MLB Week in Review
by Jordan Adams - 09/06/2006
We're in the final month of the 2006 MLB regular season and with fewer than 30 games to go until the playoffs get underway, a lot is still left to be decided. This week, along with the last week in August, teams have made strong statements about their chances for the postseason. This week's MLB week in review takes a look at the best and worst of the past two weeks and analyzes how it affects the races that are still up for grabs.
With 27 games left to go, this young player is having one of the best individual seasons baseball has witnessed in the past quarter century. After Sunday's game, Howard has totaled a whopping 52 home runs to go with his 133 RBI, both league highs. And with his team fighting neck-and-neck for the NL's wild card spot, how could he not take home the league's MVP award.
New York Yankees
With A-rod now out of his big time funk, the Bombers are clicking on all cylinders. Now only a couple of games behind Detroit for home field advantage, this might be the year where they cash in its gigantic payroll and take home the World Series.
How could manger Joe Girardi have been on his way out the door with the miraculous job he has done in year one in Florida? With basically an All-rookie team on the roster, the Marlins' young talents, particularly their pitchers, have excelled and they are only two games out from making the playoffs.
With his bat-throwing incident behind him, his call up has showed how gifted he really is. In six games with the Devil Rays, Young is hitting .435 with 10 hits, two homers and five RBI. However, his team still is as miserable as ever.
Boston Red Sox
Has any team fallen more quickly than the 2006 Boston Red Sox? With a wonderful chance to close in on the division lead, the Sox responded by getting hammered and swept in the infamous five game series a couple of weeks back. As well, a mountain of starters have been injured; notably David Ortiz, Jason Varitek and Manny Ramirez. Boston now sits 8.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and sixth in the wild card race. Safe to say the season is long gone for the Red Sox Nation.
Although his future was long in doubt back in the first half of the season, nothing seems to be going right for the Cubbies' skipper. His team is still without its injury prone pitchers, Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. Derek Lee has yet to show last year's form, and despite the always packed home games, Chicago fans may slowly be leaning towards the South Side if this nonsense continues.
Chicago White Sox
Although they currently lead the AL wild card race, Chicago seems to consistently lose to bad teams. This week the White Sox have lost three games to Tampa Bay and Kansas City and failed to add to its small ½ game lead over Minnesota. While the postseason is so close, another couple weeks of bad losses will sink them below the Twins.