Friday, April 25, 2008
*Chase Utley, LSWTF player of the week*
This has been one hell of an April that can only described by:
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
The best part about this whole thing is that we have another 1 week left of the month. Well, without further “ado”…..
1 (1) Boston Red Sox (15-9) – Dice-K found his rhythm and David Ortiz and Jacoby Ellsbury broke out of their slumps. That and they are beating up on division leaders. Despite a 2 game losing streak, I predict another Red Sox trophy year.
2 (2) Arizona Diamondbacks (16-6) – You wont see the #1 spot if you lose half of your games to the Giants but well done for continuously proving me wrong this season. I have to be honest, I didn’t expect this offense to do much. Oh, and Micah Owings and Branden Webb are combined 9-0 and that is enough to make any Arizona fan smile.
3 (5) LA Angels (14-9) – They hold on to this spot ONLY because they took the series against the Red Sox on the Nations home turf. Oh, and props go out to Gary Matthew Jr. for finally showing up. Side note- Did anyone happen to watch Vlad rob that Manny homerun on Tuesday?
4 (6) Chicago Cubs (15-7) – They are riding a 6 game winning streak and that isn’t bad. Even Sweet Lou is speaking of a World Series year. However, I just don’t buy it. The pitching has been a question mark since Spring Training and to me is still inconsistent. But hey, you got to love what Ronny Cedeno and Felix Pie have done filling in for the hurt Ryan Theriot and Alfonso Soriano.
5 (5) Chicago White Sox (12-9) – Sure they lost a couple of games against the Yankees but at least they made a series out of it. They still lack of a true lead-off hitter and I think that alone will cost them a few games.
6 (8) Milwaukee Brewers (13-9) – Why are they above the Cards? Because its way too early for a major drop-off. Especially when the Brewers win games they are supposed to win. Prince Fielder finally had a multi-homerun game, Ryan Braun is kind of breaking out of his slump, and the rest of the offense is starting to move.
7 (11) St Louis Cardinals (14-9) – I dont know how much longer they can ride this stream of success. I love the pitching so far and the Duncan/Pujols combo is proving to be most valuable. But like I said, its only a matter of time until they run out of fuel.
8 (16) Oakland A's (14-9) – Give me one good reason why they don’t deserve the top 10? They have been phe-nominal this April. This should scare the AL since they are known to play VERY poorly in these months. Mike Sweeney found his bat, Frank Thomas is the new DH, and my boy, Rajah Davis is the teams new CF. I don’t know how Man-Genius Billy Beane does it, but he does it well.
9 (7) New York Yankees (12-11) – I’m sorry Oriole’s fan, I just can’t knock the Yankees out just yet. They proved they can beat good teams on the road with their offense. The problem now is pitching. They have none! Other than a rare decent Mussina start, Pettite, and Wang… They have nothing to hope for. I seriously doubt the offense can put up 7-8 runs a night to compensate for awful pitching. But I do have faith in Joe Girardi. If anyone can fix the mess, its him.
10 (10) Detroit Tigers (10-13) – They are riding a solid 4 game winning streak but not only are they beating teams, they are crushing them. They neutralized the Ranger juggernaut offense to 10 runs in their series. This, and only scoring a pathetic 37 runs. As you all know, Cabrera moves to 1b. This could make the defense a tad better since Guillen is a better infielder.
11 (19) Baltimore Orioles (13-9) – They I really hate putting the O’s here but they have earned it. They took 2 of 3 from the Mariners and own 2nd place in the East. A feat I never thought I would see this season. Props go to Adam Jones who finally made an impact last night. Now if Jeremy Guthrie could only win a game……
12 (3) San Diego Padres (9-14) – I can’t allow the Padres to fall like a pile of bricks this early in the game. But truth is that they still have amazing pitching. Hoffman’s closing days are done and Heath Bell & Cla Meridth are struggling to lock up the 7th and 8th innings. But everything else seems to be fine. Oh, and being swept by the Giants at home doesn’t help your cause much either. Oh, and enjoy last place “Fathers”.
13 (9) New York Mets (11-10) – Talk to me Goose, whats wrong in Queens? You cannot buy a win unless Johan is pitching. They stunk it up against the Nats last night and nothing seems to work. Maine, Perez, and that middle relief are pitching like bush leaguers and Reyes seems to have forgotten how to hit. Needless to say I know the answer. No Rickey!!! Rickey Henderson pisses excellence and he was nowhere to be found last night.
14 (19) Colorado Rockies (10-12) – They are slowly but surely getting better. Troy got his first homerun and I do predict more from him. Clint Barnes, yes that Clint Barnes, is back to rookie form and is playing great. Oldie but goodie Brian Fuentes is finally closing again. Why he was demoted in the first place is beyond me.
15 (20) Florida Marlins (13-9) – I am still convinced this is a fluke since the pitching staff is complete garbage right now. But everyone in the lineup is crushing baseballs. Ramirez, Uggla, Wilingham, Jacobs, Cantu are ALL playing like all stars. I will give them credit for proving a lot of people wrong, but I don’t see this lasting much longer.
16 (13) Cleveland Indians (10-12) – C.C got a win!!! And did it the way a Cy Younger should; but punching out 11 in 7 innings. I do find some humor that the only run producer on the team right now Casey Blake, and NOT Travis Hafner or Victor Martinez.
17 (12) LA Dodgers (9-13) – Nobody could be happier than their fall from grace than me. I love to see this team struggle!! Derek Lowe teaked his elbow and if he spends even 1 day on the DL, their record will plummet even further. AndrUw Jones is proving to us all that he is crap and I have said that for sometime now. Joe Torre is NOT that good of a manager, or at least not a good NL coach. It’s called a Pinch Hitter or a call to the bullpen!!!
18 (11) Seattle Mariners (11-12) – They had a forgettable week indeed. Losing a home series to the O’s is not a good thing. But allow me to put my Carlos Silva hatred on hold for a moment because he is actually pitching decent ball.
19 (25) San Francisco Giants (10-13) – You God Damn right we crack the top 20, and why not? We are beating up on first place teams ON THE ROAD!! Just ask St Louis, Arizona, and San Diego. Never underestimate a solid rotation. Tim Lincecum needed only 1 run to secure his 4-0 record last night. Without Barry Zito (0-5), we are a winning ball-club. Don’t forget that.
20 (23) Philadelphia Philly’s (12-11) – Sure they have a winning record, but with all of that talent they should own first place. Rollins hit the DL so that will automatically impact this team. Ryan Howard is in a huge slump and the pitching is still shaky. And yes, Your best pitcher Cole Hamels blew a lead and cost me fantasy points. So yeh, just a tad bit of bitterness on my part
21 (21) Tampa Bay Rays (11-11) – I still think they can shock the world and win the wild card. The pitching is still a little uncertain as coach Madden seems to utilize a 10 man rotation. Always someone new starting a game but the offense is getting a little better and should keep doing so once we enter May. They need Carlos Pena to heat up a bit. He is getting on base but not driving in any runs.
22 (22) Toronto Blue Jays (10-13) – It came to me as no surprise that they cut Frank Thomas. Why not? Matt Stairs first game as the starting DH pounded 2 homeruns. Scott Rolen should be off the DL soon and that should give Torotno fan some reason to smile.
23 (29) Atlanta Braves (11-11) – Congratulations goes out to John Smoltz for his 3,000th strikeout. Yes, another milestone at the expense of a Nationals player. The team is beginning to gain confidence. But note to Brave’s- Losing 6-0 to the Nats ON SMOLTZ’s BIG DAY is not going to help much. Trust me!
24 (22) Minnesota Twins (10-12) – I can only give up on this team now. Liriano is not back to full strength and this is hurting the team. The offense is not producing the way it should be with Young and Morneau in a slump. They may have only one option now, and that is to trade Joe Nathan. He is useless if the ball isn’t in his hand in the 9th.
25 (26) Houston Astros (11-12) – Roy Oswalt is pitching well again and that must make Astros fan happy. Here is the bad news; your management wants to trade him. Why make Hank in Yankeetown drool over this??? Stupid. On an ironic note, Miguel Tejada aged 2 years over night. The irony, he also got THAT much better overnight as well. The old man is on fire right now!! Oh, and Hunter Pence is FINALLY playing well again. Now about that pitching…..
26 (22) Cincinnati Reds- (9-14) – Well, easy come easy go. They are back in the cellar. But I do feel they will bust out of there early slump. Adam Dunn rarely performs well in April. Once he finds his lumber, they will win games again.
27 (15) Kansas City Royals (9-13) – A 7 game losing streak will put ya in the back of the pack. What happened to that “shock the world” sweep over Detroit? Well, the pitching is bad and the offense cooled down. Im not counting you out yet, but give me something nice to say here!!
28 (27) Pittsburgh Pirates (9-13) – They may be losing but they haven’t seen a losing streak YET. It’s been on and off. Nate McCluth is turning into one of my favorite players to watch and that Freddie Sanchez play last night was PHE-NOMINAL. What happened to the 2007 Tom Gorzellany?? Seems he went away with the Zach Duke of 2006.
29 (28) Texas Rangers (7-16) – Josh Hamilton should earn player of the month. But of course he won’t because nobody around him is playing well. The pitching, like I have been saying for months now, is down right garbage.
30 (30) Washington Nationals (7-16) – They are starting to show signs of life for the first time in weeks!! Felipe Lopez christened the new park by cranking the team’s first grand slam ever buy a Nat at Nationals Park. The bullpen is in dire need of some help, as backup closer Jon Rauch appears to NOT want the closer role, as indicated by his stats.