Monday, June 6, 2011

Where have all the cowboys gone? Nowhere, you just have look a little harder.

There were tons of question marks at the beginning season particularly from the staples of MLB, is the clock on the Yankees ticking? Are the Rays the Florida Marlins of this decade as the quintessential ‘rent a team’ as they were being dismantled after letting most of their high priced talent go in a fire sale. How would Albert perform under the cloud of a contract negotiation this season? Despite all of their young talent would the Dodgers be able to make a playoff push amid the soap opera divorce of the McCorts? Even more intriguing were the individual player stories, Jeter vs. the front office, Pujols vs. the accountants, Manny vs. himself, and that has overshadowed the teams themselves. Well to surmise, Jeter is having the type of season that will provide the GM with plenty of fodder to critique how he spends his time off. A .260 batting average, only 16 RBIs, 2 HR, in 55 games is hardly what you expect from the face of the franchise. Also not going out in grand fashion is Jorge Posada who is relegated to 3rd on the catching depth chart and functioning as the DH, hitting a paltry .178 with 6 jacks. What about the characters from last year’s post season? “The Beard” has had health problems and has only pitched 27 innings this season with a less than astonishing era of 3.00, Series darling Buster Posey is out for the rest of the season after a controversial collision at the plate, Josh Hamilton has just gotten back into the lineup after a long hiatus for injury and has only played in 23 games this season. Albert Pujols has come on to be tied for fifth in NL with 13 HRs but .278 and only 7 doubles is hardly a MVP type season. So if you’re in the camp that there are no more heros left we’ve got some that should be garnishing your attention, and your All-Star votes. The Dodgers duo of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier; Kemp has a shot at the triple-crown as he leads the NL in RBIs, is 2nd in Home Runs with 16, and is fifth in batting average at .323. His Dodger partner Ethier has already had a 20+ game hitting streak , is just above him in average at .325 is simply a nightmare against right handed pitching. Curtis Granderson NYY, his 17 HRs have been an added bonus that they didn’t expect, but his exciting play (5 triples, 9 sbs, and great defense) are the intangibles that he brings to the table. Jose Bautista .348, nuf’ said normally but in addition to living in the elite neighborhood of .400, how about 20 HR’s, 40 RBIs, and almost reaching base 50% of the time. David Price – Tampa Bay – how great is this kid to watch? The 26-year old may only be 6-5 but he’s one behind the league leaders for wins and is doing it without much in the way of run support. A 3.338 ERA is not the greatest but the kid gives the Rays a chance to win every time he goes out by going almost 7+ innings per outing. Michael Pineda – Seattle Mariners – A win/loss of 6-2, an ERA of 2.30, the 22-year old is a big reason the mariners are closer to the top of the AL West than they have been since Jr. graced center field for the first time. His walks and hits per innings pitched (WHIPs) is 1.00 and among the best in the league. I think we need to treat a .267 hitter like a .267 hitter regardless of what his name is. I love Ichiro as much as the next fan who is a statistician and appreciates consistency, but he could be having an off year but at 37 just not the same player. Same as DJ, at .260, 2HR, at 14.7 mill, love the history and how he’s one of the faces of the game but we’ve got plenty of great players putting up good numbers and now it’s the opposite of what things were a few years back, when I look at Bautista’s .348 average and 20 jacks, I think he’s 100% clean simply because you can’t get away with that stuff anymore, and I respect his numbers even more. I like the direction the League is going and you should too. There’s plenty of players to like and great ball being played even in the names on the backs of the unis are not as familiar.



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