There is little doubt now that there will be three playoff teams emerging from the National League Central division while the West division threatens to be relegated to the Pacific Coast League and the East division watches the Mets disappear from the pack like cash that went from DC to Baghdad when Jeb’s brother sat in the first chair.
Let’s have a fun look at the MLB standings since Black Friday July 31:
East Central West
New York 15-6 Chicago 17-4 San Diego 11-10
Philadelphia 10-11 Pittsburgh 15-6 Arizona 12-11
Atlanta 8-14 St. Louis 13-8 San Francisco 10-12
Miami 8-14 Milwaukee 9-12 Los Angeles 9-11
Washington 8-14 Cincinnati 6-16 Colorado 6-16
East Central West
Toronto 16-4 Kansas City 15-7 Texas 14-7
Tampa Bay 11-9 Cleveland 10-12 Houston 11-11
Boston 11-10 Minnesota 10-12 Seattle 10-11
New York 11-11 Detroit 9-12 Oakland 10-12
Baltimore 10-12 Chicago 9-13 La Habra 8-14
Does this tell us anything significant? Well, some. Getting Ben Zobrist didn’t hurt the Royals, and maybe the Tigers were right to give up so soon, or maybe, since only now do they have Miguel Cabrera back, not. Toronto apparently made some good acquisitions, even if Troy Tulowitzki is not hitting so well yet. St. Louis would probably just keep winning even if the team bus blew a tire and half of the roster ended up hospitalized. The Rangers have already clinched team comeback of the year honors while the Angels are flopping even though they were able to send Josh Hamilton to Texas, where he likes the DL a lot better. The Cubs were looking mediocre there for a while but then Addison Russell became the shortstop and whoa, daddy! There are other reasons but Joe Maddon’s team is always full of surprises. It is probably time to admit I was wrong about the Orioles but Buck Showalter’s teams also have a way of not going away. The Nationals appear to need to eat some hallucinogenic mushrooms and talk about it but they still have a pulse. The Giants made a good move getting Mike Leake, but they seem to have the same injury problem as the Cardinals without the vast reservoir of talented replacements.
For the most part, though, life is slogging on for most teams. The sleeper in the bunch seems to be Arizona, but only because the Giants and Dodgers have pitching problems that may equal the Diamondbacks’. Stay tuned. As for the Yankees, I’m glad you didn’t ask.