My workweek for my day (well evening) job is Sunday to Thursday and as my wife had already left for work and I hadn’t had a chance to go shopping I stopped by a local restaurant (not a chain) around 2:30 PM to have a bite before I went in.
Even though I don’t listen to the woke sports (or Bidenball as I call it) anymore I still tend to listen to sports talk radio on the way into work and just change the station if a game is on.
I turned on the 1st station 93.7 and the Red Sox were in the 4th inning so I switched to the 2nd station. On the 2nd station the Celtics 76ers playoff game was on and although the Celtics had a chance to clinch with a win I turned the radio off rather than listen. Just then I pulled into the Restaurant parking lot.
There are seven large screen TV’s in the place and on game days they are invariably on sports. On a day with Both the Redsox and Celtics on you would normally see 3 TV on the Celtics and 3 on the Redsox with one on either ESPN or Golf. As the Redsox are horrible this year and the Celtics games were playoff games I expected to see a 3-2 ratio with one TV for Golf & ESPN or maybe even 4-1.
When I sat down I was shocked to see that all seven TV’S were showing golf!
Remember there was a Celtics PLAYOFF game in progressand not a single set was tuned to it.
‘More importantly it is my experience at this place that if a patron wants a TV on a sport that isn’t on, the staff invariably will put one set on the desired channel/ They’ve done it for me for Red Sox games in years gone by.
But apparently not a single person in the place, and there were more than a few, asked to see the struggling Redsox, nor did a request to watch the Celtics play the Sixers reach the staff’s ears. As I ate my meal I watched as every single set remained on PGA golf until the time I left.
Now you might argue that this is only one bar/restaurant in a blue city in a blue county of one blue state and that’s true. You might say this is completely anecdotal and doesn’t mean it’s a trend and you might be right about that as well..
But I have a feeling that this scene is being repeated in hundreds of restaurants and bars all over the nation and that the various sports league will not realize the extent to which they have chased away their fan bases until it comes time to negotiate TV contracts.
Like most of my friends in the Boomer generation, I loved baseball as a kid.
My friends and I traded baseball cards. We’d oil our gloves during the winter months in anticipation of the spring.
If we weren’t practicing with a team, we’d hustle to the makeshift diamond our parents built in a nearby vacant lot.
I played second base. I didn’t quite have the arm of a shortstop. I usually batted second or third in the lineup because I was a good hitter.
When I was eight, I wrote a letter to the New York Yankees and got a bundle full of photos, autographs, and information about the team. When I visited San Francisco a few years later, my father bought me a baseball with all of the team’s autographs, including future Hall of Famers Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, and Willie McCovey.
My love affair with baseball was sealed in Yankee pinstripes and Giant orange and black!
As a journalist, I covered a wide range of sporting events, including afternoon games at Wrigley Field in Chicago and Harry Caray’s seventh-inning songfest. I wrote a profile of Rod Carew, who won six batting titles.
Later in life, I flew into Chicago from Beirut to see the White Sox in the 1983 playoffs. I enjoyed the Yankees of the 1990s when I lived there, and even took my 9-year-old daughter to a game. I relished the Phillies of 2008, where I now live, and their World Series win.
But those memories have become tainted by the politically correct version of baseball today. Baseball used to be a game I could attend with my friends and talk baseball, not politics.
Today I have two heroes left in the game. One is San Francisco Giants pitcher Sam Coonrod, the only player to stand rather than take a knee, telling reporters after the game that as a Christian he “can’t kneel before anything besides God.”
The other is Bryce Harper, who revealed a sports coat honoring the Phanatic and a pair of cleats that included feathers emblematic of the Phillies mascot. That was fun!
Whatever the case, I’ve watched my last baseball game until it becomes a game again rather than a political statement. I hope others feel the same way! Maybe Major League Baseball will get the message.
I could understand Cobb. Ty Cobb had what the black ballplayer had. The black ballplayer had to get out of the cotton field. He had to get out of the celery fields, and this was a vehicle to get him out. This was the same thing with Cobb. Cobb had to get out of Georgia. He had to fight his way out and this was why he had this great competitive spirit. And so what he’s saying against blacks was the same thing that I think every poor white man had against blacks. Because we were competition to him.
The left keeps insisting that we have to be hiring based on race in everything from police to orchestras so they “better reflect the communities they serve”.
What if we did this to the NBA & NFL or even MLB?
Think about that for a second.
The reason why breaking the color line in baseball was wrong wasn’t because a “black” men per se were being excluded from the game, it was because baseball players who were as good or better than the current players on the field were excluded that’s a big deal in baseball as Buck O’Neil the great Negro league player and manager put it:
For Jackie to play in the major leagues, that meant that one white boy wasn’t going to play. We had played against these fellas and they knew that we could play. And they knew if we were allowed to play, a lot of them wouldn’t play. See?
By an odd coincidence as the final teams in the league integrated and the white population of the league dropped to 82% in 1961 expansion in MLB took place with two teams added in 1961 and 1962 meaning there were 100 new major league jobs to the system and in 1968 when the white population of the league was down to 73% expansion happened again and another 4 teams (and 100 jobs) were created. (Note non-black “latinos” were not excluded from the majors but at 0.7% of the league the year Jackie Robinson debuted they constituted a nominal figure of about 4 players over a 16 team league)
Around this time Football began to overtake baseball in popularity and accordingly the best black athletes began migrating to that sport and as Basketball increased in popularity again black athletes moved in that direction in a big way.
In the NBA for 2017 the figures are similar with a slightly smaller white population (20%) a slightly larger Latino population about 5% and over 70% of the league consisting of black players.
Oddly I don’t hear anyone arguing that since the black population is about 12% that whites are unfairly underrepresented in the NBA or the NFL. We don’t see people insisting that that cause for this discrepancy is “systematic racism” Yet the same people who scream that because the number of black coaches is closer to the actual black population of this country as opposed to the percentage of blacks in the league don’t find it odd that those same coaches and the front offices seem to be signing black players way out of disproportion to white ones.
The simple fact is this. We have, thanks to the efforts of actual civil rights leaders (as opposed to the demagogues of today) reached a point where the primary question as to the signing of a defensive back or a wide receiver or a quarterback or a center in the NBA or a center fielder is the skill set of said player rather than their race (and occasionally the price see Cam Newton NE Patriots).
This is as it should be.
So when the racial demagogues start demanding quotas in all kinds of fields tell them you’ll consider it as soon as those same demographic quotas are applied to the high paying jobs in the NFL/NBA & MLB
Two closing thoughts:
As of 2016 the Demographics of MLB are 63.7% White, 27.4 % “Latino” 6.7% black (lowest since 1957) and 2.1% Asian. However I suspect this reflects black athletes gravitating more toward the NBA & NFL. I don’t know why black players are less interested in MLB as it’s a much better game and I would further submit and suggest that with guaranteed money, longer careers and less prospect of serious injury it’s a better choice and smarter choices for the best athletes out there. Plus you don’t have to play in the rain or freezing conditions but it’s not my call.
I haven’t included the NHL in these figures because while the NHL integrated in 1958 with Willie O’Ree joining the Boston Bruins (Ironically the Bruins integrated before the Red Sox) and while we’ve seen black superstars (HOF goalie Grant Fuhr who played from 1981-2000 comes instantly to mind) there just doesn’t seem to be the same interest in the game among the black athletes or the black community which more than anything else is the reason for the 90% white demographic of the league.
The latest in our writeups of the teams in the online baseball leagues I run. This league is full but I will be recruiting players for my next all pathetic league in a month or so if you are interested in joining that one or getting on the waiting list for this one leave a message in comment.
2009 New York Yankees 54-46 1st place
The Yankees have remained steady as their division rivals have collapsed. Can they hold that 8 game lead or are they due for a fall?
Heroes: Robinson Cano leads the league in hits while sitting at 3rd in batting and doubles. Mark Teixera is 2nd in RBI’s and 4th in HR. Meanwhile Alfredo Aceves has shined out of the pen with a 4-0 record & ERA of 2.91 and a WHIP under 1 (0.88)
Zeros: Phil Coke(6.39 ERA 1.66 WHIP) and Brian Bruney *5.83 ERA .308 avg against) are both keeping Yankee opponents in the game while Brett Gardner and Jerry Hairston have not excelled off the bench.
Wild Cards: 8 different Yanks are in double digits in HR but no yankee starter is more than two games over .500 Meanwhile closer Mariano Rivera is 3rd in the league in saves while 1st in blown saves.
Coming Attractions: The Yanks have 3 in Cleveland vs the 1954 Indians and before rushing home for a quick series vs the 2010 Texas Rangers before going back on the road to challenge the 2002 Aneheim Angels.
Injury Report: One of the features of the Yankee lead is an empty DL
1924 Washington Senators 46-56 9 GB 2nd place (tie)
The Washington collapse is starting to slow but with only 60 games left to make up nine for the lead and 6 for a playoff spot if a turnaround is going to happen it has to happen now.
Heroes: Walter Johnson leads the league in wins is 2nd in innings and is top 10 in strikeouts and ERA while hitting .322 in 59 AB. Sam Rice is 1st in Triples and tied for 4th in hits HR. Meanwhile Goose Goslin leads Washington in HR (10) and RBI (64) while 2nd in avg at .305.
Zeros:Ossie Bluege .218 3 HR 37 RBI and Muddy Ruel .228 0 HR 27 RBI have not excelled at the plate while Byron Speece (0-0 1 sv 5.95 ERA 31 BB vs 21 K) Allen Russell (1-0 1 sv 6.11 ERA .324 avg against 2.25 WHIP) and Joe Martina (1-5 1 BS .309 avg against 6.68 ERA are not doing the job on the mound.
Wild Cards: The Senators continue to lead the majors triples (58) while dead last in HR (23) but they’re also one of the hardest to hit a HR off 3rd from the bottom in the AL. And don’t think you’re stealing against them. Not only do they have the best numbers for catching those trying to steal (.500) but only 5 bases have been stolen against them. But they’ve been giving away runs with a .981 fielding pct, worst in the AL.
Coming Attractions: The Senators are in the middle of a 21 game road trip. They stop in Baltimore to face the 1970 Orioles, head west to face the 2015 Kansas City Royals, north to Chicago to face the 2005 White Sox, farther north to Toronto for the 1993 Bluejays and finish off their trip back in Chicago to take on the 2016 Cubs.
Injury Report: After injuries to Wid Matthews, Bucky Harris 2 for George Mogridge and suspensions to Goslin and Mogridge over the last 30 days the Senators are finally all present and accounted for.
2015 Kansas City Royals 46-56 9 GB 2nd place (tie)
The good news for Kansas City is that they are still in 2nd place neck and neck with the Washington Senators as they have been since the start of the season, the bad news is that this is because they have shared the same sudden collapse at the exact same time.
Heroes: Johnny Cueto leads the league in WHIP is 2nd in wins ERA and avg against. wins is 2nd in innings and 4th in innings. Out of the pen Chris Young & Kelvin Herrera are a combined 4-1 with 2 saves and ERA’s (2.11 1.23) that strike fear in the hearts of hitters Meanwhile Eric Hosmer’s .297 avg 18 HR and 59 RBI along with 25 doubles gives opposing pitchers pause.
Zeros: Salvador Perez has put 10 over the fence but with a .202 avg he doesn’t get man chances. Meanwhile the non-Cueto starters have collapsed with Ednson Volquez (3-14 5.05 ERA) Danny Duffy (8-7 6.00 ERA .320 avg against) and Jeremy Guthrie 3-6 6.83 avg against 8.63 ERA) all digging holes for the offense to try to climb out of.
Wild Cards: While the teams .265 avg is middle of the pack no Royals hitter is over .300 for the season. That seems to be the theme of the team, none of their stats jump out positive or negative but the key hit seems to elude them particularly against the AL division A where they are 10-20 this season.
Coming Attractions: The Royals play 3 in Detroit vs the 1968 Tigers before coming home to take on the 1924 Washington Senators followed by the 1970 Baltimore Orioles before heading back on the road.
Injury Report: Kansas City is at full strength.
2002 Anaheim Angels 44-58 11 GB 4th place
The Angels are only two games behind both the Royals and the Senators so their best chance of getting out of the cellar not to mention making any kind of move this season is now. The question is are they up to the task?
Heroes: Garret Anderson is the bright spot on the Angels lineup leading the league in doubles while top 10 in slugging and RBI’s despite a .209 avg Troy Glaus’ 19 HR is good for 10th in the league On the mound Jarrod Washburn is 10-6 with 2.81 ERA and relievers Ben Weber (2-0 ‘s 3-3 in saves 1.53 ERA and Brendan Donnelly (5-3 1-1 in saves 2.05 ERA) are doing the job in the pen.
Zeros: Troy Percival has saved 17 games but he’s also lost 8 (1-8) blown five and put up an ERA of 7.18. Of course John Lackey at 3-9 with a 7.31 ERA and a .332 avg against doesn’t get to a closer often. At the bat Ben Molina isn’t doing much .195 1 HR 12 RBI but he’s not alone four other Angels starters (Tim Salmon, Darin Erstad, Alex Ochoa and Glaus are hitting .230 or worse.
Wild Cards: The Angels .250 avg is 3rd worst in the AL as are their 75 HR 876 hits & 414 RBI’s. On the plus side their .988 fielding percentage is 4th in the league and their .251 avg against is the 2nd stingiest in the league but alas when their opponents hit the ball it goes far as their top 5 in HR allowed indicates.
Coming Attractions: The Angels visit the red hot 2010 Texas Rangers to start a short road trip that ends in Baltimore to face the 1970 Baltimore Orioles before they head back home for two quick series against the 1st place 2009 New York Yankees and the 1988 Oakland A’s
Injury Report. Catcher Sean Wootan not only won’t be available for the series vs Texas but he won’t be back for the next series vs the Rangers a month from now which means Molina’s poor bat will be in the lineup for a quite a bit longer.
This week we looking at the National League Division B in the All Time Any Time Great Teams League All individual stats were current at the time of writing.
All franchise are currently full if you are interested in picking up a team if one becomes available or to join the expanded Futility league when it starts up again leave a comment to this post.
1985 St. Louis Cardinals 48-36 1st place
The Cardinals remain the only team in the majors who have been in 1st place since day one and don’t seem inclined to let anyone take it from them. Can they rule the 2nd half as they have the 1st?
Heroes: You can find Cardinals all over the league leader boards of the league Vince Coleman’s 78 stolen bases is more than every other team in the majors except Cincinnati Willie McGee leads in batting & Triples while on the mound John Tudor is tops in wins and Innings pitched.
Zeros: Some leader boards are worse than others and Jeff Lahti’s five blown saves (against 8 converted) leads the NL. Kurt Kepshire’s 7.67 ERA the WHIP 2.06 and 51 walks vs 39K’s won’t impress anyone. The Catchers spot has been adaquote behind the plate but at it Tom Nieto ( .208 0 HR 12 RBI ) and Darryl Porter ( .192 5 HR 30 RBI ) haven’t delivered.
Wild Cards: St. Louis is one of two teams in the NL that play on turf and their 26-13 record on the artificial surface reflects that skill. But more important has been their 22-8 record in the division that has kept them on top.
Coming Attractions: The Cards end short road tip in Chicago vs the tough Division C leading 2016 Cubs before heading home to host the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers, the 1986 NY Mets and the 1997 Florida Marlins.
Injury Report: Third Baseman Terry Pendelton will miss the entire series against the Cubs but once he’s back the cards will be back to full strength.
1957 Milwaukee Braves 43-41 5 GB 2nd place
Milwaukee has kept pace with the Cardinals going 7-3 over the last 10 games and currently in a tie for the last wild card spot. Can they make a move and finally knock StL off the top of the heap?
Heroes: Hank Aaron is 3rd in batting 1st in hist and 3rd in RBI’s & 9th in HR in the league. Wes Covington may not be on the leader boards but his triple crown numbers (.306 avg 16 HR 47 RBI) are trouble for opposing pitchers. On the mound Don McMahon is the surest way to a Milwaukee win with 11 saves in 12 chances.
Zeros:Juan Pizarro (4-4 6.57 ERA .319 avg against 2.29 WHIP and 0-2 inn save chances) and Eddie Johnson (2-3 9.53 ERA .351 avg against 2.18 WHIP 2.18 & 1-2 in save chances) have been the anti McMahon this season. Frank Torre .219 avg is no better than Del Crandall but while Crandall has 11 HR 35 RBI & 3 triples Torre’s .3 HR 12, RBI & 11 walks mean that the table isn’t getting set.
Wild Cards: Milwaukee’s OPS is 2nd in the league behind Brooklyn in both slugging and OPS. The latter is really something when you consider that they are 2nd to last in OBP. They also don’t like turf very much with a .167 winning percentage on artificial surfaces.
Coming Attractions: It’s 3 at home vs the 2005 Houston Astros and three more against their wild card rival 1962 Giants before heading off to a short two city trip, first to Cincy to play the 1975 Reds and then to the Nations Capital for a shot at the 2019 Nationals.
Injury Report: All hands are all deck for the Braves
1997 Florida Marlins 42-42 3rd 6 GB
Florida is at .500 within striking distance of 1st and just a game away from a wild card stop. But .500 isn’t going to be enough to get to the post season. Will they rise, will they fall or will they stay where they are?
Heroes: Moises Alou 2nd in OBP, OPS and Batting (regularly trading places with McGee for 1st. Teammate Gary Sheffield leads the league with his .442 OPB and is 3rd in walks. 1st in hist and 3rd in RBI’s & 9th in HR in the league. Kevin Brown’s 8-8 with a 4.57 might not impress but he’s been an innings eater with 136 (5th) and has not been a Strikeout machine 4th in the league (135) & 5th in K’s rate (8.93).
Zeros:Rob Nen may lead the team with 8 saves but is also 7th in the league with 4 blown. that .297 avg against & 5.31 ERA likely has something to do with it. At the plate Devon White (.222 6 HR 27 RBI) Jim Eisenreich (.226 1 HR 23 RBI 18 runs) and Luis Castillo (.231 0 HR 17 RBI 25 Runs) are all failing to produce
Wild Cards: There’s no place like home for Florida who are a full 10 games over .500 when playing in the Sunshine state. But the real wild card on this team is reliever Felix Heredia. His 6.18 ERA is the worst on the team but put him in a save situation and he’s a perfect 5 saves in five chances.
Coming Attractions: Florida gets a chance to pad that home record with four series at home welcoming the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies, 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers the 1986 New York Mets and the 2013 Arizona Cardinals before hitting the road again.
Injury Report: With Luis Castillo off the DL Florida finds itself back at full strength for their 12 game homestand.
2019 Washington Nationals 34-50 4th place 14 GB
After threatening to reach .500 the nationals have gone 2-8 to sink to the bottom of Division B. Can they match the 2nd half that put them in this great teams league against tough competition?
Heroes: Patrick Corbin remains a strikeout machine leading the league with 151 & 2nd in k’s per 9 innings to go with a 7-4 record 4 Nationals Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto Trea Turner and Matt Adams are in double digits in HR and while Howie Kendrick is one shy but his 100 hits 54 RBI & team leading .309 avg makes up for it.
Zeros:Max Scherzer is still 3-8 with a 5.44 ERA and a .304 avg against, but might be on this list for the last time. Those ERA and avg against figures are the best he’s posted since opening week. He’s 2-1 in his last 3 decision has struck out 9 or more in his last 5 and leads the league in k’s per 9 innings and that ERA and avg against. Unfortunately that can’t be said for Anibal Sanchez his is 2-8 with a 6.46 ERA in 18 starts Or reliever Daniel Hudson who in 48 appearances is 6-8 with 3 blown saves in 4 chances.
Wild Cards: Despite their record this teams is dangerous. Their 98 HR is only one behind Milwaukee good for 4th in the league as is their slugging pct .425 (also 4th) and their pitchers have stuck out 732 batters 2nd in the majors (3 of the top 4 stops in K’s per 9 innings are held by Nationals starters) but their ERA of 5.05 is dead last and the 88 HR they’ve given up is also 4th in the league and their WHIP of 1.47 3rd. However until they learn to hit right handed pitching (14-40 vs righties) they aren’t going anywhere.
Coming Attractions: It’s the 1962 San Francisco Giants at home followed by the 1975 Cincinnati Reds before a quick trip to Arizona for 3 vs the 2013 Diamondbacks, then back home for series against the 1957 Milwaukee Braves and the 2016 Chicago Cubs
Injury Report:Danial Hudson will miss the series vs the giants but should be back before the end of the series against the reds.
Starting this week the updates of the various Dynasty Leagues that I run will be one league (AL or NL) at a time due to the futility league completing their season. This week Division B in the All Time Any Time Great Teams League. American League. All individual stats were current at the time of writing.
All franchise are currently full if you are interested in picking up a team if one becomes available or to join the expanded Futility league when it starts up again leave a comment to this post.
Texas Rangers 47-28 1st
When last we left the Rangers they had lost four of seven and asked if their rally was ending. With the team now almost 20 games over .500 I think it’s safe to say they intend to stay.
Heroes: Nelson Cruz leads the league in both batting .361 and slugging .625 and as you might Guess OBP oddly this is despite not making the top ten in either 2B or 3B & only 7th in HR (17) but 51 Runs & 66 RBI’s sets and clears the Texas table. Josh Hamilton (.310 15 HR 51 Runs scored) & Vladimer Guerrero (.317 12 HR 65 RBI) are doing their part to set and clear the table as well.
Zeroes:Matt Treanor has not only been unimpressive at the bat (.199 4 HR 14 RBI in 171 ab) but has allowed 26 of 29 runners who have tried to steal to get away with it. Meanwhile while Tommy Hunter’s record and ERA have improved his ERA is still 6.50 has still can’t muster an avg of 5 innings from his 14 starts likely due to the 23 HR given up, more than a 1/3 of the 67 Texas has allowed.
Wild Cards: Texas shines at night a full 20 games over .500 vs a losing record in day games. Texas’ owes a lot of their success to Division C where they are 19-5 while holding only a .500 record vs division opponents.
Coming attractions: The 1998 Oakland A’s and the 2013 Boston Red Sox finish up the current homestand then it’s off on the road for a trip to Detroit vs the 1968 Tigers followed by a stop in DC to take on the 1924 Senators.
Injury Report: All are whole and ready to go in Texas
1954 Cleveland Indians 41-37 7 GB 2nd place.
The Indians remain in second place where they were before but find themselves five games farther back and holding the 2nd rather than the 1st wild card spot. Will slow and steady win the race or will the tribe find themselves left behind?
Heroes: Larry Doby continues to pound the ball leading the league in RBI’s (80) 5th in HR (20) 4th in Slugging (.584) ads the league in both batting .361 and slugging .625 while hitting a more than respectable .308. Bobby Alvia .335 is 4th in the league his 62 runs 3rd and and his 112 hits 2nd. 4 e. Bob Lemon (11-4 2.18 ERA 1.09 WHIP) & Mike Garcia (8-7 3.03 ERA 1st in HR per 9 inn 0.30) lead a spectacular starting rotation.
Zeroes:Don Mossi despite 8 saves in 11 chances ERA of 8.08 & .301 avg against is a disaster waiting to happen. On most teams Early Wynn’s 5.32 ERA & 7-8 record with a .275 avg against would be no big deal but on Cleveland it is. Wally Westlake’s .182 avg .280 OBP 6 HR & 29 RBI’s is bad but his .942 fielding percentage with 8 errors in right, is worse.
Wild Cards: Only Baltimore has a lower ERA in the AL than the Indians and their great rotation leads the majors in complete games (29) It’s a good thing too because their 11 saves is 2nd worst in the league and with 8 blown in 19 chances is near the bottom.
Coming Attractions: Cleveland finishes a road trump in DC vs the 1924 Washington Senators before heading home for 3 each vs the 2015 Kansas City Royals, , the 2005 Chicago White Sox the 1993 Toronto Blue jays and the 1970 Baltimore Orioles.
Injury Report: The Indians are back to full strength again.
2013 Boston Red Sox 35-43 13 1/2 games back 3rd place
The good news for the Boston Red Sox is that for the 1st time in a while they are not at the bottom of the division albeit by only a half game. The bad news is instead of six games below .500 & 8 games back they’re 8 games below .500 & 13 1/2 games back. The Rangers went from the bottom so the RedSox, particularly once back to full strength can too, but clock is running.
Heroes: Daniel Nava leads the AL with a .429 OBP and his .332 batting avg is tied for 5th. David Ortiz (.318 18 HR 60RBI’s ) has found his stroke Closers Koji Uehara (1.84 ERA 5-7 in save chances 0.65 WHIP) and Craig Breslow (3.02 ERA 5-6 in saves 1.20 WHIP) are getting the job done, when they get to them that is.
Zeros:Jon Lester (4-8 5.63 ERA .310 avg .297 avg against ) isn’t doing the job to start but Matt Thornton 6.31 ERA, .310 avg against 2.05 WHIP) , Junichi Tazawa (6.45 ERA .294 avg against ) and Andrew Bailey 8.53 ERA .291 avg against 1.97 WHIP) aren’t getting the team to the closers. Will Middlebrooks & Mike Napoli are both hitting the ball far (10 HR each) but batting .198 (Middlebrooks) & .214 (Napoli).
Wild Cards: Boston’s team ERA of 4.94 is dead last in the AL and the 2nd worst in the majors. They also don’t seem to be able to handle daylight (6-13) or left handed pitchers (3-9)
Coming Attractions: It’s three games in Texas vs the 1st place 2010 Rangers then back home for series vs the 2002 Anaheim Angels , the 2009 NY Yankees and the 1998 Baltimore Orioles.
Injury Report: Time heals all wounds and pitchers Andrew Miller and Clay Buchholtz will be back in time for the homestand. Stephen Drew however will not be back until the Sox head back on the road
1968 Detroit Tigers 36-45 14 GB 4th Place
Detroit’s freefall has continued all the way to the bottom of the standings from the top where they began. With another full half to the season what comes down but what goes down can also go back up and they have 81 games to do it with. Can they?
Heroes: Willie Horton (26 HR) & Norm Cash (20 HR) lead the AL with a .429 OBP and his .332 batting avg is tied for 5th. Danny McLain is 5th in the AL in wins (9) and 3rd in innings pitched (143 2/3 ) 2nd in strikeouts (127) and walks per 9 innings (1.88) Mickey Lolich is right behind him in strikeouts (118) and 1st in the k’s per 9 innings (8.70)
Zeros: Earl Wilson’s troubles continue. His record is now 3-7 with a .285 avg against & 6.42 ERA remains among the worst of Detroit’s starters. Joe Sparma ((2-7) 1.78 WHIP 5.81 ERA .318 avg against) is the bottom fo the barrel. At the plate Don Wert has reached the Mendoza line at .200 with a .244 OBP. is bad news. Ray Oyler is down to .152 and consequently isn’t getting much playing time. Dick McAuliffe however is getting plenty but is only managing .206.
Wild Cards: Thanks to Cash, Horton and Jim Northrup (11 HR) the Tigers are 2nd in the league in HR behind the surging yanks however their .240 avg & .308 OBP are 2nd from the bottom in the AL. Their 4.84 is 3rd from the floor and no team in the majors throws out a smaller percentage of players trying to steal 094%.
Coming Attractions: The Tigers finish a long home stand with 3 vs the 1st place 2010 Texas Rangers, the 2002 Anaheim Angles and the 2009 New York Yankees before hitting the road again for stops in Oakland (1998 A’s) and Boston (2013 Redsox).
Injury Report: The tigers are back to full strength the question is can Al Kaline who has made two Trips to the DL already this season stay off it during the 2nd half?
The latest in our weekly reports on the Dynasty leagues I play in and run. There are currently two teams open (of 24) in this league and if you have an interest in taking over one of them let me know.
This week we look at the A divisions in both leagues
1970 Baltimore Orioles 40-29 1st place
Five weeks ago the defending AL Div champion Baltimore was where they were 10 weeks ago in 2nd place but with a recent surge (8-2) they have finally grabbed the top spot in the east. Now that they have it can they hold it?
Heroes: Jim Palmer continues his reign of terror on AL hitters leading the league in ERA, IP K’s and sitting top 3 in 4 other pitching categories, Merv Rettenmund sits 3rd in batting, OBP, hits and Boog Powell’s triple crown numbers .300 15 HR 64 RBI continue to strike fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers
Zeros:Marcelino Lopez has not distinguished himself out of the bullpen as indicated by his 5.12 ERA on a team with a 3.47 team ERA but the real surprise on this list is Brooks Robinson who despite 13 HR & 38 RBI is hitting a mere .188 and whose range factor is the lowest at any infield position on the team.
Wild Cards: Baltimore’s ERA is 2nd in the majors (3.47) thanks to strong starting and excellent defense .989 FPCT 3rd in league and with a .462 Caught stealing percentage running on them is a risky business. All of this leads to a +86 run differential the best in the AL
Coming Attractions: The Orioles have three at home against the slumping 1924 Senators before a quick roadtrip to Anaheim to face the 2002 Angels before a 12 game homestand which starts vs the 2015 Kansas City Royals.
Injury Report: The Orioles remain healthy which might have a lot to do with their steady performance.
1993 Toronto Blue Jays 40-30 1/2 GB 2nd place
Despite a bump in the road following a torrid run the Bluejays remain only 1/2 game out of 1st. Nearing the halfway point of the season it remains to be seen which team will be there over the next few weeks.
Heroes: Rickey Henderson leads the league in walks and stolen bases which is why despite a .235 avg he is 3rd in runs scored. Dwayne Ward 12 saves are 4th in the league but most importantly he has only blown one. Paul Molitor, Roberto Alomar & John Olerud are all hitting .315 or higher with double digit numbers in HR and are all on a pace for 100 RBI & runs.
Zeros:Ed Sprague sits in the dumps at .215 3 HR 25 RBI and an OBP a only .281. While Devon White has managed 11 steals being caught only once with a .228 avg & .310 OB he doesn’t get a lot of chances. But the biggest problem has been Jack Morris whose 1-5 record .388 avg against and astounding 10.46 ERA is the worst in either league for a regular starter.
Wild Cards: Between Henderson, White and Roberto Alomar (13 sb) it’s no wonder that Toronto leads the AL in steals and are 3rd in runs. And with the only turf surface in the AL they’re bound to keep that lead.
Coming Attractions: Toronto finishes their current homestand with 3 vs the 1989 Oakland A’s before heading on the road for 9 1st stop Boston vs the 2013 Redsox then to Detroit for the 1968 Tigers and finishing in DC taking on the 1924 Washington Senators.
Injury Report: All players present and accounted for.
2005 Chicago White Sox 32-40 9 1/2 GB 3rd place
The White Sox Slide has not abated they now find themselves 8 games below .500 and in need of some spark to get themselves back in contention.
Heroes: Mark Buehrle despite a .500 record is making the other guys earn it with a 2.63 ERA and only 23 walks in 123 1/3 innings (best in AL) White the sox have not got to him as much as in the past when Dustin Hermanson gets the ball he does the job (despite a 4.15 ERA) with 12 saves in 13 chances. Paul Konerko’s 21 HR is 2nd best in the AL
Zeros: On a team that’s only hitting .235 Aaron Rowand (.201) and Jose Uribe (.199) are the worst of a bad lot. On the mound Orlando Hernandez remains winless in 11 starts (0-9). That 8.02 ERA .320 avg against and 14 HR in 58 innings might have something to do with it.
Wild Cards: Chicago’s .235 team avg is the worst in the majors, it’s their pitching (4.28 3rd in AL) that’s the reason why they haven’t sunk into oblivion. However while the ERA is good the team is very generous with base stealers 63 of 71 have been successful in swiping a base. Additionally while they are below .500 overall they are over .500 in the division.
Coming Attractions: Chicago is on the road for 3 at Detroit to take on the 1968 Tigers then it’s to Washington to take on the 1924 Senators, the 3rd stop is Kansas City against the 2015 Royals then a critical series in Baltimore vs the 1st place Orioles.
Injury Report: They may not be happy but they’re all healthy.
1998 Oakland A’s 27-43 13 1/2 GB 4th place.
The one consistent in the AL east has been the struggles of the Oakland A’s who simply have not broken out of their early season funk. It’s not too late but the clock is ticking.
Heroes: For the 1st time since I started making the “leader” cards I have a team without a “Hero” in the top 3 of any pitching or hitting category to make a card for them , but in limited duty (43 games) Dave Parker has hit .313 with 4 HR & 13 RBI’s, and despite 4 losses and three blown saves Dennis Eckersley has 13 saves a 1.98 ERA and a WHIP of 0.78.
Zeros: While there is no Oakland A’s worthy of a leader card if I made a card for the most losses Curt Young would qualify currently tied for 3rd in the league thanks to a 7.18 ERA & .314 avg against in 13 starts. Storm Davis is right behind him with a 1-8 record in 13 starts a 5.73 ERA and a .300 avg against.
Wild cards: The biggest shock to A’s fans has been the lack of power. Where they have been signs that both Mark McGuire and Jose Canseso are finally getting out of their funks only the 1924 Washington Senators have hit fewer HR’s than the A’s and only the 2005 Astros have a lower slugging PCT.
Coming Attractions: The A’s are at the start of a 12 game road trip starting with a trip to Canada to case the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays then it’s to Cleveland with for a date with teh 1954 Indians then the heat of Texas to take on the 2010 Rangers and finally out west to Anaheim for a shot at the 2002 Angles.
Injury report: Other than Doug Jennings who is out for the season this is the 1st time that the A’s have not had a player out with injury in a long time.
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers 42-30 1st
After a stint at .500 the Brooklyn Dodgers have put it in gear again 12 games over .500 and 1st place. Are they in a position to run away and repeat. We shall see.
Heroes: The Duke of Flatbush continues to rule in the NL Duke Snyder‘s .314 (8th) 23 HR (2nd) 55 RBI (9th) are all big as are Roy Campanella‘s .303 21 HR (3rd) 64 RB (3rd) who also throws in a range factor of 7.54 behind the plate throwing out a 3rd of people trying to steal. Meanwhile on out of the bullpen Sandy Koufax is 4-0 with a save (and one blown) with a 1.59 ERA a WHIP of 1.06 and a .180 avg against.
Zeros:Jim Hughes has appeared in over 50% of the dodgers games eating 46 2/3 innings out of the pen. Unfortunately that has come with a 6.56 ERA a .295 avg against a 1.99 WHIP and 15 homers allowed. Billy Loes is 5-1 in 12 starts but is averaging only 5 1/3 innings per start with an ERA of 5.04 so that luck can last forever. At the plate Don Hoak .165 2 HR 11 RBI and Sandy Amoros .200 3 HR 22 RBI haven’t delivered.
Wild Cards: The only people who have had more trouble against the Dodgers than left handed pitchers (16-8) has been American League teams (5-1). Of course leading the Majors in Home Runs (114) and the NL in batting (.271) might have something to do with it too.
Coming Attractions: The Dodgers continue their long road trip heading to Milwaukee to face the 1957 Braves then to Chicago to take on the C leading 2016 Cubs and after a jaunt to Philly to face the 2008 Phillies finally finish their trip in Arizona against the 2013 Diamondbacks.
Injury Report: These Dodgers are both happy and healthy.
1975 Cincinnati Reds 41-37 4 GB 2nd
After a brief stint at the top of the standings the Reds have lost both 1st place and their 2nd manager this season. Can they right the ship and find a skipper to get that big red machine back on top?
Heroes: There are reds all over the leaderboard Johnny Bench leads the NL in RBI’s and is 4th in HR George Foster is right behind him in both. Pete Rose in 3rd in hits and Joe Morgan leads the lead in walks and is 2nd in stolen bases.
Zeros: Cincinnati’s troubles come down to starting pitching epitomized by Fred Norman (14 starts 1-7 1.75 WHIP 6.15 ERA .289 avg against) and Jack Billingmam (14 starts 3-9 6.49 ERA .309 avg against )
Wild Cards: The Reds are 2nd in Stolen bases and 3rd in runs and have the 3rd best avg against .253 but are also 2nd in swinging and missing and have a losing record both on the road and against left handing pitching.
Coming Attractions: the Reds finish their current road trip against the 2005 Houston Astros before coming home for a quick series vs the 1962 San Francisco Giants before hitting the road again visiting Arizona and the 2013 Diamondbacks then it’s off to DC to take on the 2019 Washington Nationals
Injury report: They might have trouble keeping managers on the field but their players are all there.
1986 New York Mets 36-39 7 1/2 GB 3rd
The Mets remain in a holding pattern hovering at .500 not dropping far below nor surging ahead. Unless that changes the divsion will be out of reach and it will be a question of playing for a wild card spot.
Heroes: Wally Backman is setting the table with a .333 avg (3rd in NL) and a .384 OBP leading to 45 runs. If Backman is setting the table Keith Hernandez (.294 25 2B 41 RBI) & Daryll Strawberry .281 14 HR 51 RBI are clearing it regularly. On the Mound Bobby Ojeda’s 3.01 ERA is leads the team & is 7th in the league.
Zeros: It’s the bullpen that’s been the Mets issue Doug Sisk (40 app .6.46 ERA .327 avg against 1 bs in one chance) Rick Anderson 7.59 ERA .339 avg against 1 bs in one chance) and Bruce Berenyi .377 avg against 8.60 ERA 2 sv 2.40 WHIP. Roger McDowell’s numbers are better 4.76 ERA .264 avg against but he’s blown 5 saves in 8 chances.
Wild Cards: Only Arizona and Washington have blown more saves in the NL than the Mets but it can’t all be laid at the hands of the pitchers as NY has the worst fielding percentage in the majors at .973 and 77 errors nobody else is even close.
Coming Attractions: It’s 3 in Milwaukee to play the 1957 Braves followed by 3 more in Chicago vs the red hot 2016 Cubs before heading home to face the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies.
Injury Report: Everyone is healthy which eliminated one excuse for the bullpen.
2013 Arizona Diamondbacks 30-42 12 GB 4th
It’s been a season at the bottom for Arizona, but with a New Manager whose father led his team to the top of the Futility league AL West can his son in his 1st managing job take this team out of the basement and into the hunt for the wild card?
Heroes: While Paul Goldschmidt is no longer 3rd in HR (Ryan & Snyder are still 1 & 2) as he was before with 81 hits 18 HR (6th) and 49 RBI is a problem for any pitcher in the league. Patrick Corbin’s 3.24 ERA & 1.37 WHIP means opposing batters have to earn it and out of the pen Josh Collmenter has done his job with a .185 avg against and a 0.87 WHIP.
Zeros: Wade Miley has not done the job with a 6.14 ERA and a 2-6 record in 16 starts. Joe Thatcher out of the pen in 35 appearances “boasts” a 9.21 ERA a .347 avg against and a 2.02 WHIP. At the plate on a team that hasn’t produced much the bottom of the barrel is Miguel Montero hitting .200 with 1 HR and 21 RBI in 239 AB.
Wild Cards: Only Houston has a worse team batting avg than Arizona or fewer Home Runs but if you’re visiting in Arizona or throwing a lefty watch out because they are over .500 against both.
Coming Attractions: after three games in Houston to face the 2005 Astros. They head home for a 12 game series with 2008 Philadelphia followed by 1962 San Francisco,
Injury Report: Brandon McCarthy will be out for the year and Aaron Hill will not be back for a month.
The latest in our series of write-ups of the various leagues I am running. If you wish to inquire about future openings (all current spots are filled) contact me via the Dynasty system or leave a request in comments.
This weekend the All Futility 100 loss league West divisions. These results and standings were all current at the time of this writing
American League West
2008 Seattle Mariners 86-65 1st place
With three games to go and a two game lead Seattle has control of their own destiny. Will they be able to hold off the final late surge?
Heroes: Jose Lopez in addition to leading the league in hits & doubles is 4th in batting. Ichrio Suzuki is 3rd in runs and stolen bases and is top ten in the league in hits & triples with 9 OF assists thrown in. Seattle Closer Brandon Morrow is 3rd is saves (25) but more importantly has only blown 5 in 30 chances which makes all the difference.
Zeros: If Starter Miguel Batista had managed better than a 6.26 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP in 21 starts Seattle would already be resting starters for the playoffs. The same goes for Carlos Silva who with 30 starts is just under .500 thanks to a 5.58 ERA a .312 avg against plus almost 50 more hits given up than innings pitched
Wild Cards: There is no better illustration of the difference between getting good defense & run support and not than the contrast between starters Jarrod Washburn & Felix Hernandez both have a .260 avg against but Washburn is 13-7 despite a 4.63 ERA while Hernandez leads the league with a 2.96 ERA but is 10-14 with a full dozen unearned runs scored off him vs only 2 vs Washburn.
Coming Attractions. Seattle heads home to finish their season vs the 1982 Minnesota Twins. If they can win sweep the twins it’s a clinch no matter what.
Injury Report:Erik Bedard who has been out since July will not play again this season but if Seattle hangs on will be recovered in time for the playoffs.
1973 Texas Rangers 83-66 2nd place 2 GB
The Texas comeback from the bottom of the standings to within 2 games (and only one behind in the loss column) with 5 to play is one of the great stories of the season.
Heroes: Jeff Burroughs & Bill Sudakis are 1 & 3 in HR in the AL and in a 4 way tie for the RBI lead going into the final four games. Meanwhile the starting pitching duo of Jim Bibby & Jim Merritt are in a 4 way tie for the lead in wins & are sitting at 2-3 in League ERA. Bibby is also 1st in Avg against while Merritt is 2nd in WHIP.
Zeros:Jim Mason’s .212 avg with 0 HR & 18 RBI in over 200 ab isn’t impressive but if you want to know why Texas is still 2nd look no further than starter David Clyde (6-11 6.16 ERA ) in 25 starts and Charlie Hudson whose 6-4 record and 3.70 ERA in 43 appearance (4 starts) look good but six blown saves vs 7 converted saves is the difference between being 2 behind in the loss column and 0.
Wild Card: Texas has feasted off of AL East teams a full 20 games over .500 against them but they have not been so successful against left handed pitchers against whom their record is just below .500.
Coming Attractions: Texas Season is going to come down to their final two home games vs the 2005 Kansas City Royals and then a trip to Tampa Bay to finish their season with 3 games against the big bats of the 2002 Devil Rays.
Injury Report: Texas makes its dash with nobody on the DL but with a pitching staff desperately in need of a rest particularly Sonny Siebert.
1982 Minnesota Twins 79-72 3rd place 7 GB ELIMINATED
When last we left the Twins they were battling Seattle neck and neck, however a late 4-6 run has been just enough to put them five to go a single game too far back.
Heroes: There may be recriminations in Minnesota over their finish but Kent Hrbek Certainly did his part .343 (3rd) with 36 HR (6th) and 128 RBI’s (2nd) plus top 7 in Triples, Hits, Runs OBP, Slugging and OPS. On the Mound Robert Castillo is 1st in WHIP, tied for the league lead in wins 6th in ERA 3rd in Innings pitched 5th in strikeouts and 2nd in best avg against (.242) And Ron Davis’ 28 Saves vs 3 blows is pretty solid.
Zeros:Frank Viola may have a great future but his 7-11 record with a .325 avg against and 5.45 ERA is a big reason why Minnesota is eliminated today. It also doesn’t help that Terry Felton (5 saves in 9 chances) and Jeff Little (4 saves in 8 chances) couldn’t do the job when Davis wasn’t available.
Wild Cards: Nobody closed out games like Minnesota. They were 1st in the majors in saves while tied for the fewest blown saves in the AL. Unfortunately it’s a little tough to get to that save situation when you lead the league in both walks and Home Runs allowed.
Coming Attractions: Minnesota might be out of it but with their season finishing in Seattle against the 1st place 2008 Mariners they hold the destiny of the division in their hands.
2005 Kansas City Royals 76-73 4th place 8 GB ELIMINATED
Kansas City is playing for pride. One win secures at least a .500 record and they are but a single game behind Minnesota in the loss column. Can they manage to get out of the cellar in their final five games?
Heroes:David DeJesusis currently tied for the AL lead in doubles 4th in triples 10th in OBP & 7th in walks. Matt Stairs is 2nd in OBP 4th in Slugging and only injuries kept him out of bigger categories and Mike Sweeny’s .309 avg 33 HR & 122 RBI’s are nothing to sneeze at. Andy Sisco in 51 games out of the pen went 8-2 with 3 saves in as many chances & a 2.85 ERA
Zeros: Practically the entire Royals starting rotation can quality with only one starter managing an ERA under 5 but the worst offenders of the lot have to be Runelvys Hernandez (3-15 6.72 ERA .321 avg against & over 50 more hits than innings in 32 starts) and Jose Lima (8-12 7.03 ERA .315 avg against in 26 starts)
Wild Card: It certainly wasn’t offense that put Kansas City in last. They led the league in Runs, doubles, RBI’s OBP and OPS and led the majors in Avg and Slugging. However while they hit .290 as a team they also allowed their opponent to hit .290 against and converted the fewest saves in the AL while being near the bottom of almost every AL pitching category.
Coming Attractions: Kansas City’s offense will have a chance to decide how the division finishes as they play a pair in Texas against the 1973 Rangers before closing out their season against the AL East champion Chicago White Sox.
Injury report: The good news for KC is all of their potent bats are available for the close of the season, the good news for their opponents is so is all their pitching.
National League West
2012 Houston Astros 77-74 1st place
Houston won their two biggest games of the season sweeping Arizona for a pair giving them a 2 game lead with three to play. But with both San Diego and Arizona still alive with 3 to go they’ll have to go all out to guarantee a playdate against the 100 win Nationals.
Heroes: You won’t find a lot of Astros on the various leader boards but one is Wilson Lopezwhose 16 saves are 2nd in the league. Another is Scott Moore whose .327 avg is 2nd in the league But Justin Maxwell’s 32 HR and steady pitching from folks like starter Jordan Lyles (14-8 1 sv 3.93 ERA 1.32 WHIP) and reliever Fernando Rodriguez (10-4 3.85 ERA in relief) played their part.
Zeros: If Xavier Cedeno (52 games 1 start 4-3 2 saves in 8 chances 5.58 ERA) .292 avg vs) Fernando Abad (33 games 6 starts 3-8 1 save in 4 chances 6.64 ERA .323 avg vs) & Rhiner Cruz (43 games 3 starts 3-5 0 saves in 2 chances .7.76 ERA .327 avg vs) had been even slightly better the NL West would be sown up today.
Wild Cards: Despite a -58 run differential (No team with a record better than 25 games under .500 has worse) and the worst fielding percentage in the majors (.977) the 2nd most blown saves in the NL and more of their batters striking on than on any other team they are two wins from a division title. Perhaps being 2nd in HR & RBI, in the NL have something to do with it.
Coming Attractions: It all comes down to a three games series in Milwaukee vs the 2002 Brewers. Win two and Houston punches their ticket to a series vs the Nationals.
Injury Report: Fortunately for Houston all three zeros on their list Fernando Abad, Rhiner Cruz and Xavier Cedeno are out till next year along with Buck Travis are out for the season and playoffs although there is a Tiny chance that Cedeno could be well enough to play before the end of the World Series. Francisco Cordero won’t be available vs Milwaukee but if Houston makes the Playoffs he might be able to be activated late in the Washington series if another Astro is injured.
2004 Arizona Diamondbacks 75-76 2nd 2 GB
Arizona managed to climb all the way from last to a tie for first with five games to go only to lose 2 straight to Houston. Can they pull off one final miracle in their last series?
Heroes: The question isn’t if Randy Johnson will win the NL CY Young. With the exception of Home Runs per 9 Innings (4th in majors 2nd in NL) and Innings Pitched (1st in NL 2nd in Majors likely to be 1st soon) he leads leads the majors in every non relieving pitching Category and by a lot. His 1.88 ERA is a full run better than the #2 his 335 K’s is 85 better than the 2nd best and he’s hte only pitcher with a WHIP under 1.00 (0.80) the question is does he win MVP too? Luis Gonzalez Brandon Webb and reliever Mike Koplove did their part but Johnson is the best in the majors period!
Zeros: To say that reliever Randy Choate (58 gm 3-10 1 sv in 3 chances) and starter Edgar Gonzalez (12 starts in 13 games 3-7 6.36 ERA .301 avg against 11 HR in 58 innings) have been bad is true but Casey Fossum line of 29 starts, .337 avg against 8.38 ERA 1.82 WHIP and a 5-13 record takes the cake. If they had collectively been 2 games better over their 41 starts and 59 relief appearances the Diamondbacks would control their own destiny.
Wild Card: If Arizona makes the playoffs Randy Johnson is the wildest card there is capable of beating any team at any time. Arizona as been a doubles machine leading the majors and it’s a good thing too because their 13 steal attempts (10 sb) are the fewest in the NL. On the mound they lead the majors in ERA (3.97) WHIP (1.33) avg against (.246) K’s (1259) fewest Runs & Earned runs (674/600) fewest hits (1282) and lead the NL in completed games. One guess why.
Coming Attractions: It comes down to a 3 game series vs the 1973 San Diego Padres. at home. Johnson will pitch once so it will come down to if the remainder of the staff can come through. Two wins forces Houston to win one. 3 forces them to win two
Injury Report:Danny Bautista will not be available for the SD series but if the team makes the playoff he’ll be recovered sufficiently to make the roster.
1973 San Diego Padres 74-77 3rd place 3 GB
It’s a credit to the relevancy of this Padres team that with a single series to play they are still in the playoff hunt but they not only need Houston to be swept they will need to beat Randy Johnson. Can they do it?
Heroes:Willie McCovery still has an excellent batters eye leading the league in walks and OBP. while hitting a solid .298 with 25 HR & 99 RBI. Young Dave Winfield has been a liability in the field (10 OF errors) & doesn’t have McCovey’s patience at the plate (31 BB vs 139K’s) but with 25 HR & 105 RBI he’ll do. On the Mound Dan Spillner has been the best of a good rotation 11-8 with a 3.78 ERA and a save in his only chance.
Zeros: Of all the teams I’ve written this is the hardest to pick out zeros because while many have performed below avg, no regulars stats have been horrible, but it’s fair to say that while their numbers aren’t horrible the inability of Padres relievers to convert saves like Bill Laxton (7 of 12 ) Lowell Palmer (4 of 8) and Mike Corkins (6 of 10) are a big reason why SD is a game away from elimination.
Wild Cards: No team has a more consistent set of starters 1-4. Spillner, Randy Jones (.261 avg 4.52 ERA) Dave Freisleben 4.72 ERA, and Bill Grief (4.91 ERA) have consistently kept SD in games. If only their manager’s health has been as consistent as their rotation.
Coming Attractions: It all comes down to the final three games against the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks. One loss (or one Houston win) and they’re done.
Injury Report: San Diego goes into their final Do or die series with all hands healthy and on deck.
2002 Milwaukee Brewers 61-90 4th place 16 GB Eliminated
It’s been a disappointing season for Milwaukee which started strong but now could finish with the worst record in the majors. However they will play the deciding series for their division.
Heroes:Eric Young has been a runs machine scoring 104 while stealing 56 bases (3rd in the league) Despite 200 k’s Jose Hernandez 32 HR (4th in the league) & 94 runs makes him feared but not as feared as Rickie Sexton whose 25 HR 53 doubles (2nd in league) 112 RBI’s and 90 runs scored means he’s a danger both at the plate and when he’s on base.
Zeros:Ruben Quevedo’s 3-18 record in 34 starts is well earned with a 7.14 ERA a .291 avg against and a WHIP of 1.67. Nick Neugebauer 2-11 record .279 avg against 6.84 ERA & 1.86 ERA is only better because he’s had just 18 starts to do it. At the plate Ronnie Belliard at .218 2 HR 24 RBI & only 23 runs & a .281 OBP inspires little fear for a 3rd baseman.
Wild Cards: Milwaukee has earned their place in the league. They have the worst batting avg in the majors and the fewest hits which is trouble. Perhaps if they were on base more they’d be a tad more careful as they also lead the majors in being caught stealing. However in the field they don’t make such mistakes their fielding percentage of .985 leads the NL but it’s not enough to overcome NL’s worst ERA (5.07).
Coming Attractions: Milwaukee final three games at home will not only decide if they finish with the worst record in the majors but will also decide the fate of the NL West as they finish against the 2012 Houston Astros who need w wins to clinch without help.
Injury Report: Geoff Jenkins, Valerio de los Santos and Mike Matthews will all miss the final series of the season. Slugger Matt Stairs just might be healthy in time to play in the last game of the year