MIT’S InterruptionBy Eric Rosenblatt
Now only a week into the season, baseball has already had a few major surprises and some typically boring expected outcomes.
Among the surprises:
* Expos off to a good start
* Royals 5-0
* Braves and Arizona awful
* Maddux/Glavine/Big Unit choking on opening day
Among the formalities:
* Yankees 5-1
* Giants undefeated
* Griffey on DL
* Pedro looking damn hot
* Pedro’s Sox making sure he doesn’t get a win.
And while the stats don’t tell us too much of what to expect this year (Brent Maine batting .600 and Kyle Lohse has a 0.00 ERA ... if you know who they are please stop reading this article) there are some teams who look determined to dominate and some that look like they might break into the playoffs. So here’s a look around the league.
AL East: As always it’s been the Yankee pitching, and mainly the starting pitching that has kept them winning. Even with Jeter and Rivera out for a while and a one-game-losing streak early, the Yankees still look to be on track for an amazing season with a lineup of all-stars. Despite an opening day disaster, the Red Sox also look ready to put up a fight this season with Manny, Nomar, Hillenbrand, and Pedro all on top of their game. Fun fact: A-Rod makes more money than the entire D-Ray roster.
AL Central (for the sake of the half dozen fans): While Kansas City is on a bit of a tear to start the season, don’t worry it will not last. White Sox - Colon: overrated. Big Hurt: old news. The Twins on the other hand are quite well rounded. With a tough young pitching staff and very capable batters I see them coming out ahead. Fun fact: Detroit has same number of RBIs (6) as 19 individual players; another 22 have more than 6 RBIs.
AL West: This is a great division. With the exception of Texas all these teams can make it to the post season. However, the one-two-three-punch of Zito-Mulder-Hudson is the real separator; Lilly and Foulke are also looking good. As for the other half of their team, Tejada, Ellis, Chavez ... I could go on ... equals an amazing -- dare I say it -- World Series team. Fun fact: 295 wins between Oakland, Anaheim, and Seattle last year.
NL Central: This could prove to be a very competitive group. The Cardinals and Astros have amazing batting staffs, and the Cubs have a few really good pitchers and a couple clutch batters including Sosa. The Pirates have had an amazing start scoring a cool 6 runs a game, only one loss so far, and Benson has pitched nothing but perfect innings. To me it’s a toss up between St. Louis and Houston. Fun fact: Sosa hit his 500th home run last week.
NL East: Philly good. Montreal playing in PR. Maddux forgot how to pitch. David Cone come back. Lets move on. Fun fact: A marlin is a fish.
NL West: Giants and a man named Bonds (and a great, overshadowed team), Diamondbacks and two men named Curt and Randy, and in the background Dodgers behind Nomo (what a start) and Kevin Brown (great comeback story). Very strong division, lets hope Diamondbacks are unphased by the rough start. Fun fact: I would cry if I faced Randy Johnson.
So here’s to America’s pastime. After all, 162 games helps pass a lot of time.