July 26, 2015
This past week in Major League Baseball has seen quite a few things. Cueto to the Royals (best team in AL this year), a no no from Cole Hamels (would someone trade for him already!), A-Rod had a 3 home run game in Minnesota (best comeback story all year). So what stands out to you? If the playoffs were to start right now the Yankees, Royals, and Angels would be the division winners in the American League with the Twins visiting the Astros in a one game playoff. Keep in mind the Royals used that game to springboard themselves into the World Series last year. The National League would shape up as follows: the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Nationals would win their divisions and Pittsburgh would host San Francisco…wait isn’t this the same lineup as last year in the NL? Lets revisit, the Giants went to Pittsburgh for the one game playoff at PNC. Then took out the Nationals as the Cardinals beat Kershaw-Greinke & Co. The Giants beat the Cardinals and then one of the best World Series this side of St. Louis vs Texas took place. Okay so maybe it is a little ho hum in the NL. The Cubs and Mets are realistically the only other two baseball clubs within striking distance of a playoff berth at the moment. The Mets have added two bats…two bench players and the Cubs have yet to make the Theo Epstein blockbuster trade(s) he pulled off while in Boston. In the AL the Blue Jays are the only team at or above .500 not in the playoff picture. They have the offense to scare the hell out of anyone but can the pitching/defense get there as well? Time will tell. The MLB Trade Deadline is fast approaching and beyond the Blue Jays acquiring David Price and the above mentioned Cole Hamels (still waiting on that trade) I just don’t see them having a well rounded enough team to push the other teams in front of them. As for the teams under .500 lets use the team with the worst record in the AL to make the case they are all doomed. The Boston Red Sox are 43-55 on the season, that adds to 98 games played and 64 left. Even if they finished the season winning 3 out of every 4 games they’d only finish with 91 wins. Hardly any optimism can come from that. The NL is slightly more wide open in terms of the Wild Card, however after you get past the Mets the Padres are the next team in the standings and haven’t shown any reliability all year. Barring a historical collapse such as…oh I don’t know…the Red Sox’s collapse of 2011; the playoffs are basically set. It ought to be a fun few days leading up to the Trade Deadline and perhaps even a few blockbusters could happen in August. Who is playing well right now? The Yankees have won 8 of 10, rumors say they could add Aroldis Chapman to the bullpen! Please Cashman please let us see Betances, Miller, Chapman at the end of games! However the Giants are also rumored to be in on Chapman and Cincinnati seems like they are motivated now that they have unloaded Cueto. As for those Giants they have won 9 of 10 and seem as if they would like to play postseason baseball in an odd numbered year. The Cardinals have won 7 of 10 and rumor has it they are good. They truly are baseball’s best ran organization I feel. Giants, Yankees, Cardinals…baseball royalty you could say. Before I forget the Philadelphia Phillies have also won 8 of 10 games for reasons unknown. For every yin there is a yang and the fun now starts as we delve into the MLB clubs who are quite frankly an embarrassment to their fanbases at the moment. The Boston Red Sox have lost 9 of 10 in what has became another lost season. The only solace is they have shown the willingness to blow the team up at a moments notice and turn that into a World Series win-check 2013 World Series. Both the Marlins and Indians have lost 7 of 10 and it sure is a long way from 1997-check 1997 World Series-spoiler alert Craig Counsel. The Marlins did go 10-10 post Giancarlo Stanton’s injury, please someone get this man healthy, but they seem poised to have a sell off of their own starting with reliever Steve Cischek. What has happened in Cleveland? They have the manager, the Cy Young winner, and a pretty good roster if memory serves. It seems ever since they got rid of Chief Wahoo as a primary logo they have just been stuck spinning the tires in the muck of mediocrity. It also doesn’t help they play in the same division as the Royals and Tigers…the latter has been relevant for a decade now prior to the this season’s fiasco. Will we have a surprise World Series participant this year? Who knows. All signs point to a rematch of 1985 and the state of Missouri being the center of the baseball universe. However there are ten teams or so that will have their say in that before all the dust settles. It is going to be an interesting sprint to the finish.