Friday, May 20, 2011

Interleague 2011 – why are we still debating if this is a good thing?

Is there such a baseball thing as a baseball “purist”? If so, would they even still be watching MLB? I would think between collective bargaining, strikes, and steroids they would have transferred their interest elsewhere by now, but maybe that’s not the case. It seems every year for the last 15 seasons we listen to people complain about the changes it puts the club through, how the batting line-up is affected, or the pitching staff needs another series to get back to normal etc., and now that the scheduling doesn’t make sense. Ok, I get the argument that if you’re matched up with another division, then you should play EVERY club in that division at least once, similar to the NFL. I also understand the one of the main draws to inter-league scheduling are the rivalry matchups (ie; Yankees/Mets, Dodgers/Angeles, Cards, Royals) so there are going to be some pairings that must compensate but a simple solution is instead of the Cubs playing a three game set with the Mariners, make it two. I understand that if you take a game away from one club to accommodate a rivalry there could be some serious ripple effects as your extrapolate it out for instance this season the Mets play 15 games against AL clubs with a .500 record or better opposed to the Nats that play none and that’s why the system might need to be tweaked just a bit. However, you have to remember that the Colorado Rockies are not going to have a rivalry series nor are the Mariners or Nats, so not everyone is going to love shaking things up, but c’mon even fans in those markets who are sick of the fact that they don’t get any love nationwide, will still tune in to see the Yanks n’ Mets, Cubs n’ Sox, and Dodgers/Angels. MLB learned from the NBA and NFL that you have to get your marquis clubs and start players in markets that would never get a chance to see them play with the exception of a World Series because as we know, that could take a hundred years and most of us don’t have that long (no pun Cubs fans).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

These division races will have more turns than Indy

AL West – Top to Bottom 3.5 game separation – The Angles ma lead at the time this was written but it is subject to change on an hourly basis. .556 is the worst of all six division leaders, and a 8-9 home record is as well, but they’re doing it on the road (.631) and you know that .470 record will not last at the Big A. Oakland is right behind them just a game back with a very similar resume, 8-9 at home and 11-9 on the road, but have won 3 of their last 4 including 2/3 with KC, and a split with Cleveland (funny when was the last time that would have been impressive?) , and have taken the first of 3 with the Rangers. Of course the talk of the town is Trevor Cahill who has improved to 6-0 with an ERA of 1.72 it’s a good thing they brought him as his six wins are just about a third of the club’s total. The defending AL Champs got out to the good start but now are just 18-18 after dropping 7 of 10. The loss of Big Josh is really starting to show now as they could sure use the added stick in the lineup as they are just +7 on run differential (and that’s with being 3rd in runs and slugging pct)but the timely hitting just isn’t there like it was last year. Then there’s Seattle just 3.5 back but in this division it must seem like 12. I just want to see Ichiro in the post season ONE TIME before he enters the Hall. It would be a shame not to see him play seven games in a row that actually mean something.

NL Central – Top to Bottom 7 game separation – The Cardinals have rebounded from a very inauspicious start to lead the division at the 35-game mark and even without Albert being Albert (just .248 this season) the Cards are still top in MLB in three of the four major offensive categories and 2nd in the fourth. A positive run differential of 44 is best in the and second only to the Indians (yes, Indians!) in the league. Conventional wisdom would figure when they get healthy between the ears they’ll extend the lead but they have a mob chasing them. Cincinnati is right behind them just a game back and will pay a visit to the Arch this weekend for a three-game set, and just down the road a three-game interleague showdown with their Ohio rivals, the Indians, who just happen to have the best record in baseball. The Pirates have been called the worst franchise in all of team sports and they’re working hard to banish that dubious claim to fame and this year has been a step in the right direction as they play hard, exciting baseball and do it more with speed and consistency than with the long ball. The closest to the top they’ve been since Barry had a 30-inch waist, they’ve won 3 straight and with seven games coming up with the Brewers, Nats, and Reds can actually be sitting on top of the division by May 19th.

Up next.....the AL East.
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