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MLB Mid-Season report
2005-07-04 21:37
by Scott Long

Considering that most teams have played at least half their games so far, I thought I would jump the gun on a mid-season report. I have posted my initial rankings and comments, with revision at this point. (CR) stands for current ranking and following it is my current reviews. Let's see how I'm doing so far.

1. Boston Red Sox- Best regular season record. (CR-5) Wouldn't be shocked if they finish at the top of the list, if Schilling comes back healthy.
2. New York Yankees- Another Wild Card wins the World Series. (CR-10) OK, they aren't going to finish this high, but if they are the Wild Card, they could still make me look good.
3. St. Louis Cardinals- Still the class of the NL. (CR-2) This one's was a gimme.
4. Anaheim Angels- Hitting and bullpen bails out starting pitching. (CR-3) And to think, many picked them second in the West.
5. Minnesota Twins- Santana is the most important player to his team in MLB. (CR-6) All the talk about the Twins being disappointing has been overblown because of the White Sox start.
6. Florida Marlins- Have the right elements to beat Cards in playoffs. (CR-13) Still have the right elements, but are right behind the Yankees on the underachievers list.
7. New York Mets- The NL Wild Card will resemble the 1967 AL race. (CR-16) I might just be right about the NL wild card race, but it doesn't look like the Mets will be sitting on top.
8. Chicago White Sox- The last 3 acquisitions in the off-season gives them a chance. (CR-1) The last 3 acquisitions have been great, but the improvement of Garland gives them 3 starters who keep them out of losing streaks.

9. Chicago Cubs- If Wood and Prior stay healthy, bump this team to wildcard. IF? (CR-17) The past week might have been the final nail in their up and down year.
10. Atlanta Braves- I'm still trying to figure out how last year's title happened. (CR-9) Considering their injuries, I'm still trying to figure out how they're doing it.
11. Los Angeles Dodgers- The best team in baseball's worst division. (CR-21) Right on about worst division, but it's hard to see how the Dodgers can finish above .500.
12. San Diego Padres- One year away from being a pennant contender. (CR-11) Dodgers injuries have taken away the one year away element.
13. Philadelphia Phillies- The top 4 teams in NL East will be separated by 7 games. (CR-15) Let me add a fifth to the equation. (Nationals)
14. Texas Rangers- Offense and Cordero keep them in it like last year. (CR-12) Add to that Kenny Rogers pitching and acting like a demon.
15. Oakland A's- One year blip, as some of the young pitchers struggle. (CR-18) So far, I'm right on the money, bitches!
16. San Francisco Giants- Worst baseball year in the bay area in quite a long time. (CR-26) Call me at the Psychic Friends Network.
17. Houston Astros- Same as 2004 team, without the August and September run. (CR-22) From 10 to 17 I've been all over it.
18. Cleveland Indians- Lack of pitching grounds pre-season flavor of the month. (CR-7) Completely off on the pitching, as the last month the offense had done just enough to put the Indians right back in the AL Wild Card race.
19. Baltimore Orioles- What an offense they would have been, 4 years ago. (CR-8) I think the Baltimore/DC area is ripe for a second half drop off.
20. Pittsburgh Pirates- Bullpen woes keep them from being a bigger surprise. (CR-24) Have gone into the tank over the past 2 weeks.
21. Toronto Blue Jays- Didn't like the direction the team went in the off-season. (CR-14) So far, Riccardi has looked pretty good on his additions.
22. Milwaukee Brewers- Future is looking brighter. Take the Brat on opening day. (CR-23) Second in this division is a long way back from first.
23. Detroit Tigers- If I were doing this team's THR there would be a lot of RED. (CR-19) Playing in baseball's best division has been their undoing.
24. Seattle Mariners- Should score more runs, but not enough to bail out pitching. (CR-25) Many overrated this team at the start of the year.
25. Arizona Diamondbacks- Lot of money spent to be this low on the list. (CR-20) After a great start, reality is setting in. Reality in the NL West, though, means still having a chance.
26. Cincinnati Reds- It takes more than a good outfield to win. No joy in Porkopolis. (CR-27) It's sad that such a great baseball town has such terrible ownership/management.
27. Tampa Bay Devil Rays- How is this team supposed to compete in the AL East? (CR-29) Not that they could compete in any division, well maybe the NL West.
28. Colorado Rockies- Some of the young players gives this team some hope. (CR-29) 15 and half out in the NL West at the mid-point. Shameful.
29. Washington Nationals- With Bowden as GM, they resemble past DC. (CR-4) Man was I off on this one. I still think their starting pitching will falter giving them a losing record in the second half, but they should be in the NL East race into September.
30. Kansas City Royals- And to think, some were picking them to win 2004 Central. (CR-30) Playing so many games against 3 of the 7 top teams in the league, gives them no chance. Ugly.

2005-07-04 22:34:05
1.   RickM
Hey ... in a previous post you said that the Red Sox, the White Sox and the Angels are the best teams in baseball. Here you say that St. Louis is in the top three. What gives?

... and don't feel bad, the entire world is shocked by the Nationals.

2005-07-05 06:12:28
2.   chris in illinois
I still don't see the Angels as one of the best teams in baseball. Ok, ok the record is there, but if you look closer at the means to that record, it's not so impressive:

Nine wins against their bitch, the Rangers.
Seven of eight vs the Royals.
Four of six from Seattle.
Five of six against a slumping Dodger team.

Outside of those games, the Angels are 25-26.

Now I realize that you could do that with most teams---take a few games here and there, play with them a bit and then state that they aren't very good---in this case I do think that the schedule has been very good to them.

We should have a better idea of how good they really are right after the AS break: they play the Yankees seven times, the Twins four times, Oakland and Toronto three times each. Their schedule in the second half is filled with Yankees, Orioles, Blue Jays and Red Sox.

I believe in the Sox, Scott, but I reserve the right to be skeptical regarding the LAA Angels.

2005-07-05 07:16:16
3.   TFD
Scott: Somewhere there's a post entitled:

ALC - The Best Division in Baseball.

Subtitled: Those Poor Tigers, They'll Never Win With the Twins, GFWS, and Indians in the Same Division.

Eat that right coasters...!

2005-07-05 07:28:46
4.   Scott Long
Rick, I see your point, but my ranking at this point is mainly based on record. I would rate the Angels slightly over the Cards, head-up, as I think their relief pitching and defense would be the deciding factor. Also, I'm not sure there is a better manager in the post-season than Scioscia. I do think the Cards starting pitching is improved this year.

TFD- It is weird how the AL Central has been the best division in 2005.

2005-07-05 07:44:53
5.   Smed
You may want to rethink your ranking on Oakland. They're on a tear and are creeping into the WC race. Don't discount Beane.

They were at 17-32 and now are 40-41. They're playing better than most of the AL right now.

Also - it was NOT the pitching of Oakland that was struggling (except for Blanton). It was the offense holding them down.

2005-07-05 12:34:19
6.   gswitter
Do you really think Santana is more important to the Twins than Bonds is to the Giants?
2005-07-05 14:48:29
7.   Scott Long
gswitter- I wrote that at the start of the year, as I felt Bonds would only play half the year. I guess I was being optimistic. Over the past 5 years, Bonds was by far the most important player.
2005-07-06 06:00:59
8.   22Ryan
"Also, I'm not sure there is a better manager in the post-season than Scioscia."

While his run in 2002 was special, he butchered it last year against the Sox last year in the ALDS. Remember the Washburn/Ortiz matchup?

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