Baseball, 2012 a Season Full of Surprises
Baseball’s 2012 season; the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
Comments (1)|0 Liked It
As the 2012 Major League Baseball season enters the long home stretch the campaign has been full of surprises.
For one, who would’ve ever thought that the Pittsburgh Pirates (who haven’t had a winning season since the early 1990s) and the Washington Nationals (who have made the postseason only once; as the Montreal Expos in 1981) would be tied for MLB’s best record entering the month of August.
Also no one could’ve guessed that recent National League East powerhouse Philadelphia would be hopelessly marred in last place. The Phillies, who have won the division the last few seasons after breaking Atlanta’s seemingly eternal choke hold on the division early in the last decade, have no shot of returning to the playoffs this season. They were, thus, sellers at the recently-past trade deadline. Philly unloaded outfielders Shane Victorino (now with the Dodgers) and Hunter Pence, last year’s late-season acquisition from the hopeless Houston Astros, who now resides in San Francisco.
Also, who would’ve thought Cliff Lee’s record would be 1-6? Lee, returned to the City of Brotherly Love after a stint in Texas, has a sub-3 ERA but has gotten no run support.
Also, who could’ve imagined that Seattle would part with Ichiro Suzuki, the face of the Mariners’ franchise for more than a decade? He’s now a member of the Bronx Bombers and may be a key to the Yankees’ postseason success.
And who would’ve thought the Angels’ Mike Trout (a candidate for the American League’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year awards despite being in the minors to start the season) would’ve helped Albert Pujols (Los Angeles’ key off-season free-agent acquisition out of a slump? Should Trout get both postsaeson honors, he’ll join Ichiro and Boston’s Fred Lynn (1975) to achieve that feat.
In other surprises, Giants ace Tim Lincecum has been shelled this season while Barry Zito has had a career revitalization and Matt Cain, who threw a perfect game (and one of five no-hitters before the All-Star Break) has emerged as San Francisco’s ace.
Cincinnati’s Joey Votto went on the disabled list recently and the Reds responded by winning 10 consecutive games. The Reds are in first in the NL Central; but the Pirates are hot on their tails. St. Louis has an outside shot at the division crown. The Cardinals had their hopes take a bit of a tumble when the dropped the final two games of a three-game series to a horrendous Cubs team. Chicago also recently won a series in Pittsburgh only to see the Pirates return the favor at Wrigley Field.
Three cheers for Robin Ventura: The new White Sox manager and for ChiSox star Robin Ventura has the White Sox in the thick of the AL Central race in his first managing at any level. The Sox, who must beat Cleveland and Detroit to claim the division, have hovered around the top spot all season. Former Chicago manager Ozzie Guillen, took his show of controversy and tantrums south and Miami is stuck near the bottom of the NL East after starting fast.