With a little more than a quarter of the regular season left, the postseason participants are becoming clearer. Two teams, Houston in the American League and Los Angeles in the National League, appear to be head and shoulders above the rest of the teams in their respective leagues.
Houston, with 71 wins and 13 games ahead of their nearest competition in the American League West, are on a pace to win a 102 games. In the National League, Los Angeles has 80 wins and is 15 and a half games ahead of second place Colorado in the National League West. They are a pace to win an amazing 115 games.
If the season were to end today, the ten teams participating would be New York, Seattle, Boston, Cleveland and Houston in the American League and Colorado, Arizona, Washington, Chicago and Los Angeles in the National League. The one division that appears to be up for grabs is the National League Central with Chicago leading, but St. Louis and Milwaukee both a game and a half behind and Pittsburgh three and a half games behind.
Before Brad Ausmus arrived, Jim Leyland haunted this city. In 2006 Leyland was the hero. Seemingly every year after, he was made the villain. Looks like Ausmus is on track to get the axe as well in Tigertown. To be honest, it’s not all his fault. This is the team he inherited that was basically put together by the previous GM and owner. The team now sits in last place in their division with a 36-45 record at the midpoint of the season. It will be interesting to see how many of players will be dealt by the trading deadline.
The fans in Boston’s Fenway Park behaved despicable when they hurled racist taunts and a bag of peanuts at Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones. No player should be subjected to that kind of behavior from the fans.
Baseball’s problems with race are not confined to the stands behind the visitors’ dugout at Fenway Park. No one knows that better than the man who was subjected to racist taunts in Boston on May 1, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones. On an MLB Network special last month commemorating 70 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color line, Jones, 31, said, “What I see in the media, front office, scouts, [public relations], community relations—they’re white. When you look into the stands—they’re white!
Upton strengthens an already potent lineup for the Tigers and solidifies the left field position in the outfield. What will tell the tale for Detroit this summer will be how well the pitching staff performs (both starting pitching and the bullpen). With spring training starting next month, there is optimism in Detroit that the Tigers will make the postseason playoffs.