The first half of the baseball season has ended. We are about 90 or so games into a 72 game season as we’ve reached the All-Star break. Here is my rant of 60 lines about the 30 MLB teams.
The Boston Red Sox are in first again. They started out slow but seem poised to finish fast. They’ve got hitters, pitchers, tradition, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, and the Green Monster. They can only hope they don’t get left feeling green at the end.
The New York Yankees are not in first place and that’s fine with me. Derek Jeter got his 3,000th hit in grand style last weekend. Everyone making a big deal about his absence in the All-Star Game. Game is almost here, let’s drop it now.
The Tampa Bay Rays play in a horrible stadium but in a great division and that will ultimately do them in again this season as they fight the Sox and Yankees for first. David Price is the real deal.
The Toronto Blue Jays have Jose Bautista, AL leader in home runs. They score a lot of runs, but give up a lot too. Two games under .500 won’t get it done in the AL East. They could be a player as a trade deadline approaches.
The Baltimore Orioles started strong but it didn’t last long. Manager Buck Showalter had a good vibe going in April, but now have lost 7 in a row heading into the break. Looks like old times in Baltimore.
The Detroit Tigers have made their move into first and could be there a long time. They have Justin Verlander, maybe the best pitcher in the game. He’s thrown 1 no-hitter already and has come close a couple more times.
The Cleveland Indians are going in the opposite direction of the Tigers. In first most of the season, fans should now be worried with reason. They are still only 1/2 a game out of first, however the bubble may have burst.
The Chicago White Sox are climbing up the standings thanks Paul Konerko’s hot hitting. For southside fans, let’s hope they don’t fold faster than Ozzie Guillen’s spinning. Sox pitching will be the key, would you not agree?
The Minnesota Twins are back in contention. Oh yeah, and Joe Mauer is at first base I must mention. Is it a good move? Only time will tell if it will or not. It could be back to the cellar for the Twins to rot.
The Kansas City Royals. They have Alex Gordon who can rake. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have enough good players to keep it together for a run this season but I can tell you they work hard, that’s not fake.
The Texas Rangers are in first in the AL West and look playoff ready again. Josh Hamilton is the man among men. He survived an early season trip to the DL and may just see the World Series in 2011.
The Los Angeles Angels are just one behind. Jered Weaver, their starting pitcher the All-Star Game did find. With 11 wins and an ERA of under 2.00, he may just be poised for a Cy Young Award.
The Seattle Mariners are fighting for .500 once again. They’ve lost their last 5 though and seemed destined to come up short again in 2011. Brandon League though has 23 saves and that is impressive.
The Oakland A’s hired former Dbacks manager Bob Melvin as a mid-season replacement. Nothing has really changed in the Bay Area and they continue to fall further into the AL West cellar.
The Philadelphia Phillies are the best in the majors. Despite the season long absence, so far, of closer Brad Lidge, the beat continues for a team looking to make yet another run at a World Series title. Oh, and they have some guy named Roy Halladay.
The Atlanta Braves have returned to their 90’s form, putting together good hitting and good pitching. The big question will be can they catch the Phillies? Might be the best race to watch the final two months of the season.
The Washington Nationals haven’t decided if they want to be for real or not. They have a collection of great individual players. Their manager quit mid-season AFTER a win. Good times in D.C.
The Florida Marlins. Best thing you could say about this first half disaster is that they are now less than half a season to getting into a new stadium and attracting at least 16 more fans.
The Milwaukee Brewers are pretty good. They have some guy named Prince Fielder, who is currently on his way to All-Star MVP as I write. Ryan Braun, yeah pretty good too. Can their bullpen carry them to a title? Doubtful.
The St. Louis Cardinals have had their injury woes. They are not the Cards of the early 2000’s, that’s for sure. They are in serious trouble for the NL Central title. Good thing they still have Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are fun to watch. To actually be in contention this late in the season is something to write about. Three all-stars. Impressive. Would be nice to see them keep it up!
The Cincinnati Reds draw like 18 fans a game. However they have some hitters over there. Jay Bruce and Joey Votto leading the way. The lead the NL in runs scored with 437. Yeah, would be great except they’ve given up 408. Hence 4th place.
The Chicago Cubs? Well. They’re horrible. They have a – 84 run scoring difference against the opposition. Same ol’ same ol’….bullpen woes. It’s what has kept the Cubs from winning anything in over 100 years.
The Houston Astros. They have Hunter Pence. That’s hit, just Hunter Pence. Other than that, the race is on to see if they end up losing 100 games or not. I say they will. Worst record in baseball.
The San Francisco Giants have the best pitching in baseball in my opinion. That might just carry them to the title once again. The one issue is their hitting. They’ve scored 84 fewer runs than the 2nd place Dbacks. Pitching wins championships though.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are a surprise in 2011. They’ve put a couple of good short winning streaks together. The bullpen will need to improve though to catch the Giants and maintain their position as a contender though.
The Colorado Rockies were another team that started strong, but started losing their grip in mid-May as expected. They are now 8.5 games back of the Giants. Will they provide more September fireworks? Don’t fall asleep on these guys.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have toiled near the bottom of the NL West all season. Bankruptcy issues, failing to make payroll for some employees, and not very good on the field have left them in 4th. I don’t see them climbing too much higher.
The San Diego Padres could be another team looking to be a player in the fire sale game. Closer Heath Bell is awesome, but may not be around much longer as a Padre. Expect them to finish last.