Happy Jackie Robinson Day everyone, a special day in baseball and American history where we remember baseball’s great who broke the color barrier back in the 1940’s.
Today will start my Good, Bad and Ugly of baseball segment. I’ll be taking a look around the league at the high and low points so far for numerous different teams. We are two weeks in and things are already starting to take a little shape. Let’s see what’s been going on around the league.
Atlanta Braves. I couldn’t just rope them in with just good because they are in a class of their own right now, so I had to put them in the really good category. The “Hot”-lanta Braves are out to their best start at 11-1 since 1994 when they started 13-1. Justin Upton and early candidate for rookie of the year Evan Gattis are tearing it up and no doubt leading the Braves on offense. They both are hitting for power and average and every one else in the lineup is chipping in here and there with their hits and run production. The Braves are sweeping everything in sight as they have already amassed 3 sweeps this year, the most recent an impressive one against the “juggernaut” Nationals. This Braves team can pitch, they can hit, and they can play defense. They will hit their rough stretch like everyone but this has to be the best team right now and with what they are showing, is there any doubt about it?
Oakland Athletics. Division leading A’s are out to a quiet 9-4 start. They were on their own win streak at 9 games before dropping the last 2 to fall to 9-4. They are once again a Billy Bean group of no household names just getting the job done, but that’s how they like it in Oakland. They continue to pitch well and getting timely hitting to just edge out most of their opponents. This team is showing early that last year was no fluke and they are determined to win the AL West. You can surely see it early on at this point. Don’t sleep on this team because they could very well take this division again, especially if the favorite in the division continues to wallow in the next category on this list.
San Francisco Giants. The division leading Giants are at it again and just out pitching everyone and out timely hitting everyone. Them and their cross bay rival A’s are a lot alike with the exception of the Giants having a few more household names. Buster Posey and “The Kung Fu Panda” Pablo Sandoval are at it again to lead this offense for the Giants. Their pitching staff is yet again top-notch with Matt Cain leading the way and Barry Zito pitching rather well again. They are certainly looking every part of a team looking to make a run at defending their World Series title.
Los Angeles Angels. A favorite pick for many people, including myself, to win the World Series, the Angels have done nothing to make me feel good about that. They sit at 4-8 and if it wasn’t for a recent series against Houston to try to get on track, they could have well wound up in my ugly segment. As it is, they salvaged that series and were able to get some traction offensively. Hamilton finally got his first home run and Trout finally started to get it going too. Their pitching staff took a hit with the loss of Jered Weaver and their staff already wasn’t pitching that well. So you have to think this is going to hurt. It is early so they do have time to get it going but they better start soon.
Toronto Blue Jays. Another favorite to win the World Series, the Blue Jays have also been very disappointing. They too have suffered a tremendous injury with the Jose Reyes injury that has sidelined him for 1-3 months. Not good for a team struggling to score runs to try to cover up their woeful pitching. Specifically R.A. Dickey has been dreadful and after his CY Young performance last year, it’s not surprising of the drop off but it is a bit surprising of how bad his performance has been. They sit at 5-7 and it is still early but no better time than to right the ship than early on, right now.
Miami Marlins. Oh boy, this certainly has been a disaster from the start. The man pictured to the left can take all the blame for this one. They can’t score at all, this is the main problem. The starting pitching has actually been pretty good, but no run support has absolutely killed this team. They have only scored 20 runs in 12 games, they sit at 2-10 and you have to wonder how they have even managed to win any games. Their lone star Giancarlo Stanton has not been in the lineup the past few nights with a sore shoulder but even when he was been in the lineup it didn’t matter. Teams just pitch around him or he just hasn’t been hitting at all anyways, as he has no homeruns or RBIs. This just might be the worst team in baseball history when it’s all said and done. Miami, get used to this, there are going to be a lot of L’s this year, and you can blame that guy right over there.
San Diego Padres. The worst team in the NL West, but no shock really. Their record, although 2-10, still is not like the Marlins. They have at least scored 39 runs and show some offensive life compared to the lowly fish. Their problem has been pitching and just playing well in general. No big names, no spark, with the exception of the Carlos Quentin/Zack Greinke debacle, they have been virtually obsolete and absent from the baseball news. Like the Marlins, expect them to make reoccurring appearances in the Ugly portion of my segment.
It is just two weeks in to the baseball season, but you still start to see early separation and what teams appear to be like. Some good, some really good, some bad, and some just flat-out ugly. It should be interesting to see how things unfold and see if any of these teams can move out of the hole or if they fall from the top. If your team is doing great, enjoy it now and know it’s baseball and anything can happen and change over the course of the year. If your team isn’t doing so well remember it’s a long season and things can turn around, maybe. Either way, enjoy that baseball is back and in full swing providing us with excitement night after night.