Steinbrenner is thinking now! Both the Boss’s bark and bite have greatly diminished in the last few years, and so far, nary a peep has been heard from him. I’m sure ol’ George has fantasies about wrapping his hands around the necks of GM Brian Cashman or Manager Joe Torre.

Of course, I expect this to change. I’d be totally shocked (albeit psyched!) if the Yanks’ freefall continued. There’s too much high-priced talent (read “Pay-Rod”) for this team to collapse. Also, please note that one six-game losing streak means nothing. The last time the Yankees had such a streak, they still finished first and still made the playoffs. But hey, a guy can dream! If I have this much ill will toward the Yankees and I’m not rooting for any of their division rivals, I can only imagine how Red Sox fans must feel! But Boston fans better keep their shirts on! This race is far from over, and something tells me that neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees will be around when that World Series trophy is being hoisted in October.

Some other surprises around the league:

Cleveland is in first place in the AL Central. Don’t know if anyone thought the Indians would be any good this season. Meanwhile, the Twins, just two games over .500, are in fourth place.

Once again in the AL West, only one team is over .500—but now it’s the Angels, not the A’s. Yes, the A’s had a rough week, while Anaheim could do no wrong. I have a feeling that the front office of the Texas Rangers thought that team would be better. At 8–13 near the end of April, the Rangers better get into crisis mode or this season will be lost before mid-May!

No real surprises in the NL East, unless you count the fact that Philadelphia has climbed out of the cellar and is in fourth place. The Phillies actually have been on a little tear, but they still have a way to go before they can compete with the Mets and the Braves.

The NL Central remains a stunner—the Brewers are still in first place! And the Pirates have climbed into second place! While the Cubs are still last, St. Louis is now in third, Cinci is fourth at two games under .500, and poor Houston, on a six-game skid, has slipped to fifth. This division has the potential to keep fans’ attention for the rest of the season.

I’m sure San Francisco fans are grinning behind their hands at me for predicting that the Giants will falter with nothing to spur on their season besides the Great Home Run Chase by their poster boy for steroids. After an eight-game winning streak, the Giants have surpassed the Dodgers, Padres, and Diamondbacks for first place. But I’m not ready to eat my words yet! Give the Giants some more time and they will fall right back on to the trash heap where Barry Bonds belongs.

SEASONINGS: In the NBA, I want to give credit to the Warriors, Nuggets, and Bulls for each taking at least one game (the Bulls are up 2–0) in their playoff series and making them interesting and fun. Can’t say the same, unfortunately, for the Magic and Wizards, who have not yet won a game—in fact, Orlando is on the verge of being swept by the Pistons. I would give credit to the Lakers for taking one from the Suns, but I think they get way too much credit anyway—especially Kobe. It’s already a common belief that without Shaq, Bryant will never win another thing. Steve Nash and his club will not be stopped by Los Angeles!

Lastly, I’m sure no one would ever have thought they’d hear me say this, but times have changed since the 1990s—let’s go, Bulls!

1 comment:

Ed Attanasio, Freelance Writer, Journalist, Baseball Historian, Comedian and Ad Copywriter said...

Once again Meat. Another article that's both timely and right on target!