My Regular Season
Quick impressions of the 2010 baseball season:
- In mid-April I trotted out my postseason predictions based solely upon payroll. So much for that. Only three of my eight made it (Yankees, Phillies, Giants) while the others (Angels, Tigers, Red Sox, Mets and Cubs) finished 3rd, 3rd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. Rob Neyer, who actually, you know, worked on his predictions, got three of the four right in the A.L. (missing only the Rays), and two of the four in the N.L. (Phillies, Braves), but went with the Rockies in the West and the Cards in the Central.
- In terms of opening-day payroll, the post-season teams are all over the place, ranking 1st (Yankees), 4th (Phillies), 9th (Giants), 10th (Twins), 15th (Braves), 19th (Rays), 20th (Reds) and 27th (Rangers). Really? The Rangers had a $55,000 payroll at the start? I guess bankruptcy will do that to you.
- The Mariners ranked 14th in payroll and last in every offensive category in the Majors. That includes teams in the N.L., where the pitchers bat. We scored 74 fewer runs than the next-worst-team, the Pittsburgh Pirates. We were last in hits, doubles, triples, homers. We were the only team in the Majors with an OBP below .300 (.298), and we were 23 percentage points below the next-worst team (Houston) in slugging percentage, winding up at .339. Ick.
- Ichiro led the league in hits for the 7th time, tying Pete Rose's record, but he had a .300/.300/.300 season: .315/.359/.394. That adds up to the 86th-best OPS in the Majors. Yet, no surprise, he was the best offensive player on our team.
- But it was still a better season than Derek Jeter had, who wound up with a .710 OPS: 115th in the Majors.
- Then again, Jeter did beter than Franklin Guitierrez, who started out so strong in April (.326/.378/.483), but wound up with the mark of the beast: an OPS of .666. F-Gut, we hardly knew ye.
- Awards picks? I assume the BBWAA will go with Josh Hamilton for American League MVP, but, to me, he's the second-best pick. I'd go with Miguel Cabrera, even though his team, the Tigers, finished third in the A.L. Central. Hamilton got injured in September, playing Pete Reiser in the outfield. Cabrera kept going. He finished 1st in: Runs, RBIs, OBP. He finished second in: batting average, slugging, OPS. He finished third in homeruns. Basically: He and Hamilton had comparable percentage numbers but he had 26 more RBIs and 16 more runs scored. That's why I'd vote for him.
- N.L. MVP? Joey Votto. The only other argument is Pujols, but Pujols has won it three times.
- A.L. Cy Young? King Felix. The only other argument is David Price.
- N.L. Cy Young? Roy Halladay.
- Dialogue of the year? Jim. From an M's game in April after Griffey, starting from first on a double, got thrown out at home by 10 feet after being waved home:
Jim: Do you think if we were given enough time during spring training we couldn't do that?
Jim: Be a third base coach. I've often wondered. It looks like not much.
- Welcome back, Ken Burns.
- Fun reading about you, Willie.
- So long, King George.
- Hello, Target Field.
- Keep going, Daddyo.
- Good-bye, Junior.