What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

The 2013 Dubsism All-Star Break Baseball “Sucks/Doesn’t Suck” Rankings

pirates victory billboard

For me, the All-Star break has always represented the “far turn” in the horse race that is the Major League Baseball season. This is the point when general managers acting as jockeys must decide whether they are contenders or pretenders; whether to go to the whip (trade for talent to augment a “stretch run”) or “wait for next year” (have a fire sale). Not to mention, this another great opportunity to see how wrong we really were from the pre-season predictions.  And let’s be honest…we were wrong on a lot of stuff.

1)  Pittsburgh Pirates ↑ 15

What We Said:

Even though the Bucs just missed out on a .500 record, it had to be considered a successful campaign because their farm system took a big leap forward. Pirates fans need to be patient because I really think the turnaround is coming.


I get that it is hard to ask fans of a team that has sucked swamp water to two decades to be patient, especially in the light of two straight second-half collapses.  Breakout superstar Andrew McCutchen needs to lead an offense featuring Russell Martin, Gaby Sanchez, Travis Snider, and promoted prospect Starling Marte. The starting rotation has potential with a top three of A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez and James McDonald, but that three still has some questions. Beyond there’s more :what ifs,” such as Francisco Liriano Jonathan Sanchez. Boil it all down and I see the Pirates as an even bet to reach .500 for the first time in two decades.

What Happened:

Pitching wins, and the Pirates lead the National League in team ERA. The question is after two straight post All-Star Game folds, is this the year the Bucs finally can make a run all the way to they way.

2) Boston Red Sox ↑ 16

What We Said:

For the second year in a row, the mantra is Boston is as follows: The Red Sox are not nearly as bad as their record last year would indicate, it was just a storm of everything falling apart at exactly the same time.

The difference is that they seem to have grasped what the really need to do to rebuild over the long haul.  Namely, they needed to not make the same mistakes when it comes to giant money, long-term contracts. This past off-season, the Red Sox only signed free-agents who were willing to accept contracts of three years or fewer, who wouldn’t cost them a compensatory draft pick and who aren’t pains-in-the-ass.  Having said that, third-place is the upside for this team.

What Happened:

Remember what I just said about pitching? Well, Boston is second in the American League in team ERA. Top that off with the fact the Red Sox are also second in the AL in team batting average, and their #2 ranking, while surprising to me given what I though of this team at the beginning of the season, really shouldn’t be surprising.

3) St. Louis Cardinals ↑ 4

What We Said:

The Cardinals nearly repeated as National League pennant winners in 2012, and they looked to be just as good in 2013 until the news came down that they would be without Chris Carpenter; likely for good. The Cardinal lineup is more than adequate, but the loss of Carpenter coupled with the free-agency debacle of Kyle Lohse raises some question marks for the Cardinal pitching staff. Namely they will be looking to Adam Wainwright to continue the form he showed coming down the stretch in 2012, and they may find themselves relying on “blue chip” prospects Shelby Miller and Trevor Rosenthal.

What Happened:

You tell me and we’ll both know. The Cardinals are hitting, the Cardinals are pitching, and I didn’t think either of those things were going to happen. Three of the league leaders in batting average are in CardinaI uniforms, and that’s not going to last.

4) Oakland Athletics ↑ 9

What We Said:

Last year’s surprise AL West winners won’t have to rely on an all-rookie rotation as they did down the stretch. Those pitchers now all have a full season and a play-off appearance under their belts, and more importantly, will have help from the full-time availability Brett Anderson and veteran Bartolo Colon who returns from a PED suspension. They’ll still be platoon-heavy and the home runs, strikeouts, and defense they had in abundance last year should be augmented by the addition of Chris Young.

What Happened:

Since the last All-Star game, nobody has had a better record than the Oakland A’s. As far as this season is concerned, they have managed to get 60 homers and 150 RBI combined out of Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson, and Brandon Moss, and an 11-3, 1.10 WHIP performance (including eight-game an wining streak) out of Bartolo Colon before he lost to the Cubs on July 3rd.

5) Atlanta Braves ↔

What We Said:

The dirty little secret about the Atlanta Braves?  They had a better staff ERA (3.42) than the vaunted championship San Francisco staff (3.68). The dirty little secret about the Atlanta Braves they wish you didn’t know? The Braves production from its right-handed hitters was the worst in the National League (49 HRs and a .671 OPS).

That’s why it’s no secret the Braves looked to improve on offense with the addition of B.J. and Justin Upton.

What Happened:

Pretty much what we though would happen. The Braves lead the National League in home runs, and lead the NL East in runs scored and team ERA. They strikeout way too much, but this need to be the year they Braves reclaim the division.

6)  Cincinnati Reds ↓ 3

What We Said:

Despite two bad decisions, the Reds will still be one of the best teams in baseball.  Thinking that Shin-Soo Choo can be a center fielder despite the fact he’s been a right fielder his whole career is going to be a problem. Cincinnati’s lead-off hitters last year had the worst OPS (.581) and the worst on-base percentage (.254) in both leagues. Choo is not likely to fix that hitting lead-off (which he’s never done on a regular basis) and learning a position he’s never played.

Moving Aroldis Chapman to the rotation right now is the right call, if you want to see his arm in a display case in about three months. We must never forget what Dusty “The Ligament Shredder” Baker does to pitching staffs.

Having said that, an offense powered by Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce, and Joey Votto is going to score a shitload of runs.

What Happened:

Remember when everybody regarded the NL Central as a baseball graveyard. Well, three of the top six teams on this list come from that graveyard, and the Reds are the one I was the most right about. The only big whiff was that Shin-Soo Choo has adapted quite well to the lead-off role, although he is not a terribly gifted base stealer.

7) Detroit Tigers ↑ 2

What We Said:

Because the American League Central is the weakest division in baseball, the Tigers should have no problem riding their starting rotation into the postseason.  Once there, the weaknesses that got them swept by the Giants will re-emerge. The hitting tends to disappear at key times,  the bullpen is a train wreck, and the Tigers are notoriously awful on defense. If the Tigers can fix any one of those issues, they can rocket up this list.

What Happened: 

With all the weapons we already knew about with the Tigers, now you can add Max Scherzer. The bats are producing, but they are still streaky.

8 ) Texas Rangers ↑ 2

What We Said:

Ok, so losing Josh Hamilton is going to hurt. But look at the upsides the Rangers still have.  First of all, If Yu Darvish maintains his form from last September and October (2.21 ERA, 39 strikeouts, and 20 hits allowed in 36.2 innings), Texas will have a legitimate #1 at the front of the rotation. They have the best prospect in baseball in Jurickson Profar (who will start the season in the minors), a power-hitting third baseman ready to play every day (Mike Olt) and pitching depth in the minors with Martin Perez and Cody Buckel. The Rangers may or may not be a play-off team this year, but they will be a factor yet for a while.

What Happened:

The Rangers don’t miss Hamilton as much as we thought, and Yu Darvish is leading a pitching staff which is second in the American League in team ERA.

9) Baltimore Orioles ↑ 5

What We Said:

OK, Oriole fans, don’t get pissed at me when I tell you your season last year was a result of luck. There’s nothing wrong with that, honestly, the fact the O’s were a single win away from playing in the American League Championship Series was one of the best baseball stories of the entire season.

But it all happened because everything went right. The bullpen, which was like a car built from spare parts, managed to come together to form one of the best units in baseball. The team went 29-9 in one-run games during the regular season and won 16 consecutive extra-inning games.

To that roster, they seem to be looking largely to internal improvements to fuel the 2013 season, with a full season of Manny Machado, a re-signed Nate McLouth, a hopefully healthier Nolan Reimold, and at some point the call-up of Dylan Bundy. The one addition they made was bringing in Jair Jurrjens to the starting rotation.

All the luck that the Orioles needed last year, plus the fact that Jurrjens has a solid shot at having a Baltimore-area MRI machine named after him means I have a hard time picking the O’s to be in October again.

What Happened:

OK, Oriole fans, so far you can legitmately tell me to shove my luck comment straight up my ass. Chris Davis is powering an offense  leading the league in home runs and which is second in runs scored.  But in my defense, the pitching is a bit a shaky, and I don’t think it gets better by adding guys like Scott Feldman.

10) Washington Nationals ↓ 9

What We Said:

Remember when it was easy to belittle the Nationals by calling them the Gnats? Well, those days are over.

Last year’s major league leader in wins promises to be even better this year. The addition of Denard Span gives the Nationals the bona fide  center fielder and lead-off hitter they have sorely needed, and Dan Haren marks a solid upgrade over the inconsistent Edwin Jackson. Rafael Soriano jock-strap bursting power to a bullpen that already makes opposing hitters crap their pants.

The Nats also boast a great core of young players who are only going to get better…ace Stephen Strasburg, future all-star Bryce Harper, reliever Drew Storen, and catcher Wilson Ramos.

What Happened:

They aren’t back to being the Gnats, but they are circling the pesky housefly neighborhood.

11) Cleveland Indians ↑ 10

What We Said:

Speaking of teams that need some help from Jobu…

In 2012, Cleveland allowed the most runs in the American League and scored the second-fewest. You don’t really need to the super-computers at NASA to figure out that isn’t good.  The Indians hit the fewest home runs by right-handed batters of any major league club, so they added guys like Mark Reynolds, Drew Stubbs, and the switch-hitting Nick Swisher.  to the lineup. They added Michael Bourn to set the table in front of those guys.

The problem is the pitching staff is still pretty shaky. To improve a staff which had the league’s second-worst ERA at 5.25, they added the perenially-durable-yet-mediocre Brett Myers. To shore up the league’s second-worst bullpen ERA of 3.97, they added the career under-achiever Matt Albers.

The addition of manager Terry Francona will certainly help, and the offense should improve, but that pitching staff simply isn’t going to cut it. Maybe the Indians ought to bring back Eddie Harris and Rick “Wild Thing Vaughn.”

What Happened:

Over the last few years,short of the Pittsburgh Pirates, there hasn’t been a team we’ve been more consistently wrong about than the Indians. They win when we think they will lose. They lose when we think they will win. Despite that, there really are what we thought they would be; a team that can slug in runs, but can’t pitch. They can stay in second place in a weak division, but they can’t contend to be around in October.  Now that we said that, this team will face Pittsburgh in the World Series.

12) New York Yankees ↔

What We Said:

I fully admit I have no idea what to do with the Yankees. This ranking is on the optimistic side, given that it will all depend on how long it takes them to get healthy. As it stands now, they are going to start the season with Derek Jeter, Mark Teixiera, and Curtis Granderson on the disabled list; not to mention it is very possible Alex Rodriguez will never wear a Yankee uniform again. There’s really no ready-to-go talent in the farm system, and the pitching staff gets thin behind CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda. Top it off with the fact that Phil Hughes is already hurt, Mariano Rivera is 43 years old and coming off major knee surgery, and it becomes clear that the Yankees could easily drop to being the 70-win “also-ran” role usually reserved for Toronto.

What Happened:

Somehow, the Yankees keep finding a way to win considering they really aren’t hitting, the pitching is OK-to-mediocre at best, and their “magic number” is 25 – that’s the total number of games played by Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixiera, and Alex Rodriguez combined.

13) Tampa Bay Rays ↓ 5

What We Said:

There’s two big factors that will determine where the Rays 2013 campaign goes…the health of Evan Longoria and the development of Wil Myers (assuming he starts the season in the major).

Beyond that, even after losing James Shields and Wade Davis, the Rays still have one of the deepest pitching staffs in baseball.  The Rays allowed the fewest runs (577) in the majors last season, which was far better than anyone else in the AL East. The trouble was they failed to score 700 runs for the first time since 2006.

What Happened: 

The pitching got worse and the offense got better. However, the Rays can still be a factor if the pitching staff solidifies a bit.

14) Arizona Diamondbacks ↑ 1

What We Said:

While the Diamondbacks made a lot of off-season moves, they seemed to be like a dog on a tile floor; expending a lot of effort and not really going anywhere. The bottom line is they are a solid team, but they aren’t nearly as good as the Giants and the Dodgers. Not to mention, there’s no way you can expect this team to be better without Justin Upton.

What Happened:

The Diamondbacks found production in places not named Upton. They have tow guys with 100 hits and 50 runs scored. They have only one player with more than 70 RBI, but they have seven with more than 25. That might be a ton of production, but it is enough when you also have 10 pitchers with a WHIP under 1.40

15)  Philadelphia Phillies ↑ 2

What We Said:

Because the Phillies have Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels at the top of their rotation, the perception is that they will be able to mask a lot of problems. The trouble is one of those problems is Halladay. He has been so shaky in spring training, he’s not getting the ball on Opening Day for the first time in ten years.

Here’s the other problems they can’t hide.

They added two mediocre bats who suck defensively (Michael Young and Delmon Young) in a league where there is no designated hitter.

No matter who they put in the outfield, Ben Revere is going to be the only one who isn’t a defensive liability.

Philadelphia’s offensive production in terms of total runs scored has ben in decline for three straight seasons.

Don’t look now, but they are old. On Opening Day the Phillies’ four infielders and catcher will all be 33 or older, and the only player in that group who hasn’t shown signs of decline is catcher Carlos Ruiz, who just happens to be suspended the first 25 games of the season for a failed PED test.

It is time for Phillies fans to come to terms with the fact this team will be mediocre until further notice.

What Happened:

Everything we said would happen did in fact happen. The pitching staff is clearly in decline, led by the injury to Roy Halladay. But the Philllies have reversed their offensive slump up until now. Granted the recent injury to Ryan Howard is a problem at key point in the season, but much of this offensive resurgence in Philadelphia has been led by the long-awaited breakout of Domonic Brown.  In other words, the Phillies are still mediocre, but they are happily so at this point.

16) Toronto Blue Jays ↓ 5

What We Said:

There’s no question the Blue Jays pulled the biggest “load-up” job in the off-season, but I’m not sure I buy this team yet.

My first concern is the pitching staff. Yeah, they added a lot of names, but let’s take a hard look at that whole staff. I am not a believer in that voo-doo bullshit knuckleball, and hence I think R.A. Dickey’s 2012 season was a fluke. Plus, he’s 38 years old. Mark Buehrle isn’t exactly young anymore either, and to see my concerns about him, just look at his stats before he pitched that perfect game, and look at them after.  Josh Johnson and  Brandon Morrow have a track record of not being able to stay healthy, And Ricky Romero is an implosion waiting to happen.

The bottom line: The Blue Jays are “all-in” with an attempt to go from being a  70-win “also-ran” to a play-ff contender.  Aside from the aforementioned changes on the hill, they’ve added Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, and Adam Lind, but it cost them the depth in their farm system  they spent years building.

What Happened:

Early on, the plummet for this team was in full-on mode. This team couldn’t buy a win, but has since righted the ship. This team can score as expected, but the pitching staff can only be considered a failure considering the amount of money spent to be bottom-half in the American League in ERA.

17)  Los Angeles Angels ↓ 11

What We Said:

Offense will be no problem for the Angels; a lineup featuring Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, Mark Trumbo, and Mike Trout should have opposing pitchers praying. Meanwhile, Angels fans will be praying that C.J. Wilson, Tommy Hanson, and Joe Blanton can provide something more than just eating up innings behind Jered Weaver.

What Happened:

Here’s another team that hit the rocks early, but now seems to be getting things in order. The Angels have bounced back from a woeful start to now rank 3rd in the AL in team batting average and 5th (and climbing) in home runs. The fact that Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton finally went yard in back-to-back at-bats the other day is another encouraging sign. The problem is that they are chasing the team who has been the best in baseball since the last All-Star break and the pitching is still shaky.

18) Los Angeles Dodgers ↓ 14

What We Said:

A lot of people want to anoint the Dodgers as champions given the load-up they’ve had in the last six months. Those people are over-looking a couple of key facts.  First, you can only consider Brandon League as an elite reliever because he gets an elite-sized paycheck.  The slide-rule, sabremetrics crowd has a Dodger blue boner for Zack Greinke, but the fact that he hasn’t notched an ERA below 3.48 since 2009 should give them blue balls. Josh Beckett couldn’t even get a rise of that same crowd; he’s been coasting on days gone by for far too long now.

Offensively, there are some other worrisome signs. Carl Crawford is a complete question mark. So is Hanley Ramirez now given his hand injury. Adrian Gonzalez’s drop in power  production last year should really have the Dodgers concerned, especially since they added him to cure the fact Dodger lefty hitters had a .661 OPS last year, the second-worst of all major league clubs.

What Happened: 

Who is faster that a speeding bullet, more powerful than a speeding bullet, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Superman.

Who can do all that shit and still not make the Dodgers a contender? Yasiel Puig.

The Puig story is one of those that will captivate the baseball world for the rest of this season at least, and he’s clearly already etched his name in the annals of Dodger history, if not because he is yet another Dodger phenom on scale with Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Fernando Valenzuela, and the emergence of Sandy Koufax, but because he is the only guy I have ever seen ion 40 years of watching Dodger baseball that made Vin Scully speechless.

vin scully puig meme

As far as why the Dodgers have tanked this season, it is all in the numbers:

  • Carl Crawford is hitting .270 with no power, scant stolen bases and little run production.
  • Andre Ethier is hitting .273 with no power and no production.
  • Matt “Opening Soon at a Disabled List Near You” Kemp is hitting  .254 with no power and no production. He hasn’t made it a point to be this hitless since he dated Rihanna.

In comparison, Yasiel Puig (as of this writing) has played in 35 games and is shocking high in team rankings:

  • 27 runs scored – 5th amongst Dodgers (leader Adrian Gonzalez has 37 in 87 games)
  • 56 hits – 6th amongst Dodgers (leader Adrian Gonzalez has 97 in 87 games)
  • 8 home runs -2nd amongst Dodgers (leader Adrian Gonzalez has 14 in 87 games)
  • 5 stolen bases – 2nd amongst Dodgers (leaders Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford have 9 in 61 and 57 games respectively)

What it comes down to is even with Puig, the Dodgers still hit a lot of useless singles, can’t manufacture runs, and can’t give their pitchers any run support.

19) Kansas City Royals ↔

What We Said:

There was a big change in Kansas City this off-season, but it may be a distinction without a difference. Under general manager Dayton Moore, the Royals spent years building the game’s best farm system, then they traded it all in an attempt to bolster a dismal pitching staff.

At first glance, it isn’t hard to see why the Royals would want James Shields and Wade Davis. The Royals had a horrendous rotation in 2012, notching a 5.01 ERA. Granted, Shields and Davis may help that, but when you stop to consider that they gave up the fruit of their farm system in future potential star Wil Myers and major-league ready pitcher Jake Odorizzi, plus the fact the offense depends on first baseman Eric Hosmer coming back from his sophomore slump and hoping that Mike Moustakas can learn that drawing the occasional walk is OK, this team still won’t be much better than .500 at best.

What Happened:

Don’t look now, but the Royals are third in the AL in team ERA at 3.73, and are first in the same division that contains a team which has reigning the Cy Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander and the 13-0 Max Scherzer. But to quote Crash Davis, they still couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a fucking boat.

20)  Colorado Rockies ↑ 7

What We Said:

At least the Rockies got rid of one headache when Jim Tracy resigned.  Troy Tulowitzki will be back, and Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler are still two of the most exciting young players in the game.

What else do the Rockies have? (insert cricket noises here…)

What Happened:

The Rockies are living proof of the old adage about pitching beats hitting. The Rockies are 2nd in the NL in team battign average, runs scored, home runs, and they’ve done that with out having Dexter Fowler and Troy Tulowitzki in their line-up for significant periods. But even that miraculous performance can’t atone for having a pitching staff comprised of  1,250 pounds of pimento loaf.

21)  San Francisco Giants ↓ 19

What We Said:

In 2010, when the Giants won the World Series, they virtually overhauled their batting order in the off-season. That’s not the case this year, but then again, in 2010, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval were non-factors. This time, Posey is coming off an MVP season, and Sandoval crushed enemy pitchers in October.  The Giants also made sure all the crucial free-agents who helped drive the 2012 championship team left their hearts (and contract signatures) in San Francisco.  What happens at the really is just icing on the cake; the strength of the Giants is the pitching staff, which only really has one question: Which Tim Lincecum will they get…will it be the two-time Cy Young winner of years past, or will it be the guy who got rocked for a 5.18 ERA in the regular season, or will it be the dominant October closer?

What Happened:

Yeah, we knew about Lincecum, but nobody saw the collapse of  Matt Cain coming. That’s right, the same Matt Cain who didn’t give up an earned run in the Giants 2010 blitzkrieg through the 2010 playoffs is now the Matt Cain who is giving it up faster than a cheerleader on prom night in 2013? He didn’t even get oput of the first inning in his last start.  Without that pitching staff firing on all cylinders, the Giants suddenly become the Oompa-loompas.

22)  San Diego Padres ↑ 2

What We Said:

The 2013 San Diego Padres look almost exactly like the 2012 version that finished fourth in the NL West, 18 games behind the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.  Many fans don’t think that’s a good thing.  It actually is a good thing.

Don’t look now, but soon, the Padres will not be this far down on this list. The Padres were among the National Leagues’s five best teams in the second half, finishing the year on a 48-36 run. They had the league’s top defense and they still have a first-rate farm system.  They gave Carlos Quentin and Huston Street contract extensions.  If Quentin can stay healthy to support burgeoning star Chase Headley in the lineup, the Padres should only be a starting pitcher or two away from being wild-card contenders.

What Happened:

The Padres are still better than their record suggests, but they really need to get over this idea than Clayton Richard is a #1 pitcher.  He’s a solid #3 or #4, but it isn’t fair to expect him to out-duel the Clayton Kershaw-types in the NL West.  The Padres eventually have to spend some dough and put two or three honestly scary pitchers in that airport of a ball park they have.

23)  Seattle Mariners ↑ 1

What We Said:

The Mariners locked up Felix Hernandez. That’s the good news.

They’ve got nothing else to go with him. That’s the bad news.

It’s not like they didn’t try. The tried to land Josh Hamilton and Nick Swisher. Failing that, they were left with the likes of Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse, and Robert Andino in trades and Raul Ibañez, Jason Bay, and Kelly Shoppach in free agency. Granted, those are certainly improvements over what they had, but to compete in the stacked AL West, they’ll need a hell of a lot more, especially in terms of pitching.

What Happened:

Don’t look now, but the M’s are third in the AL in home runs. Michael Morse was killing the ball in the Cactus League, and brought that noise north by slamming 9 home runs in April, but he’s disappeared since then. In his absence, the slack has been picked up by the AARP-ready Raul Ibanez (22 HR, 51 RBI), and the Angel-castoff Kendrys Morales (14 HR, 52 RBI), and the prospect-turned-quasi-surprise Kyle Seager (13 HR, 41 RBI). But they still don’t have appreciable pitching behind “King Felix.”

24) Minnesota Twins ↑ 4

What We Said:

The Twins traded two center-fielders and received three pitchers, the 25-year-old Vance Worley and two blue chip prospects, Alex Meyer and Trevor May, neither of whom have yet reached Triple-A.  Once again, the Twins have built one of the best farm systems in baseball, but as far as 2013 is concerned, all of the real talent in the minors is  at least two years away (if not more), so Twins fans are going to have to clinch up and gut out a few more awful seasons before the turn around.

What Happened:

The Twins didn’t get  better; everybody behind them got worse. The Twins need to abandon this “pitch to contact” mentality and get some guys who are hard to hit.

25) Chicago Cubs  ↑ 1

What We Said:

As they enter the second year of the Theo Epstein regime, the Cubs are saying the pieces are falling into place and they are ready to contend for a division title.

They’ve been saying that every year for decades now.

If Jeff Samardzija is your Opening Day starter, you aren’t a contender.

If the hope for your starting rotation is for Matt Garza and Scott Baker to get healthy, you aren’t a contender.

If your next best proven offensive threat after Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro is arguably Nate Schierholtz, you aren’t a contender (don’t write me any shit about Anthony Rizzo…I said PROVEN, and he ain’t that yet).

If the best guy out of you bullpen is Carlos Marmol, you aren’t a contender.

The upside for the Cubs is this: there’s plenty of help in the minors getting ready to flesh out a team around budding stars Castro and Rizzo.  The strting will be under-impressive, but they should eat a lot of innings.. The Cubs’ win-loss record should show a marginal improvement from last year’s 61-101 debacle, and now there are only two more years left of Alfonso Soriano before the Cubs are out from under that stupid contract.

What Happened:

I’m not a Cubs’ fan, but I live in greater Cubs-land, and therefore I’m surrounded by Cubs fans. I’ll make it official right now…I have to eat it on the Jeff Samradzija thing.  He still won’t make the Cubs into a contender, but he is a legitimate major league starting pitcher.

26) New York Mets  ↓ 1

What We Said:

In typical fashion for the Mets, they offered a big contract extension to David Wright. Then he got hurt.  The offense is going to be a complete mess, adn teh pitching staff isn’t much better. There’s a few more lean years on the horizon for the Mets before things get better.

What Happened:

God bless ’em, but the Mets are trying so hard not to suck. They are near the bottom of the league in hitting, but somehow they are middle of the pack in scoring. The pitching staff is in the middle of the pack in team ERA, but can you imagine where they would be without Matt Harvey?

27 -tie) Chicago White Sox ↓ 7

What We Said:

The White Sox are another team for whom everything went right in 2012…until the calendar read September.

Jake Peavy stayed healthy for the first time in recent memory. Chris Sale was a surprise contributor, but hisdelivery makes me wonder how llong befgore he becomes a major injury problem. Alex Rios and Adam Dunn remembered how to hit a baseball, which a big part of why the Whiteys had five players who hit at least 25 homers.  No other big league team had more than three, which helps to explain how the White Sox powered their way to a division lead for two-thirds of the season.

Then, what happens to teams that rely too much on the long-ball finally happened. That bats went to sleep, and even Jobu couldn’t wake them up . The White Sox stumbled across the finish line with an 11-17 September record. There weren’t any major changes to this team in the off-season; they signed Jeff Keppinger to replace Kevin Youkilis and re-signed Jake Peavy…that’s really it. That’s why I really can’t see this team getting over the hump and making the play-offs.

What Happened:

The Whiteys are the poster-child for teams that rely on the long ball, then don’t get them, which is exactly why the Whiteys are dead-last in the AL in scoring.  Adam Dunn is doing his part, and Alejandro De Aza has been a nice surprise, but somebody really needs to explain Ken Harrelson’s fascination with Dayan “C’mon, Tank!” Viciedo. For that matter, somebody needs to explain Ken Harrelson to me.  But to paraphrase “The Hawk:” You can put it on the board YESSS! The White Sox are terrible.

27 -tie) Milwaukee Brewers ↓ 4

What We Said:

The Brewers’ pitching staff in 2012 allowed the fourth-most runs in the National League last year. That staff included Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum. The 2013 Brewers’ staff will not include those two.  Kyle Lohse is not going to be the answer to that problem.

What Happened:

From now on, if anybody thinks Kyle Lohse is the answer, I don’t even want to know the question. To be fair, Lohse is actually pitching well for Milwaukee, but he’s the only one.

29) Miami Marlins ↔

What We Said:

Remember that old Who song that has the line “meet the boss…same as the old boss?” Well, meet the new Marlins, same as the old Marlins. You know the drill; spend a shit-load of money in an attempt to win a title, and whether it works or not, sell off the team for spare parts after a year or so.

The team tried to spend money to compete last season as it moved into a new ballpark. It didn’t happen, fans still didn’t show up, so the front office did what it felt necessary to turn a profit. They also got good talent in return for all the players they dealt. But they won’t matter for two years.

What Happened:

At least the fans are still not showing up. It says volumes about a franchise when they are closing seats so the stadium doesn’t look as empty (see the 1993 Los Angeles Raiders). The only bit of suspense left for the Marlins is can this team crack 60 wins?

30) Houston Astros

What We Said:

Until further notice, the Houston Astros will be considered a Triple-A team.

What Happened:

Until further notice, the Houston Astros will be considered a Triple-A team.

About J-Dub

What your view of sports would be if you had too many concussions

5 comments on “The 2013 Dubsism All-Star Break Baseball “Sucks/Doesn’t Suck” Rankings

  1. Pingback: The 2013 Dubsism All-Star Break Baseball “Sucks/Doesn’t Suck” Rankings | Sports Blog Movement

  2. mikegriffen23
    July 15, 2013

    “Until further notice, the Houston Astros will be considered a Triple-A team.” Lmao. Their scouting department is spectacular and they got guys like George Springer, Carlos Correa, Jonathan Singleton, and Mark Appel, but the team as a whole is so unbelievably mismanaged that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all traded for a coke and a bus pass.


    • J-Dub
      July 15, 2013

      Make it a diet coke (warn and flat) and a bus pass with only one trip left on it and you’ve got a deal.


  3. Ryan Meehan
    July 15, 2013

    First things first – McCutcheon is a straight up stud.

    The Dodgers can’t get anybody back to home plate. You’d think with all of that money they’d have just dug a tunnel by now.

    I can’t explain Harrelson to you. I’d like to be able to say that he just has a drinking problem. I can’t.



  4. As a team, Dub, the Rays rank in the top ten in most offensive categories. Whoulda thunk?

    As you suggested, Longo’s health is key to the long-term success of this team and heck, I mean even blind squirrels find nuts. How long can a team go batting .228 without eventually turning things around?

    Ya’ gotta like what this organization is doing, growing talent and convincing them to stick around (well not in James Shields’ case) for the common good.

    Looking forward to an interesting second half for these guys.


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This entry was posted on July 15, 2013 by in Baseball, Sports and tagged , , .

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