"This is ground control to Major Tom. There's something wrong. Your curcuit's dead. Can you hear me Major Tom? Can you hear me Major Tom? - David Bowie
Well, it was fun while it lasted but some of the teams that started off hot are crashing back to earth as are some fast starters individually. The Pittsburgh Pirates opened up hot and looked to be a whole lot better than in previous years. They started 5-1 and then 7-3 and have gone 7-17 since. Granted, Giles went down with an injury, but still. You had to hope that the hot start was for real.
The Kansas City Royals started out of the gate at a 17-3 clip. Sure, no one thought they would stay at that pace. But some of us were hoping they wouldn't fall to 3-9 since. Their division lead, which was once as high as eight games is down to two and a half. And like the Pirates, they are losing really ugly by blowing leads in the late innings or getting blown out altogether.
Also in free-fall are the Padres, the Indians and the Marlins. The Padres were bravely facing their injury problems but have sunk hard and have lost nine of ten. We knew this was a rebuilding year for the Indians but their record now is only slightly better than the Tigers (only a game and a half ahead of them!) as the Indians have lost eight of ten.
The Marlins are a special case and it's time for their leadership to really think about how they got to where they are. We have been hearing for at least four years about their great young arms and those arms have never developed to potential. And so many of those arms have gotten hurt. What is going on down there with how they handle the pitchers. With the talent they had, they could have been like Oakland but those arms never got where they were supposed to go.
Whomever is in charge of pitching in the Marlins' organization should lose his job and I believe their manager should go too. There is no way that team should be as bad as they are playing and there has to be a good reason why so many good arms have gone so bad. The headline on ESPN.com have talked about the Marlins bad luck. I don't believe in bad luck. I do believe in poor planning and poor execution.
Most people will be rooting for John Rocker to fail now that he is back in the majors. Hell, he's an easy target and in many ways, deservedly so. But there is another truth here and that is he's worked hard and took his demotion and his fall from the majors and worked back up the hard way. Secondly, since he has come back with the Devil Rays, there is no pressure on a bad team to ruin things for everyone. I could flower under Lou Piniella since Lou doesn't take any guff.
I hate when the Yankees are on the West Coast. I can't stay up to watch them tonight as I'm beat from staying up the last two nights. Sixteen runs against the Mariners yesterday! Man! I wish they would have saved half of those for Clemens on Saturday.