Thursday, May 6, 2010

MLB SLANT FOR APRIL 2010 - Oh...oh my...

I understand I'm about a week late with all of this business, but who cares? I, frankly, care about college and want to succeed. Don't hate.

Anyway, the first month of the MLB season was quite interesting to say the least. I was rather shocked in some places, other places didn't really surprise me to say the least.
Here's my MLB SLANT FOR APRIL 2010

[WARNING: There are no stats mentioned in this thing. This is all merely opinion, as this whole entire blog is, basically.]


East Division: (Order in Win/Loss column as of the afternoon of 5/6/10)
Tampa Bay Rays - Officially the best team in baseball right now, the Rays are definitely for real this year. Pat Burrell is finally showing the beef he had as a Phillie, and the starting rotation looks absolutely beastly. Oh, and can you say "Road Warriors?" The only thing that needs to be fixed now is the constant whining and complaining about how Tropicana Field works like a pinball machine. If we could play the World Series in there without any pain, why should you all be complaining that the field isn't working in your favor??
New York Yankees - You know the saying "in like a lion, out like a lamb?" That was the exact opposite of the 2009 champs this past month. Not even A-Rod's triple play could save face for them toward the end of the month. Even though they kinda hobbled out of April, their May is making them look like the 27-time World Champs. I still find the name Joba Chamberlain rather humorous, in case if you wanted to know that.
Toronto Blue Jays - In the days post-Doc Roy Toy, you can hardly tell he left. The Jays are still a strong above-par team, and their pitching staff is holding its own for the most part. Now, they just need a new probably still smells like Hulkamania in there.
Boston Red Sox - Wow, this looks interesting. Remember when they wanted to separate the BoSox and Yanks so the competition would be better in the AL East? Harharhar, you so funny, people! Things looked alright at the start, and then body parts and some innards starting hitting the fan. Remind me why David Ortiz is still DH? He's getting a little...rusty, per se. The offense and defense seem to show up when they want, and not at the same time, either.
Baltimore Orioles - In all honesty, if they were to fix the AL East, these guys would have to get outta there. They've been getting pelted year in and year out, and Camden Yards is just getting good revenue from people outside of the state getting tours in there (I was there. It's so nice, now they just need a nice team to fit in there). Even in the days of Cal Ripken Jr, there was no real hope for them. Poor guys. It must be really lonely down there being the worst team in baseball.

Central Division: (Order in Win/Loss column as of the afternoon of 5/6/10)
Minnesota Twins - Hi guys. You obviously want to go back to postseason after that painful series against the Yanks. Even without MVP catcher Joe Mauer, holy crap, guys! You're kicking serious fanny. Question: is it the new ballpark, or are you guys eating your Wheaties? (Fun fact: Wheaties are gross.)
Detroit Tigers - After massive amounts of sucking and making it to the Show the year after in '06, the Motor City Hockeytown Naysayers are still hauling in the crowds with their pitching staff led by ace Justin Verlander, and their stellar bats from Maggie Ordonez, Brandon Inge, and new rookie Brennan Boesch. Just as a note, the AL Central is going to be the AL Division to watch this year. These top two spots are going to be heated.
Chicago White Sox - Looking at their roster, the pitching staff looks excellent, and they have notable names (guys, Gordon Beckham is not related to Mr. Posh Spice) and faces, so tell me, what's with the sub-.500 record? Is it the lack of offense, or is it the lack of a bullpen? You tell me. PS - I keep forgetting that "THE CATCH" is still on the wall in left center field.
Kansas City Royals - Hate to break it to you guys, but I can't put my finger on why the whole team is rather erratic in your ballplaying. Not even '09 Cy Young winner Zack Greinke can save you guys at this point. Either you're still asleep in April, or you guys are going to have a rough season. ...Not gonna lie either, your uniforms are 80's bad.
Cleveland Indians - I don't get it. I thought there was promise somewhere in this team and this thought makes me feel like a dope. Don't get me wrong, I still think this team can turn it around soon, but c'mon, you're currently playing like menopause. Maybe it's the new coaching staff or something. Wait, isn't Manny Acta coaching these guys? Oh dear, never mind. One last thing, I feel like I should be listening to Bob Uecker in Major League along with your games or something. That's just me stereotyping. By the way, what kind of a name is Asdrubal?

West Division: (Order in Win/Loss column as of the afternoon of 5/6/10)
Oakland Athletics - This is sad, but I never have high expectations for the AL West, and I don't know why. Maybe it's because 3/4 of the division is usually at .500 or well below it. And honestly, the A's darn-near broke that trend this April. They seriously just went on this brutal tear in the beginning only to pass out from all of the brutality by the end of the month. It was of Ronald Reagan proportions. That nasty. Anyway, they have a lot of younger players with a lot of spunk, and that's a REALLY great sign. We might actually see a title on these guys within the next year or so, and if they haven't won a title since the year I was born (I'll be 20 during the Fall Classic), it's about time they get one.
Texas Rangers - Wait a minute...Texas is NOT IN THE WEST. Okay, nevermind. The only problem that makes this team not look godly at this point is the massive 6-game losing streak they suffered in the middle of the month. There are a lot of young guys on this team too, and a lot of them show huge potential. However, they have the possibility of suffering from the "Florida Marlins syndrome" where the young teams have an issue with having major choking sessions and having this burn on them in the end. Don't get me wrong, there's still hope for this club. I really like the way they play at this point. (I also found the concept of "Elvis Night" to be hysterical...especially when Elvis Andrus got the winning hit that night.)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (bah, forget it, you're still the California Angels to me, or just "LAAA") - You guys are a powerhouse team that have the sleeping ability of a college student. You guys have one good game, and then you go dormant for the next four. I absolutely love your roster (Godzilla, Bobby Abreu, Shields/Kazmir, Torii) but where was the gut fortitude you had last year? Did you forget about Nick already? Just wondering. I think you might have fallen asleep again while I wrote this down.
Seattle Mariners - These guys were my picks to take the AL West after their acquisitions of Chone Figgins, Kotchman, and that hot Cliff Lee guy. What's that you say? They're in last place? Balderdash! These guys certainly suffered from the patterns, as they would have a nice little win streak, and then slam on a losing streak right after that. Obviously, they like the "L word" more than the "W" column. Hey Ichiro, can't you give them a big pep talk or something?


East Division: (Order in Win/Loss column as of the afternoon of 5/6/10)
Philadelphia Phillies - After failing to win for late broadcaster [and my inspiration] Harry Kalas last year, they want to get back into the Show to redeem themselves after falling to the Yankees in November. Now, they have 2 men to win it for (RIP Robin Roberts). According to Philly standards, they had a "sub-par" April (I won't lie, these guys like to blow stuff) and the sleeping giants have now been awakened in May. After acquiring some older pitchers (not as old as Jamie Moyer, mind you), Doc Roy [Toy] Halladay, and a returning Placido Polanco, these guys are my picks to go four in a row in the NL East.
New York Mets - Here we are, rivalry still going strong. After strong statements from Johann Santana about who was the beast of the NL East, the Mets haven't gone away just yet. After a rough first two weeks, the Mets went on a massive tear (not as big as the A's, though) and had a hefty win streak at the end of the month. Who broke that? The guy Johann's "better than." If anything, they'll be dueling it out in the Wild Card to try and knock the Phillies out of postseason. Trust me, Mets fans are still crying after the 2006 NLCS, and they need something to sleep to.
Washington Nationals - Wait a minute, what? Was Manny Acta the real reason why they sucked so bad?? If the Wahoos are doing badly, then there's your answer. After acquiring new blood like Livan Hernandez, Matt Capps, and the eternal Pudge Rodriguez, these guys look like a force coming from out of nowhere. They no longer officially wear the "basement dwellers" sign on them anymore, which is quite nice I'd say. I call them in the Wild Card race too. That, and Ryan Zimmerman should definitely be in the running for NL MVP. This guy's a great ballplayer.
Florida Marlins - With a strong pitching staff and a once young team growing older and wiser, the Fish have shown their worth, but it seems like every night they bring it, the other team wants the win much more. For example, they've only had 3 games in which they lost by more than 4 runs. It's either that their clutch hitting hasn't come out yet, or that they're smoke in the mirrors again this year. Maybe they need the new ballpark sooner than later. I really do have faith in their pitching staff. They're very talented, don't get me wrong.
Atlanta Braves - This is the team that has surprised me the most (congrats). After reading about the trades they made, I thought the NL East was going to be the tightest race in years. Doesn't look that way after April. They still have a big chance to blow things wide open and give everyone a run for their money though. Two words for NL ROY frontrunning: Jason Heyward.

Central Division: (Order in Win/Loss column as of the afternoon of 5/6/10)
St. Louis Cardinals - The top team in the National League has this title for a reason: power hitting, excellent rotation, and a great defensive force. Tony LaRussa knows what he's doing, kids. With the duo of Pujols and Holliday in the 3-4 slot and with starting pitchers like Carpenter, Wainwright, and Penny, they're definitely going to be sitting atop the NL Central for a long while. Too bad they didn't win that 20-inning game I wrote about (see below post).
Cincinnati Reds - With huge improvements from last year bleeding into this year (Scott Rolen's bat does make a difference here), Dusty Baker's squad is holding their own in a crowded division. Their pitching staff looks less faulty this year, and I'm still impressed with their power-armed outfield. Apparently these guys like playing close games too.
Chicago Cubs - Hmm. That darned curse. Going on year 102 (more than the, Cubs faithful haven't gone out on their good guys yet. Problem is, Zambrano's all the way in the bullpen as a closer now (didn't he pitch a no-hitter at some point within the past two years??), Soriano's bent on a funk at some point, and the team's overall playing is leaning on the inconsistent side. The team that wins big together, slumps big together, I guess.
Milwaukee Brewers - I had some hopes for this team too. With big bats from Prince Fielder, Jim Edmonds, and Ryan Braun, these guys like to hit (obviously...20-0 against the Bucs). However, They don't like to hit all the time. That's the only deal. They have a shaky-looking pitching staff too. Having a fossil like Trevor Hoffman on the team is an interesting touch to say the least. I also give my best to the recovering [and another inspiration] Bob Uecker.
Pittsburgh Pirates - Oh look, my western neighbors. They have a mix of young and old guys, and the mingling looks a little better this year than it did last year. They're hanging around .500, but these guys have a chance to break out this year and become contenders. Andrew McCutchen never ceases to amaze me, and the defensive aspect looks very nice as well. Too bad people in Steeler-land are too preoccupied with the Penguins right now. Poor Bucs.
Houston Astros - You know the saying, "Don't mess with Texas?" Somebody obviously messed with them, and messed with them to the point where they're rock bottom in the National League. With Lance Berkman on the DL, the offense wants to wait until he comes back, and the pitching staff agrees. I don't think it's that. I honestly think they've underestimated their division a bunch and it's going to take them a while to get back to the top, if at all. We'll see, won't we?

West Division: (Order in Win/Loss column as of the afternoon of 5/6/10)
San Francisco Giants - The main problem the orange guys had last year was the lack of run support for their godly pitching staff (We all miss you, Big Unit). This year, it looks like the run support will be in full supply with thanks to big hitters like Kung Fu Panda. I'm loving the pitching staff too. Tim-ara Lincecum [don't stifle the giggle. he totally looks like a chick now.] is really living up to his name, Matt Cain and Barry Zito are monsters, and the numerous names that aid the team are real players. I call these bad boys to be in contention for the NL West.
San Diego Padres - Wowwwww...woww-ww-wowwww. Holy crap, guys, you've made it a long way, haven't you? You guys only really had Adrian Gonzalez going for you last year, and now you guys have showed up and made names for yourselves. Good for you. I call you guys for the Wild Card contention. I don't think you'll exactly have what it takes to get to the top, sadly. But remember: in case of emergency, use Stairs. Especially when Jonathan Broxton is around. (ha ha)
Colorado Rockies - Even though the Rox are at .500 as I type this out, I still think they'll be turning around and giving the Giants a problem up top. Ubaldo Jimenez is making himself a household name around the nation after his no-hitter against Atlanta, and guys like Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton are eating opposing pitching like it's me eating BBQ pulled pork (and I LOVE pulled pork). It's still early. The Rockies are going to be heating up big time inside the humidor.
Arizona Diamondbacks - I see problems here. Inconsistent pitching + overeager hitting = needed intervention of some sort. Trust me, these guys can hit a ball, and the pitching isn't bad either, but their discipline isn't the best. You can tell with some of the scores. It looks like the Red Sox scores--either a lot to a little or a really close game they couldn't handle. I like these guys, but I don't really see them going anywhere right now.
Los Angeles Dodgers - Whoa, what happened to you guys? Did you give all your clutch offense to Andre Ethier? They started out okay, but then the losses piled up. Did the offense fall asleep, or better yet, are you guys still upset after getting knocked out by the Phillies twice in a row in the NLCS? Eh, we'll see if you've woken up once it's starts getting hotter out in "Mannywood." (Sounds like a cheap porno).

So uhhh, that's my slant on Major League Baseball after the first month of regular season play. I'll write up another one for the All-Star Break to see how much these little guys have grown.
Hope you enjoyed this. Comments and rants are welcome.


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