Monday, May 12, 2008

So Who's For Real?

East is east, and west is west,
So which one of our teams is really the best?

As we wake up this Monday morning, the Marlins have the best record in all of major league baseball, at 23-14, and are riding a 7-game winning streak. The Rays have the third best record in the American League, at 21-16, and are riding a 4-game winning streak. Both teams are greatly exceeding any forecaster's wildest predictions, and yet neither team is really taken very seriously for the long haul, especially when it comes to the Marlins.

The point was driven home during my doubles tennis game yesterday morning. In response to my comment about the recent success of our team, my opponent, a diehard Yankee fan from Scarsdale, calmly remarked, "They're playing well for a weak team." Perhaps he should have referred to the payroll, not the quality. A more appropriate comment might have been, "They're playing well for a poor team." Looking at the inflated payroll of both New York teams, it is hard not to cringe. But even that is about to change somewhat with the long term 70-million dollar contract soon to be signed by Hanley Ramirez.

Then, in listening to ESPN radio last night, the discussion revolved around these two Florida over-performing teams, with the consensus being that the Rays were the more likely team to prevail over for the duration of the season, with the Marlins the more likely team to collapse. After all, the Marlins have been winning on scoring runs and power, while the Rays have the stronger pitching with Kazmir back in form and a better team ERA overall.

I predict exactly the opposite. The Marlins pitching will only improve, with Miller and Badenhop showing signs of belonging above triple A, Mitre and Sanchez on the mend, and a strong corps of relievers and closers. The lineup is also likely to strengthen, with Willingham and Jacobs due to return any day now. History favors the Marlins as well, need I say more?

There may be a ray of hope for Tampa Bay, but, at least in the mind of this reporter, the Marlins are the big fish in Florida.


Bryce Adams said...

The biggest diffrence between the two teams is that the Rays have been stocking up on talent for years and it was only a matter of time before something happened. As for the Fins, well, I don't have a clue?

ASponge said...

I think the Rays and Marlins are both for real.

What I will definitively say, however, that this post was of the highest quality. Great job JSponge!

JSponge said...

Thanks for the compliment, but it's easy these days to write about the Marlins!