For those of you who don’t follow baseball from early February through October, you wouldn’t know that the season is almost one-third of the way over with. It’s been a weird one, with the Pirates and Marlins contending early, the Rays already fading out of contention, and Roger Clemens not hitting on any underage country stars, yet. But if you have been living a sheltered life and have not been paying attention to baseball, here have been the top five stories of the early season.
5. The rise, fall and rise of the Yankees
No one can figure the pattern of this team out, period. One night they’re hammering a team for 14 runs, the next night C.C. Sabathia is serving up fastballs like his butler feeds him steaks with a donut glaze. The return of A-Rod has brought back some sense of normalcy, but the inconsistent pitching could pose a problem down the stretch for the Yanks.
4. I love it when you bat me sixth, Big Papi
Divd Ortiz’ fall has been nothing short of the greatest dropoff by a premier athlete since Penny Hardaway gave out in the early part of the decade. But Papi has won over the hearts of Boston fans, so no matter how bad he actually gets, no one will turn on him. And they shouldn’t, but Ortiz’ inability to hit above .200 or produce more than one HR in two months could mean a trade or a swift exit for a man that has meant the world to the Red Sox Nation. The one good tradeoff, the Red Sox would be able to go after a big bat by no longer having to foot Big Papi’s catering bill.
3. Randy, Randy Johnson
Speaking of over the hill players, did you know that Randy Johnson is still gunning for win number 300? He may be the last pitcher in a very long time to reach that number. But having rookies belt out his pitches so he can get one win every fourth start just for a number is LAME. If he had just retired, we’d still remember him as “The Big Unit,” with the big mullet from Seattle.
2. The new Yankee HR Stadium
The Yankee’s new ballbark has had nearly as many balls banged out as Jenna Jameson. The wind blowing to right field has turned one of the best home field advantages in sports into a deathtrap for the Yanksif they’re facing a lineup of left handed hitters. Lucky for New Yorkers, it came out of their tax dollars.
1. Mo Manny, mo fertility drugs
Further tarnishing baseball’s “live ball era,” the greatest right handed hitter of the era, Los Angeles Dodgers’ slugger Manny Ramirez was busted for steroids. While this may have surprised some, Manny had more moodswings than games played while in Boston, so it really didn’t catch that many by surprise.