Heading into the break…

ESPN.com – MLB – MLB Standings

The Marlins are leading the Mets 5-2 in the eighth. If that holds up, the division will have the Phillies leading the Braves by one, the Marlins by 1 1/2, and the Mets by 2. I have a lot of respect for the Marlins, who are incredibly resilient. I wrote them off three times last season, and look what happened.

For what it’s worth, the Braves are now 2 1/2 behind the Giants in the wildcard hunt (depending upon the outcome of the Giants’ and Dodgers’ games) but obviously it’s incredibly early to be talking about it. Anyway, the Cardinals have broken away from the pack to take an eight-game lead on the Cubs and Reds. Everyone else in the league continues to be packed. Twelve teams are playing better than .500, and (as I write) the last eleven of them are separated by only four games.

I’ll probably update this post when all the scores are in.

8 thoughts on “Heading into the break…”

  1. The Braves look good going into the break. Things can only get better with Marcus Giles coming back Thursday. I have to say I think it’s terrible JD Drew is not going to the All Star Game. If you look at all the reserves who made it he is better in just about every category. What do you guys think of this?

  2. Beltran got the latest spot for the All-Stars, vacated by Griffey. Drew deserves to go, but Beltran was having a decent season for a woeful team until he got traded.

    Should Bowa be fired? Absolutely. If they don’t do it during the All-Star break, it’ll be too late when they do. He can’t beat the Marlins or Braves, who is exactly the teams he has to beat to win the division. It was funny watching him get thrown out for arguing another call that should have gone his way.

    Guess what? The next three games are all on Turner South. Call your cable or satellite provider (not that it will do any good). Classic Wrastling, hosted by Dusty Rhodes and Jack Brisco, comes on before and after each Braves game on Turner South, so don’t miss it! The rain delay show will be Mayberry RFD or Petticoat Junction for those who are interested.

  3. Bowa IS a putz. The funniest thing about his ejection Sunday is that it came with a 2-2 count on the pitcher in the NINTH INNING. Wagner proceeded to blow a high fastball past Smoltz ó who had batted one time all year ó and the Phillies were no worse for the wear. As a baseball manager, you have to know when to pick your battles, and this wasn’t the time.

  4. Drew deserved, but I think he flew under the radar until recently. Alou was having a good year and Berkman plays for the host team in the All-Star game. Abreu got a lot of PR for never having been on the team–and in truth he deserved to be on the team but not in place of Drew. The Braves were struggling so much that no one paid attention that Drew was having a great year. Plus OPS is a new fangled statistic that traditional baseball people don’t pay that much attention to yet. It’s just one of those things that happens every year. Personally, I prefer he rest and not risk injury.

  5. One of the other interesting aspects of Drew’s contributions are that they aren’t the late inning heroics that get players noticed. His HR Sunday came before Franco’s. Franco’s HR was what was talked about, but Drew went 4 for 5 and he had a chance to hit for the cycle. Instead, he knocked in Furcal for a little insurance.

    The great thing about the Braves is they have been and still are playing like a team. They did not panic when things weren’t going their way, and it shows in how well they are doing now. The other things is they are 11 games over .500 vs. the East, and they still have a lot of games to play against those same teams before the season is out. You gotta like their chances more now than ever.

  6. Here is a direct quote from Johnny Estrada, talking about the differences beyween Larry Bowa and Bobby Cox.

    “Playing for Larry Bowa and then playing for Bobby Cox is kind of opposite ends of the spectrum,” he says with a small smile. “Bobby Cox has an uncanny ability about getting the best out of his players. You look at our ball club this year, as many young guys, as many first-time Major Leaguers that are getting a chance to play. And look at how well they’ve done. He creates that atmosphere there, that relaxed atmosphere. He’s always pumping his players up. He’s always positive. Whatever success we’ve had this year with all the injuries we’ve had is a tribute to Bobby Cox who sets the tone at the top and trickles on down to the players.”

    He just said what evryone except the mgmt. in Philly already knows; Bowa can’t coach.

  7. I would differ a little. Bowa may very well be able to coach, what he can’t do is manage.

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