Archive for May 12, 2023

Ok we’ve looked at the AL East and West now let’s take a peek at the senior circuit the East that is.

(Current as of 5/12/23 Noon EST)

Cincinnati78.4671 1/2

Florida: 9-7 .563 1st place

The good news : Florida is flush with .300 hitters including Fred McGriff (.350 .435 OBP) Rondell White ( .364) Mariano Duncan ( .348 9 RBI 10 Runs scored 12 RBI) and Vinny Castilla (.338 12 Runs scored) Even pitcher Mark Portugal has is hitting .333 with a walk. Barry Bonds is only batting .246 by comparison but he has driven in 14 and scored 16. Reliever Billy Taylor is 4-0 with one save and the only save blown by the team in 5 in save chances. .

The Bad News: Florida is only 1-3 vs Left handers and starters Mark Portugal worse with the normally sure handed Mike Lansing with 4 errors in 14 games

Didn’t see that coming: Not only has Florida yet to win a game on turf they are also the only first place team with a negative runs differential (-7)

Medical Report: The bad news is reliever Todd Jones who went down in the San Diego series won’t be back till the current road stand is over. Of course given his .565 avg against, 4.15 WHIP & ERA of 18.69 that not a great loss.

Coming Attractions: Florida continues a long road trip with stops at Minnesota (2) and a big series in Atlanta (4) where they will try to finally get a some wins away from home before coming back to see the Orioles for two begore hitting the road again. .

Cincinnati: 7-8 .467 2nd place 1 1/2 games out

The good news : Cincy’s 3.14 team ERA, 1.17 team WHIP , 46 Earned runs allowed and .993 fielding percentage all lead the majors. Their perfect 4-4 in save chances Lance Johnson and Barry Larkin each have 8 steals and Eric Davis’ 5 HR’s are second in the league.

The Bad News: With Ricky Henderson hitting .204 with a .338 OBP which is the highest on the team among players with at least 18 at bats and Eric Young hitting .241 with a .300 OBP the table isn’t being set for anyone. This would explain why the Reds have yet to win a 1 run game. Despite the highly touted Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate not only do they lead the majors in passed balls but have only caught 1 of 6 runners trying to steal.

Didn’t see that coming: After being unpicked in the draft Mike Blowers was picked up off waivers to help when Chris Sabo didn’t do the trick with Boggs on the DL. Blowers has hit .400 with an OBP of .538, a slugging of .800 and an OPS of 1.338

Medical Report: Cincinnati had an injury plagued start with Lance Johnson (3 games) Barry Larkin (4 games) and Wade Boggs who just returned from the 10 game disabled list for game two vs San Diego but for the first time since opening day they are all healthy

Coming Attractions: Cincy has one more at San Diego and then a pair at Chicago before they return home for 4 against Pittsburgh and a pair against the yanks.

Atlanta: 7-9 .438 3rd place 2 GB

The good news : Atlanta’s offense has been incredible with four starters Chipper Jones, Marques Grissom, Jose Offerman and Jim Eisenreich) hitting .364 or higher Jones has driven in 19 with 5 HR and before he broke a bone Larry Walker had 5 HR and 13 RBI. (Eisenreich is at .439). They lead the NL in hits and triples Homers and the majors in RBI’s. Alan Embree and newcomer Mariano Rivers (who came from the Yanks for John Smoltz who was 2-0) have not given up an earned run.

The Bad News: Closer John Wetland’s .333 avg against and 8.44 ERA is a big reason why they traded Smoltz for Rivera. More than half of their starts have been by pitchers with ERA’s from 5.79 to 12.46. Jeff Kent is hitting .150 in 15 games. Chris Hoiles is hitting .188 in 13 games. Their ERA is the 2nd worst in the league and only St. Louis has blown more saves in the league

Didn’t see that coming: Atlanta is the only team in the majors with both a losing record and a positive run differential. Greg Maddux 0-2 ERA 12.47 batters hitting .362 against.

Medical Report: It’s been a disaster for Atlanta in the outfield. Not only have they lost Jim Edmonds till the middle of their series vs San Diego three weeks away but Larry Walker broken bone means he will barely make it back before the September callups

Coming Attractions: It’s a back and forth scheduled for the braves, two in Toronto, back home for 4 vs Florida and a pair vs Cleveland then off on the road again to play the Padres.

Pittsburgh: 5-9 .357 4th place 3 GB

The good news : Glenallen Hill is hitting .333 playing full time and Mark Johnson is .393 with 3 HR and 7 RBI in part time play. Kevin Elster’s 5 HR puts him in a tie for 2nd in the league. On the mound Curt Schilling has proved himself worthy of the first pick overall in the draft with a 3-0 record in three starts a WHIP under 1 0.99 2 complete games and an ERA of 2.13. On the whole the team has an ERA of 3.39 (4th best in the majors) and has given up fewer hits (106) and fewer HR (7) than any other MLB team

The Bad News: Unfortunately the teams gloves have betrayed them their .966 fielding percentage is the worst in the league. Their Catchers have only thrown out 2 of 23 men trying to steal 0.87 the worst rate in the majors while giving up the fewest runs Pittsburgh has the lowest team avg in the majors (.224) and their obp of .297 is the 2nd worst. This is thanks to four regulars (Moises Alou, Ernie Young, Bret Boone and John Jaha ) all batting under .200 and two more starters (Joe Carter & Jason Kendall) both hitting .225 or under.

Didn’t see that coming: Pittsburgh has yet to win a game played on grass

Medical Report: Moises Alou missed the series against Cleveland but should be back for the final game vs Houston. Meanwhile Wade Terrell had to leave his last start early and will have his next start delayed by a day or two.

Coming Attractions: Pittsburgh has two at Houston before they head to Seattle for a pair and then Cincinnati for a big four game series.

Breitbart reports a poll that might cause the left some grief in the quest to keep an evenly divided Senate:

This is not a surprise for several reasons:

  1. Charlie Baker was an incredibly popular governor
  2. Charlie Baker was an incredibly competent governor
  3. On Social issues you would be hard pressed to fit a playing card between Baker & Warren

And as Breitbart notes Baker is a lot more popular than Warren:

Senator Warren has significantly higher unfavorable numbers than her fellow Democrats statewide and that seems to be creating an opening for Baker, who always enjoyed large amounts of cross-party appeal. Looking at the cross tabs, Republicans seem to coalesce behind Baker (79%) in a way that Democrats do not around Warren (56%), and Baker leads with independent/unenrolled voters 2-1 at 57-26%.

Warren’s favorability rating is 5 points above water, with 49 percent finding her favorable  and 44 percent saying she is unfavorable, including 35 percent who find her “very unfavorable.” As Craney pointed out, her favorability rating indicates she is far less secure than some of her fellow prominent elected Democrat officials in the Bay State.

Now while it would be nice to have a Ted Cruz or a John Kennedy (of LA) win a US senate race in Massachusetts, with the current state of our state voting population there would be a better chance of the Red Sox signing me as a 60 year old pinch runner off the bench next week than an actual full blown conservative winning a statewide election for US Senate. Until and unless we educate and persuade the electorate Baker is likely the best we can realistically get and in terms of competence he would be a giant step forward for Massachusetts, plus it’s always useful to have a person with executive experience in the Senate.

This should send the fear of God into the left although there would be several bright sides for the left:

  • Baker would almost certainly be voting with Democrats 10-20% of the time
  • He would be the MSM’s “goto” republican on any social issues we attempt to advance
  • He could reliably be expected to attack a President Trump and make any opposition to him be by definition “bipartisan”

But that extra vote to give the gavel to McConnell and stop Biden judges in their tracks would outweigh those disadvantages.

However there is one question that needs to be asked before we break out the bubbly.

Has anyone asked Charlie Baker if he wants the job?

Right now Charlie Baker is president of the NCAA. I’m sure like all jobs it has ups and downs but I suspect it’s a job he enjoys and I don’t doubt for one moment that it’s a job he doing well because it rewards competence which Baker has by the bucketful.

So can someone explain to me why Baker would leave that job to enter a race where he’ll be targeted, attacked and get grief from an incredibly polarized electorate and even risk physical attack (and he’s a really big target, seriously that guy is tall).

Why would he abandon the sweet gig he has for all that grief? I don’t see him doing it and until someone convinces me otherwise I’m not going to get my knickers in an uproar.

You’ve now gotten a glimpse of the AL east in my Dynasty 16 team short season (80 games once a week) league. Lets continue with a look at the AL West. (Current as of 5/11/23 Noon EST)

Seattle 85.6151/2
Chicago67.4622 1/2

Toronto: 9-5 1st place (tie)

The good news : Ellis Burkes is tearing it up with a .393 avg 4 HR and 15 RBI’s He is in the AL Top three in Avg, Slugging, OBS, HR & RBI. Pat Mears has been a pleasant surprise hitting .302 with a pair of triples while Brian McRae has scored 12 runs with only 14 hits. Meanwhile Troy Percival has been lights out 5-5 in save chances and their Team ERA of 3.24 is tops in the AL and 2nd in the Majors.

The Bad News: No team has swung and missed more than Toronto with 136K’s in 14 games and Cecil Fielder (8K .174 avg) and Ed Sprague (17K’s .184) have only one HR between them in 51 AB. With the glove their .976 fielding is 2nd to last in the AL only Cleveland has done worse with the normally sure handed Mike Lansing with 4 errors in 14 games

Didn’t see that coming: Toronto Relievers Kent Bottenfield, Mike Jackson, Tory Percival and Jim Poole combined have appeared in 14 games, pitched 20 1/3 innings and have yet to give up an earned run

Medical Report: Rusty Greer was hurt early in the season and won’t be back for this homestand and isn’t expect back until the team hits LA although there is an outside chance he makes the last game in Minnesota, The prognosis on John Valentin who went down during the Seattle series is much better as he’s expected to be able to make the the Atlanta Series before the team hits the road for six.

Coming Attractions: Toronto has two more against Cleveland and hosts Atlanta for a pair before going on a six game road trip ending in LA but starting with a critical four games at Minnesota.

Minnesota: 10-6 1st place (tie)

The good news : Their +23 run differential is the AL’s best fueled by Johnny Damon whose .451 avg and 1.237 OPS both lead the majors Chuck Knoblauch .354 1 HR 11 RBI, and Mark Whiten .295 2HR 12 RBI are big reasons for it. Ben McDonald 3-0 with a 1.73 leads the league.

The Bad News: Brad Radke 5.21 ERA and no decisions in three starts. Javy Lopez has disappointed with the bat .191 1 HR 8 RBI and the glove he and Brian Johnson have a combined 25 stolen bases and 4 errors between them with only 5 caught. Whiten is wowing with the bat but already has 2 errors in the outfield and Jason Giambi .220 1 HR 7 RBI .270 OBP, and Garret Anderson .182 0 HR 1 RBI 1 R scored have underperformed.

Didn’t see that coming: Pedro Martinez 2-1 3.94 ERA

Medical Report: They feel fine

Coming Attractions: Minnesota’s home stand continues with Florida in for 2 and a huge 4 game series with Toronto interrupted briefly for a pair in St. Louis before they come back home for 3 vs the Yanks

Seattle: 8-5 .615 3rd place 1/2 GB

The good news : Albert Belle has been a monster at the bat hitting ,339 with 6 HR and 13 RBI. A-Rod only has 3 HR but has driven in 10. Jeff Cirillo his hitting .333 and has an OBP over .400

The Bad News: Dan Naulty has a 1.08 ERA but with an 0-2 record with only a 50% save rate (1 in 2 chances) Ken Griffey Jr. .214 1 HR 5 RBI

Didn’t see that coming: Randy Johnson in the bullpen 1-0 1.29 ERA 3 saves in 4 chances

Medical Report: Daren Oliver who was hurt in his 2nd start will be available for the final game of their series with Boston but with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 10.29 the question is, will he come back to the rotation?

Coming Attractions: Seattle faces Boston and Pittsburgh on their current homestand before traveling for 4 against the White sox in Chicago and a pair in Houston before they see home again.

Chicago : 6-7 .313 4th place 2 1/2 GB

The good news : Marty Cordova has been a pleasant surprise with his .351 avg he and Steve Finley both have six doubles tied for 3rd in the AL Frank Thomas line is .300 4 HR 10 RBI with a 1.004 OBS. Alex Fernandez is making other teams earn their way on as his 1.57 walks per nine innings demonstrates. Steve Finley already has 2 outfield assists and Robin Ventura and Omar Visquel have only one error in 113 chances and the White Sox are tied for the fewest runs given up in the majors.

The Bad News: Unfortunately while giving up the fewest runs Chicago is also dead last in the AL in hits, batting avg (.242) and OBP. .311. White teams don’t score runs on Chicago they sure can run against them as Mike Macfarlane has caught only 1 of 11 runners trying to steal 0.91.

Didn’t see that coming: Mark McGuire .132 0 HR 2 RBI BUT .353 OBP 13 walks (3rd in league)

Medical Report: Every is healthy just not contributing much

Coming Attractions: Chicago has a nine game homestand with the Yanks coming in for 3 Cincy for two and then four huge games vs Seattle before hitting the road.

UPDATE: Had Baltimore coming attractions for Chicago, fixed.