Friday, June 15, 2007

Yo, Meathead!

Whoa, whoa, what the heck happened in baseball while I was away? I leave town for a few days and everything goes all topsy-turvy! Well, maybe not everything, but certainly the AL and NL East are changing. Naturally, a lot of the current trends go against my own feeble predictions from earlier in the season—but I always said I would really have no idea who was good until after the All-Star break! As we all know “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” (how many freakin’ times have you heard THAT before?) so we’ll see who has the last laugh come October.

Now in the heart of interleague play, Mets-Yankees is a tale of two teams moving in opposite directions, much to my disappointment. As I write, the Yankees have won nine in a row and have closed the gap with the Red Sox in the AL East to 7 1/2 games. Meanwhile, the Sox continue to play mediocre ball at best, and are in danger of losing their division lead by mid-July at this pace. The Mets have lost 9 out of 10 as they head into the Bronx tonight, and fortunately for them, the Braves have been playing almost as poorly. Unfortunately for them, the Phillies, who I ridiculed earlier this season, are red hot and have passed Atlanta for second place. They now sit just 2 games behind the Mets. Craziness!

In the AL West, the Angels, A’s, and Mariners are all winning—Oakland and Seattle remain neck in neck for second place, but they just can’t seem to gain any ground on the Angels. Oakland has won 10 out of 12 but still sits 5 games back of Anaheim and tied with the Mariners. The Rangers have become the whipping boy of the West and are now the worst team in baseball. They can’t seem to find a way to win on the road, so they’ll stay in the basement this year.

In the NL West, the Dodgers, Padres, and Diamondbacks are all inconsistent, and they are all lumped up at the top of the division. L.A. has won 3 in a row by sweeping the Mets, and now the Dodgers will try to cool off the Angels in a crosstown series. The God Squad in Colorado is actually making a move in the division, and after an awful start, the Rockies are just 5 games behind the pack. The Giants are last—this is one prediction I’ve been right about up to this point.

The Central Divisions haven’t changed too much, though the Cubs and Tigers are playing good ball and the White Sox are suffering. The Indians and Brewers maintain their division leads, though Detroit is still right there in the AL. The Twins are showing some fight, and they will not go away. They scored 3 in the ninth last night to sweep Atlanta and have won 4 in a row.

I’m looking forward to seeing how some of the weekend interleague series play out. Then I’ll get a chance to go to an interleague game myself, as my wife and I will be seeing Reds-A’s on Monday night. Although I will of course be rooting for Oakland, I respect Ken Griffey, Jr., immensely, and it will be the first time I’ve seen him live since his days with Seattle.

SEASONINGS: By the way, many thanx to Ed for keeping the site going while I was away. Hope you all are reading his articles, which are masterful, as always. While I might question whether or not poker really qualifies as a sport, Ed does trash Phil Helmuth, which I can always appreciate. I definitely agree with Ed about LeBron James. While I applaud his efforts in leading the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals, I don’t think he or his team had much of a chance against the Spurs, who swept Cleveland for their fourth championship with Tim Duncan. James has started to show flashes of real greatness, but the Spurs have a well-rounded, mature team around Duncan who simply overpowered the Cavs with their poise and experience.

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