For a rundown on the rules click here
Another twofer this week as I had a long busy weekend and was unable to post last week's knockouts. Anyhow, we're sticking with the status quo here, NL followed by AL.
Eliminations Thus Far:
New York (AL)
Leaving The Diamond: Atlanta Braves
Reasoning: While they're only sitting 2 games behind the Mets at the break. The Braves just don't have it this year. Andruw Jones is having potentially the worst walk-year in the history of free agency. And the rest of the team develops Xylophobia when Chipper Jones is out of the lineup. Not a good sign, considering Chipper Jones is to the DL as Jeff Francoeur is to the whiff. John Smoltz' recurring shoulder issues this season are another concern as well, seeing as outside of Tim Hudson consistency isn't much of a theme in the rotation.
Next season, maybe Atlnta gets another streak going, who knows? They've got some fantastic young players for the future. Unfortunately, the cornerstones of the team are brittle or amazing horrible (I'm looking at you Andruw). Leaving these Braves out in the cold for the second consecutive year. -BD
Leaving The Diamond: Philadelphia Phillies
Reasoning: This is a controversial one, because the Phillies do legitimately have a chance to win the NL East, especially when you consider how the Mets have been playing of late. Here's my logic on the matter: the Phillies' entire season jumped the shark in that whole rain delay / tarp debacle right before the All-Star Game. What do I mean? Well, that provided the seminal visual images of the Phillies' season to date - it wasn't some Ryan Howard blast, or some Chae Utley walk-off double, or some Freddy Garcia 10 K performance. No. It was a bunch of dudes trying to hold down a tarp in an otherwise meaningless game. The Phillies are doomed; they've hit their high point as of mid-July. Nothing they do past this point will amuse or entertain people any more than that. Plus, this whole 10,000 losses thing is going to affect their psyche, and let's be honest - when's the last time this team got through an entire September without screwing absolutely everything to the wall? I'm going to boot them now in an effort to look like a genius. I may just end up lookin' like a moron. It's cool, though. I'm used to it. -Ted
Leaving The Diamond: New York Yankees
Reasoning: Brandon did this right before the All-Star Break, which I suppose takes a moderate amount of wind out of the sails of a New York product (that's me!) kicking his beloved Yankees (read: I haven't rooted for them in years, although I did scream out my living room window when that foul ball nestled in Charlie Hayes' glove) off the MLB island. Nothing is going right for this team: it took them until June 22nd to get a full five-day swing through the pitchers they want to constitute every five days. They begin their post-Break game set with the Devil Rays, and Clemens is pitching Friday night. At any other time in my life as a sports fan, I would have picked a sweep for the Bombers, with a definite win Friday and a potential loss Sunday if they let their guard down. Right now? I'm calling 2 out of 3 to Tampa, including one 11-3 absolute massacre where Carl Crawford has five steals. And you think these guys can catch the Red Sox? Not a chance - unless the Sox have to play the Indians and Tigers for the entire rest of the season. -Ted
Leaving The Diamond: Texas Rangers
Reasoning: The Rangers have been about as bad as possible so far this season. They still have no quality starting pitchers to speak of. And even some of their hitters haven't quite been up to par so far this season. Leading to one of the worst records in all of baseball. Don't even get me started on Sosa, who may be the most overrated "big name" player I've ever seen. All in all It's been a pretty horrible summer deep in the south so far, and it doesn't look like things are going to be getting better anytime soon. Especially when you consider they may be trading some of their most reliable players. Those most wanted fella's just all happen to be middle relievers. And the only guys who can keep the ball in the ballpark. I'd say it's safe to say that when Gagne and Otsuka head for greener pastures, offense will pick up even more in Arlington. In related news, Ron Washington's heart attack odds are expected to hit 4-1 by the trade deadline. -BD
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
For a rundown on the rules click here