It’s All Here The Signs Are There You Just Simply Have To Follow Them
I’m no longer surprised by the results I’ve seen within baseball this season , simply put some teams have been on top of their game while others have struggled merely to have some semblance of success within their respective divisions . There have been one or two surprise and along the way we’ve seen some teams have their fair share of problems .
Slide show for your perusal .
Now I’m not about to suggest that I know what this season may well hold for the teams but I for one am expecting the season to be an eventful and exciting one. Between now and the end of the regular season on the 28th of September there’s a great deal of baseball to be played . This season’s All Star Game will be held at Chase Field in Phoenix , Arizona home to the Arizona Diamondbacks . And given the sensitivity in nature of the game being staged within the state of Arizona and the legislative — immigration bill ( SB1070) passed within the state and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer (R-Az) . I do believe that this will undoubtedly lead to a tumultuous head on collision in part with many of the Hispanic players within the league and baseball’s hierarchy ! With the league hierarchy itself having not made any contingency plans to move the event from out of the state it essentially sends a sign to the bill’s opponents and the players in general the game and the hierarchy will not be bullied with regard to a political issue . That being said with the Justice Department on behalf of the government challenging the legality of this law and a number civil liberties’ unions ( ACLU & La Raza ) looking on monitoring this issue it remains to be seen how the process will actually play itself out in the end.
To my mind unencumbered by this I do feel that MLB will have a hard time justifying itself in the eyes of the Hispanic fans of the game as they see what in their eyes is tantamount to a draconian law that invades their civil rights . But needless to say much of the responsibility I believe lies in the hands of the House of Representatives the Senate , current and Presidential ___ administrations and their unwillingness to attack the immigration issue head on ! Now with there bound to be fervent support and opposition for this measure coming from both sides of political diaspora on this issue we could very well see a situation where the game of baseball is held up for full scrutiny in the public domain. And given the game’s history and all that it has done in terms of fully implementing the progress of integration of minorities within the game after the introduction of Jackie Robinson as a player for the Brooklyn Dodgers . I’d certainly like to think that the nation has come a long way from those years where the racial divide and intolerance was a gigantic chasm that was so wide that it simply seemed beyond belief. It would appear that we’ve still a long way to go and much of that could very well be played out leading up to the staging of the All Star Game this season in Arizona .
It has been fun of late watching the Atlanta Braves play themselves into contention within the NL East . Having won six of their last 10 games it should come as no surprise that they find themselves a mere 2 1/2 game behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies (26-16) . Though it has to be said that the Phillies are seen as the presumptive favorites to be the NL’s representative in the World Series . I do believe that there are number of teams within the NL that are looking to usurp that team and show that they are worthy of that accolade. Much to my own surprise the team I once followed fervently when I lived in South Florida , the Florida Marlins now seem to be playing with a great deal of abandonment , thoroughly enjoying themselves and assets brought to the table by Edwin Rodriguez and his coaching staff . At the same time I’d like to think that those very same attributes that Fredi Gonzalez has brought to the Marlins when he was their manager are the very same that can now be found within this Braves’ organization since he succeeded Bobby Cox as the the team’s manager .
The Braves with a mix of veteran presence and a great deal of youth scattered around this roster are not simply looking at the immediacy of this season but also to the long term. When the likes of Chipper Jones , Tim Hudson , Derek Lowe and Alex Gonzalez are set to call it a day , I’d like to think that the leadership qualities that they’ve instilled into the young players on this team will make a great deal of difference . Groomed no doubt as the heir apparent as the leader of this team is Jason Heyward whose qualities cannot be denied as a player . Hits for average , has great defensive skills for one so young and still learning the game. But that asides this simply isn’t about Heyward alone, as there are some other promising young stars on this team for which GM Frank Wren and the coaching staff have to be complimented on , in their astute assessment of the talent they’ve acquired for the Braves’ organization. The farm system is deep in young talent and many of their top —- 10 prospects would most certainly create an envious gaze from the from the general managers around the league .
The season and what the likes of Jair Jurrjens , Tommy Hanson , Jonny Venters , Craig Kimbrel and the rest of the pitching staff are able to do may well dictate how far the Braves can actually go this season .
Of the three divisions within the National League it is my distinct opinion that the most competitive has to be the NL East and that is with due respect to the NL Central and NL West ! Inasmuch , as we’re told that the likes of the Los Angeles Dodgers , Colorado Rockies , San Diego Padres , San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks within the NL West are very competitive . In large part the play there tends to be either pedantic or lackadaisical the majority of the time . Within the NL Central and the sextet of teams there are either in a two or three horse race led by the St Louis Cardinals , Cincinnati Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers with the trio of of the Houston Astros , Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates normally left to fight amongst themselves as to who the bottom feeders might be within the division . That scenario could very well play itself out once again this season .
At this point of the season with most teams having played one quarter of their schedule things are not fully clear in terms of the divisional stalwarts that we may well see as presumptive participants in the postseason. The one thing we do know for sure is that teams such as the New York Mets , Seattle Mariners , Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros could very well be playing catch-up over the remainder of the season if they don’t start playing a great deal more purpose and zeal than they are presently doing.
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In light of the the All Star Game being staged at Chase Field in Arizona this July do you feel that the MLB hierarchy and team owners are under any obligation to relocate the event elsewhere ? And with regard to the other points raised within this piece simply chime in a comment as you deem fit .
Alan aka tophatal …………………..
Picture and slide show details below.
(1) Washington Nationals manager Jim Riggleman,left, argues a call with umpire Bill Miller during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets Thursday, May 19, 2011, at Citi Field in New York. The Nationals lost the game 1-0 . AP Photo/Frank Franklin II …..
(2) Joel Hanrahan (52) of the Pittsburgh Pirates is congratulated by Chris Snyder(19) following the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on May 19, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Pirates won 5-3 . Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images …….
(3) This Sept. 22, 2010, file photo shows Jamie McCourt arriving at court for her divorce trial, in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the estranged wife of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will ask a L.A. Superior Court judge to order the immediate sale of the team. AP Photo/Nick Ut …….
(5) PHOENIX, AZ – MAY 18: Ryan Roberts (14) of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrates after scoring the game winning run past catcher Brian McCann (16) of the Atlanta Braves in the eleventh inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Braves 5-4 in eleven innings. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …….
(6) Chipper Jones (10) of the Atlanta Braves warms up on deck during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……
(7) PHOENIX, AZ – MAY 18: Martin Prado (14) of the Atlanta Braves hits a RBI sacrifice fly against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images ……
(8) Jason Heyward (22) of the Atlanta Braves watches from the dugout during the Major League Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images……..
(9) Juan Miranda (46) of the Arizona Diamondbacks safely slides in to score past catcher Brian McCann(notes) #16 of the Atlanta Braves during the fourth inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on May 18, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images …….
(10) Manager Fredi Gonzalez (right) of the Atlanta Braves looks on during the pregame festivities before facing the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field on May 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox ………
MLB Standings 19th May 2011