A constant theme being developed on this blog is how the length of the baseball season plays out with intrigue and mounting interest as we move closer to the playoffs. With only 35 or so games remaining to be played, several players and teams seemingly have saved their best for last……..
Perhaps the biggest move forward comes off the bat of Josh Donaldson (right) who has already passed the 100 RBI mark while leading the Blue Jays to the top of the AL East. A sure fire candidate as MVP, he stars on a team where nine other teammates make more than his $4.3 million. If Toronto gets to the World Series, they should order a ring for Billy Beane and hand deliver it to his office in Oakland.
Another late bloomer this season is Nelson Cruz (left) of the sub-par Seattle Mariners. Cruz, a late signee off the free agent market back when the season was young and promising for the Mariners, leads his team in every offensive category except stolen bases. Only trouble is that Robinson Cano still labors around the .250 mark. For the Mariners and a (perhaps) regretful Cruz, this season can’t end soon enough.
Remember when Paul Goldschmidt (right) was in the top ten of virtually every offensive category in the National League back in April and May…………a mark of consistency…….he still is. He’s turned into a complete hitting machine while piling up big numbers and leading the D-Backs to a late season run for the final wild card spot. They have a long road to the make the playoffs and Goldschmidt is definitely saving his best for last. Fun to watch.
At the other end of the spectrum, remember when Adrian Gonzalez (left) was lighting it in April and May…..batting .600….. and no one could get him out? Well look now, his numbers have plummeted and he struggles to maintain a very pedestrian .280 batting average. The Long Season may not only be too long for him but for the Dodgers as well as the Giants seem ready to pounce for another late season run…………
So down the stretch they come…………and as the saying goes……cream always rises to the top and baseball (unlike football where a 1-4 start all but knocks a team out of the playoffs) offers opportunities for teams (remember the Royals about this time last year) and players to imagine and realize new heights and fortune in the upcoming Second Season.