Parity Running Amuck
Prior to the games on Wednesday, out of the sixteen NL teams, only four of them are considered out of the race for the division lead or the wildcard. Montreal was 14 games out, Pittsburgh was 11 games out (prior to their nine game losing streak, they were considered in the race), Arizona was 8.5 out, and Colorado was 12 out. Every other team was within at least 4.5 games out of first and 2.5 games out of the wildcard. Only one team, the Cardinals, was 10 games over .500. Even that just happened with Tuesday's victory. At this point no team in the NL projects to win 100 games and the NL West could be won with 85 wins and the NL EAST is not too far off that mark. Even more bizarre is the fact that out of the four teams out of the race, only two are expected to have a fire sale. Pittsburgh will get rid of what it can and Colorado will just about let everyone go. Arizona is only really dangling Steve Finley and the Expos are only dangling Tony Armas Jr. To add to the mysteriousness of the season, the Reds are expected to put some of their players on the block at some point, and they are currently tied for 2nd place (although falling fast). The teams that are currently still jockeying for playoff positions really will not have a large talent pool from the NL or the AL in which they can bolster their rosters. Many teams will end up looking toward injured players to recoup and make a return to the lineup or get back to form. All twelve teams that are in contention now will most likely not keep hanging around, but nine or ten of them sure can. The NL should be interesting right up until the last few weeks of the season.
Mike Dimuro is officially on my shit list. He may start getting death threats from me soon. He was the ump that called two balks against Trachsel and made horrible calls at first which added to Ginter's rough outing. Ginter should have had a much better game, but due to Mike Dimuro's inability to do his job in any capacity really hurt him. The calls did not lose the game, but it sure made it uglier. This guy looks like he has something against the Mets. Also, good job Art when you let him have it. I hope you said some nasty things about his mother.
It is a good thing Yates got some work in. He got shelled, but he needs to get in the swing of things. I believe he can be effective coming out of the pen.
Obviously Barry is the main reason a lot of people are trying think of ways to make the intentional pass more inconsequential. Whether it be by limiting the number of free passes or having a base runner move up a base if there is one on at the time of the IBB, there have been many suggestions. You really get into a dicey area with any possibility suggested. However, when the guy that gets affected by the IBB the most speaks out on it, it speaks volumes.
"That's the problem with baseball nowadays—everybody wants to change it...Don't change the game. It is what it is."
--Barry Bonds, Giants outfielder, on the possibility of altering the current intentional walk rule (FoxSports.com)
I could not agree with Barry more. Besides, if you want to eradicate teams intentionally walking him, get players to play behind him. Sexson is on the market next year and pick up a Jacque Jones type outfielder. You think if it is Bonds #3, Sexson #4, and Jones #5 people would be giving him a free pass? I'm not too sure about that. I blame the team more than I blame the system for walking Bonds so much.
Just as a tidbit, in 2001 when Barry hit 73 home runs, a ridiculous 47% of his total hits were home runs.
``Everyone assumes I'm someone different, or I'm trying to do something different, but people have been assuming what I'm like for so long now,'' he said, ``so apparently what I've done over the past eight years obviously means nothing. What counts is the end of last year or the off season. Apparently eight years don't count, but I think they count - they count somewhere.''
The idea that he prolonged his recovery amazes him.
``It's never been in my nature, it's never been. Why would I do that now?'' Garciaparra said. ``You're here for a week, and that's all I hear. I'm playing and I'm still hearing that I'm doing something wrong. And jeez, I haven't even played for a few months.
``I can't win - 21 ABs (for Pawtucket) but no, `You're faking it' and `Cmon, what are you waiting for?' Then I come back, they are still going to say `See - he sucks. He's not good. You were bad last year, you're bad this year.' It's a no-win situation. They should just be glad I'm back.''
I think it is safe to say he will test the free agent market.