What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
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.
Yeah, I know this was supposed to be an Independence Day thing, but this has been a tumultuous couple of weeks here at Dubsism. Hell, none of here knew what was going to happen to this blog when J-Dub went “tits up” in the middle of a Target a few weeks back. But things are slowly getting back on track, and like he said in his “hiatus announcement,” it was going to be up to some of us guest columnists to pickup the slack for a bit. So, here I am.
The whole point of this breakdown at this point was to gauge where all 30 MLB squads find themselves in the pennant race at roughly the mid-point of the Major League Baseball season. At first, we did this on Independence Day because there is an old saying in baseball about how teams in 1st place on the 4th of July tend to win.
Sometimes that’s true, and sometimes it isn’t. That’s why I’m here. My job is to separate the contenders from the pretenders, and my way of doing that is to put all the teams into 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 this on Labor Day which is all about heading into the “home stretch.” But today is all about half-way or so, which means going back to 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 2022. Those original six categories were as follows.
Once we got to Memorial Day, I had six new categories at the “far turn,” which again should be fairly self-explanatory.
Half-way through the race, there really only two categories to worry about; is your team a contender or a pretender. A few years back, 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 based on two criteria and the relationship between them. I’m certainly no captain of industry, but this approach made perfect sense to me for this baseball breakdown.
Here’s all were looking at today; is your team a play-off contender, and should you buy or sell on their immediate future?
You can get hung up on the Yankees’ record all you want, but this is the best team in baseball. Their pitching staff gives them the advantage as it stands now; it will be a contest who does themselves the most favors heading into the trade deadline.
New York Yankees
Barring any unforeseen disasters, this team can flip the controls to “cruise” in terms of winning the AL East. They just need to figure out how to beat the Astros come October.
They aren’t going to catch the Yankees, but nobody will. This team is going to be a headache for somebody in the new best-of-three Wild Card round. I’d feel better if the Rays’ ownership jammed a crowbar in their wallet and picked up some pitching at the trade deadline.
I’m about ready to give he AL Central to the Twins by default. The White Sox are like that guy you know who has the classic “muscle car” in his garage. As sweet as that car looks, he can never get the engine to run right no matter how much he tinkers with it. As for Cleveland, they have all the hallmarks of a future contender, which is why I still need to “buy” them. I’m just not sure they know how to win now.
They figured it out. They went from eight games under .500 to playing the best baseball in the game right now. They’ve already added a
geriatric experienced bat in Carlos Santana. Why stop there? They aren’t going to catch the Astros, but there’s no reason why this team can’t contend for a Wild Card spot. It’s time for the M’s to “go for broke” and end their 20+ year playoff absence.
Indians Guardians Guardians of the Galaxy
Here are your 2022 poster children for over-achieving.
Chicago White Sox
While it may be a bit early to write off the White Sox completely, it’s not too early to ask what went wrong. No matter what, there’s no doubt this team has under-performed. Frankly, it’s time to look at the manager. Am I the only one who thinks Tony LaRussa has become the Joe Biden of baseball? Seriously, the guy looks like he doesn’t know where he is half the time.
Boston Red Sox
They overcame a brutal start, only to realize the Yankees had already blown them away. Welcome to the expanded Wild Card round…maybe. Giving up 28 runs to the Blue Jays the other night didn’t help.
Toronto Blue Jays
Frankly, it’s too late for “panic time.” Like the Red Sox, this team sputtered while the Yankees pulled out to a likely insurmountable lead. Now, the best they can hope for is a slot in the Wild Card round, and even that seems like a stretch with their best starting pitcher out for the season.
Originally, I said a realistic goal for this team was to avoid losing 100 games. Don’t look, now, but these O’s are circling the .500 mark.
This is a team with a similar goal as the Orioles. They may still lose 90 games, but 90 is not 100.
Los Angeles Angels
What a difference six weeks can make. Since then, the Angels have been one of the worst teams in baseball. What else can you say about a club that’s gone 12-32 since Memorial Day? At least when their ship finally sinks, it will put out the trash fire they’ve become.
Now that Miguel Cabrera got his 3,000th hit, what else is there to watch in Detroit?
Kansas City Royals
J-Dub has the over/under on total wins for the Royals at 58.5. Which way are you going?
This is a Triple-A team until further notice. Doubt that? Let this fact sink in for a minute: Paul Blackburn – All-Star.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers are the best team in the National League…but all of a sudden there’s concerns about the pitching staff. Not to mention, as long as they’ve been a solid championship contender, they only have the COVID Series in 2020 to show for it. Are they on the verge of becoming the 90’s Atlanta Braves?
Speaking of the Braves, right now Mets’ fans are wondering how I can have Atlanta ahead of the Mets considering New York took two of three from the Braves right before the break, but that’s because…
New York Mets
…I trust the Braves’ pitching staff more than I trust the Mets’. Max Scherzer looks great right now, but he’s old and has faded in the stretch each of the last four seasons…and he hasn’t pitched a full season in that time. Besides that, does anybody else think Jacob deGrom is done? It’s time to forget that Juan Soto fantasy and trade for some rotation help.
Not to mention, it’s hard to say “sell” on a team on a pace to win 100 games, but I just have this gut-feeling they are primed to “spit the bit” down the stretch. They’re the Mets. They’ve done it before (see 2021).
If their pitching stays healthy and keep it together overall (I’m looking at you, Josh Hader) and they can figure out how to consistently score more than three runs per game, this team can beat anybody. But the odds of both those things happening are longer than a “gut-shot” straight draw.
San Diego Padres
One can only wonder where this team would be had Fernando Tatis Jr. been available from the start. Forget their mid-season funk; they’ll be fine. They’re just not catching the Dodgers.
St. Louis Cardinals
I could easily flip-flop them with the Brewers in the National League Central; Milwaukee has the advantage when it comes to pitching, but Paul Goldschmidt may very well be the NL MVP.
San Francisco Giants
There’s a team that had four winning streak at least five games long, but then had three losing streaks just as long. That’s why this team keeps treading water around .500. Not to mention, they just signed a starting pitcher only to immediately put him on the injured list. If anybody out there can figure this team out, drop me a line and fill me in.
Want to know why I’ve always believed Bryce Harper is over-rated? The Phils are 12-8 since they lost him to an injury. Despite the fact Kyle Schwarber is leading the NL in homers, he’s still not hitting (.209) his weight (230 lbs.) And he’s still a hamburger in the outfield.
The only question I have on this team: They have three of the best young pitchers/prospects in baseball in Sandy Alcantara, Pablo Lopez, and Max Meyer. Will they build a contender around that core or will they sell them off like nearly every other bit of talent they’ve had in the last 15 years?
Set the clock back 35 years so Cubs’ fans can recall the “Shawon-O-Meter.” It’s time for something similar in Pittsburgh for O’Neill Cruz; a 6’7″ shortstop who has a Howitzer bolted to his right shoulder. Like Shawon Dunston, this kid can throw the ball through a brick wall, but he’s also barely batting .200. If he figures out how to hit, he’ll be a “top-ten” player.
There’s another “fire sale” coming on the North Side, but I can’t help but think this team has at least the option on a bright future. They have interesting young arms and burgeoning stars amongst the “every-day” players. But they are the Cubs; they can easily screw that all up.
If only they could play all their games at home…
The phones should be ringing off the hook soon In Arizona asking about the availability of Joe Mantiply. Who wouldn’t be interested in a reliever with 39 K’s against only 3 walks in 36 innings pitched?
Despite the fact the Reds essentially have been a .500 team since their God-awful April, Joey Votto is still going to be driving lots of guys to the airport for the coming exodus from the “Queen City.” Unless he leaves his cab in the loading zone and hops a flight himself.
Why not trade the best leftie bat in the game? Even with Juan Soto, the Gnats are the worst team in baseball.
Check back around Labor Day when I will break down the the teams, the pennant races, and take a sneak peek at the post-season!
Got a question for our 70’s TY Sports Anchor? Got your own take? Nothing is “off-limits,” and no take is “too hot.” The only questions or comments Boyd Bergquist can’t handle are the one you don’t send him!
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Indeed, I feel the Phillies are in the “hamburger helper category” at this point. I do hope the Padres buy a bat or two as I have been also following them from the beginning of the season. I have to line up a #2 favorite team since the A’s are surely headed to Las Vegas and I won’t be making that trip with them.
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