Friday, May 06, 2005

1st Month of Baseball

The first month of baseball has actually thrown out quite a few surprises and many, many letdowns for fans across the nation. Through the first month, this looks like it could be a year where parity might rear it's ugly head, or at least that's what most people think of parity. As long as it doesn't hurt my team, I kind of enjoy it sometimes. But as stated, it's only the first month, but still there are some things worth noting.


My Cubbies, up until this five game losing streak, have been playing some very boring .500 baseball, and I see no reason this trend won't continue. This was a team I knew would either start off lights out or play exactly like they're playing right now. All of last year's problems are rearing their ugly head. They have no bullpen; they can't hit with runners in scoring position after there's one out; all of the injuries (Kerry Wood, Todd Walker, Nomar Garciapara). And yes, a lot of attention has been focused on Aramis Ramirez's cold bat, but Derek Lee has more than made up for that; if they make any kind of run this season, Lee is potential MVP material. Prior's been excellent; Zambrano's a nut job, but he's done just fine. Maddux is his usual pitch a good game here, pitch a terrible game here, and Dempster has been, well, Ryan Dempster (Whatever you want to make of that comment). They have no true lead-off hitter. Burnitz has been a nice surprise. Basically all of the makings of a .500 team. Even with it being this early, I don't see how anyone is going to take this division from the Cardinals, and the way the Cubs could go, they might even be fourth or worse.

The Phillies are just awful, and this was something I actually predicted correctly in my pre-season picks. However, I did give them the benefit of the doubt in doing better than the Nationals, and they might not even be able to do that. On paper, they should at least be competitive, but these are for the most part the same people that have proven they can't play well together for the past three or four seasons, so why anyone thought this year would be any different is beyond me. This is a team in need of a major overhaul.

The Yankees are in a lot of trouble. And if you're a Yankee fan, you have to be pretty pissed off. Yes, it's early, and they started off 8-12 last year and still ended up winning the division. But with the Redsox playing even better than they did last year, and the Orioles suprising the hell out of everybody there has to be some fear in Yankeeville. Granted, the Orioles probably don't have the starting pitching to get them into the late months, but they have just as potent a line-up as the Yanks, as do the Redsox. And the Redsox, with a solid bullpen, have a much better pitching staff than the other two. This could be the year where the Yankees follow their NY counterparts, the Rangers and the Knicks. It's time for high payroll to hurt more than help.


The Orioles have answered one big question this year: "Who the hell is Brian Roberts?" I'm not sure he'll play like this all year, but he's the glue in this line-up right now, and it doesn't look like he's going anywhere. Chris said, in his predictions, that this line-up could step up and take out either the Yanks or Sox, and I'm starting to jump on his bandwagon. As I stated before they're pitching is not going to get them in the later months; I still think Ponson is a waste of space. And with a lack of good pitching to go out and get, this will probably be a problem, but who the hell knows?

The Whitesox are just beating everybody with the best record in baseball. Their great pitching staff from two seasons go, that faltered last season, is back. And I see no reason this staff can't take them into the later months. Even this early, this might be the team to beat in the long run, at least in the AL.

The Nationals have proven that all they may have needed is some crowd support. Granted, they've cooled off quite a bit, but expect them to cause a lot of problems and shake up the NL East a little bit. They won't win the division, but they might be the team that determines who does.

The Brewers are an interesting team in my opinion, and I'm basing this on watching our Triple A team, the Nashville Sounds, the Brewers farm team. They've got a lot of talent that I'm sure will be called up especially if the Brew Crew has any chance of making a run for the post-season. Like I said, can't catch up with the Cards, but don't be surprised if they're at least in the wild card race come August and Sept.

The Diamondbacks have to be pretty happy right now. This is definately a team to watch for in the next couple of seasons, but early on they're making a claim for winning a lot more now than people ever expected.

Like I said, this is early in the season, and next month I'll probably be making a lot of comments that will contradict what I've said here. But either way, it's been an exciting first month of baseball.


At 5/06/2005 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Kennelworthy said...


Sorry...grew up in Baltimore. Really nice to see them playing this well for the first time since the mid-80's. Nervous about the pitching...confident about the bats. Yanks and Sox are digging a hole right now, and Baltimore might have just enough edge over them to hold on. We'll see.

I still remember the words to that old Oriole Magic song from the late 70's. Ahhh baseball. Good times. Good times.


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