baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Everything That Rises Must Diverge

The Yankees are finally having the kind of season I've expected since they beat the Mets in the 2000 Subway Series. And their timing is bad, since Tampa Bay is having the kind of season that no one has ever expected of them, at least in this decade.

More surprising than the Yankees' poor play, however, is the concession speech by Hank Steinbrenner. I couldn't believe that anyone connected with the Yankees, let alone a Steinbrenner, would ever give up on a season in August.

If I had to speculate on why it is happening now, there are two obvious answers. One is that they tried to rebuild the pitching staff on the fly, with very little margin for error.

The other is that the baseball gods are really pissed that there will be a replacement Yankee Stadium next year. The costs are skyrocketing, and it seems like the new building is already cursed, and is emanating invisible noxious fumes that are weakening Aura and Mystique and ARod and Jete.

It will be really interesting to see how they play the rest of the way, and today's extra inning win is certainly a good sign that the players haven't given up. Looking at their lineup and pitching, though, they really aren't a playoff caliber team right now, and Carl Pavano certainly isn't the answer.

Moving on to Mets, who are finally ten games over .500, I have to say that I am impressed by Jerry Manuel. The Mets should remove the interim tag and sign him to a three year extension as soon as possible. Even if the Mets end up losing the division again, I have to say it won't be the fault of the new manager.

I am excited, too, about the young guys--Daniel Murphy, Argenis Reyes (not so young), Nick Evans, and soon, Jon Niese--and am really glad the Mets didn't give up more prospects to get another aging star. That strategy doesn't work anymore, and if the Mets acquired someone like Gary Sheffield, I'd have a hard time rooting for him.

Once (if) Ryan Church comes back healthy, the Mets look to be in very good shape as far as offense and defense are concerned. The pitching is obviously the key, but even with all the problems they have had, especially in the bullpen, the Mets' pitching is still better than everyone else in the NL East top to bottom.

The thing about this season is, unfortunately, is that it looks like the Cubs and Brewers are the class of the league, and even if the Mets make the playoffs, I doubt very much that they will win more than one series. But that's the beauty of baseball, isn't it? You never know until you know.

Caroms Off the Wall

Boston and Los Angeles de Anaheim look like the two best teams in the AL, again, and I expect them to meet in the ALCS. Tampa Bay will hang on, but come back to the pack a bit, and I think Boston will squeak past them now that Longoria and Crawford are out. Not even a great team can withstand the loss of their two best all-around players for any major length of time, and the Rays aren't quite a great team yet.

Who in the world would have expected that Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey would be the Mets' most reliable and winning starters? Not me, that's for sure. I really hope Santana wins about eight starts in a row to make up for the team's miserable performance behind him. I wonder if there isn't some resentment and even jealousy going on behind the scenes?

© Judy Kamilhor 2008


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