Here we are now, more than halfway through the baseball season, and I need to catch up. I’ve been so entranced by the World Cup going on in President Aqualung’s summer home that I totally missed LeBron James’ signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Was that before Brazil beat Mexico?
There are some great races going on, though, aren’t there? ESPN’s favorite teams, the Red Sox and Yankees, figure to be neck and neck all the way to October with an excellent combination of new faces and veterans, new managers and packed ballparks. I wish the Sunday crew could be Dave Flemming and Tim Kurkjian along with Jessica Mendoza, replacing those boring, humorless men she is working with presently. While I’m wishing, I wish Matt Duffy could get traded to a contender that plays in a real ball yard. The Rays somehow have once again come up with a good team, but there have to be people somewhere in Florida that enjoy baseball, and they deserve a better site. I will go out on a limb and predict that Chris Sale, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and company will prevail with Alex Cora leading the way but I do have an awfully strong bias despite Aaron Boone. It’s become surprising when the Orioles or Blue Jays win any game, and Neymar is skilled but his theatrics are worse than Ronaldo’s.
Cleveland has a comfortable lead despite uninspiring play and it feels as though a team like Russia or Japan could liven things up in that division. Seattle has been the Uruguay of the A.L. West, quietly knocking teams off without a lot of hype. As much fun as it has been to follow the rousing success of Houston, the Mariners have made things pleasantly interesting whereas the Montebello Angels have been the Germany of the division, all expectation and no greatness. Here’s hoping that the Shohei Ohtani experiment succeeds again when he gets back in there because he is truly fun, unlike Disneyland.
The East Coast baseball pundits forgot to tell the other teams how good the New York Mets were or what a Hall of Fame outfielder Michael Conforto is but they are always ahead of the curve. You will find no speculative remarks here about what might happen before THE TRADE DEADLINE but the way things look now the Braves are for real and Philadelphia is almost there. As for the apparently cursed Washington team, they had better stop getting injured and start living up to expectations or they will be forced to change their nickname to Senators. Miami was expected to be like Egypt but they have been a little more like Iran.
It’s great to see Scooter Gennett leading the league in batting average and it’s also great to see Cincinnati within shouting distance of Chicago. Like Tom Seaver, Matt Harvey was traded to the Reds near the end of his career. I wonder if Joe Maddon wishes he had Jake Arrieta rather than Yu Darvish? I have been off the Brewers bandwagon since Harvey’s Wallbangers but one has to like the way that team is put together. Tough call in that division, but it won’t be the Pirates. They are starting to remind me of the Oakland A’s, bringing up interesting young players who will eventually play somewhere else.
While the Cubs may be equivalent to Spain before it is all over, it’s hard to put a World Cup tag on any National League West team. The title is there for the taking, so maybe Belgium. It’s a four team race for sure with the Padres making life miserable at times for the contenders. I’m leaning toward the Dodgers at this point but Arizona started winning again when Paul Goldschmidt starting hitting again and when A.J. Pollock plays they are better on offense and defense so…but the Giants might be getting Cueto and Samardzija back so…it may come down to penalty kicks.