Baseball’s Early Fallacies
It is early. Verrrrrrry early.
Baseball fans have to realize that. They have to take a deep breath and not allow themselves to get carried away by what has transpired in a wacky first week of the season.
Seriously, there are six l-o-n-g months to go. You can’t panic yet. You can’t jump to conclusions. You’ve got to keep it all in some kind of perspective.
To help you in that regard, allow me to address a few early misconceptions:
— The Rangers aren’t going undefeated. Yes, they look strong and confident and they still have to be considered the heavy favorites in the AL West. But as good as that offense is, the pitching depth is still questionable. They can slug their way to the playoffs, but they’ll have to pitch their way back to the World Series, and it is far from certain they can do that.
— The Phillies offense won’t keep averaging 6 runs a game. Eventually the loss of Chase Utley and Jayson Werth will be felt in the middle of that order, and despite all that great starting pitching, this team will have its share of struggles once opposing teams start pitching around Ryan Howard.
— Baltimore’s pitching isn’t this good. Jeremy Guthrie is a solid No. 1, and the kids, including 23-year-olds Chris Tilllman and Zach Britton and 25-year-old Jake Arrieta, are talented. But they’re not to be mistaken for the Phillies’ Phab Phour of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels. Trust me.
— It’s cute that the Royals already have won four in a row, and in another couple of years their farm system, rated No. 1 in baseball, should make them the most exciting young team in the game. But right now, the pitching still stinks and the hitting isn’t much better. They soon will settle into their proper lowly place in the standings and start dreaming warm thoughts about the future.
— The Giants aren’t nearly this inept. Their rotation remains the strongest in the National League, and as soon as they sort out their defensive deficiencies, switching a position here and there, they’ll be right back in the thick of things in the NL West. And oh yes, Buster Posey, the kid catcher, is already a star.
— The 0-6 Red Sox definitely won’t go winless. And their batting order, one of the strongest in either league, won’t look this limp much longer. There are just too many good hitters top to bottom for the Sox to keep this up. Their pitching might be more shaky than some suspected, although Jon Lester is probably the game’s most under the radar ace. But will this team hit? Are you kidding? It’s like asking if the Kennedys are Democrats.
OK? You get the idea? Can all those people who call sports talk shows ranting and wanting everyone fired calm down now?
It’s been a strange first few games. But that’s the point. They are just the first few games.
Baseball isn’t a gushing ocean roar of a season. It is, instead, a long, winding stream that trickles along at its own pace.
Everyone feel better now? Good.
Because I know I do.
— STEVE BISHEFF