July 05, 2005

Sports/Leisure Rant!

Ah July, the bliss of no sports aside from baseball to course through the airwaves. Why should we make this blog an exception? With the All Star Break looming, let's take a look at the divisions and see who's on top and who can expect to stay there.

AL West

Starting here because I know the least about it. Bartolo Colon leads the Angels to the top of the standings, but the Rangers have a great lineup and have held their own through the season. I really don't see much changing here, so let's say Angels win the division.

AL Central

The White Sox are leading the division by a wide margin, but keep an eye on the Twins. Johan Santana is not a pitcher to doubt, but Jon Garland at 13-3 is nothing to sneeze at either. The Sox have more power, but the Twins field the ball better. While pitching and defense wins championships, Chicago's up 8.5, and I doubt the Twins can make that up. Keep an eye on the Indians, too -- if anyone can run off a streak of wins, it's them.

AL East

The hotbed. Sox and Yanks took a back seat to the Orioles for most of the season, but Boston is back on top and New Yrok is closing in (though still in third). This promises to be an exciting finish and will get a lot of attention in the media, especially with the Wild Card likely to come out of the Central. I'll spoil it for you, though. The Orioles trade for the pitcher they need (Schmidt) and sit atop the East at season's end, despite yet another heroic comback from the Sox led by Schilling.

NL West

The Giants suck. Not really, I just wanted to raise Jay's blood pressure a couple notches. Then again, I just looked at the standing, and I'll leave it at this: they're not having their best season. With only one team above .500 (San Diego), this is the division that a team can make up a lot of ground quickly, and if Bonds ever gets back in the lineup, then they may have a chance. This is my go out on a limb (WAY out in this case) of the season, but I think Bonds is waiting to come back until he's in top form, and when he gets back on the roster, he gives SF the juice (ha!) they need to win the division.

NL Central

The Cardinals are in this division, and up 11.5 games. I'd say more, but it'd be REALLY boring.

NL East

All right, here we go. Every team at or better than .500, and Washington (yep, Les Expos) up by 4 and a half.

Before we go any further, can I just say that I'm sick and tired of hearing it's the first ____________ in Washington in 30+ years EVERY TIME THEY DO ANYTHING! That got old right after the first home game in 30+ years, then the first home win in 30+ win, the first home loss in 30+ years, the first drunk yelling obscenities in the stands in 30+ years, the first 20 minute wait for a beer in 30+ years, blah blah blah. They've been doing it for FOUR MONTHS, the latest being the first game on July 4th in DC in 30+ years. Good Lord.

Anyway, the bad karma from that alone should kill their chances of winning the division, but methinks Atlanta may overtake it on their own steam. They're 46-37 without three of the five pitchers in their starting rotation, plus they're missing Chipper Jones. They've done it with rookie replacements and Andruw Jones finding his swing on a hot streak to end all hot streaks. But the main reason for this surge? Bobby Cox, Bobby Cox, Bobby Cox. Frank Robinson deserves a lot of credit for how well the Nationals have done, but Bobby Cox has done just as much with a roster that's far more depleted that the Nats. They'll over take them this month with the return of a pitcher and Chipper Jones, and hold on for their 14th straight division title.

That's how baseball will end up. More sports later.


At 2:06 PM, Blogger Jay said...

First, there's no getting around it - the Giants DO suck. I've gradually started to lose interest on them this season - partially because of the steroids fiasco (c'mon, Barry, "I didn't know they were steroids" is the best you could come up with?), partially because of their suckiness, but mostly because I have my first actual hometown team. That's right, in spite of the ridiculous amount of "first overflowing toilet at at baseball game at RFK in 30 years," I've taken quite nicely to the Nats.

I'd also like to say that I was part of the first Washington College of Law student-organized trip to a Nationals game where they beat the Brewers in 30 years. I'll never forget that historic day.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Jay said...

By the way, I think it's more fun that I like the Nats now, since we can now have a divisional rivalry, instead of a rather mundane intraleague rivalry.

The common thread here is Livan Hernandez - I've ALMOST forgiven him for blowing the World Series (though you have to give partial blame to Dusty Baker for leaving him in that long). If he can get the Nats to the playoffs, all will be forgotten.

Oh, and if the Nats make the World Series, my aunt has promised she will get tickets and take me along, no matter what it takes.

If that's not a reason to root for the Nats, I don't know what is.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger Mike said...

I agree that it will be more fun -- I'm very much looking forward to our cursing each other's teams and names for the next three months or so.

Seriouisly, best of luck -- and if the Nats win, can we call the whole punt return safety thing even? Nah, I didn't think so.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger NANDO J said...

Mike! I can't believe you?! My boy Andruw is basically saving this team from misery and all you can talk about is when Chipper comes back? And I thought you were Vanilla me. :shakes head and frowns: You sadden me. :(

At 1:33 PM, Blogger IRMcK said...



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