Sunday, June 8, 2014

Second wild card starts race to the middle

Now that fifth best in some league is good enough to reach the playoffs, even the worse clubs know they're only one or two good players and a dozen good bounces from surviving to October. Thus the distance from the middle of the league to the bottom is shorter than ever.


Nathan Eovaldi, traded by the Dodgers to the Miami Marlins for Hanley Ramirez, now is helping the Marlins into the National League playoff race (Cbl62 at en.wikipedia/Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike Unported 3.0 license).

By BILL PETERSON
Big Leagues in Los Angeles

The two weeks between the quarter pole and the one-third mark changed the face of the baseball season, or at least brought it into focus.

The divisional races became much thinner, particularly after the first weekend in June, which ended with the first-place Oakland Athletics sweeping the second-place Angels in the American League West and the first-place Atlanta Braves sweeping the second-place Miami Marlins in the National League East.

The divisional races already were looking weak. Three weeks ago, though, the leads in two divisions were one-half game and the leads were within four games in three others. But as of June 2, every division leader had at least a three-game advantage.

Some of us are old coots who remember a day before divisions, and a year like this makes us half-relish those days. In the American League, we would have a smoking race right now between the Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers, all within two games of the top. In that past world, nine clubs would be within 6 1/2 games of first place.

Then again, the National League would be a dreary snooze, with the San Francisco Giants three games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers, 5 1/2 ahead of the Braves and seven ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals.

So, we take what we have now, universal wild card races in which a scrum of mediocre teams is playing for something, which is better than playing for nothing, but not much better. It's one game in the playoffs. It's enough to give most clubs a feint whiff of a chance, but it's not enough to make fans of shadowy contenders forget that they hate their local ownership.

One hates to annoint the division leaders, but no one else is playing so well that it's clear how any of the present leaders would fall. The races in the NL East and AL West looked further apart than ever after Memorial Day. The Giants were 7 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Dodgers in the NL West. The Detroit Tigers are the dominant club in the AL Central and they stoll held a 4 1/2-game lead after losing 10 of their last 14.

The St. Louis Cardinals have enough pedigree to claim that they might make up their four-game deficit to the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central, and the Toronto Blue Jays don't have enough pedigree to assume they will stay in the AL East lead, so there is that little bit of suspense at the top. But most of the puzzles are in the middle of each league, where the solutions don't stand to be gratifying.

On the morning of June 2, when every team had now played one-third (54) of its games or more, the two National League wild cards were the Dodgers and Cardinals, last year's contestants in the National League Championship Series. Under the present scenario, it would be a one-game playoff, which doesn't bode well for the Dodgers, the way the Cardinals have fared against Clayton Kershaw. The Cardinals beat Kershaw in all three of his starts against them last year.

The Cardinals were within a half-game of the Dodgers, the Marlins were within a half-game of the Cardinals, the Colorado Rockies were within a half-game of the Marlins, and the New York Mets and Washington Nationals were each within a half-game of the Rockies. The Mets and Nationals both were a game below .500. The only team in that group that was winning lately, the Mets, took seven of nine against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies, none of whom are in thick of this year's race to the middle.

The Pirates and Cincinnati Reds both were within 2 1/2 games of the second wild card, but that's a long distance considering the faltering states of their bullpens and the number of teams in between. The Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs were unable to make a move between the one-third mark and the quarter pole, so they remained at the bottom of the standings. It would appear they will be joined by the Phillies and San Diego Padres, who both lost traction in May while the Pirates and Reds gained traction.

The Angels lost traction in the AL west by losing three straight at Oakland, but they oddly remained in the first wild card because the fifth-place team, the New York Yankees, lost two of three at home against the Minnesota Twins. The rubber game had to hurt  Phil Hughes held the Yankees to two runs in eight innings of a 7-2 victory, raising his record to 6-1 and lowering his ERA to 3.12. Hughes did good work with the Yankees, but he botched his walk year in 2013 and fell to the Twins in free agency for three years at $24 million.

The Angels might have made a bid for Hughes, who went to high school in Santa Ana, but they're still holding the top wild card spot despite jitters in their pitching staff. If the Angels could straighten out their bullpen, they'd have a good game going, because they're top-half of the AL everywhere else except third base. The Angels have gotten nothing from their major off-season acquisitions  Hector Santiago, David Freese, Joe Smith, Fernando Salas, Raul Ibanez  except that Tyler Skaggs has been a solid fifth starter. Their combined WAR was minus-0.6. Yet, the Angels are a much better team.

The Yankees are spending $197 million on the most mediocre team that money can buy. It probably isn't true that you can just go out and buy a championship, but you can certainly go out and just buy a mediocre team, and that's enough for fifth place. The Yankees have attended wild-card playoffs more than any other club. They've only missed twice, and the first of those (2008), they would have been the second wild card. Last year was the first time the Yankees fell out, but they didn't fall out until September.

Last year might be counted as a freak occurence, though this season says different. The Yankees added breadth to the offense by letting go of Robinson Cano and signing three bats on the free-agent market, but everyone is scuffling except for Mark Teixeira Yangervis Solarte, the replacement at third base for Alex Rodriguez. The Yankees were only 11th in AL runs scored and the team was really living off a pitching staff ranked seventh in AL ERA (4.02).

Presumably, the Yankees were vulnerable at 29-27. Definitely, the Yankees are ordinary, which is fifth place. The Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers were only one-half game behind them, while the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals all were within 2 1/2 games or less. That's your AL wild card division. The Twins and Tampa Bay Rays appear to have fallen out, and the Houston Astros have never been in.

But the Astros are showing long-awaited signs of progress and have become, quite out of nowhere, a very competitive team. Last year, the Astros were competitive with poor teams -- 33-35 against teams that finished below .500. But they didn't belong on the field against better clubs -- a deep-bottom 18-76 against clubs finishing .500 or better. The next worst AL club in that regard, the Twins, were 33-71.

Through two days of June, The Astros were 19-28 against clubs .500 or better, which isn't great, but it already exceeds last year's win total, and it does give them more wins against winners than any other club except the Giants (21-11). The Astros had faced the better clubs 47 times, more games than any other Major League club, with the Red Sox coming in next at 39 (18-21).

The Astros may yet climb the steep hill to mediocrity and make themselves playoff contenders among this bunch. Following their series this week against the Angels, the Astros embark on nine games against the most of badly faltering clubs out there  the Twins, the Diamondbacks and the Rays. After two at Washington, they go to St. Petersburg for four.  They won't face a contemporary powerhouse for two weeks. Last year, the Astros broke even against these clubs. If they can win nine or 10 of these 15, they'll pick up a couple of games on the fifth-place scrum and place themselves on the outer fringe of the race.

It is, after all, a race to the middle for that coveted position that tells the world you're fifth best. May the most mediocre team prevail.

Editor's note: All advanced statistics in this piece are from or are extrapolated from Baseball-Reference.com, unless otherwise indicated.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Labels

Los Angeles Dodgers (121) Los Angeles Angels (92) St. Louis Cardinals (61) New York Yankees (54) Texas Rangers (49) Cincinnati Reds (37) Houston Astros (37) San Francisco Giants (37) First Division (35) Matt Kemp (34) Oakland Athletics (34) Boston Red Sox (33) Cleveland Indians (33) Minnesota Twins (33) Chicago White Sox (31) Kansas City Royals (31) New York Mets (31) Henry Aaron (30) Atlanta Braves (29) Chicago Cubs (29) Clayton Kershaw (29) Detroit Tigers (29) Baltimore Orioles (28) Albert Pujols (27) Don Mattingly (27) Center League (26) Second Division (26) West League (26) Tampa Bay Rays (25) Third Division (25) Andre Ethier (24) Dick Allen (24) East League (24) Harmon Killebrew (24) Milwaukee Brewers (23) Pittsburgh Pirates (22) Washington Nationals (21) Arizona Diamondbacks (20) Fourth Division (20) Mike Scioscia (20) Mike Trout (20) San Diego Padres (20) Seattle Mariners (18) Hanley Ramirez (15) Adrian Gonzalez (14) American League (14) C.J. WIlson (14) Dee Gordon (14) Miami Marlins (14) Toronto Blue Jays (14) Jered Weaver (13) Josh Hamilton (13) Philadelphia Phillies (13) Colorado Rockies (12) National League (12) Yasiel Puig (12) Zack Greinke (12) Golden State Warriors (10) Howie Kendrick (10) Mark Trumbo (10) A.J. Ellis (9) Bryce Harper (9) Bud Selig East (9) Carl Crawford (9) Chub Feeney League (9) Dan Haren (9) Dodger Stadium (9) James Loney (9) Joe Cronin League (9) Jon Lester (9) Kenley Jansen (9) Billy Beane (8) Bud Selig West (8) Erick Aybar (8) Ernesto Frieri (8) Garrett Richards (8) Justin Verlander (8) Anaheim Ducks (7) Minnesota Lynx (7) Yoenis Cespedes (7) Andrelton Simmons (6) Angel Stadium (6) Bobby Abreu (6) Bud Selig (6) Chris Sale (6) Connecticut Huskies (6) David Ortiz (6) Hyun-Jin Ryu (6) Juan Uribe (6) Los Angeles Clippers (6) Miguel Cabrera (6) North Carolina Tar Heels (6) Prince Fielder (6) San Antonio Spurs (6) Torii Hunter (6) Barcelona (5) Chris Capuano (5) Columbus Blue Jackets (5) David Price (5) Ervin Santana (5) Harmon Killebrew Award (5) Jerry DiPoto (5) Jim Leyland (5) Joe Blanton (5) Joe Maddon (5) Mark Ellis (5) Miami Heat (5) Minnesota Wild (5) National League traveling championship (5) Real Madrid (5) Scott Van Slyke (5) Winnipeg Jets (5) Alex Rodriguez (4) American League traveling championship (4) Carlos Beltran (4) Chicago Blackhawks (4) Florida Panthers (4) Fredi Gonzalez (4) Henry Aaron Award (4) James Shields (4) Jason Vargas (4) Jose Altuve (4) Kendrys Morales (4) Los Angeles Lakers (4) Los Angeles Sparks (4) Mark Teixeira (4) Mat Latos (4) Matt Holliday (4) Ned Yost (4) Nelson Cruz (4) Nick Punto (4) Paris Saint-Germain (4) Pittsburgh Penguins (4) Vancouver Whitecaps (4) 2014 World Series (3) A.J. Burnett (3) Adam Jones (3) Adam Kennedy (3) Alberto Callaspo (3) Alex Wood (3) All-Star Game (3) American League Championship Series (3) Andrew McCutchen (3) Bayern Munich (3) Billy Butler (3) Boston Bruins (3) Brandon Phillips (3) Chub Feeney (3) Clemson Tigers (3) Cory Rasmus (3) David Dombrowski (3) David Freese (3) Dick Allen Award (3) Dustin Pedroia (3) Eric Hosmer (3) Florida Marlins (3) Francisco Liriano (3) Huston Street (3) J.B. Shuck (3) Jack Morris (3) Jacoby Ellsbury (3) Jerome Williams (3) Jerry Hairston (3) Joaquin Benoit (3) Joc Pederson (3) Joe Cronin (3) Joey Votto (3) Juventus (3) LA Galaxy (3) Lance Lynn (3) Magic Johnson (3) Major League Baseball (3) Mississippi State Bulldogs (3) National League Championship Series (3) National League Division Series (3) New England Patriots (3) New York Liberty (3) New York Rangers (3) North American traveling soccer championship (3) North League (3) Oklahoma City Thunder (3) Pittsburgh Steelers (3) Robinson Cano (3) Ryan Braun (3) Scott Downs (3) South Carolina Gamecocks (3) South League (3) Stan Kasten (3) Tim Lincecum (3) Toronto FC (3) Toronto Raptors (3) Tottenham Hotspur (3) UCLA Bruins (3) Villanova Wildcats (3) Vin Scully (3) Virginia Tech Hokies (3) traveling soccer championship (3) women's pro basketball traveling championship (3) AC Milan (2) Adam Dunn (2) Al Alburquerque (2) Alabama Crimson Tide (2) Alcides Escobar (2) Alex Gordon (2) Alex Rios (2) Alexander Cartwright (2) Allen Craig (2) American League Division Series (2) Anibal Sanchez (2) Arte Moreno (2) Atlanta United FC (2) Austin Jackson (2) Barry Bonds (2) Bartolo Colon (2) Baseball Hall of Fame (2) Billy Hamilton (2) Borussia Dortmund (2) Borussia Mochengladbach (2) Brandon Crawford (2) Brandon League (2) Brian McCann (2) Bud Norris (2) Buster Posey (2) Carlos Gomez (2) Central League (2) Chad Billingsley (2) Chase Headley (2) Chase Utley (2) Chelsea FC (2) Chicago Bulls (2) Chris Davis (2) Chris Iannetta (2) Chris Johnson (2) Chris Paul (2) Chris Young (2) Cleveland Cavaliers (2) Cliff Lee (2) Clint Hurdle (2) Cole Hamels (2) Colorado Avalanche (2) Corey Seager (2) Craig Kimbrel (2) Cy Young (2) Dallas Keuchel (2) Davey Johnson (2) Derek Jeter (2) Didi Gregorius (2) Doug Fister (2) English Premier League (2) FC Dallas (2) Frank McCourt (2) George Springer (2) Gerrit Cole (2) Giancarlo Stanton (2) Gio Gonzalez (2) Green Bay Packers (2) Greg Maddux (2) Hall of Fame (2) Hank Conger (2) Hisashi Iwakuma (2) Indiana Pacers (2) Jacob deGrom (2) Jason Grilli (2) Jay Bruce (2) Jeff Bagwell (2) Jerry Sands (2) Jimmy Rollins (2) Joe Girardi (2) Joe Kelly (2) John Lackey (2) Jordan Zimmermann (2) Josh Beckett (2) Justin Upton (2) Kelvin Herrera (2) Lee Smith (2) Liga MX (2) Liverpool (2) Logan Forsythe (2) Los Angeles Kings (2) Luis Mendoza (2) Lyle Overbay (2) Madison Bumgarner (2) Manny Machado (2) Marlon Byrd (2) Melky Cabrera (2) Miami Hurricanes (2) Michael Wacha (2) Mickey Hatcher (2) Mike Fiers (2) Mike Moustakas (2) Montreal Canadiens (2) Montreal Impact (2) Napoli (2) Nathan Eovaldi (2) National League West (2) Ned Colletti (2) New York Red Bulls (2) Nick Swisher (2) Northeast Conference (2) Northwest Conference (2) Oregon Ducks (2) Paul Goldschmidt (2) Pedro Alvarez (2) Pete Kozma (2) Philadephia Eagles (2) Portland Timbers (2) Ricky Nolasco (2) Roger Clemens (2) Roy Williams (2) Russell Martin (2) Ryan Vogelsong (2) Ryan Zimmerman (2) Seattle Sounders (2) Seattle Storm (2) Shane Victorino (2) Southwest Conference (2) St. Louis Blues (2) Stephen Strasburg (2) Steven Strasburg (2) Ted Turner (2) Terry Francona (2) Tony Cingrani (2) Tony LaRussa (2) Toronto Maple Leafs (2) Torri Hunter (2) Utah Jazz (2) Victor Martinez (2) Washington Capitals (2) Werder Bremen (2) Wil Myers (2) World Series (2) Yu Darvish (2) college football national traveling championship (2) continental traveling hockey championship (2) eastern hockey traveling championship (2) interleague traveling baseball championship (2) pro basketbal traveling championship (2) traveling championship (2) western basketball traveling championship (2) western hockey traveling championship (2) 1899 Hoffenheim (1) A'ja Wilson (1) AS Roma (1) Aaron Hamilton (1) Aaron Harang (1) Aaron Judge (1) Adam Dunn (1) Adam LaRoche (1) Adam Wainwright (1) African traveling soccer championship (1) Al Campanis (1) Alan Wiggins (1) Aldosivi (1) Alejandro De Aza (1) Alex Avila (1) Alex Guerrero (1) Alexander Ovechkin (1) Alysha Clark (1) American League West (1) American division traveling football championship (1) Andres Ghiggia (1) Andrew Heaney (1) Andrew McCtchen (1) Andrew Miller (1) Andy Pettitte (1) Annibal Sanchez (1) Anthony Rizzo (1) Argentine traveling soccer championship (1) Aroldis Chapman (1) Arsenal (1) Asian traveling soccer championship (1) Astros (1) Atlanta Hawks (1) Auston Matthews (1) Babe Ruth (1) Baltimore Orioles Kansas City Royals (1) Barry Larkin (1) Bayer Leerkusen (1) Ben Wade (1) Benji Molina (1) Bert Blyleven (1) Bert Campaneris (1) Bill Foley (1) Billy Buckner (1) Blake Griffin (1) Bo Porter (1) Bobby Cox (1) Bobby Thompson (1) Boca Juniors (1) Bordeaux (1) Boston Celtics (1) Brad Ausmus (1) Brad Havens (1) Brad Lidge (1) Branch Rickey (1) Brandon Maurer (1) Brandon McCarthy (1) Brandon Morrow (1) Brandon Moss (1) Brandon Snyder (1) Brazilian traveling soccer championship (1) Breanna Stewart (1) Brendan Ryan (1) Brett Lawrie (1) Brett Wallace (1) Brian Cashman (1) Brian Harper (1) Bruce Bochy (1) Bryan Price (1) Buck Showalter (1) Buffalo Sabres (1) Bundesliga (1) Butler Bulldogs (1) Buzz Williams (1) C.J. Kron (1) CBS (1) CC Sabathia (1) Caleb Joseph (1) Calgary Flames (1) Calgary Stampeders (1) California Angels (1) Canadian traveling football championship (1) Candace Parker (1) Carlos Correa (1) Carlos Frias (1) Carlos Gonzalez (1) Carlos Marmol (1) Celta Vigo (1) Chad Qualls (1) Charlie Coyle (1) Chiapas (1) Chicago Bears (1) Chicago Fire (1) Chicago Sky (1) Chris Archer (1) Chris Carpenter (1) Chris Perez (1) Chris Tillman (1) Christiano Ronaldo (1) Citi Field (1) Clay Bucchholz (1) Cleveand Indians (1) Club América (1) Colin Cowgill (1) Columbus Crew (1) Conor Sheary (1) Coors Field (1) Cornbelt Conference (1) Costa del Este (1) Cotton Nash (1) Craig Biggio (1) Curt Schilling (1) Dabo Swinney (1) Dale Murphy (1) Dallas Wings (1) Dan Straily (1) Daniel Nava (1) Danny Duffy (1) Dansby Swanson (1) Darryl Sutter (1) Darwin Barney (1) Davey Lopes (1) David DeJesus (1) David Murphy (1) David Ousted (1) David Peralta (1) David Wright (1) Dawn Staley (1) DeMar Derozan (1) Dean Chance (1) Denver Broncos (1) Detroit Red Wings (1) Devan Dubnyk (1) Devon Travis (1) Dick Jacobs (1) Dillon Gee (1) Dioner Navarro (1) Don Mincher (1) Don Sutton (1) Dr. James Naismith (1) Draymond Green (1) Drayton McLane (1) Drew Hutchison (1) Dries Mertens (1) Duke Blue Devils (1) Dustin Byfuglein (1) Dusty Baker (1) Earl Weaver (1) Ed Creech (1) Edinson Volquez (1) Edmonton Oilers (1) Edwin Jackson (1) Efren Navarro (1) Eintracht Frankfurt (1) Elena Della Donne (1) Elian Herrera (1) Empoli (1) Ender Inciarte (1) Endy Chavez (1) English Big Six (1) English Little Six(ish) (1) English Middle Six (1) Eric Sogard (1) Eric Staal (1) European traveling soccer championship (1) Evan Gattis (1) Evan Longoria (1) Everton FC (1) FC Köln (1) Farhan Zaidi (1) Felix Hernandez (1) Feyenoord Rotterdam (1) Football Association (1) Four-by-four baseball regions (1) France (1) Frank Viola (1) Frank Wren (1) Fred McGriff (1) Freddie Gray (1) Freddy Galvis (1) Free State Stars (1) French Big Six (1) French Little Six(ish) (1) French Middle Six (1) French soccer inner pyramid (1) Garrett Williams (1) Gary Sanchez (1) Gene Mauch (1) Geno Auriemma (1) Genoa (1) German Big Six (1) German Little Six (1) German Middle Six (1) German inner pyramid (1) German traveling soccer championship (1) Gerry Hunsicker (1) Gonzaga Zags (1) Goran Dragic (1) Grant Green (1) Greg Holland (1) Guggenheim Baseball Management (1) Halle Berry (1) Happy Chandler East (1) Happy Chandler West (1) Harry Carey (1) Hassan Whiteside (1) Heath Bell (1) Henry Aaron Award. (1) Holland (1) Houston (1) Houston Rockets (1) Howard Kendrick (1) Ian Kinsler (1) Ichiro Suzuki (1) Incheon United (1) Indiana Fever (1) Indianapolis Colts (1) Italian Big Six (1) Italian Little Six(ish) (1) Italian Middle Six (1) Italian inner pyramid (1) Italian traveling soccer championship (1) Ivan DeJesus (1) J.B. Schuck (1) J.J. Hardy (1) J.J.Hardy (1) J.P. Howell (1) Jack Kent Cooke (1) Jack McKeon (1) Jackie Robinson (1) Jake Marisnick (1) Jake Odorizzi (1) Jake Peavy (1) James Paxton (1) James Shielss (1) Jamie McCourt (1) Jamie Wright (1) Jared Weaver (1) Jarrod Dyson (1) Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1) Jason Giambi (1) Jason Hammel (1) Jason Heyward (1) Jason Isringhausen (1) Jason Zucker (1) Javy Guerra (1) Jeff Samadrzija (1) Jeff Samardjzia (1) Jeonbuk Motors (1) Jhonny Peralta (1) Jim Abbott (1) Jim Eppard (1) Jim Eppel (1) Jim Fregosi (1) Jim Hickey (1) Jim Johnson (1) Jim Palmer (1) Jimmie Hall (1) Jimmy Nelson (1) Jimmy Piersall (1) Joc Pedersen (1) Joe Mauer (1) Joe Morgan (1) Joe Saunders (1) Joe Thatcher (1) Joe Torre (1) JoeGirardi (1) Joel Berry II (1) Joel Hanrahan (1) John Angelos (1) John Farrell (1) John Helyar (1) John Jay (1) John O'Donnell Stadium (1) John Roseboro (1) Johnny Cueto (1) Johnny Giavotella (1) Jon Niese (1) Jonathan Papelbon (1) Jonathan Quick (1) Jonathan Schoop (1) Jordan Lyles (1) Jose Abreu (1) Jose Bautista (1) Jose Peraza (1) Jose Quintana (1) Jose Reyes (1) Jose Valverde (1) Joseph Wapner (1) Josh Donaldson (1) Josh Harrison (1) Jozy Altidore (1) Juan Marichal (1) Juan Pierre (1) Juan Rivera (1) Justin Jackson (1) Justin Turner (1) Kaizer Chiefs (1) Kansas City Royals Pittsburgh Pirates (1) Ken Giles (1) Ken Rosenthal (1) Kentucky Wildcats (1) Kevin Correia (1) Kevin Jepson (1) Kevin Kiermaier (1) Kevin Malone (1) Kevin Tapani (1) Koji Uehara (1) Kole Calhoun (1) Kris Bryant (1) Kris Jenkins (1) Kris Medlen (1) Kwami Leonard (1) Kyle Kubitza (1) Kyle Seager (1) L.J. Hoes (1) La Liga (1) LaMarr Hoyt (1) Lance McCullers (1) Larry Dolan (1) Lazio (1) Legia Warsaw (1) Leicester City FC (1) LewWolff (1) León (1) Leônidas (1) Ligue 1 (1) Logan White (1) Lords of the Realm (1) Lorenzo Cain (1) Louisville Cardinals (1) Lyon (1) Major League Soccer (1) Major League Soccer standings (1) Mamelodi Sundowns (1) Manchester City (1) Maracanazo (1) Maracanã (1) Marcell Ozuna (1) Marge Schott (1) Mariano Rivera (1) Mark McGwire (1) Mark Mulder (1) Mark Reynolds (1) Mark Scheifele (1) Martin Prado (1) Marvin Miller (1) Masahiro Tanaka (1) Matt Adams (1) Matt Carpenter (1) Matt Dominguez (1) Matt Harvey (1) Matt Joyce (1) Matt Moore (1) Matt Shoemaker (1) Matt Wieters (1) Max Kruse (1) Max Scherzer (1) Maya Moore (1) Memphis Grizzlies (1) Mexican Big Six (1) Mexican Little Six (1) Mexican Middle Six (1) Mexican inner pyramid (1) Michael Bourn (1) Michael Cuddyer (1) Michael Roth (1) Michael Young (1) Michigan State Spartans (1) Mikael Granlund (1) Mike Bolsinger (1) Mike Ilitch (1) Mike Illitch (1) Mike Leake (1) Mike Matheny (1) Mike Minor (1) Mike Mussina (1) Mike Napoli (1) Mike Piazza (1) Mike Zunino (1) Mikko Koivu (1) MilwaukeeBrewers (1) Minnesota United FC (1) Monaco FC (1) Monterrey (1) Mookie Betts (1) NBA (1) NBA Ear of Corn (1) NBA East Ear of Corn (1) NBA West Ear of Corn (1) NBA east traveling championship (1) NBA traveling championship (1) Nashville Predators (1) National Football League (1) National Hockey League (1) National League Divisional Series (1) National division pro football traveling championship (1) Nebraska Cornhuskers (1) Nes York Yankees (1) New Jersey Devils (1) New Orleans Saints (1) New York FC (1) New York Giants (1) New York Knickerbockers (1) NewYork Yankees (1) Newcastle United (1) Nice (1) Nick Markakis (1) Nick Saban (1) Nino Niederreiter (1) Nolan Ryan (1) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1) Oakland Raiders (1) Ottawa RedBlacks (1) PNC Park (1) PSV Eindhoven (1) Pachuca (1) Palermo (1) Paul Maholm (1) Paul Molitor (1) Paul Splittorff (1) Pedro (1) Pekka Rinne (1) Pelé (1) Pete Carroll (1) Peter Bourjos (1) Phil Hughes (1) Phil Jackson (1) Phil Kessel (1) Philadelphia Union (1) Pittsburgh Panthers (1) Plaza Amador (1) Portland Trail Blazers (1) Preston Tucker (1) Prince Fielder (1) Pro football traveling championship (1) Quad Cities Angels (1) R.A. Dickey (1) R.A.Dickey (1) Ralph Garr (1) Randy Choate (1) Real Salt Lake (1) Real Sociedad (1) Reggie Jackson (1) Reims (1) Rich Gale (1) Rich Hill (1) Rick Monday (1) Rick Reichardt (1) Rickey Henderson (1) River Plate (1) Robert Cannon (1) Robert Lurie (1) Roberto Hernandez (1) Roger Scruton (1) Rogers Hornsby (1) Rohinson Cano (1) Ron Cey (1) Ron Washington (1) Roughned Odor (1) Rubby De La Rosa (1) Ryan Howard (1) Ryan Ludwick (1) Sacramento Kings (1) Safeco Field (1) Salvador Perez (1) Sam LeCure (1) San Francico Giants (1) San Francisco Giants (1) San Jose (1) San Jose Earthquakes (1) San Jose Sharks (1) Sandy Koufax (1) Saskatchewan Roughriders (1) Scott Diamond (1) Scott Dres (1) Scott Kazmir (1) Sean Marshall (1) Seattle Seahawks (1) Sebastian Giovinco (1) Second Divison (1) Seimone Augustus (1) Serie A (1) Seth Smith (1) Sevilla FC (1) Shin-Soo Choo (1) Silvio Berlusconi (1) Sonny Gray (1) South American traveling soccer championship (1) Southeast Conference (1) Southern California Trojans (1) Spanish Big Six (1) Spanish Little Six(ish) (1) Spanish Middle Six (1) Spanish inner pyramid (1) Spanish traveling soccer championship (1) Sporting CP (1) Sporting KC (1) Staples Center (1) Starlin Castro (1) Stephen Drew (1) Steve Carlton (1) Steve Garvey (1) Super Bowl (1) Suwon Bluewings (1) Swansea City (1) Sylvia Fowles (1) Syracuse Orange (1) Taijuan Walker (1) Talleres Cordoba (1) Tampa Bay Lightning (1) Texas A&M Aggies (1) Texas Christian Horned Frogs (1) Tim Federowicz (1) Tim Holbrook (1) Tim Hudson (1) Tim Raines (1) Tina Charles (1) Todd Frazier (1) Toluca (1) Tom Glavine (1) Tom Seaver (1) Toronton Blue Jays (1) Trevor May (1) Trevor Rosenthal (1) Tri-annual regional baseball leagues (1) Tronto Blue Jays (1) Ty Cobb (1) UANL (1) UNAM (1) Vernon Wells (1) Victor Vázquez (1) Vladimir Guerrero. (1) WAR (1) Wade Davis (1) Wade LeBlanc (1) Wade Miley (1) Walter Haas (1) Walter O'Malley (1) Wandy Rodriguez (1) Warren Giles League (1) Washington Mystics (1) Washington Natinals (1) Washington Redskins (1) Washington Senators (1) Watford (1) Wellington Castillo (1) West Ham United (1) Will Myers (1) Wilmer Flores (1) Wily Peralta (1) Wins Above Replacement (1) Wisconsin Badgers (1) World Cup (1) Xavier Musketeers (1) Yadier Molina (1) Yan Gomes (1) Yankee Stadium (1) Yuli Gurriel (1) Zach Britton (1) Zach Parise (1) Zack Cozart (1) baseball (1) baseball continental traveling championship (1) baseball traveling championship (1) college football (1) drug testing (1) eastern pro basketball traveling championship (1) hockey traveling championship (1) men's college basketball long traveling championship (1) men's college basketball short traveling championship (1) pro basketball Ear of Corn (1) pro basketball First Division (1) pro basketball Fourth Division (1) pro basketball Second Division (1) pro basketball Third Division (1) pro hockey (1) pro soccer (1) realignment (1) soccer (1) steven Souza (1) test (1) western pro hockey traveling championship (1) women's college basketball long traveling championship (1) women's college basketball short traveling championship (1) women's pro basketball First Division (1) world traveling soccer championship (1)