Inane Parity Babble
St. Louis? Oakland? Baltimore? Kansas City? South-siders? Florida? Six of the top nine teams were supposed to be bad, right? I mean, small sample size aside, this season has been a bizarre season so far.
MLB W L PCT GB
Arizona 9 3 .750 -
St. Louis 9 4 .692 0.5
Milwaukee 8 4 .667 1
Oakland 9 5 .643 1
Baltimore 8 5 .615 1.5
Kansas City 7 5 .583 2
Chicago Sox 7 5 .583 2
Chicago Cubs 7 5 .583 2
Florida 7 5 .583 2
Boston 8 6 .571 2
LA Angels 8 6 .571 2
San Diego 7 6 .538 2.5
Toronto 7 6 .538 2.5
NY Yankees 7 7 .500 3
Pittsburgh 6 6 .500 3
Cincinnati 6 7 .462 3.5
Minnesota 6 7 .462 3.5
Tampa Bay 6 7 .462 3.5
Seattle 6 7 .462 3.5
Philadelphia 6 7 .462 3.5
NY Mets 5 6 .455 3.5
LA Dodgers 5 7 .417 4
Atlanta 5 7 .417 4
Colorado 5 7 .417 4
Houston 5 8 .385 4.5
Texas 5 8 .385 4.5
San Francisco 5 8 .385 4.5
Cleveland 5 8 .385 4.5
Washington 4 9 .308 5.5
Detroit 3 10 .231 6.5
In 2007 at the same point, the top nine was Atlanta, Arizona, San Diego, Detroit, the Mets, Minnesota, the Dodgers, Cleveland, and Boston. It is common to have some bad teams get off to good starts and maybe some of these hot teams in 2008 are not exactly as bad as we all thought, but this season feels different.
David Wright lays it out.
"Last year has nothing to do with not being able to make pitches," Wright said. "Last year has nothing to do with not being able to hit with guys in scoring position. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with our lack of execution. We're not putting away teams when we have the opportunity. We're allowing them to slowly get back into games. That's coming up to bite us."
As bad as things seem, the Mets' team statistics aren't horrific, either. They rank second in the NL in hitting with runners in scoring position (.310), trailing only the Brewers (.333). Overall, they are ranked sixth in the league in hitting (.265), seventh in ERA (3.84) and seventh in bullpen ERA (3.86) - all befitting a team teetering around .500.
The good news is the Mets will turn it around at some point and I am confident in that. They are under .500, but still have a rather comfortable run differential (yes, one win was a huge blowout) and join the Braves as the only NL East teams to own a positive run differential.
The craziness continues with the Rays scoring the most runs in the AL East while holding opponents to less run than the Red Sox and the Yankees. According to the Pythagorean record, they should be tied for first with the Blue Jays.
I do think things will start to right themselves, but this year marks the year of parity (or mediocrity depending how you want to look at it). It may be early, but you get the sense that some teams that you thought were going to be very, very good are not going to be quite that good and some upstart teams are emerging.
Gone are the days of Mets being the best bet to win 100 games. Gone are the days of Detroit being the team to beat. Gone are the days Tampa is everyone's whipping boy. 2008 seems like the year shit gets turned upside down and an inordinate amount of teams will be involved in a dog fight not just for the Wild Card, but for first place right down to the wire.
Like Santana, catcher Brian Schneider was playing for a different team — in Schneider’s case, the Washington Nationals — during the Mets’ implosion last season. Before Sunday’s game, he said he was surprised by what seems to be the lingering bitterness among Mets fans.
“You can say it doesn’t bother you, but it gets to you after a little while,” Schneider said. “I’m not used to it happening on a regular basis like that. It was tough catching for Johan yesterday and seeing him get booed off the field. I didn’t think that was right; he’s a key factor for the team.”
The booing has become absurd. Any chance players choose not to come to Queens because the fans are douchebags? I'm not against a little booing here and there, but this is getting nuts.
Leave it to Timmy Marchman to lay it down.
By signing a contract, a player pledges "to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play, and good sportsmanship."
The American public, including that part of it that roots for the Mets, is bound by no reciprocal pledges to any players, and is under no obligation to observe any standard of conduct toward players that can't be printed on the back of a ticket. But that doesn't make it any less wrong to boo a player such as Johan Santana, who plays hard and well, keeps himself in shape, and behaves like a decent human being, and so does everything anyone has any right to ask of him.
I actually kind of feel weird to be associated with the many, many boobs out there rooting for the Mets. I like to believe Met fans are a better type of fan, but at this point, I look completely wrong.
"He's still a nice player, but let's not get crazy," Randolph said.
"He's not going to be in that tree all year," Randolph said of Pagan, who is also tied with David Wright for the team lead with 10 RBIs. "We've seen a lot of players come through the pike and do what Pagan's doing, so let's keep this in perspective."
From Willie to Angel. "I'm not impressed."
"I like Luis in the No. 2 spot," Randolph said. "He's still one of the better No. 2 hitters in the game."
Just let that one sink in. Wow....that is grounds to get fired in my book.
But Bannister has given up a .175 batting average on balls in play.
Major league pitchers typically give up a .300 batting average on balls in play. You figure a pitcher is really, really, really doing well if he can knock that down to .270 or .280. Anything under .250 is essentially impossible, at least for long.
Bannister has not yet allowed an extra-base hit. Yes, he's always been fairly stingy with the home runs; last year he gave up 15 in 165 innings. He also gave up 47 doubles and four triples.
Bannister's going to regress to the mean. On the other hand, Bannister's now logged 224 innings in the major leagues. He's 17-10 with a 3.66 ERA. Those are the numbers of a star. Maybe it's all been something of a fluke, but at some point we might look silly if we don't allow for the possibility that instead he's simply unique.
I was never a believer in Bannister, but it was nothing personal. However, not believing in him does not mean I am not loving every single second of this stuff.