Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
July 8, 2004
BASEBALL: [Cue "Jaws" Music]

Suddenly, the Fourth of July is in the rear view mirror, the All-Star Break is just three games away, and guess what?


Between today and the trade deadline, the Mets play the Marlins 5 times, the Braves 5 times, the Phillies 4 times and the Expos (not visible with the naked eye from the rest of the standings) 6 times. (The Mets are also just 2.5 back in the wild card standings, but I don't regard that as a realistic possibility, whereas the unbalanced schedule gives the team a shot against a wobbly division).

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:00 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

If Bobby Cox manages to win the division with an opening day infield made up of DeRosa and LaRoche, plus losing Giles, Byrd and Ramirez to injuries and watching Chipper bat .220 and Andruw .255, they should begin his HOF balloting immediately.

The Phillies have 3 times more talent than anyone in the division.

Posted by: Ricky at July 8, 2004 12:22 PM

That would indeed be amazing. I don't expect Estrada to keep hitting .330, but then I don't expect Chipper to hit .215, either, and you can never count out a Cox team.

Posted by: The Crank at July 8, 2004 12:43 PM

The Mets are playing great ball of late. But just as those dismissing them seem to have been premature, I think those who were burying the Braves also were speaking too soon.

Posted by: Gerry at July 8, 2004 1:45 PM

If you'd said at the beginning of the season that the Mets would have a record of 43-40 after 83 games, most people would've pegged that as within reasonable expectations (maybe a little optimistic, but not crazily so). So the Mets are "for real" in that sense, even if the way they've done it is a little surprising (Glavine & Leiter's ERAs). What's shocking is that such a record has them so close to the division lead - i.e., that the Phillies (and even the Marlins) haven't played much better than that. Just how many playoff spots are the Phillies going to allow Bowa to cost them out of loyalty to his overrated contributions 25 years ago?

Posted by: Dr. Manhattan at July 8, 2004 3:39 PM

And they should already have begun Cox's HOF balloting, even if he doesn't win this year.

Posted by: Dr. Manhattan at July 8, 2004 3:41 PM

It's really amazing what Hidalgo has done to their lineup. It's certainly nice to see them trot out a fairly set 1-8 every single day and the extra protection to Floyd and Piazza has made such a huge difference.

Barring injury, I think Peterson can keep the rotation at the top of the NL for the rest of the season. With the added run support, I think the Mets can can make a run at both the division and the wild card.

I'm always reluctant to jump on the bandwagon when my team has no expectations going into the season but Peterson and Hidalgo have made a believer out of me.

Posted by: Jay at July 8, 2004 4:58 PM

Peterson has been huge.

Posted by: Gerry at July 8, 2004 9:58 PM
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