Saturday, June 16, 2007

MLB Survivor Challenge: Week 9

For a rundown on the rules click here.

Eliminations thus far:
San Francisco
Kansas City
St. Louis
Kansas City
Tampa Bay
Chicago (AL)

Ted's up first with the NL and I'll follow with the AL as usual.

Leaving The Diamond: Chicago Cubs
ing: This whole 'Survivor' thing is starting to get tough (ironically, avoiding the song "Eye of the Tiger" by the band of the same name when working out is equally tough, although if you download the song "Tourist" by Athlete - from the Gilbert Arenas "Impossible is Nothing" ad - you have a pretty handy way to do it).

This week, we're bouncing a team who is currently second in their division. WHAT? We're bouncing a second place team in mid-June? Uh huh, you heard me right. (Who the eff am I talking to, by the way?). The reason is, this just isn't any second-place team: it's the Chicago Cubs. The North Siders are 5.5 games back of the generally superior Brewers, who have the two best "young players" in baseball (Hardy and Fielder) according to a recent Sporting News poll.

As for the Cubbies, in this month alone they've seen a clubhouse implosion (Barrett and Zambrano), an on-field shite show (Sweet Lou), multiple media sources confirming them as "sellers" as opposed to "buyers" (despite the 300 million they've already spent), and the annual summer ritual at Wrigley of "the experience" utterly transcending "the game itself."
And as noted, it's mid-June.

Here's the one problem with this: by eliminating the Cubs, we've officially conceded the NL Central to Milwaukee as of now, having already bounced every other team in the division best referred to as "Comedy Central." This might not be the best idea considering the Brewers were no-hit earlier this week by Verlander, but we have faith in Bernie (Mr. Brewer) and the gang.

Leaving The Diamond: Baltimore Orioles
ng: Let's be honest with ourselves here, The Orioles are horrible, that's h-o-r-r-i-b-l-e! It's almost unbelievable at times how bad the O's are. Sure they occasionally have a good game but so do the Royals and Nationals, which is about on the level they are. In fact, they may be WORSE than the Nationals. Something I'd have never thought possible before the season started. The Nats just swept the O's in the alleged "rivalry series". That one was just as one-sided as that World Series re-match was.

The O's are one of few teams that have almost no players I'd be encouraged about going forward. The exception to that in Baltimore is Nick Markakis who has been absolutely killing the ball of late. And should be the best player on the team once Tejada finally leaves town. This is of course, as long as Tejada doesn't go giving him any B12's as he's heading out the door.

As far as pitching goes Erik Bedard is as good as it gets for the O's, he strikes out batters in bunches he just can't get any offense to go with all those K's. Adam Loewen everyone seems to think will be good. I haven't seen enough of him just yet to disagree and he's been out with a stress fracture in his elbow since May 1st. Chris Ray appears to have gone from damn good one year, to god awful the next. It's gotten to the point that O's fans are shrieking when he trots in from the bullpen. Probably the most interesting of the O's pitchers is Daniel Cabrera, the hard throwing righty who can't ever seem to find the strike zone on a regular basis. He lead the league in walks last season with an insane 104 free passes. This year he's got 45 thus far and climbing, though I don't think he'll catch up to that personal worst of 104. Cabrera is great when he's on, he actually hays somewhat similar stuff to Justin Verlander. The guy who tossed a no-no in Detroit on Tuesday. I can't help but wonder what Cabrera might be if he found some control, though at this point I'd say that's unlikely.

With that the greater D.C. area can move on to Redskins talk. At that letdown is a few months away.

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