AL Comeback Player
Mariano Rivera (44 saves, 54 K’s, 2.11 era)
The first half of the season is in the books and there were many great teams, players and moments. I will hand out awards for best and worst team, AL and NL MVP’s, CY Young’s, Rookies and and Managers of the first half. We can only hope the second half lives up to the excitement we had for the first three months.
With a 4-3 loss to the National Central Champion Cincinnati Reds Sunday afternoon the Pittsburgh Pirates clinched their 20th consecutive losing season.
The Pirates’ last winning season was all the way back in 1992 when they won 96 games in the regular season and came within one game of reaching the World Series.
The 2012 Pirates progressed record wise slightly from 90-loss 2011 season that came to a crashing burn following a blown call by Jerry Meals in a marathon 19 inning game .
Who is to blame of the collapse of the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates? Continue reading
As September arrives so does pennant race baseball. With just over one month to play, 15 of the 30 major league clubs are within 2.5 games of a playoff spot. We are setting up for a September to remember prior to the upcoming glory of October baseball.
2012 MLB Power Rankings – September Pennant Chase Edition:
Looking like a lock for playoff baseball:
1.) Washington Nationals – (80-52) During the course of the 2012 season the Nats have been among baseballs best and most consistent squads. The lineup is loaded with very good players and the pitching staff has more depth than the average fan realizes. The big question remains: Can they win a title if they shutdown Stephen Strasburg? I still wouldn’t count them out.
2.) Cincinnati Reds – (81-53) Talk about a team with very few weaknesses. The Reds remain the only team in baseball that has kept their rotation in tact. A solid rotation, along with a potentially lethal bullpen in October could spell trouble for opponents as the season moves along. The funny thing is I’m just mentioning the offense which the Reds are best known for. A healthy Joey Votto will only add to the dynamic lineup that includes solid veterans and upcoming rookies.
3.) Texas Rangers – (78-54) The solid core from the past two American League Championships remain in Hamilton, Cruz, Andrus, Young Kinsler and Beltre. The questions this year will be whether or not the pitching staff can provide enough. The bullpen looks sharp but season ending injuries to Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz could potentially spell trouble.
The 2012 MLB trading deadline is only a little over one week away. As the regular season heads towards it final two months the time has come for teams to determine if they are going to buy, sell or stand pat.
What is the best way to determine what team are in a good position for a postseason run and what teams should look towards 2013?
Your answer is:
coolstandings.com provides an updated percentage chances of reaching the postseason for each team in the majors. Click here to read about how it works.
The National League dominated the Midsummer Classic in Kansas City by a score of 8-0. This marks that the 1st half of the baseball season has come to a close.
(All seven members of the Sports With Balls Blog were balloted to select the winner of each award. Listed are the winners of the ballot, with the next leading vote-getters in descending order. Each ballot was cast with a vote for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place. Point totals were added to declare winners.)
Best Team of the 1st Half
Texas Rangers (17 votes) – “The Rangers are trying to do the unthinkable and appear in their third straight World Series. Despite losing their ace in the off season they still have been among the best teams in all of baseball. A key reason for continued success is Josh Hamilton’s impressive numbers..” – Glenn Coyle
“The Rangers may not have the best record but they’re still a tremendously dangerous team. They hit, they pitch, they field. They do all of them extremely well and have limited weaknesses. .” – Michael Bedard
“Despite injuries seemingly all season to their pitching staff and a surge by the Angels, the Rangers hold a four-game lead at the break. Their quest for a third straight AL pennant is in full gear.” – Matt Sherman
Close but no Cigar:
New York Yankees (16 votes) – “The Rangers are still the favorite in the AL come October, but the Yankees had the slightly more impressive first half of the season. Their lineup can mash but the Bombers need to sure up their rotation before the playoff push. Is a Yankees/Rangers Hamels arms race preeminent?” – Bill Fucich
“Pineda, Pettitte, Sabathia, Robertson & Rivera have all missed significant time due to injury and the Yanks continue to lead the American League East by 7 games. As players begin to get healthy and reinforcements arrive toward the trade deadline the Yanks will become a force in the AL playoff race.” – Mike Orzechowski
Washington Nationals (8 votes) –“Some predicted the Nationals as a much improved team in 2012, but 3rd best team in baseball? Quite the jump for a franchise which needs to build a fanbase, a season like this will put them well on their way. The Nationals show no signs of collapse, even with the impending shut down of ace Stephen Strasburg. Easily the most consistent NL team of baseball’s first half.” – Bill Fucich
Also receiving votes:
Los Angeles Angels (1 vote) – “Despite a rough start the Angels now find themselves among baseballs best. Team leader, great hitter, gold glove defense….Mike Trout is the team MVP. Where you expecting another name that just signed a monster contract in the off-season?” – Warren Croxton