And these are the standings at the halfway point of 2008:
AL EAST BOSTON 57-40 - TAMPA BAY 55-39 .5 GB NEW YORK 50-45 6 GB TORONTO 47-48 9 GB BALTIMORE 45-48 10 GB
The coach is starting to turn back into a pumpkin. After shocking the world by making it this far into the season still above .500, the Rays close out the first half of the season on a 7 game losing streak, losing first place to the Red Sox. Their lack of experience tells me that they'll fall further back to Earth in the second half and the division will come down to the Red Sox and Yankees...sigh...yet again.
AL CENTRAL CHICAGO 54-40 - MINNESOTA 53-42 1.5 GB DETROIT 47-47 7 GB KANSAS CITY 43-53 12 GB CLEVELAND 41-53 13 GB
What the hell happened here?! Detroit was supposed to rock the entire league! The Indians were supposed to be primed and ready for another playoff run! The Ozzie Guillen self-destruction watch should have been coming to a head right about now! Instead, the Tigers are a mere .500, the Indians have given up and are looking to next year, and the White Sox are in first place! Again, what the hell happened?
AL WEST LOS ANGELES OF ANAHEIM 57-38 - OAKLAND 51-44 6 GB TEXAS 50-46 7.5 GB SEATTLE 37-58 20 GB
I've said it before, but the Angels could go 10 games under .500 for the second-half and still win the division. Oakland could have made it close with Rich Harden, but giving him away means Billy Beane's got his eyes on next year. And I don't doubt the A's will be DANGEROUS next year. The Rangers might still have a chance with that core hitting group, but the Angels pitching might be too much with Saunders settling in, Santana continuing his resurrection, and Lackey still showing utter dominance.
NL EAST PHILADELPHIA 52-44 - NEW YORK 51-44 .5 GB FLORIDA 50-45 1.5 GB ATLANTA 45-50 6.5 GB WASHINGTON 36-60 16 GB
You almost gotta pity New York Mets fans, because they're within arms' reach of first place, before you remember that it's a Jerry Manuel team, meaning the wheels will inevitably come off. Philly shouldn't have a problem winning here, in spite of Brett Myers and Ryan Howard's poor batting average. Just don't expect them to make much noise in the playoffs.
NL CENTRAL CHICAGO 57-38 - ST. LOUIS 53-43 4.5 GB MILWAUKEE 52-43 5 GB CINCINNATI 46-50 11.5 GB PITTSBURGH 44-50 12.5 GB HOUSTON 44-51 13 GB
This is very interesting. Didn't expect to see the Cards in 2nd, but unless they make a big move to match Chicago and Milwaukee, they won't be able to compete much longer. The Brewers are going all-in with the Sabathia trade, but if Rich Harden and Carlos Zambrano hold up, the World Series is the Cubs' to lose. Who ever thought THAT would be the case at the halfway mark?
NL WEST ARIZONA 47-48 - LOS ANGELES 46-49 1 GB SAN FRANCISCO 40-55 7 GB COLORADO 39-57 8.5 GB SAN DIEGO 37-58 10 GB
At the risk of sounding repetitive, what the hell happened here?! This was supposed to be the strongest division in baseball! Instead, everyone's under .500! Arizona has the pitching to carry the day, but that starting lineup is just sad. The Dodgers can make a run, but Brad Penny's having career worst's in just about every category. It might be all up to Derek Lowe, unless Jason Schmidt miraculously shows up ready to pitch. Oh, and can I just say that between Schmidt and Andruw Jones, the Dodgers have the two single-worst contracts in all of baseball? After making the World Series last year, the Rockies have become the NL's punching bag again. What a bummer.
At this rate, seeing a Cubs/White Sox WS is a very real possibility. Although a much more incredible match would be a Cubs/Rays WS (history's losers vs. today's losers).
Phillies are in bizarro world with weak starting pitching and a strong bullpen. Their Manuel isn't a MENSA member either. If you look at the schedules in the American League East from July 31st on, the Red Sox have a much easier path. Only 2 series on the road after Labor Day, while the Yankees have a 1 in Detroit, 3 in Tampa, no off day 3 in Seattle, off day 3 in Anaheim road trip to start the month of September. Tampa's road/home split down the stretch isn't that good, and 4 in Detroit the last weekend could be very dangerous. And, watching him against the Indians, I think Kazmir is heading for a trip to the DL soon. I don't know how the Twins hang around with little power and poor defense. The little power they can survive, the poor defense will catch up with the rotation. Every time it looks like the Tigers are going to make a move, they lose 5 out of 6 and have to work their way back to .500. Still don't trust Ozzie, as even in his good season he blew 15 out of a 15.5 game lead in the last 2 months. Arizona will win the West due to the default. And, the Cubs will screw up.
Originally posted by It's FalseThe Dodgers can make a run, but Brad Penny's having career worst's in just about every category. It might be all up to Derek Lowe, unless Jason Schmidt miraculously shows up ready to pitch. Oh, and can I just say that between Schmidt and Andruw Jones, the Dodgers have the two single-worst contracts in all of baseball?
If Chad Billingsley keeps pitching like he did yesterday (13 Ks, no walks), the Dodgers could be in good shape.
And yes, Andruw Jones is the definition of bust. He can't buy a hit. I was at Dodger Stadium yesterday and the crowd booed his every move.
Originally posted by It's FalseWhat the hell happened here?! Detroit was supposed to rock the entire league! The Indians were supposed to be primed and ready for another playoff run! The Ozzie Guillen self-destruction watch should have been coming to a head right about now! Instead, the Tigers are a mere .500, the Indians have given up and are looking to next year, and the White Sox are in first place! Again, what the hell happened?
Can't speak for the Indians or White Sox, but with the Tigers our already suspect bullpen and end of the rotation pitching decided to have an epically bad outing at the same time as a giant batting slump due the team needing to learn how to gel/dealing with Guillen's insane fielding problems. It also doesn't help that Leyland's in love with Fernando Rodney, AKA Gas Can, and that Chuck Hernandez is a joke of a pitching coach. Our starting pitching's gotten progressively worse with his arrival, and anyone who comes up from the minors and pitches well starts regressing under him.
(edited by BoromirMark on 14.7.08 1445)
Michigan against the SEC: 20-5-1 (7-3 in bowl games)
I don't think the Reds are nearly as good as the Rockies last year and they are currently farther back than the Rockies were at this point last season but the good news is the Wild Card race might not be as tough this season. I don't believe the Cards, Brewers or Phillies are that great and who knows which Mets we'll see the rest of the season.
Originally posted by kentishAnd the Reds are still there within Wild Card striking distance for me to foolishly think they still have a chance.
Where were the Rockies at the the break last year? Where were they on Labor day? Yeah, it would be even harder for the Reds to accomplish what Colorado did but its been done before.
I appreciate the vote of confidence. However, I don't think the Reds have finished over .500 this decade. Until they do, I won't bet on it. Just like the Cubs, on a larger scale. Yeah, they have the best record in baseball, but with history on my side, I will never bet on them making the World Series until they do. May they both prove me wrong.
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Umm...Probably not to all of the above. I think you'll probably find that organizations are GENERALLY more cautious with pitchers now than ever before. And I doubt pitchers today are doing throwing any harder than pitchers of say 20-30 years ago.