Tag Archives: west

The MLB Playoffs Are Quickly Approaching

The long baseball season is nearing its end.  The summer is coming to an end and the Fall season is about to start.  With it will come the Major League Baseball Playoffs.  The first games of the playoffs start next weekend.  So let’s take a look at what teams are approaching the playoffs in this final week of the season.

The American League

The interesting note of the week is that no A.L. teams have clinched a playoff spot yet.  It has been a tight race for all of the divisional spots and especially for the two Wild Card spots.

East

In the East there is great competition between the division leading New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles.  The Yankees only lead that division by one game with the Rays in third place by only 5 games.

Central

The Central division has seen the Chicago White Sox fall quite a bit in the past week.  The White Sox are trailing the Detroit Tigers in the division by one game.  The third place team in the division is held by the Kansas City Royals who are fourteen games behind and have no hope for the playoffs.

West

The Western division has just as tight of a race as the Eastern division.  The Texas Rangers hold the top position with a record of 92-65.  The Oakland A’s have been surging ahead in the final month of the season and are only three games behind the Rangers.  In third place five games behind the Rangers are the Anaheim Angels. The Angels got off to a bad start at the beginning of the season but were able to turn their season around in the summer months.

Wild Card

Only six games separate the top five teams in the Wild Card race.  The Baltimore Orioles and the Oakland A’s are in the top spots.  The Angels are two games back.  The Rays are three games back, while the White Sox are six games back and will likely only be able to enter the playoffs with winning the Central division.

The National League

The almost half of the playoff spots in the N.L. have been claimed.  All but one of the divisions have champions already, which takes some of the excitement away.

East

This is the only division where a champion has not yet been crowned.  With the third place team the Phillies seventeen games back, its between only the Braves and the Nationals for the crown.  The Nationals have shocked the baseball world with an incredible season and they currently hold the top spot.  The braves are trailing by four games and still have a chance at winning the division.  Both the Nationals and Braves have clinched playoff spots.  The only question is which one will be the division champion and which one will be in the wild card position.

Central

The Cincinnati Reds won the division this past week.  They appear to be a team that could contend for the World Series Title in October.

West

The San Fransisco Giants won the division championship just a few days ago.  This team has been a great team built for the playoffs for a few years now.  The Giants won the World Series in 2010 and are looking to win their second in three years.

Wild Card

With the Braves having clinched a playoff birth there is only one wild card spot remaining.  The St Louis Cardinals hold the remaining spot at the moment.  The Dodgers and the Brewers are the only two teams that still have a chance for the remaining wild card.  The Dodgers are three games back while the Brewers are five back.  The Dodgers have been turning downward as September rolls along.  The Brewers have to win their remaining five games to have a chance.  The Cardinals will likely hold their position and go into a wild card playoff game with the Braves.

 

 

 

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The Spurs Are Boring, But They Are Good

The San Antonio Spurs are one of the least entertaining teams to watch in all of sports.   The Spurs are in one word “Boring”.  They have been that way for many years.  It is due to a combination of playing a methodical and a very non flashy style of basketball and the lack of charismatic stars.

They have one of the best centers in the NBA Tim Duncan.  Duncan has had a great Career and will be in the Hall Of Fame one day. The unfortunate thing is Duncan has no charisma at all and never says anything that is not obvious when being asked questions in interviews. Their other stars Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are not much better.

San Antonio Spurs Star Tim Duncan
(Getty Images)

There is one thing you cannot dispute though,  the Spurs are really good.  They have especially excelled this year in the playoffs.  They swept the Utah Jazz in the first round of the post season.  They continued into the second round where they swept the L.A. Clippers and their superstar Chris Paul.

On Tuesday night the San Antonio Spurs defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder by a score of 120-111. With that victory the Spurs are up on the Thunder 2-0 in the Western Conference Finals.  The Spurs are undefeated this postseason.  They have won 10 straight games and while they have not been exciting while doing so, it is an impressive feat.

Will we see the Spurs in the NBA Finals?  Probably but the NBA will not be happy about it.  The ratings for the NBA Finals have been declining over the last few years.  The Spurs will likely drive those numbers down.  Even with the Miami Heat or Boston Celtics as their opponents it could be a rather sleepy Championship Series.

For now I suggest you get your pillows ready.  The Spurs are not going anywhere for now, which means the boring brand of Spurs basketball is going to sweep across the nation and put viewers in a NyQuil type sleep state.

Josh Hamilton After 40 Games

The Texas Rangers have played 40 games so far this season. They hold a record of 25 wins and 15 losses. The team is 5 games ahead of the second place team in the A.L. West. The real story this season for the Rangers is their main star Josh Hamilton and his hot streak, or should we call it the beginning of a hot season.

The Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton
(Getty Images)

Josh Hamilton has a .392 batting average, 18 home runs, 45 RBI’s, 33 runs and 3 stolen bases. Of the 40 games the Rangers have played this season Hamilton has played 37 of those games. Hamilton is on pace for 72 home runs, 180 RBI’s, 132 runs and 12 stolen bases. He has already hit 4 home runs in one game this season. Now I don’t need to tell you that it would be one of the best seasons we have ever seen. It should be noted however, Hamilton has never hit more than 32 home runs in one season, but at the same time he has never been this hot.

The big stat that has everyone’s attention are the amount of home runs he has complied so far. His home run hitting this season has reminded me a lot of Ken Griffey Jr.’s record pace in the 1994 season. However Griffey’s season ended in June when the players went on strike. Hamilton will not have anything other than an injury to hold him back this particular season. His pace is impressive but would not be a record. However if he could have hot streaks from time to time, he could very well take the home run record of 73 held by Barry Bonds in 2001.

If Josh Hamilton could take the home run record it would be an incredible thing to happen to Major League Baseball. We all know how tainted the record held by Barry Bonds is after the truth about him taking Performance Enhancing Drugs came out a few years ago. Hamilton would clean up the record having played in an era with stricter testing and a lower tolerance of P.E.D.’s. Hamilton also would be a great story of a man who has battled demons and while he will never be clear of them, made things right and triumphed over them.

Hamilton has had a crazy last 13 years. He was drafted 1st overall in the 1999 June MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He struggled with a drug addiction and alcoholism. Hmilton never fully adapted to the system in order to become a Major League star. The Rays gave him numerous chance but had no choice but to let him go after 4 years of working with him. Hamilton battled his demons and came back to baseball in the Independent League and later got a contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. He played so well that year that he was signed by the Texas Rangers in 2008. He had an incredible showing in the 2008 MLB Home Run Derby and caught the attention of the sports world. Hamilton has developed into a superstar and is the face of the Rangers Franchise.

The season is only 1/4 complete though. He could calm down, or he could keep going. He is the heart of this team and I feel how Josh Hamilton goes so does the team. The team has made the World Series the last 2 seasons. I totally believe they could make another appearance this year and actually win the championship this time.

Josh Hamilton is what is good about baseball right now. He is a man that has fallen down numerous times, picked himself up every time and succeeded. He will continue to garner attention this year from all baseball fans. I believe the baseball world will rally behind him and if he is close to breaking Barry Bonds’ record near the end of the season and push him to breaking it. Hamilton is already a hero but he could become the single season home run hero by the end of the summer.