Friday, May 11, 2007

The MLB "Survivor" Challenge: Week 4

It's now time for Ted and I to each knock off a 4th team, all be it a little later in the week than usual. Click here for a rules refresher, otherwise let's get to the eliminations.

Eliminations So Far:
San Francisco
Kansas City

Ted's NL knock out leads us off..

Leaving The Diamond: Colorado Rockies

Reasoning: Right now, my roommate has a 101 fever, and is pretty much laying in bed, moaning, and checking the Internet. He appeared briefly earlier tonight when I was flipping from "National Lampoon's Vacation" (the original, WallyWorld one) to Rangers vs. Yankees. My argument, at the time, was that the Rangers were the least relevant team in MLB history. Given how long they've been around, and the lack of things they've accomplished - and yea, yea, I know all about the whole Nolan Ryan period - I think my theory holds water.

He says to me, under fever, "What about the Rockies?"

My rebuttal: "Sure, the Rockies are irrelevant, but bear in mind, about 3-4 years into their existence, they made the playoffs." Indeed. Bichette, Walker, and Castilla. I have absolutely no idea who pitched for them then, and am too lazy to check at this point in my evening.

The thing is, they ain't making the playoffs this year, and as such, they're off the island this week in the Sports Show on Mute MLB Survivor Kinda Sorta Challenge. In so doing, I'd like to propose a new element of pop culture: the Sports Illustrated middle of the book jinx. A few weeks ago, SI ran an article on Matt Holliday and Garrett Akins (roughly around page 52), and since then, all the Rockies have done is slide further and further into the doldrums of a competitive NL West, despite having a crapload of individual talent.

Here's the thing, and let's not blame Sports Illustrated in the process (although it would be easy to): they have absolutely no pitching. And if they did have pitching - if this team got Brandon Webb, and John Smoltz, and Josh Beckett, and Jeff Suppan - they'd still be doomed. You know why? THEM BALLS FLY OUT OF COORS! There's no way this team is winning anything close to putting them near relevance in the next few years. It's a joke to still have them around in this competition. Good night, sweet prince.

And my AL pick..

Leaving The Diamond: The Kansas City Royals
Reasoning: Well I tried not to but I have to pull our first repeat yet. Having watched all three games of the Royals-Tigers series this past week I realized just how brutal they are. No matter what they did in each game the Tigers found a way to counter and come out on top with a series sweep. While the Royals deserve some credit for knowing Gil Meche was just suffering from "horrible pitching coach" disease up in Seattle (the same thing Weaver has now). And Alex Gordon and Billy Butler appear as though they'll both be good players down the road. The rest of the team is brutal. Okay, not everyone, Soria (Rule 5 Pick), Teahan and DeJesus are solid players.

Yet even with these few guys the Royals will still probably lose 100 games this season. They've got to happy they're not as bad as the Nats but that's hardly an accomplishment. I no longer think the Royals will suck forever. But I could be wrong as it wouldn't surprise me to see Gordon and Butler walk once they hit free agency a few years down the road.

Gordon the alleged wave of the future continues to struggle in the early going this season (.173/.312/.269). While I think he'll eventually figure it out and become a good player if not a great one. Right now he's acting as nothing more than an anchor and potentially just hurting himself with all his unsuccessful plate appearances. While I don't like the Royals at all, only the Yankees deserve to be bad. And hopefully they'll figure all this stuff out eventually.

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