There are some fans, as well as media personnel, ready to jump off a bridge because of their teams getting off to bad starts. And there are some fans looking to purchase post-season tickets based on their teams’ unexpected hot starts. Folks relax here. We just completed the first half of the first month of the season. No team has been mathematically eliminated in April, and, conversely, no team has clinched the pennant in the first month as well.
After the first week, Boston Red Sox fans were ready to jump into the Charles River, while those fans in the City of Brotherly Love were about to jump off the Ben Franklin Bridge. Are you kidding me? These two teams were dubbed by many to meet in the World Series. In securing Cliff Lee, the Phillies have the best rotation since the 1986 New York Mets rotation of Doc Gooden, Bob Ojeda and Ron Darling, or the Tom Glavine, John Smoltz and Steve Avery Atlanta Braves. You do not get a break when you face this rotation. It is like facing four Aces each series. It must be nice for the offense knowing that they do not have to score that many runs, but is also nice to know that your offense, led by Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard, can put up big numbers in a heart beat. After a shaky opening weekend, the Phillies have righted their ship and are on top of the National League East as they should be.
The Red Sox still appear to be on life support, although they have shown some signs of life as of late. They got off to an 0-6 start, and I was concerned for the well being of some of my friends up in Red Sox Nation. Unfortunately, my beloved Yankees went up to New England and dropped two out of three with an impressive outing from Josh Beckett in the rubber game of the three-game series. Beckett looked like a Cy Young-caliber pitcher, as he shut down the Bronx Bombers on two hits over eight innings.
Coming into the season, the Red Sox had the most impressive everyday lineup on paper, although the production has not materialized thus far. However, if you think that new additions Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford are going to continue to hit well below their career averages, then you must be expecting the Easter Bunny to stop by your house next weekend. Crawford and Gonzalez are going to get going sooner than later. If their pitching can hold up, (see Beckett’s last outing), the Red Sox should crash the post-season party.
As crazy as it is to see the Red Sox in the bottom of the standings, one might find it strange to see the Orioles on top of the American League East or the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals atop of the AL Central. Heck, the Mets even got off to a 3-1 start. That is the beauty of the beginning of the season but the harsh reality of the 162-game schedule is that a team that is expected to finish last ends up wearing the division crown.
After their good start, the Mets have come crashing back down to earth. In the last week, the bullpen has blown two late-game leads, wasting a gem from Chris Young in one contest. To paraphrase a quote from ex-NFL head coach Dennis Green,” The Mets are who we thought they were!” The sad thing is that you can see some promise here but the reality is that the Mets are in the basement. In order for them to crawl their way out, too many things would have to go right for this franchise. And over the past four years,too many things have gone wrong. The Curse of Willie Randolph lives on. Karma is a B&#$h!
Come September, do we really expect the Royals and Indians to be battling for the Division Crown or a Wild Card spot. I don’t think so. Nice story now, but there will be no happy endings here. It is a long season. You can not determine winners and losers after two weeks. The cream will rise to the top and so will the Yanks, Red Sox and the Phillies.