Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ordering a Short Stack in the A.L. West

From the majors' only 6-team division to its only 4-teamer, the move to the A.L. West would be 33% easier to write, except that the N.L. Central was so paltry that it doesn't work out that way.  At least in terms of third base targets, that is.

As an administrative note, I will not be writing over the holidays, so this is my last post until November 29th.

In any event, in looking around the A.L. West, we see a variety of ... gunk.  Do you realize that the Very Best Starting Third Baseman in the Division was Michael Young ... who is a third baseman in name only?  Defensively, Chone Figgins could play third, but his bat was well and truly execrable in 2010.  He is back on the ESPN "Depth Chart" as a 2B for 2011.  His replacement will be Matt Tuiasosopo, who was converted to 3B from QB.  The Angels boast any number of horrifying choices at third (although they're rumored to be a prime suitor for Adrian Beltre), and the A's feature the kind of cast-offs and patch jobs you expect from a team like ... well ... the Oakland A's, I suppose.

And these guys are the STARTERS.  Maybe they have some hotshots on the way?

Maybe not.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snipe Hunting in the N.L. Central

Look, someone who roots for a team in the A.L. Central should probably not be throwing Wasteland Rocks™ at another Division.  I understand this.  There are more good teams in the N.L. Central (and a higher proportion thereof) than in the A.L. Central.  The Indians' Division features one truly good team (Minnesota), two average-but-flawed teams in Chicago and Detroit, and two crummy teams in Cleveland and Kansas City.  Of course, KC's farm system looks like it will produce a pretty good team in a couple-three years, Cleveland may join them, and Chicago and Detroit have innovative general managers, but in 2010, it wasn't a very good Division top-to-bottom.

In the N.L. Central, Cincinnati won the crown with a good young team that looks to stay in contention for the foreseeable future (in baseball, this is two years), and St. Louis still has the finest player on the planet and some excellent pitching when healthy.  Chicago and Milwaukee have what chicken magnates one termed "pieces-parts," while Pittsburgh and Houston ... well ... look, let's not mince words.  They stink.  Those are bad baseball teams.  Projecting the next playoff run by the Pirates or Astros is truly an exercise in "asteroid hits Earth" probability theories.  Still, the N.L. Central has two good teams making up 33% of the Division, while we have one good team making up 20%.  Of course, you could argue that St. Louis isn't REALLY an order of magnitude better than the Sox or Tigs, or that the N.L. is a Silly Place from the start, but the point remains: my Division is bad, so who am I to complain about the quality of someone else's?

I dunno ... a sentient biped?