Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Destination May Surpass the Journey this Year


As they make the final turn into the home stretch the annual MLB marathon is finally coming to a close and much like last season the focus has been taken off most of the division races which have long since been decided and now the Wild Card races take center stage. If they can deliver anything close to the drama of last year it will be well worth the wait. Obviously the purist have never been in favor of Wild Card for a number of reasons but you can’t argue that in recent history the Wild Cards have been playing some of the best ball at the end of the season, with 2 of the last 6 making it to the World Series and the Cardinals winning the whole thing last year. Now it would be an impossible act to follow as who can forget final two weeks of the season as the Red Sox and Braves collapsed with the Sox dropping 7 of their last ten second only to the ATL who could only muster two wins in the final ten games.

This season is shaping up to rival that of 2011 as although four division races are pretty much on ice as the Yankees, Rangers, Nats, and Reds will need to battle complacency more than a divisional foe for the next 50 games, but the AL Central and NL West will come down to that same final two week stretch as last year. The cards will also be wild as there’s nothing like a good ol’ interstate family feud to keep the heat long after the summer has past and with no love lost between the Giants and Dodgers who have continued their street fight across country ever since they left New York, and now are separated by less than a game and haven’t been further apart than six games at any time during the season. Milky out of the lineup should prove to be the difference maker but we’ve counted them out before but with a shortage of beards in the Bay Area this should be the year the wind blows up from So. Cal. The loser finds themselves in third place of a mire that is the NL Wild card, surrounded by the Braves, Pirates, and defending champs St. Louis all within a game and a half where the club with the kindest schedule may be the last one standing. Rest assured it will take much more than 3 out of 10 to win this one.

The AL is even worse as there will be five teams going down to the wire but no teams in the mix via default. The Yankees had the East won with the opening day first pitch but the Rays are coming on strong, winners of 8 of 10. The Orioles are the ‘feel good’ story of the year but with the worst run differential (-47) of any team in contention you have to wonder if their arms will run out of steam as the http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.giftemperature cools down. The AL Central comes in a little short the year and although just 2 games back right now the Tigers would need to make up an additional two games on the Rays if they wanted to make it to the post season. Lastly, how bout’ that AL West? Most of the country will be cheering for the A’s to pull it out thinking that Brad Pitt is going to come out of the dugout but the Money Ballers always come up a buck short and they may have peaked a bit too soon this year as well. Despite getting phat Albert the pitching hasn’t been there for the Angles who score a ton but give up even more and that will kill them down the stretch. But with this cast of characters you can bet that it will be another wild ride that releases the nostalgia hormone in all of us and makes us forget the long weeks of June and July where it seemed no games really mattered and all we’ll remember is another great stretch run that may make the Fall classic seem anticlimactic. Just the same I’m in!
View the Complete Wild Card Standings Here.

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