Cleveland sweep and the state of Baseball.
Jhonny Peralta of all people hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th of the final game to finish the sweep. The Indians have now won 5 out of the last 6 series they've played and have become fun to watch again.
Now whats really bothering me...
If Travis Hafner were a yankee, a red sock, or if the indians were even a contender, his name and talk of MVP would be rampant. but he has two things against him..playing on a losing team and being a DH. Voters dont like guys who dont play defense.
but his stats dont lie and what he's done for Cleveland is undeniable. The indians problem all year has been their pitching. the tribe has one of the most dangerous offense's in baseball but I think its pretty obvious their record would be alot worse if Hafner were not on the team.
He'll get looked past for MVP just as he did for an All-Star selection when he clearly deserved to at least be there. I'm not a fan that actually buys into the whole all star crap but at the same time its about recognition. I dont care if Hafner simply showed up, shook his teammates hands and left but at least he would have been there and been made aware of his accomplishments.
A different song would be played if this was last year when the indians made that late season surge which hafner was a big part of. He missed two weeks after getting beamed in the head by Mark buerhle that honestly cost the indians alot of games.
Cleveland had started to pick up some of the momentum they ended the year with and then Hafner went down and the offense lost itself. Pitchers had the luxury of knowing he wasnt in the lineup so it was easier to pitch around guys like Martinez, Peralta, Broussard. His value and importance to this team was clearly seen when they lost games they should have won. 1-2 run losses would have been erased had his bat still been there. Despite being out Travis still clubbed 33 home runs and 100 + rbi's. This year is a career year but last year might have been as well if not for the time he missed. that is an MVP.
In August alone he's hit 13 home runs and 33 rbis and is batting .355 for the month going into wednesday night. In the 3 game series against Toronto he hit 3 home runs, 2 of those coming in the same game. He picks this team up and gives the indians 3-5 times a night to win but all you'll hear is talk about Jeter, A-rod, Ortiz, Manny or someone else on a winning team that supposedly carried the weight of a season.
Manny and Ortiz are currently sidelined. I havent heard Jeters name all that much and there is just no other way to say how bad A-rod is this year other than He fucking sucks but they're still getting talked about?
The last MVP to come from a losing team was Andre Dawson I believe. His stats are as follows.
Dawson - 1987
621 At Bats
90 runs scored
49 home runs
137 runs batted in
103 strike outs
.287 batting average
.328 on base percentage
.568 slugging percentage
Hafner - 2006
429 at bats
94 Runs scored
39 home runs
111 runs batted in
103 strike outs
.310 batting average
.436 on base percentage
.660 slugging percentage
The similiarites and differences are obvious and had Hafner been playing in 1987 theres a very good chance he would have won it.
so answer me this, when is the last time any of those guys were on a last place team? a team struggling just to reach .500? Never. Ortiz was the most clutch hitter in the game in 2004 and without him the red sox would be going on 88 years without a title. He outright deserved that award.
How about Minnesota, Their resurgence is mainly because of the awakened bats of Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. 3 weeks into the season this team was as good as gone and looked like there would be no hope whatsoever of them rebounding. Once Santana shook off his usual early season rust and Santana #2, Francisco Liriano was moved into the starting rotation - Minnesota quickly became a team to be feared.
Gardenhire could and should be in the Manager of the year voting as well. For how he helped his struggling club is remarkable. The twins have alot of young hungry talent that just doesnt quit and Gardenhire is the perfect manager for guys like that. He's stern, straight forward. and will let his players know when they fucked up.
Mauer and Morneau came around and the twins are now battling for a wildcard spot or possibly the division. The two aforementioned players names need to be in that same MVP conversation. Morneau deserves to be recognized for the life and energy he brought to the park with a ridicuously hot bat and Joe Mauer needs to be given credit for the way he has handled his pitchers. Should the twins falter and miss the playoffs altogether, In the eyes of the MVP voters, what these two have done for their club will mean nothing. once again proving that those in charge of deciding all of this are complete morons..or the biggest cheerleaders in sports.
Jermaine Dye is another name being talked about and rightfully so. He's having his best year ever hitting .327 with 39 home runs and 106 runs batted in. 1999 and 2000 were the only other seasons that he posted 100+ rbis. His home run totals for those years were 27 and 33. There are still 30 something games left and with the way he's been swinging lately he could very well break 120.
The White sox could still miss the playoffs though. With as red hot as the twins have been and the way the tigers have faired against chicago, the white sox could find themselves watching instead of playing. The red sox are dead. Red Sox Nation and all the shit that has happened to Boston has probably made alot of drinking problems that much worse. The latest is the Boston Herald tastelessly reporting that touted pitching prospect Jon Lester is being tested for cancer because of enlarged lymph nodes. That could mean anything from an allergic reaction to the flu. lymph nodes enlarge for no reason sometimes. Whoever approved that article needs to be punched in the face and fired.
I'm not a fan of cheerleaders in baseball. its the most ridiculous concept ever but you almost have to hope the florida marlins make the playoffs. every "expert" penciled in 100+ losses for them and here they are right in the middle of the stretch and only a game out of the wildcard lead. the last two times the Marlins were the wildcard they won the world series. the first time was against us..thanks to Jose Mesa. I'm still bitter about it and actually subconsciously wanted the yankees to win in 03 just because I still held a grudge. but they now have Joe Giradi running the show and I love him. the marlins have 0 division titles and 2 world series titles and we havent won it since ..1948..unbelieveable.
I've mentioned it before but I'll repeat myself. Last offseason when Giradi took the Marlins job he couldnt believe all the talent that he was going to be in charge of, that is until Jeffery (douche bag power tripping man upstairs) one by one sold off or traded guys like A.J. Burnett, Josh Beckett, Juan Encarnacion, Carlos Delgado, and Mike Lowell just to name a few. The only two players that remain from their 2003 world series team are Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. those guys too have been rumored to be leaving south florida next year.
Loria is going to fuck up a good thing. hes lucky to even have a manager like Giradi. If I were Joe I would have quit after the firesale took place. to be promised this great team only to have it torn apart would have pissed me off. Loria lied to Giradi. after Mckeon quit, he's lucky to have a manager at all.
Giradi and loria are sitting on a gold mine right now. Giradi knows it but loria doesnt seem to care. how dare someone actually know what they're doing and prove you wrong. idiot. Just another Jerry Jones type. knows not a single thing about the game and doesnt realize thats why teams have managers and coaches, to teach players how to play.
If they make the playoffs my money says they'll get to the world series. with the arms they got in that rotation and the hunger to win with Giradi at the helm, you cant beat that. to think with all the talent this team stockpiled by their fire sale are barely 23 years old is fucking scary.
4 of the top 5 Rookie of the Year candidates are Marlins. Dan Uggla, Jeromy Hermida, Josh Willingham, Hanley Ramirez, and Josh Johnson. Hermida is the top outfield prospect in the organization while ramirez was next in line for the starting job at shortstop in Boston.
Thats my 2 cents on the state of affairs in Baseball.