So it has been a while since I have last contributed to Outside the Redzone and that is definitely not a good thing! Why? Well, because I enjoy writing but on the same token, I actually have been out traveling quite a bit, to and from various stadiums across the Eastern Seaboard. This week has been quite exciting because I have been in Washington D.C. working the Nats and Yankees games and of course the Nats and Rays games.
The Nats have managed to lose all 4 games so far but still maintain a first place presence in the National League East.
I really have no idea what to think about with regards to the N.L. East except that it is one of the more wild and volatile divisions in all of baseball. The Braves, Nationals, Mets, Marlins and Phillies inhabit this land and things are not right. Since when do the Nationals take charge and come in first? Even when they were the Expos, first place was a rare thing, only seen in 1981 and 1994.
Oddly enough both of those were strike shortened years. Do we need another strike to see the Nats win the division? By the looks of things, maybe not because the Phillies don’t seem to want to win, the Braves, while looking good, cannot seem to put together enough wins to catch up and the Mets, well they are the Mets. It is not 1986 just so you all know.
The Marlins of course are back to their usual losing ways. It’s sad that the Marlins have a brand new park, great new players and a new manager but still cannot seem to come out on top. The season is long so in time we will see if they can muster the courage needed to actually take this division, or at least a wild card. Miami is only 3 games back there, with the Mets, Giants, Pirates, Braves, Cardinals and finally Diamondbacks ahead of them. Long season, don’t fret.
On to the Marlins, the team we were just talking about. While they are headed towards the cellar of the N.L. East, the poor Phillies are furnishing that cellar as we speak. It is not all bad with the Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton is still hitting the ball, Anibal Sanchez and Josh Johnson are pitching fairly well and Ozzie Guillen hasn’t ranted about Fidel Castro!
This beer man will be down in Miami in a week or so to work some Blue Jays and Cardinals games. The Marlins are skimming the bottom of the A.L. East right now, losing to Boston but will not see any less of a challenge with the Blue Jays. Expect that Cardinals series to draw pretty well because the wild card is at stake. The Marlins finish up the homestand with Philly and need desperately to win those games to stay out of the cellar and back into the winning column. When the Fish come back from the All-Star break, they get to play the Nationals at home. Watch out Miami, D.C. is invading!
To our beloved Rays, the team that never quits. Why is it the Yankees have won nine of 10, tearing through some of the best teams in the league, including the Nationals? The Rays cannot seem to string together enough important wins to really matter. Yes, the Rays did win on Tuesday night against those very same Nationals, but 3rd place? The Rays are way better than that. As a matter of fact, the fans in D.C. think that as well.
Being here in D.C., I get to see another view of the Rays, one where the home team views are not always in the positive. What I mean is that the Nationals fans gave praise to the Rays even though the Rays are from Tampa. They respect this team and fear the team and that is all coming from a 1st place team! Good to go Tampa! Get your starters back and get everyone healthy and the rest of the league shall fear your wrath. Evan Longoria had some hamstring discomfort and left rehab, but hopefully is going to be back in the lineup and more importantly the field very soon.
I talked about the National League East, so now let’s look at the American League East, another wacky and wonderful grouping of teams in unknown spots, well except the Yankees of course who are back in 1st place. The Red Sox are sitting in last with the Orioles and Rays fighting for 2nd … well we have expected the Rays to be there but the O’s? Do they realize they are the O’s? Hopefully the All-Star break will remind them of who they are and then maybe they will join the Red Sox in Collapse-ville.
The Jays are where they should be, close to last. They always seem to linger over there. No issues though because things will be back to normal in the East soon enough. With two wild cards this year, amazingly enough, the A.L. East owns both of them so far. Wasn’t the point of the other wild card to bring teams in from other divisions? Or was it to make sure the Sox and Yankees were always in it? If that is the case, better get more wild cards and let the entire A.L. East in. Go Rays!
A Tampa Bay Rays vs. Baltimore Orioles play-in game for the playoffs? Can you all see that? It seems likely if things keep up, unless someone, somewhere out there stops playing like trash (AL Central). And come on Angels! Where is that bat that you bought this off season?
Okay so the beer man is done ranting and raving, look for me back at the Trop for Detroit and New York. I will have your beer in the upper deck of course. D.C. and Miami the next few games. Traveling is a tough one, let me tell you. Until I write again, be safe, be responsible and go on Facebook and “Like” Outside the Redzone!