The 1st quarter of the 2012 MLB season is in the books and we are going to take a look at the shocks, surprises, jeers and cheers of the season so far.
Cole Hamels deciding to welcome Bryce Harper to the majors “Old School Baseball” style. I tried to get Nolan Ryan to comment on how tough Vanity Fair photo shoots were when he played during the “Old School” era and he went with his patented headlock+uppercut move on my face. If I had to rank Cole Hamels on the list of pitchers I would have sending a message to a hitter I would have him listed right next to Bob Gibson. That is using Bob Gibson now at 76-years-old. When asked about “Old School” Cole Hamels, Bob Gibson laughed his way into a mild stroke.
Rookie Pitcher Yu Darvish has been worth every penny the Rangers paid to get him this season. He is in the top 5 in Wins, ERA and Strikeouts in the American League. I had him as my preseason A.L. ROY but maybe I should have made him my Cy Young pick.
Staying in Texas, Josh Hamilton is hitting at a pace that if he can keep the pace would go down as the greatest season ever for a hitter. Not too bad for a walk year. His 4 HR, 18 total base game was one of the best games a hitter has ever had and if he stays healthy the rest of the season will be fun to watch.
The Atlanta Braves and the Baltimore Orioles were picked by most to finish last in their respective divisions. Someone forgot to tell them that though. The Braves are in the top 5 in hitting and the Orioles have the 2nd lowest ERA in the A.L.. The Orioles are hitting homers also and I like their chances to contend in the A.L. East more than I like the Braves to hold off the Marlins and Nationals. Can they both continue to hold this pace and make a playoff run? We will see.
What does $200 mil get you? The same numbers you would get from a defensive specialist sitting at the end of the bench. It can’t last the season but Albert Pujols’ hitting must have been lost somewhere during the flight from St. Louis and L.A. because he is a shell of his former self. The stat that bothers me the most is his lack of walks this season. He has become far to impatient a the plate and he is pressing. The Angels need him to step it up if they are going to attempt to contend with the Rangers.
Quick Hits On The Season So Far
Yankees and Bo Sox at the bottom of the A.L. East. Not as surprised as I thought I would be.
My preseason World Series pick of Tigers/Marlins needs the Tigers to start playing like they were expected to.
I hope we haven’t sen the last of Mo Rivera, owner of the most dominant pitch ever.
Bryce Harper will be a Hall of Famer one day. He will be great to watch for the next 20 years.
2nd Quarter Predictions
The 4th place Marlins will be 1st in the N.L. East at the halfway point.
Albert Pujols will still be in a slump and hitting below .250.
Josh Hamilton will still be the A.L. leader in HR, RBI and batting avg.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will be 12 games up in the N.L. West.