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Boyd Bergquist’s Baseball Breakdown – The 2019 Independence Day Weekend Edition

EDITOR’S NOTE: Boyd Bergquist was the sports director at KETS-TV in East Tree Stump, Nebraska for almost 40 years.  Known across the Husker state as the voice of the Boy’s High School Basketball Tournament, Bergquist was a four-time winner of the Marv J. Butz “Golden Cob” Award For Excellence In Nebraska Broadcast Journalism.  That background, along with his quick if not cliché-riddled wit and love of single-malt scotch makes Bergquist a perfect fit to be our “Question” guy, but today, he’s here to dish up a preview of the upcoming baseball season.

As we find the calendar flipping to Independence Day weekend, we also find ourselves roughly half-way through the Major League Baseball season. Being at the mid-point of the season means it’s time to take all 30 MLB squads and stack them up in my own categories based on expectations at the beginning of the season weighed against performance during it.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; baseball season is like a long horse race, which is why I like to break it down in four parts.  We’ve already seen the start, we’re half-way home, and later in the season we will revisit on Labor Day which is all about heading into the home stretch.  But today is all about Independence Day. So today we will look at my initial categorizations of all 30 major-league baseball teams, look at where they were on Memorial Day, and compare that to where they are today.

As we get closer to the wire which marks the end of that horse race, it only makes sense the categories would change. If you recall, I’m not about the usual “power ranking” stuff.  Instead, I started this season by breaking down all 30 major league squads into six easy-to-understand groups based on what I thought these teams could realistically expect in 2019. Those original six categories were as follows.

  • Ready To Win Right Now: These are teams which are ready to climb the mountain right now…no ifs, ands or buts.
  • There’s Just One Thing Missing: Did you ever almost complete a jigsaw puzzle, but the three pieces you have remaining don’t fit the holes you have left? Welcome to the stories of these teams.
  • Need Some Things To Go Their Way: Welcome to a collection of clubs who almost have the goods to win on their own; but anything is possible if they get more than one “lucky break.”
  • At Least They Don’t Suck: Do I really need to explain this one?
  • Why Wait For Next Year? One way or another, these teams need to make a decision about the future.
  • It’s Going To Be A Long Summer: Everybody has hope on Opening Day, but some lose it far faster than others.

Once we got to Memorial Day, I had six new categories at the “far turn.” I now have six new categories which again should be fairly self-explanatory.

  • Just As We Expected: Teams performing just as expected.
  • So Far, So Good: Teams which are very much in the thick of the race at this point.
  • Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left:  Read this as teams potentially over-achieving.
  • It’s Not “Panic” Time…Yet:  This is for teams who may have stumbled out of the gate, but still have plenty of time
  • Better Figure It Out Quick: A category for teams whose problems are severe, despite the fact there a lot of race left.
  • It’s Not Too Early To Say It’s Over: Even at this juncture, it’s a safe bet these teams are finished.

Half-way through the race, there really only two categories to worry about; is your team a contender or a pretender.  Not too long ago, I was on a flight and read one of those in-flight magazines which had an article about a bunch of business management mumbo-jumbo I didn’t really understand, but it did include this grid about categorizing things base on two criteria and the relationship between the two.  I’m certainly no captain of industry, but this approach made perfect sense for this baseball breakdown.

Here’s all were looking at today; is your team a play-off contender, and should they be a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline?

American League

Contenders: Buy

Minnesota Twins

  • Original Category – Need Some Things To Go Their Way
  • Memorial Day Category – Just As We Expected

Things clearly broke the Twins way; so much so that barring a “Titanic hitting the iceberg” moment, you can pretty much call the AL Central race right now.  But the Twins still need to add a front-line starting pitcher. No Twins fan (J-Dub included) wants to face a play-off series in Yankee Stadium (a.k.a the Twins’ graveyard)  Stadium depending exclusively on the continuation of the “Jake Odorizzi miracle.”

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Original Category – At Least They Don’t Suck
  • Memorial Day Category – So Far, So Good

I said I needed to see them beat some good teams, and they’ve done that. They’ve got plenty of room to add pay-roll, and it’s time to get their new fan base in Montreal très excité!

Oakland Athletics

  • Original Category – There’s Just One Thing Missing
  • Memorial Day Category – So Far, So Good

As is becoming the norm, the A’s turned it on between now and then. This also means once again, they are in a position where they could use some help, but their VISA card is “max-ed out.”

Contenders: Sell

New York Yankees

  • Original Category – Ready to Win Right Now
  • Memorial Day Category – Just As We Expected

FACT: Up until now, the Yankees have been such a MASH unit Alan Alda is currently on their 26-man roster. FACT: Once they get everybody healthy, they are the definition of “embarrassment of riches.” Somebody has to go.

Contenders: Hold

Boston Red Sox

  • Original Category – Ready to Win Right Now
  • Memorial Day Category It’s Not “Panic” Time Yet

When healthy, they might have the most complete roster in baseball.

Houston Astros:

  • Original Category – Ready to Win Right Now
  • Memorial Day Category: Just As We Expected

See Boston Red Sox.

Pretenders: Buy

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Original Category – Why Wait for Next Year?
  • Memorial Day Category – It’s Not Too Early To Say It’s Over

Vladimir Guerrero Jr, is the future of this team. Why wait to start building around the game’s next super-star?

Chicago White Sox

  • Original Category – Why Wait for Next Year?
  • Memorial Day Category – It’s Not Too Early To Say It’s Over

It won’t take much for “Pale Hose” to be mediocre, and White Sox fans have a long history of accepting mediocre. So what the hell?

Pretenders: Sell

Cleveland Indians

  • Original Category – Need Some Things To Go Their Way
  • Memorial Day Category – Better Figure It Out Quick

It’s over. Get what you can for your better assets now, because the Minnesota Twins will own the AL Central for at least the next five years.

Detroit Tigers

  • Original Category – Why Wait for Next Year?
  • Memorial Day Category – It’s Not Too Early To Say It’s Over

This could be like a used car lot with a classic hot-rod out of everybody’s price range (Miguel Cabrera) surrounded by Ford Pintos.

Seattle Mariners

  • Original Category – At Least They Don’t Suck
  • Memorial Day Category – It’s Not Too Early To Say It’s Over

They already moved Edwin Encarnacion. Why stop there?

Pretenders: Hold

Texas Rangers

  • Original Category – It’s Going To Be A Long Summer
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left

This isn’t their year, but this team has a nice nucleus for the future.

Los Angeles Angels

  • Original Category – Need Some Things To Go Their Way
  • Memorial Day Category It’s Not “Panic” Time Yet

It all starts next year when they trade Mike Trout to Philadelphia for an entire minor-league roster, a life-time supply of cheese-steaks, and the “Rocky” statue.

Baltimore Orioles

  • Original Category – It’s Going To Be A Long Summer
  • Memorial Day Category – Just As We Expected

This is a Triple-A team for the foreseeable future.

Kansas City Royals

  • Original Category – At Least They Don’t Suck
  • Memorial Day Category – It’s Not Too Early To Say It’s Over

See the Baltimore Orioles.

National League

Contenders: Buy

Atlanta Braves

  • Original Category – There’s Just One Thing Missing
  • Memorial Day Category – So Far, So Good

They are hotter than a manhole cover in the sun, and they’ve already added Dallas Keuchel, but some middle of the rotation help would be nice in the wake of the Mike Foltynewicz mess.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • Original Category – There’s Just One Thing Missing
  • Memorial Day Category – Just As We Expected

I’ve said it since Opening Day; the Brewers would be the best team in the National League if they had a legit ace at the top of the rotation…and there’s more than one possibly available.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • Original Category – Need Some Things To Go Their Way
  • Memorial Day Category – So Far, So Good

The Phils are struggling as of late, and they need a little something all across the board. Now is the time for that proverbial move that “shakes things up.”

Washington Nationals

  • Original Category –  Ready to Win Right Now
  • Memorial Day Category – Better Figure It Out Quick

The resurgent Nationals have clearly “figured it out,” but their needs can be summed in three words…bullpen, Bullpen, BULLPEN!!!!

Contenders: Sell

Chicago Cubs

  • Original Category – There’s Just One Thing Missing
  • Memorial Day Category – So Far, So Good

Say what you will about Craig Kimbrel; that was the move to make considering the Cubs’ bullpen was nearly as bad as Washington’s.  Right now, the only people left on earth who don’t know Kyle Schwarber is a liability in the field are four kids on a Little League team in Ethiopia. It’s time to get something for him now from an American League team needing a DH before even those kids figure it out.

Contenders: Hold

Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Original Category – There’s Just One Thing Missing:
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left

What else do they need…besides their cast of “gawdy regular-season numbers guys” to produce when it matters?

St. Louis Cardinals

  • Original Category –  Ready to Win Right Now
  • Memorial Day Category It’s Not “Panic” Time Yet

I originally said adding professional thunder-bat Paul Goldschmidt was supposed to make the Cardinals the favorite to win the NL Central. But right now the Cardinal bats are in hibernation which has seen them go from a 20-10 start to hovering around .500.  Despite that, they are still in the thick of the NL Central race. It’s time for the guys they believe in to deliver.

Pretenders: Buy

San Diego Padres

  • Original Category – At Least They Don’t Suck
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left

This team isn’t ready to play .500 ball yet, but there’s no denying this could be the dawn of a new era in San Diego. The addition of one starting pitcher would make this the most interesting team in the NL West not named the Dodgers.

Cincinnati Reds

  • Original Category – At Least They Don’t Suck
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left

This team has the brightest future of any last-place squad out there. You’d be crazy not to be building for the future.

Pretenders: Sell

Colorado Rockies

  • Original Category – There’s Just One Thing Missing
  • Memorial Day Category – Better Figure It Out Quick

Despite the fact they’ve inked them both long-term, Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon would fetch fistfuls of farm-system reloading talent.

New York Mets

  • Original Category – Why Wait for Next Year?
  • Memorial Day Category It’s Not “Panic” Time Yet 

The Mets have completely imploded, and I told you the warning sign: here’s a team who had their two best pitchers on the mound (Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard) and still dropped those games to a Miami Marlins team which may not win 50 games. That’s why everybody with any value except Pete Alonso should be available.

San Francisco Giants

  • Original Category – Why Wait for Next Year?
  • Memorial Day Category – Better Figure It Out Quick

This team offered a faint glimmer of hope early on, but like the Giants’ “World Series” era, that is over.  I’ve been saying it all year…sell it all right now. Need a front-of-the rotation pitcher who can also slug? Are you an AL contender who needs an MVP-caliber aging  catcher who can still be a dangerous DH? Call 1-800-SFGIANTS…if they are smart, they’ll be waiting for your call. It’s all still true; just add Will Smith to the coming yard sale. In fact, everybody, even those with no value like Brandon Belt, should be available.

Pretenders: Hold

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • Original Category – It’s Going To Be A Long Summer
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left

This team got off to an amazing start, but they just don’t have the ponies for the long haul. While they are a collection of over-achievers, you simply can’t subject this fan base to another yard sale.

Arizona Diamondbacks

  • Original Category – It’s Going To Be A Long Summer
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left

A hot April led to a May which saw the Snakes sink into their expected form.  Before you can mortgage the future, you have to have a future.

Miami Marlins

  • Original Category – It’s Going To Be A Long Summer
  • Memorial Day Category – Just As We Expected

Be honest…who didn’t really know this team had no chance? Besides, even if they wanted to sell, what do they have to offer?

Check back on Labor Day when I will break down the the teams, the pennant races, and take a sneak peek at the post-season.  In the meantime, enjoy your Independence Day weekend and celebrate the greatest country on earth and it’s national pastime!


Got a question, comment, or just want to yell at us? Hit us up at  dubsism@yahoo.com, @Dubsism on Twitter, or on our Pinterest,  Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook pages, and be sure to bookmark Dubsism.com so you don’t miss anything from the most interesting independent sports blog on the web.

About J-Dub

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

One comment on “Boyd Bergquist’s Baseball Breakdown – The 2019 Independence Day Weekend Edition

  1. Pingback: The 2019 Baseball Trading Deadline – The “Shark Week” Comparison | Dubsism

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This entry was posted on July 6, 2019 by in Baseball, Sports and tagged , , .

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