We're half way home more or less in the 2013 campaign. The All-Star Break is here, and it'll be tough to move the needle much in your fantasy league as the numbers are pretty well pounded into shape. In real baseball meanwhile nothing is settled. The largest division lead (Atlanta NL East) is 6 games, and most of the NL West is underwater.
Games have never been closer. 2013 may see a new record for extra inning tilts. (I'm pretty sure my Mariners have lost 37 of those.) It's been a campaign marred by injuries too. Super stars like Bryce Harper and Ryan Braun have spent extended time on the disabled list. The Yankees are so beat up their current roster resembles the witness protection program. Depth has never been more important.
Money pitchers like Matt Cain and Justin Verlander have struggled. Max Scherzer meanwhile was the first 13-0 hurler since Roger Clemons in 1986 (and he has the peripheral numbers to match.) Michael Cuddyer of all people had a 27 game hitting streak. The only thing that makes complete sense is Miguel Cabrera and his run to repeat as a triple crown winner. At age 29, and in an era of flailing at everything, Miggie is transcendent.
Perhaps all the whiffing has to do with our short attention spans. It's tough to stand there and take pitches when all you really want to swing at them and see what happens! In the era of Twitter we just don't have time. Swing and a miss! Oh well another pitch is coming in about 30 seconds. Here then are 30 Tweet length missives on the 30 MLB teams just past the half way pole.
Boston Red Sox
Sox in first and a big reason is Dustin Pedroia. Petey is hitting .325 with 53 runs despite a torn ligament in his thumb. What a gamer!
Tampa Bay Rays
I had something else written, and then the Rays dashed into the break winning 9 of 10. Joe Madden should always have this gig.
Trade for Feldman underlines what we knew. Starters weren't up to snuff. Telling they gave up on Arrietta. Great arm. No FB command.
New York Yankees
How bad? They've just added .136 Luis Cruz to play short. Even I feel sorry for them. And yet there they are 3 out of the WC. How? IDK!
Toronto Blue Jays
Have come around, but probably too late. Dickey poor fit in AL East. Johnson not what he was. Reyes missing all that time really hurt.
Another underachieving first half. Miggie carrying this team. Scherzer having predicted break out. Verlander walk rate way up. Not himself.
Club built with high power/K guys and middling starting pitching behaves like this. Winning jags followed by losing streaks. Manicball!
Kansas City Royals
Pitching has kept them in it. Hosmer putting it together. Last 3 wks: .306 7/14. Butler? 6 hr! Saber says low Flyball rate. Last yr lucky.
This is as good as it gets. Meek line up, low K rate pitchers. I said at the beginning Twins need to start developing power arms.
Chicago White Sox
2013 team shows two things. 1. Older guys getting old fast. 2. Weak farm system not yielding young difference makers.
Forget book and the movie, the past two years have seen Beane's finest work. Cubs catcher reject 3B Donaldson exhibit A: Bat and glove.
Pretty simple. If Texas wants to win west from Oakland they have to fix their pitching. Injuries force them to use not readies like Grimm.
Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim
Pujols and Hamilton killing them, especially Hamilton who is done as a productive player. They should just shut Albert down for injuries.
Good young talent. Now all they need is real ownership, all new front office, and a new field manager. Trade K. Morales while you can.
I get it. I see what they're doing. Bo Porter could never win it with this club, but in a way isn't he manager of the year? Hellava job.
National League East
This team will be caught from behind by Washington. Too many offensive holes, and now injuries.
Then again, the Nats have been even worse at the plate. Having a healthy Harper will make everything better.
Not a good team, but I hear talk of them selling. Bullshit. Atlanta is vulnerable, and they're only a 1/2 behind Washington. Sack up!
New York Mets
Mets should have a ticket plan to see only Matt Harvey starts. This guy is old school. Light on gimmicks. Heavy on cheese.
After Nolasco trade their highest paid player is probably Loria's court painter. He takes over for NBA's Sterling as worst owner in sports.
National League Central
St. Louis Cardinals
Everything they do is right. They will never laugh at Pujols because they have class, but they will sit quietly and nod.
You buying? Man that offense isn't really good, but it's getting there. Pitching has been stellar. If they get in? Look out.
Gotta be frustrating. This is a first place team in most divisions. In the NL Central? Tough hill to climb. Pieces are there.
Obviously out of it. Their season is before the trade deadline. What can they get for Garza? Could they trade Soriano? If they eat money.
Has there every been a shittier bullpen? Not many. Starters really no better. A disgrace to their fans. Speaking of disgrace: Braun.
National League West
Gibson needs to quit fucking around with his bullpen and figure it out. Also Gibson needs to get over his blood and guts fetish.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Perfect I guess because this LA team is written like a Bruckheimer flick. Puig the hero, but the pitching has to be the meat of the story.
Speaking of Hollywood, this is like a Rockies team out of central casting. Plenty of pop, but they've resorted to Roy Oswalt on the hill.
San Francisco Giants
They had a nice run didn't they? Weirdly their offense hasn't been that bad, but their pitching has been middling at best.
San Diego Padres
I'm not sure what they're doing down there, but what they might think about is trying to trade guys like Headley to the Yankees.
That'll do it. Every race is going down to the wire I think, even the NL East. Trades? Hmm... I've never had a more tenuous feel for who will be dealt. It isn't just me. The extra layer of wild cards cuts the number of available players precipitously. It's never been a better time than now to be a crap team. Will the Marlins really trade Stanton? Don't put it past Loria. If the Mariners don't sell high on Ibanez (24 home runs, are you kidding me?!) Morales and Joe Saunders I'm going to throw my shoe through the TV. Get something for them! They won't though because our front office stinks, the fans don't hold them to account, and the ownership doesn't care. Go Seahawks!
Brian Phillips is the mid day DJ for CD1025 and knows a thing or two about a thing or two. learn more about him and our other Pencilstorm contributors by clicking here.