baseball upside down

did anyone actually expect to be in a world where the recently mighty arizona diamondbacks would be tanking, with pitchers randy johnson and curt schilling being injured? where the detroit tigers have 3 wins and were declared “not part of major league baseball” by wfan talk show host mike francesa yesterday? where the kansas city royals are 2nd in major league baseball overall?

i mean, don’t get me wrong, the yankees and giants are both in first place in their respective areas, but they’re paying players a lot of money and are expected to win. while the mets, on the other side of new york, have done everything but win. they’re paying dollar after dollar to ex-stars like mo vaughn and roger cedeno, and you might want to consider cliff floyd a member of that category. these guys are just not cutting the mustard at this point. i’m waiting for the carnegie deli in new york to reneg on their “mo-licious sandwich” that they dedicated to him back in 2002. [file photo here via the kcmets.com website]

what’s going on? is there something in the water? are players just not able to do it anymore in more cases than we’d expected? there doesn’t seem to be a formula with the answer. it’s not just new players, it’s not just old players. it’s not infielders or outfielders, it’s not hitters or pitchers. it’s just odd. i don’t remember ever seeing a case study like the mets have this season… mo vaughn was a classic .340 hitter who was going against the grain with his 260lb frame pounding out hit after hit for the red sox. then his failed experiment in anaheim. then his failed tenure in new york, which is still (unfortunately for the mets) still going on. what happened? did it just go away? is it a weight issue? who knows… moving on – what’s going on with the mets’ second baseman history. there is definitely a trend there… sans edgardo alfonzo who was traded, and before that, moved to third – everyone from juan samuel to carlos baerga to roberto alomar seems to have a disaster of a time at second base. there has to be something going on, right? and the outfield – what a disturbing thing that is… roger cedeno is by far the worst fast guy ever to play the outfield. cliff floyd seems like he just had that horrific injury that befell him back in the day, and can’t catch a cold out in the pasture, and somehow tony clark seems to look better out there than anyone. how does this happen? tom glavine must be looking to shoot himself at this point.

the detroit tigers seem to have taken the term “rebuilding” to a new level. they have a couple guys from the previous years, and the rest are like double or triple-A players that are up on the major league roster. they can’t hang at all! half of their starting lineup are under .200 in batting average. it doesn’t get any worse than that, does it? are they going to win 30 games this season? it might get close to it!

kansas city seems like an unfortunate thing, because: their team may not make it long term, at least not in that city… and… they’re doing more with less – or at least less salaries to free agents. mike sweeney makes a pretty penny, but a lot of those players are semi home grown. that’s a good thing. you have to like kc as a fan, but feel bad for them because there’s no way they can maintain. they might be the 2003 version of last year’s minnesota twins.

all in a year where we have yet hear (thankfully) from commissioner for life (as my friend jm likes to call him) bud selig… guess he won’t be going back to the brew crew anytime soon. whatever happened to pete rose? he might get into the hall before susan sarandon and tim robbins at this point, it seems….

baseball always has something to look forward to, and this season is definitely one to pay attention to so far!

[ed: as i publish this, roger cedeno just made a horrid play on a ball in the corner, allowing st. louis to drive in two runs…. oh, did i mention the pitcher was hitting?]

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