Posted on: May 23, 2011 8:44 am

Everyone can be in 1st... the world doesn't end

AL East, Week 7:

Everyone can be in 1st...  and the world doesn't end.

The Rays stabbed by Marlins, make room in 1st for all.  Red Sox roll as A-Gon pounds and Albers grooves.  Yankees use all avenues.  Jays stay close and Orioles nearby.

New York Yankees  (20-17) --> (25-20) wk 4-3 +1 sunday  Small ball or large, it's all good.
Tampa Bay Rays     (23-16) --> (26-21) wk 2-5 +1 sunday  Split w/ Tor, NY, Slide vs. Marlins
Boston Red Sox      (19-20) --> (25-21) wk 5-1 +1 sunday  Beat Det, Cubs.  Rolls but BP still an adventure
Toronto Blue Jays    (19-20) --> (23-23) wk 4-2 -1 sunday  Houston?  Still hangs close
Baltimore Orioles    (18-20) --> (21-24) wk 2-4 +1 sunday  Swats Nats, needs to Buck up

Rumor has it Bartolo Colon survived his visit to the Island of Dr.Moreau.  It is better to play good than to look good?  Scoring runs - On base .335, Slugging .448, works on the west caost, too?

Rays pitching continues to shine as whip = 1.20 Philly-like.  Could add some slugging.

Red Sox slugging large last 7 days, Wakefield ageless wonder.  Hoping to fix clutch hitting as they lead league in LOB.  Trend or anomoly?

Jays, like Sox do it with bats.  Will pitching hold up?  Bautista machine well oiled.

Orioles arms need stem cell treatment.  Great clutch hitting but 7 day ERA = 5.76.

Posted on: May 16, 2011 8:12 am

Everyone on a roll... the cheese stands alone

AL East Week 6:

Heat rises as everyone wins 4 of 6 for the week ...  plus Sunday bonus.  ..except the sleepy Yankees.  

Tampa Bay Rays     (19-14) --> (23-17)   wk 4-2   +1 Sunday  -  Beats up on Indians
New York Yankees  (18-13) --> (20-17)   wk 2-4   - 1 Sunday  -  Snoozes vs. KC, Sox
Boston Red Sox      (15-18) --> (20-20)   wk 4-2   +1 Sunday  -  Climbs by beating Twins, Yanks
Toronto Blue Jays    (15-18) --> (20-20)   wk 4-2   +1 Sunday  -  Climbs by beating Twins, Sox  -  Bautista = is a beast
Baltimore Orioles     (14-18) --> (19-20)   wk 4-2   +1 Sunday  -  Sweeps seasick Mariners

Saturday night Jorge Posada opts out of playing when discovering he's slated to bat ninth.  Really?  How surprised could he have been that slumping hitters bat last?  Help me understand:  a player is designated by the manager as the DH because.... he's a good hitter?  Or because he is a hot hitter right now?  A bonus, no fielding - just hit.  Which of those fits you, Jorge?   

Sunday night bonus:  Sox Rock, Yanks tank.  Whipped cream on the week's dessert seemed so appropriate.  One team fights uphill, one team sleeps yet again.  Sominex OD in NY?  It sure didn't feel like the intense rivalry we expect.  Missing the drama and player intensity (mostly from the dower NY side).  Calling Thurmon Munson.

Fight was missing, and has been for 2 weeks or so ( vs. Detroit, KC, Boston).  New York has made 13 errors in its past 10 games.  Tex, Arod and Cano look like zombies.  Gardner back to his old ways - pop up a bunt?  Send him to camp to learn to drop a bunt on the ground.  And, by the way, can you run?  Disgraceful.  Rope-a-dope?  Certain about the dope part.  Nick Swisher better stop smerking when he Ks, looking skyward and smiling.  The answer isn't in your stars, dude - it's in yourself.  Running out of haircut versions?   Scientology surely isn't helping.

Props to the surging Rays, slugging Jays and reawakened Red Sox.  The East is beginning to look like we all knew it would be, with teams besides the Yanks --> 20-8 over the last 8 days.  Yanks?  2-5.  But trend isn't destiny.  Watch as the very same glee my friends in beantown feel now can turn on a dime.  But enjoy it for now.  

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 9, 2011 9:07 am

Spring Rays shine - Did Yanks bring spf 50?

AL East Status - Week Five
:  Shining Rays, quiet songbirds, and the Yanks tote lumber.

With 32 games played for most clubs, 20% of the season is enough to take stock of who they are so far.  Grades at the one fifth point:

Rays: A
The Rays once again did what Boston wished for - another recovery week plus a day 5-2, now 6 over .500 and sharing 1st.  Pitching is carrying the streak, Whip = 1.18, dropping both the Blue Jays and Orioles.  And Longoria is back.  Good balance of pitching with slugging.  Tampa Bay Rays:  3.23 era / .399 slugging  (20-14)

Yankees:  B
The Yankees looked sluggish dropping 3 of 4 to the Tigers and asleep at the plate. Despite the slumping play of Arod, Cano, and Posada they held onto a share of 1st Sunday with a 12-5 win banging out 16 hits and 5 HRs to cover 4 errors by several players who are still asleep, now in the field.  Slugging still, pitching good enough, could use consistency and better basic averages. New York Yankees:  3.70 / .461  (19-13)

Red Sox:  B-
Back at Fenway but can't build the streak they want.  Although they looked good against LA (their favorite punching bag these days), they lost an 11-0 finale and then gave up 9 to the Twins.  Home cooking is helping but pitching is still inconsistent, pen a question, and bottom half of batting order is still behind in production.  Lots left on base, BA-Risp is 30 points *under* their basic average.  Boston Red Sox:  4.31 / .393  (16-18)

Jays:  C+
Tough competition vs. Rays, is anyone hitting besides Jose Bautista and Adam Lind?  BA-Risp is .234.  Toronto Blue Jays:  3.87 / .393  (15-19)

Orioles:  C
Has the Buck factor faded?  Hitting just .233, pitching hurting of late, ranked 28th in run differential.  BA-Risp is keeping them around ranked 10th, 36 points above their basic average, Baltimore Orioles:  4.78 / .372  (14-19)

What happened to the Cervelli Great Gazoo helmet?   We'll take a grand slam with lighter headgear anytime.  

Category: MLB
Posted on: May 3, 2011 11:21 am

Birds, Brains, Cities

Birds with brains that were large in relation to their body size were more likely to succeed in cities, researchers say.

May 3rd, 2011   -   NY Times   -      Link ---> BirdBrains

This looks to be good news for the Ravens and Falcons but less so for the Seahawks, Eagles and Arizona Cardinals.  It's unclear how the findings may apply to team fans (other than the Eagles) - bird brains though they may be.  Songbirds prefer rural settings so the Blue Jays, Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals are in trouble.  Pigeons are exempt as they are the rats of ornithology.

Posted on: May 1, 2011 2:38 pm

AL East: Month One is Done

End of Month One:  April in the East

After a good week for sunshine and birds:  Rays 4-1, Jays 4-2, O's 4-1, Yanks 3-3 hold 1st with subs and sac-flies while Red Sox find their hole familiar.     April, 2011 (before sunday's games):

New York Yankees  (12- 6) --> (15- 9)  wk 3-3
Tampa Bay Rays     (11-11) --> (15-12)  wk 4-1
Toronto Blue Jays     ( 9-12) --> (13-14)  wk 4-2
Baltimore Orioles      ( 8-12) --> (12-13)  wk 4-1
Boston Red Sox        (10-11) --> (11-15)  wk 1-4

Rays did what Boston wished for - a fast recovery, now 3 over .500 and knocking on 1st.  Pitching is carrying the streak, ERA = 3.40, Whip 1.19.  And Longoria is due back, adding an Xtra-Ray.

O's rebounded this week from recent slump, but pitching slides to 4.47 and still not much hitting.  Buck dancer's choice.

Jays hang near .500 with their offense led by Bautista 9 Hrs, .361 in April.  Pitching is holding opponents to under .238, best in the East.

Sox drop 4 of 5, to O's & Sea after good west coast boost.  Last Monday they were near even, now 4 under .500 after some bullpen let downs  - Bard isn't writing sonnets, Jenks not showing strengths.  Clutch hitting is suffering, with 202 LOB near bottom of the league - Youk mired around .218, Crawford still a woeful .155 and hearing it from fans. Salty, Cameron, McDonald, and Vtek are still struggling.  Maybe the incoming Twins can offer some lighter lifting, but who knows?  Minny is due to rebound.

The Yankees slugging has been carrying the club (.475, 43 HRs) and now the starting pitching is contributing, dropping the ERA to a better 3.79 (from an early 4.84). The problem is the weak distribution of hits, with more potential runs LOB - Posada and Gardner really hurting, Swisher having one good game but still not seeing the ball well.

 - They can't continue using a leadoff hitter who's never on base and a DH who hits less than .123 despite his homers. 

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 29, 2011 7:21 am

Mid week update - AL East is a Beast

Week 3 & 1/2  -  Friday, April 29, Royal Wedding Addition  -  East is a Beast:

Rays on fire as they roll over Minny, Jays peck (st)Rangers, Yanks starting pitching cleans White Sox, and Red Sox finally wing Orioles after dropping 2.

Rays:  Zobrist 7 for 10 with two homers and three doubles in the doubleheader, Rays have won 12 of 15.

Jays:  Patterson's squeeze beats Texas, Jays rebound and take 2, now on to NY. 

Yankees:  Swisher wakes from coma with HR, 3 hits;  Jeter sits - his replacement makes 2 errors in deference. 

Orioles:  Bat flip gets under Beckett's thin skin, Bard's pen not mightier as O's take 2. 

Red Sox:  Crawford doubles, average jumps to .160  -  fans cite intangibles, Lester avoids sweep.
New York Yankees  (12 - 6) --> (14 - 8)  wk 2-2
Tampa Bay Rays     (11-11) --> (14-11)  wk 3-0
Toronto Blue Jays    ( 9-12) --> (12-13)   wk 3-1
Boston Red Sox      (10-11) --> (11-13)  wk 1-2
Baltimore Orioles     ( 8-12) --> (10-13)  wk 2-1

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 25, 2011 9:09 am

AL East week three: Sox dig out, Yankees slug

AL East Week Three:   Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays surge to dig out of early holes, Yankees slug.  Orioles and Jays slide.

Red Sox sweep the LA Angels in 1st west coast trip, pitching & bats wake up.  Rays get even.  Is the Division back to being normal?
Sox fans complain about schedule?  Sour grapes - it's early.  Welcome back to the pack.
Sox fans jab Mariano Rivera?   Look at the calendar, beantowners:  April is over soon.

Yankees are slugging .503, 111 points above the league.

New York Yankees  (9-5) --> (12-6)    wk = 3-1
Tampa Bay Rays     (6-9) -->  (11-11)  wk = 5-2
Boston Red Sox      (4-10) --> (10-11)  wk = 6-1
Toronto Blue Jays      (7-8) --> (9-12)    wk = 2-4
Baltimore Orioles       (6-8) --> (8-12)    wk = 2-4

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 18, 2011 7:27 am

AL East week 2: 2 surge, 3 slide

Week 2:  Since last Sunday, 2 teams up, 3 down as Tampa surges out of the basement and the Yanks gain while the Orioles and Jays fall.  The Red Sox manage to win 2 of 5 but barely climb up from the early hole.

New York Yankees  (5-4) --> (9-5)   4-1
- with rally over Texas, 3 more HRs, Chavez with game winner subs for ARod
- Swept the Orioles to move into 1st, took 2 of 3 from Texas
- Slugging well (27 HRs) but not yet hitting for average - under .200: Gardner, Posada

Baltimore Orioles (6-3) --> (6-8)   0-5
- Quick fall from 1st on a 7 game slide as they were swept by Yankees, Indians

Toronto Blue Jays (5-4) --> (7-8)   2-4
- Lost 2 to Angels and Red Sox, the big boys.

Tampa Bay Rays    (1-8) --> (6-9)   5-1
- Rays swept the Red Sox and took 3 of 4 from the Twins to surge out of their slow start.

Boston Red Sox    (2-7) --> (4-10)  2-3
- Swept by Rays, took 2 days off and then finally won 2 of 3 from the Jays

The Red Sox will have to do better on their west coast trip or they'll be stuck under .500 a while. This week they face the strong pitching of the A's (3rd in ERA of all 30 teams) and Angels (2nd in ERA).   Uphill and steep.  2 in a row?  (...weeks of just 2 wins).

Category: MLB
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