Friday, July 10, 2009

25 Random Observations About the 2009 MLB Season

[As we approach the All Star break, I will do a few posts looking at baseball and the Yankees at the break. This one takes the form of Facebook's 25-random-things-about-me meme, as we look at 25 surprising and perhaps not-so-surprising observations of this season so far. They're presented only in the order they enter my mind].

25. We knew the NL East was going to be murky, but who could have predicted the collapse of Brad Lidge or the injury Bubonic Plague that hit the Mets?

24. It is worth watching St. Louis Cardinals games just to watch Albert Pujols hit.

23. It's nice to see some young pitchers we've been tracking a while finally put everything together--Zach Greinke, Felix Hernandez, et. al.

22. The San Francisco Giants are a legitimate contender for the Wild Card.

21. Joe Torre run teams have some sort of birthright to run roughshod over the competition in the regular season.

20. Who thought the Tigers would be this good...or the Cubs this bad?

19. In calling out the Pirates, Jack Wilson kind of has a point. That team will trade anybody and (apparently) let the other team do the fleecing.

18. Teams with cool nicknames are fun to root for--ie, Kung Fu Panda and the Giants, Flyin' Hawaiian and the Phillies, etc.

17. The Yankees are 0-8 against Boston and tied for first place. At this point that says more about Boston than it does New York.

16. Billy Beane doesn't often guess wrong, but with Holliday and Giambi--one who's never had great numbers away from Coors and another who was, with the exception of two months, awful--he was.

15. Baltimore already has possibly the best young outfield in the league. Once that rotation comes together--perhaps 2011--and Wieters hits his stride that team could be scary good.

14. The Toronto Blue Jays are a case study in how to not handle a young pitching staff, and Aaron Hill is better than we thought.

13. So is Joe Mauer, and we already knew he was good.

12. Every division except the NL West is a tight race, but the best three teams in baseball by run differential are in the AL East.

11. The AL and NL West aren't half bad divisions, either.

10. Despite not being able to properly keep healthy a pitching staff, Toronto certainly has an eye for talent, and now we understand why they took Ricky Romero over Troy Tulowitzki.

09. Tommy Hanson, thus far, has impressed--and while the Tom Glavine parting was ugly and not in good form, the move itself was the right one.

08. The Rays right now may be very much regretting the Edwin Jackson trade.

07. It must really, really stink to be told that you've been traded to the Nationals.

06. Apparently, bees are an issue in Southern California.

05. That despite all of their issues the Anaheim Angels have still managed to put together a contending team is a testament to some great ownership and great management. As a Yankee fan, I hate 'em, but they know what they're doing.

04. NY built two new baseball stadiums, one (like) a bandbox and the other an extreme version of Petco. Baseball fans in the city are still waiting for Goldilocks to find one that plays just right.

03. It is incredibly refreshing to see veterans like Derek Jeter and Scott Rolen having great years.

02. Bullpens always seem to be afterthoughts, but a decent one may be the hardest thing to construct on any roster.

01. MLB Network, with their live look-ins and other assorted goodies, really got it right.