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Boyd Bergquist’s Baseball Breakdown – The 2022 Labor Day 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. 

Like the song says, Camptown Race Track might be five miles long, but that’s nothing compared to 162 games.  As we find the calendar landing on Labor Day, every team in major league baseball has somewhere around 30 games to play, which puts us firmly in the home stretch of this horse race. Like a horse race, I break the baseball season down into four parts; the last obviously being the race to the wire.

But before we get to the race down the stretch, let’s recap where we’ve been. 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” 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 are only two categories to worry about; is your team a play-off contender and should they be a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline? Here’s how I saw it.

American League

National League

Some teams helped themselves at the deadline, and some teams didn’t; you can see a breakdown of that here. But as we head toward October, it’s time to look at who can get to the Winner’s Circle, and who is going to spit the bit.

The field has been expanded this year to include six teams from each league; the three division winners and three wild-cards. Here’s how I see them running as we head down the home stretch.

18) Boston Red Sox

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

Well, the Red Sox aren’t mathematically eliminated, but let’s be honest. If you want to see a sporting event in the greater Boston area in October, you’re going to need Patriots tickets

17) San Francisco Giants

  • Original Category – Need Some Things To Go Their Way
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left
  • Independence Day Category –  Contender – Sell

At the beginning of this season, I said for The Giants to repeat last years’ 107-win total, they would need everything to go their way again. They didn’t.

16) Baltimore Orioles

  • Original Category – It’s Going To Be A Long Summer
  • Memorial Day Category – So Far, So Good
  • Independence Day Category – Pretender – Buy

The fact I’m even mentioning the Orioles here is a major victory for this franchise.

16) Milwaukee Brewers

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

In what may be an example of “too little, too late, ” Christian Yelich is hitting .383 in the team’s last 11 games. This includes a two-game stretch where the former MVP went 7 for 10 including two homers. However, that hot streak didn’t stop the Brewers from posting a 12-16 record in August. They feel like “done” to me.

15) Chicago White Sox

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

When you look at this team’s roster, one can only wonder how to this point they’ve ranked in the bottom half of the American League in both team ERA and runs scored. Could it be the questionable management of Tony LaBiden?

14) Cleveland Indians Guardians Guardians of the Galaxy

  • Original Category – It’s Going To Be A Long Summer
  • Memorial Day Category – So Far, So Good
  • Independence Day Category – Contender – Buy

Last week, Cleveland had a five-game span in which they only managed to score six runs, including being shut out twice. Having great pitching is one thing (take a peek at Triston McKenzie’s numbers over his last ten or so starts), but at some point you have to score.

13) Minnesota Twins

  • Original Category – Need Some Things To Go Their Way
  • Memorial Day Category –  Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot Of Season Left
  • Independence Day Category –  Contender – Buy

I tried to give the AL Central to the Twins by default, but they simply won’t take it.

12) Toronto Blue Jays

  • Original Category – Ready To Win Right Now
  • Memorial Day Category – It’s Not “Panic” Time…Yet
  • Independence Day Category – Contender – Sell

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Blue Jay. Here’s a team that can rip off seven wins in eight games, then get get swept at home by the sorry-ass Angels…and get outscored 22-3 doing it.

11) 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
  • Independence Day Category – Contenders – Buy

Getting Juan Soto and Josh Bell at the trading deadline was supposed to make this team a baseball version of “Godzilla.” For some reason, they’ve been hitting more like Kermit the Frog.

9) Philadelphia Phillies

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

A Philadelphia version of the Toronto Blue Jays. They were good enough to post an 18-11 record in August, but 5 of those losses were to the Mets. Even more concerning was losing a series to the lowly Diamondbacks while giving up 27 runs in that three-game set.

8 ) Seattle Mariners

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

This team has been getting fat on the likes of the struggling Yankees, the crappy Angels and Rangers, and the Oakland Triple-A’s But September sees the M’s in series with contenders like the White Sox, the Braves and the Padres. But then they end with the Angels and Rangers again, the Royals, the Tigers and two series with the Triple-A’s. The question is will we find out what this team is really all about?

7) Tampa Rays

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

Don’t look now, but this team has won 12 of their last 17, and they should get Wander Franco and Tyler Glasnow back before October. The Shane McClanahan injury could be worrisome though.

6) St. Louis Cardinals

  • Original Category – There’s Just One Thing Missing
  • Memorial Day Category – Just As We Expected
  • Independence Day Category – Contenders – Buy
Not that “Ducky.”

Remember how last year the Cards came from nowhere to make the Wild Card? Well, this year, they had their hot month in August, going 22-7 while Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are looking like MVP candidates. Speaking of Goldschmidt, take a look at how close he is to winning the first Triple Crown in the National League since fellow Cardinal Joe “Ducky” Medwick in 1937.

5) New York Yankees

  • Original Category –  There’s Just One Thing Missing
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot Of Season Left
  • Independence Day Category – Contenders – Buy

The Pinstripes need to go back to a category from Memorial Day. They better figure themselves real quick. They’ve been dogshit since the All-Star break, including posting a 10-18 record in August…that was worse than the Reds, but the way. But, they are still in first place, just became the only team in the American League besides Houston to tally 80 wins, and still have a line-up that can’t be dismissed no matter how deep of a funk they are in.

4) New York Mets

  • Original Category – Need Some Things To Go Their Way
  • Memorial Day Category – Off To A Great Start, But There’s A Lot of Season Left
  • Independence Day Category – Contenders – Buy

If there were a team I think could prove to be the proverbial “house of cards,” this is it. Sure, the trio of starters DeGrom-Scherzer-Bassitt can be one of the best combinations in the game, but can they all stay healthy and/or consistent? The line-up can be formidable, but is prone to extended hibernations. Go look at their production since the middle of August f you doubt that.

3) Atlanta Braves

  • Original Category – Ready To Win Right Now
  • Memorial Day Category – It’s Not “Panic” Time…Yet
  • Independence Day Category – Contenders – Buy

I like the Braves more than the Mets for one big reason. The Mets have shown they are a first-half team, and the Braves have shown they are a second-half team. Which half are we in now?

2) Los Angeles Dodgers

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

Everybody thinks the Dodgers are some sort of “machine,” but their recent series loss at the Mets proved that not to be the case. Also, the injuries to Walker Buehler and Tony Gonsolin are troublesome, and Clayton Kershaw isn’t the guy anymore you can depend on for two starts in a series.

1) Houston Astros

  • Original Category – There’s Just One Thing Missing
  • Memorial Day Category: Just As We Expected
  • Independence Day Category – Contenders -Buy

The injury bug is biting the Astros as well, but the difference between them and the Dodgers is this: The Astros are better than anybody else in the American League, including the pre-funk Yankees. But the Dodgers and their new-found pitching woes are eminently beatable by the Mets, Braves, or Cardinals.

Next stop: Play-off Previews!


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!


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.

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This entry was posted on September 5, 2022 by in Baseball, Sports and tagged , , .

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