Do you feel, like I do, that things are slow to develop this baseball season?
I understand that it's only two weeks in, but I don't feel like we know very much after seeing two weeks of ballgames played.
The Mets are an example...two full weeks into the season, and they're .500. Perhaps it's indicative of how they'll be all season, and in 23 weeks they'll be sitting at 81-81 (though I doubt it). I wish they had jumped out of the gate, a la the Marlins, and set a tone. But that just doesn't seem to be the way this year is going to go. And not just with the Mets.
Some pitchers' performances this year have been out-of-character. For every Johan Santana or Zack Greinke, there is a Cole Hamels or Tim Lincecum. I don't mind hitters being slow the first couple of weeks, but pitchers are supposed to be ahead of the batters at this point, and I feel like we're not seeing that much.
Perhaps it's too much of a 'fantasy baseball' view on the sport, because with many of these players I focus on their stats for fantasy reasons, and what I thought would be a good fantasy team is having a terrible start...but I feel like it's an overall trend to start 2009.
Speaking of trends...I think now's a good time to stop and look at the starts of 2009 and figure out what's legit and who will fade:
-You read it here first, the Florida Marlins will be a threat all year long. This 11-2 start is no fluke - they have the pitching to hang in the East and in the National League Wild Card races all season.
-Speaking of pitching, the Kansas City Royals have it too. Gil Meche and Zack Greinke shut down the high-powered Texas Rangers offense last weekend. Their 7-5 start is pretty legit - I stand by my pre-season prediction of a better-than-.500 record for K.C. this year. Greinke, by the way, hasn't given up a run in 20+ innings so far this year (he has a 34-inning scoreless streak dating back to last season).
NOT FOR REAL:
-The San Diego Padres will fade. It may be sooner, it may be much later in the season (my prediction is early July), but they are not as good as their 9-4 start might lead you to believe. I do love that they got off to such a good start after everyone predicted them to be the worst team in baseball (a bold prediction in a league in which the Nationals exist), but I think they'll sink towards the bottom of the National League fairly soon. (I'm not even going to waste a paragraph going into how "For Real" Washington's 2-10 start is...the Mets have no excuse losing to them at all this year.)
-Baltimore has already begun their fade from the top of the AL East, and Toronto will follow soon after. They're 10-4, and good for them...but too many injuries to an already-thin pitching staff has them playing with smoke and mirrors (and Roy Halladay) right now. Likewise, the Rays' basement-dwelling days, with their 5-8 start, are bound to end soon.
And I just hope everything normalizes pretty soon...because I'm feeling right now like this is shaping up to be a very abnormal baseball season.