Hi Everybody (Apologies to Mel Allen),
This is only my third blog this year as I have been VERY busy getting married and planning for a family etc. Not to mention I have a daily column for the China Daily Journal, 5 classes to teach at Jimei University, 3 classes to teach for the speaking part of the IELTS exam in Xiaman, plus I have to keep my 28 year old wife happy. Oh Yeah, I have to maintain my web site at easternstudiesdatabase.cn and contruibute movie reviews for Factoidz.com (vote them up for me - shameless self-promotion). That was a hell of a long apology. Anyway, here is how I see the season so far and how it might play out for the rest of the year.
Let me see.....I am a life-long Yankee fan so......I will pick the Yankees to make their usual August move on the Red Sox. The Red Sox have failed more times in August than summer school students on crack. Maybe they will hold on this year if Bedard comes up big for them, but if he overexerts himself (like pitching more than three innings), then he may hurt more than help. If Nova, Hughes, Colon and Garcia hold up for the Yanks, they should be able to take the division. The Yankee hitting is better, but it would sure be nice to have a player like Ellsbury. He is the MVP of the Sox in my opinion. Tampa is too thin in pitching to challenge. Baltimore improved this year, but now they are short on hitting. Toronto is still a second tier team.
Everybody has counted out the Twins, but don't be fooled. They are eight games out with sixty to go and they have consistently played well down the stretch for the last couple of decades. The bumbling Tigers, Indians and White Sox would fall in a second if the Twins put together another hot streak like they had about a month ago. If the Twins don't make it all the way back, I see the Tigers holding on to meet a first round defeat in the playoffs.
The biggest disappointment in the American League would have to be the A's. They have legitimate frontline pitching, but I have seen AA teams with better hitting. The Angels' pitching should overcome the Rangers' hitting, but the difference here is that the Rangers have some good pitching as well because Ryan knows how to build a good team. Seattle and Oakland are dead in the water. I am going to pick the Rangers if Orgando can continue to hold his present form.
I always root for the Mets, but I know better never to pick them to win anything. The Philles will romp through this division for the rest of the year with their great pitching. Florida is too cheap to buy any support for its decent pitching and Washington is still a year or two away from seriously challenging Philly. Atlanta could make a run at Philly, but if even one pitcher goes down in their entire bullpen and rotation, they will fall like a rock.
The Cubs will win forty games in row and win the pennant by one game. Only kidding. The Pirates are the feel-good story of the year, but it is just a fantasy to think they will seriously challenge the Cardinals. Cincy seems to be in a funk this year and Milwaukee really has the best pitching and should put the Cardinals to rest. The Astros should just get tickets for the Rockets Games and relax. I will pick Milwaukee to go all the way to the Series because I love the tandem of Marcum and Grienike.
Kudos to the Diamondbacks and Kirk Gibson, the easy pick for Manager of the Year. However, I do not think they will hold off the pitching of the Giants, who have a much better rotation and bullpen. Colorado is back to trying to win games 10-9 and that is not the best way to make the playoffs. I was disappointed for Don Mattingly and the Dodgers-he might get the axe for the miserable season they are having, but the Dodgers look terrible. The Padres always seem to have good pitching and a great bullpen, but their hitting is almost as bad as Oakland. I thought the PCL was a hitter's league? Where are they? Giants to win a close one.
Well that's it. I will pick Milwaukee to meet the Yankees in a rubber of the 1957 and 1958 pairings of these cities (actually it was the Braves then, but they moved to Atlanta). Of course I am bound to pick the Yankees to win it all. How else could I live with myself?