Tight races all around…still
As much as I love a tight race, I don’t think the fans can take this much more of it! Year after year, we have seen this type of fight between the teams and players. 2012 has been no exception. From the playoffs to who amongst the power hitters and pitchers will receive the awards and accolades, nothing is certain.
I thought for sure between the time I last posted that some of this would have been firmed up, but alas no. The Orioles and Yankees are now tied for 1st in the AL East, and each is scheduled to play three more games. Depending on how each of those series go, we should (and I use that world with caution) know who will represent the AL East by Wednesday evening. But there is no guarantee that that night will close the door on the 2012 regular season. If by some happenstance the two teams still find themselves tied for 1st place, they will be forced into a one-game playoff to determine the division winner. This is where it’ll get interesting, and where you’ll witness some of the best baseball ever to be played! (I did with my Twins when they were forced into that same scenario against the White Sox in 2008 and again in 2009 with the Tigers to determine the division champion. Talk about teams wanting it badly!)
I’m glad for all our sakes that the NL decided to be kind to us and allow teams to place enough distance between one another so we didn’t have to deal with all this last minute uncertainty in their league too.
On top of all that scoreboard watching, everyone will be crunching numbers and measuring statistics on whether it will be enough for Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers to capture baseball’s Triple Crown. For those who are unfamiliar with the award as it relates to the MLB, it is comprised of leading the league in batting average, home runs and runs batted in (RBIs). The problem is that Joe Mauer of the Twins is hot on the heels of Cabrera, threatening to snatch the batting average title away from him, while the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton is tied with Cabrera on home runs hit, thus removing the opportunity for him to be the MLB’s first Triple Crown winner since the Boston Red Sox’s Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967.
There is also the hotly contended NL Cy Young race happening too. Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals has won 21 games, and was the first NL pitcher to win 20 all season. However, there is RA Dickey of the Mets, who despite being on a team that will not be in the post-season, is equally, if not more deserving of the award. Some say that’s a matter of opinion, but ESPN is predicting him to win it at this point. He has a lower ERA (earned run average) than Gonzalez and overall has pitched more innings than Gonzalez all season. Plus, when you learn of his struggles on and off the field, as detailed in his memoir Wherever I Wind Up, published in April of this year, you want him to get it. At least I do.