I have been going a little light on the baseball talk for a few reasons. My head has been occupied mostly by thoughts of the Democratic Primary. I have still found the time to watch way too much baseball, but seeing as I don’t get paid to write this, I only have so much time during the day to write, I stick to what is really grinding my gears (in Peter Griffin’s voice).
But a few quick thoughts on the baseball season. I am not panicing about players who are not performing, or teams who are playing way over their heads. Baseball is a really, really long season and a lot of these things tend to sort themselves out. The problem is, it is April and there is a small sample size, and people need something to talk about. So when David Ortiz is hitting less than half his weight (.177) less than a month into the season I dont tend to panic.
I do however think there are some trends that can be spotted this early.
There is no way that the Marlins are going to be in first place come seasons end. It simply is not going to happen. The Mets have played mediocre to this point, which wouldn’t be so worrisome if they had not look a hell of a lot like this for the majority of last season.
It may be time to start the countdown on Willie Randolph. I do not think he is the right manager for this team. I have felt this way since 2006..
He is way to relaxed, allowing “the game” to work itself out. Which is fine, except this team suffered the greatest (regular season) collapse in the history of baseball (sorry Yankees, you still hold the record for the worst choke job ever) Carlos Delgado looks more and more like a former steroid user who can not figure out how to be 36-year old former power hitter with no power.
The Braves and Phillies are mediocre, and will be hard pressed to compete with the Mets as the season wears on. I think that with the return of Duaner “filthy” Sanchez to the Mets bullpen, following a 21-month layoff due to injury, the Mets are in a position to slowly pull away from the rest of the division. They just have too much offense (when Wright and Reyes are hitting) and too much depth in the bullpen.
The Yankees are not good. There I said it. Just as I predicted, they are not capable of hitting, or pitching enough to keep up with the Redsox.
I was dead wrong about the Whitesox, at least to this point. Acutally I think I predicted the division to look the exact opposite as it does now:
Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals
I dont expect the end of the season rankings to look like that. Detroit has too much offense, and Minnesota has too little.
The Cubs are tough. They just pounded on the Mets in a quick two game series, and they look an awful lot like a playoff team. As Terry predicted, Derrek Lee is having an MVP type of season (.378 7 HR 18 RBI 1 SB) and he is on Terry’s fantasy team.
The Diamond Backs have gotten off to a hot start in the NL west. Good pitching (Terry predicted that Dan Haren was going to good) and great hitting from their young position players has lead to a 6 game lead in the early going.
The Dodgers have been decidedly underwhelling to this point. So much so that Joe Torre had to drop Andruw Jones (and his 50 million dollar contract) into the 8 hole in the lineup yesterday (how far the mighty steriod users have fallen, see: Delgado)
In the AL West, the A’s have held their own (once again as I predicted), the Angels have been the class of the division, and with the immenent return of John Lackey they only look to get better.
A quick Fantasy update, I am winning in my league as I did all during the regular season last year, only to look very much like the New England Patriots and blow it in the Championship game.
I have a tendency to make way too many moves, so I have been trying very hard to excercise some patience. My roster looks very much like it did following the draft.
Johan Santana proved again last night that he was worth the money and the players that were sent to Minnesota. He did exactly what he was brought in to do, which is end a three game lossing streak (he got the win), go deep into the game (7 complete innings, a rarity around Queens these days), and carry the offense (2-2 with a pair of doubles).