Baseball Heads Down the Back Stretch
Now that the All Star game is over, we need to take a look at the standings and project what might happen from this point to the final weeks of the season.
The trading deadline is coming up and there are a few names floating around that could help a contender. Some deals have already been made. The biggest deal was SP Cliff Lee going to the division leading Rangers. He gives the team the one thing they did not really have–a true #1 starter. Even with the team’s financial problems, they decided to go for it all this year.
The Jays and Braves traded SS with Alex Gonzalez going south in a five-player deal along with 2 minor leaguers for SS Yunel Escobar and LHP Jo-Jo Reyes. The Braves needed a little more O and Gonzalez should help. Escobar has been at best inconsistent.
The Jays are in 4th in the tough AL East and have put out the word that RPs Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs and Jason Frasor are available. They are looking to build for next year. Several teams might be interested in Gregg who has converted 20 of 23 save opportunities.
SP Roy Oswalt is the most attractive guy out there. The White Sox are looking at him but he is 32 and is scheduled to get 16M in 2011 and 12.
The Yanks are leading and Rays are still close just 2 games behind. Both went 8-2 before the break. The Red Sox have fallen and can’t seem to get up. They went 4-6 in the last 10 and are 5 games behind. With all the Sox injuries, it is less and less likely that they can keep up.
The White Sox lead by just a half game over the Tigers. The Sox are depending on pitching and the long ball because they are hitting just .257 as a team. They are 3rd in home runs with 100. The Tigers are hitting .275.
Texas has a 4.5 game lead over the Angels. The Rangers have the best lead in the AL and Lee will only help them win the division. Beyond that who knows.
The Braves have profited from the Mets stumble over the last 10. The Braves expended the lead to 4 games by going 7-3 while the Mets went 4-6.
The Reds have a been traded places with the Cards all season. That will continue as long as the Reds pitching holds up. It won’t and the Reds will fall out of the race in the middle of August. Nobody else in the division is a factor.
The Padres are 2 games ahead of the Rockies but need both a pitcher and a bat. They won’t get either before the trading deadline but still should hold on to win the NL Weak.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .
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