Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baseball In The Daytime: May 13, 2009

This week may have the lightest MLB schedule of any all year, outside April at least. Only four games were played Monday, and six teams have the day off tomorrow. The Oakland Athletics, as a matter of fact, have two off days this week, which is just nuts. Get back to work, you white-shoed sloths.

It's appropriate that our day game schedule debuts in the American League Central, because I'm forming a nebulous opinion that it's the best division in baseball. Not the one with the most good teams, mind you--both Eastern gaggles have more firepower. I just think the AL Central is fascinating in the fact that here, a month and a half into the season, we have no idea how it will shape up.

Will the Indians continue to give up the most runs in baseball? I say no. Will the White Sox keep on getting nothing from the top of the lineup and puny HR totals? Barring a big trade, yes and maybe. Will the Twins sort out their pitching calamities and jumbled outfield? Magic eight-ball says it is likely. And will Detroit fall out of the race and conduct a fire sale the likes of the sport hasn't seen since the late-90s Marlins? Considering the fact that they're starting ex-Marlin Dontrelle Willis today, fellow former Fish Miguel Cabrera makes eleventy billion dollars and the GM (Dave Dombrowski) and manager (Jim Leyland) both matriculated in South Florida, I'd say bet the farm on that shopping bonanza.

The most compelling drama in the division, of course, continues to radiate from Kansas City. Those adorable, scrappy Royals still have their head above water, even after Dayton Moore performed a Ponsonectomy and called up Triple-A superstar Luke Hochevar for last night's game against those lazy A's. The result? Two innings, eight earned for young Luke, who was followed by newly minted long-relief ace Sir Sidney. Whoops! This team has the parts necessary to keep up the fight, they simply need to sustain their effort and get better production from the bottoms of the order and rotation. Oh, and hide Kyle Farnsworth in a closet.

Your schedule, after the jump...

Chicago White Sox @ Cleveland, 10:05 Mountain Jim Thome has spent most of his career on these two clubs, and that's why I'm like fuck the Denver Post. The Mile High City's lone daily used the Manny Ramirez suspension to lower journalistic standards even further last week. The Post ran a graphic underneath the Manny story showing the five most prolific active home-run hitters: Manny, A-Rod, Gary Sheffield, Thome and Ken Griffey. It placed the former three under the banner of "TAINTED," while Thome and Griff were labeled "CLEAN." I am so sick of this bullshit I could punch a cat. Not only is the evidence linking any of these guys to actual steroids suspicious (I'm not naive, I know they're dirty, but come on), but you can't say anyone who played baseball prior to 2004 is "clean." You just can't. maybe Griff and Thome were all natural, but the odds that they never dabbled, not even once, are slim. Too slim to say they are, without a sliver of doubt, "clean."

Mark Buehrle, who has stopped beating his wife, faces off against Cliff Lee, who may or may not have checked into drug rehab, in this battle of crafty lefties. Or so reads the Denver Post.

Atlanta @ NY Mets, 11:10 There's potential for more lefty-on-lefty violence this afternoon at the stadium you the federal taxpayer sponsor, Citi Field. I would have called it U.S. Postal Service Stadium at Sea Level or Mesa Verde National Park Park. But that's just me. Jo-Jo Reyes matches southpaw deliveries with Jonathan Niese, in quite possibly baseball's first Jo-Jo/Jonathan showdown.

Washington @ San Francisco, 1:45 I can not figure out Shairon Martis. I saw him as evidence coming into the season that the Nats would be really awful, because he's like their No. 2 starter and he sucks bad. But here we are--Washington has 10 wins, worst in the game, yet Martis is 4-0. I don't have a calculator in front of me but that's like 38.2 per cent of their total. It just goes to show you, if you don't Shairon, you'd better know somebody. Or something. Barry Zito starts for the Giants and will attempt to squelch Ryan Zimmerman's 30-game hit streak. Play Ball, fellas!