Friday, September 16, 2011

Some thoughts on baseball

Today I was thinking since it's been a couple of weeks since I wrote anything I'd try to sit here at the computer and share a few thoughts I have on baseball with a couple of weeks to go in the regular season.

First I'd like to brag a little on my Detroit Tigers, who enter today 13.5 games ahead in the American League Central Division, their magic number to clinch down to either 1 ChiSox or Indians loss, or a Tigers win.

The Tigers have never won the A.L. Central.

They did finish second a couple of times, most recently in 2009, when they tied for the division lead with the Twins at the end of the regular season, only to lose the now infamous Game 163.

Previous to that the Tigers finished second to the Twins in 2006, but were the A.L. Wild Card team, and went on to beat the Yankees and the A's to get to the World Series.

The Tigers last division title came in 1987, when they won the old  A.L. Eastern Division, where they battled the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Brewers.

After 24 years it will be a great Tigers fans day when they do finally clinch, a chance to celebrate  baseball in Detroit, and to look forward to October baseball in the Motor City.

In a couple of weeks, after the regular season will be over, and it will be time for the post season awards, and being a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance,  I will submit my ballot for the best managers, hitters and pitchers, in baseball.

Right now, if the season ended today, my vote for National League MVP would go to the Dodgers Matt Kemp.

Kemp, the Dodgers center fielder, is, to me, the best all around player in the N.L. this year.

Kemp, a former Jacksonville Suns player, is 4th in batting average in the National League, hitting 314, is 2nd in the N.L. in runs scored, with 99, 2nd in RBI, with 110, and tied for 3rd in the N.L. in HRS, with 33.

What makes Kemp my MVP is his performance on the field for the Dodgers, a team limping through a horrible season on, and off the field.

With all the off field things going on at Chavez Ravine, the messy divorce of the Dodgers owners, bankruptcy, Major League Baseball taking over the day to day control of the team, and the not so Dodger like performance on the field, Matt Kemp has stayed focused on the game of baseball.

A once runaway A.L. East featuring the Yankees and Red Sox has turned into a three team run for the division title, and the lone Wild Card spot in the playoffs.

The Yankees have are 4.5 games ahead of Boston, who are only 3 games ahead of the surging Tampa Bay Rays, who were out of the playoff race just a few weeks ago.

Tampa is 9-5 in September, and are 10-5 against the BoSox this year.

Tampa plays 3 more games this weekend in Fenway Park, before heading to the Bronx for a 4 games series against the 1st place Yankees.

After that series, the Yankees play Boston for 3 at Yankee Stadium before heading to Tampa for the final 3 games of the regular season.

It's possible the Rays, playing good baseball, could win the Wild Card, or even the division, leaving fans in Boston or New York very, very, unhappy.

Right now the Yankees, Tigers, Rangers, Phillies, Brewers, and Diamondbacks are the division leaders.

Of those six leaders, only three, the Yankees, Rangers, and Phillies, were in the playoffs last year.

I picked the Red Sox and Phillies to play in the World Series at the start of the baseball season, and while the Phillies are playing well, the Brewers and the Diamondbacks are going to be very competitive in the playoffs.

The Yankees closer, Mariano Rivera collected his 600th career save the other day, joining former San Diego Padres Trevor Hoffman, with 601, as the only closers with 600 saves.

Rivera will obviously break, and then shatter, the saves record, and I hope when it's their time for election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the baseball writers will do the right thing and elect them both...on the FIRST ballot.

Here's a shout out to  the best TV guys in baseball, well, their the best that I've seen on my TV, the Marlins Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton.

I get the Marlins, the Rays, the ChiSox, and the Cubs on regular cable TV, and I watch the Tigers games on my computer.

I don't regularly watch games on my computer other than the Tigers, so I haven't heard ever broadcast team.

That said, Waltz and Hutton are my favorite.

Waltz is very good on play by play, a veteran baseball announcer who's been the Marlins lead TV guy for seven years.

Hutton always inserts plenty of old school baseball history along with his outstanding commentary.

I'm not a Marlins fan, but I enjoy listening to the Fish games because of Waltz and Hutton.

As you may remember, I go onto FOX Sports Baseball Hot Streak every day, picking a player to get at least 1 hit, or a pitcher to get 5, or more strike outs, or a win.

I have still never gotten past 13 correct picks in a row, and currently I'm at 5 in a row.

My pick for today is the Dodgers Matt Kemp, against the Pirates.

It should be a great weekend of baseball, enjoy the games, and when we post again the Detroit Tigers should be A.L. Central Division Champions.

Play Ball!

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