August 1, 2005
The Most Wonderful Time of the Season
It's that time of the season when the message boards of every contending team are gripped by panic, and good men like Bill Stoneman and Paul DePodesta are reminded once again by the fans that they have not done enough to help their respective clubs. For Stoneman and the Angels, the A's are right on their heels, and for that matter, Texas is still lurking around. For DePodesta and the Dodgers, the Padres would not let them die, and so they remain contenders in the Division That Nobody Wanted To Win, where the Arizona Diamondbacks get a shot at making the worst-to-first dream come true and the Colorado Rockies have to wonder what might have been if not for a package of deer meat.
In truth, both DePodesta and Stoneman did exactly what needed to be done-- they stood pat. The long range plans remain intact. If there is a run to be made by either club between now and the end of the season, it will be made, but no one is panicking. For the Angels, the talent is there. The lineup perked up in New York. The starters pitched well in five games on the just-concluded 1 and 5 road trip. Ervin Santana and Chris Bootcheck outpitched Mike Mussina and Randy Johnson and their combined $30 million a year. That's two kids making the league minimum holding their own against perhaps the most feared lineup in the league, in Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately the bullpen hit the wall. Now is the time for Bartolo Colon to come through as the ace of the staff.
Next up, Baltimore, 1 and 9 in their last 10 games, comes to Anaheim, followed by Tampa Bay, 8 and 2 over their last 10, but with only 12 wins in 50 road games so far this season. Momentum could be right around the corner.
For the Dodgers, the turnaround will have to start on the road, but at least they're taking on Washington when the Nationals are in the middle of a freefall of their own. After that, it's the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have been scuffling of late, although they have a winning record against the NL West. Who doesn't have a winning record against the NL West this season, you say? The answer to that question would be... the Milwaukee Brewers (11-11) and the Atlanta Braves (6-9).
Posted by Andrew Torres at 9:33 AM