Monday, July 14, 2003

The Atlanta Braves have baseball's best record, and all year I've tried to come to terms with why that is. Are they better than all the other teams in the league? Their record indicates that they are, They are 8th in team pitching (13th MLB), 3rd in team batting (5th MLB). Last year's World Series champ Anaheim Angels were 4th in each category in the majors (2nd in pitching in the AL, also 4th in batting). Maybe it's just enough. Maybe finally having stats that are in the best quarter of the league, in both categories, is good enough. Last year, Atlanta was 21st in the MLB in batting, 1st in pitching. Maybe the balance is what explains all of this. I can't deny that Russ Ortiz and Horacio Ramirez have been good pitchers for them this year, but Maddux, Hampton, and Reynolds have all been shaky (but good sometimes too). The closest competitors in the MLB are Seattle and New York. Seattle has the best pitching in the AL (3rd MLB) and 5th in batting (9th MLB), the Yankees are 4th in the AL in pitching (11th MLB), 3rd in batting (6th MLB). On paper, Seattle should have the best record (and for awhile, did). Atlanta definitely needs to get a pitcher, but I don't know if any of the names being tossed around are good enough (Kris Benson...a couple of years ago I would have said YES!).

But the best part of baseball is coming up, with all the teams that have a chance, it's going to be awesome.


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