The Florida Marlins have lost six straight, the Boston Red Sox have won ten straight, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have won seven of their last ten.
Oh, how things in baseball change so quickly.
That's why I don't panic as a fan of the Cleveland Indians. Look how mediocre the AL Central is. Everyone is within three and a half games of each other.
The next smallest gap between all of the teams in any other division is the four-teamed AL West, and the Mariners are the ones cruising with a three game lead over everyone.
But those numbers can all change in a matter of weeks.
Florida got off to that rocket start, and, granted, they still lead the NL East. They've been brought down to earth after being swept by the Pirates and being humbled by the Phillies.
Which brings me to ask, why are the Pirates only 21st in Power Rankings?
I'm doing Power Rankings for tomorrow, and I plan to give them their due. Not just because they are playing good ball, but they may be one of the few teams overachieving that could actually continue to overachieve.
The Texas Rangers swept the Indians in the first series. In Cleveland, people are making it sound like the world is ending, despite going 7-9 since the opening series. Texas has gone 5-10 in that span.
Things just don't stay the same. Teams get off to bad starts, some worse than others. Some teams are just bad all the time, like the Nationals. There are others who get off to hot starts, go through little slumps, but manage to emerge as true winners.
Either way, the ones who are still winning now need some love. They didn't just win a few games in the first week; they are playing some good baseball.
Give them their due. But also give teams like Diamondbacks, Mets, Twins, Indians, Yankee some chances to play their game and establish themselves.
Milton Bradley, you suck.
Has everyone finally realized what a whack job Milton Bradley is?
It took Los Angeles, Oakland, San Diego, and, of course, Cleveland only a little bit of time before they finally realized it.
Texas had him for a year. He was fantastic for them, both on the field and off the field, but even they weren't about to put up with him.
So Chicago takes him on, not just by adding him, but by giving him a three year contract.
I'm so sorry.
People might have thought, "Well. Bradley will give the team a right-handed hitting presence in the lineup that is sorely needed, so I know what you're saying about DeRosa, but this is for the better."
What I was saying about DeRosa is actually quite pertinent. How ironic is it that this team replaced a grade-A clubhouse guy with a moldy, bottom-of-the-bag bread clubhouse guy?
I defy one person to come to this man's aid. If anyone can make a strong case for why Milton Bradley isn’t insane, or at least a little angry at the world, I might give you a medal.
He's a problem child, always will be, no matter what happens or where he goes, unless someone slaps him across the face and he goes through a miraculous change. You can't believe a word that he says.
"I'm a positive person, an upbeat person," Bradley told [Cubs.com]. "I'm trying to focus on what I'm trying to do here. My teammates are behind me, and the more reporters get in my face, the more I talk, the more things get written the way I don't say them or they're taken out of context, and that's when you lose teammates and you lose fans. The best strategy for me has always been to not say anything."
Yet you continue to talk and blame the people around you?
You are a confused individual, Milton, and I feel sorry for you.
This is the same guy who called an up-and-coming Cleveland team a "sinking ship" after he departed, threw a bucket of balls onto the field, injured himself arguing with an umpire, and tried to go after a television commenter after he heard him say something,
Is he misunderstood? Maybe. Have the media and maybe umpires hefted things onto him that he doesn't deserve. At times, no doubt, but that's what you get when you are an angry individual.
And Milton may have changed over the years to become more mature, but he's still the same core Milton Bradley.
I have no love loss for the guy after what he did in Cleveland, I won't deny it. But everyone deserves a second and maybe a third chance. Milton has had tons of them and everywhere he goes he finds a way to alienate people.
Did he really have to come out and reaffirm something that he wasn't going to do by actually doing it?
He said that he wasn't going to talk. But that isn't the way Milton Bradley operates, no. He had to tell people why he wasn't talking.
Stick to your word: don't talk. Let people make up things about you. If you aren't talking, then we can't say anything. I hadn't heard a peep out of Chicago about Milton Bradley until you spoke up. Things, as far as I knew, were going pretty well.
Then you said something, and now I know about it, other people pick up on it, fools like me write about it, and now look where you are at: in the loony bin.
Congrats, Milton, you are the everlasting whack job of my young-adult baseball life. I'll never forget you.
Roundabout of Randomness
Welcome to 2009, Trevor Hoffman. The Brewers activated their new closer after he started the year on the disabled list. They need him with Todd Coffey closing out games for them.
Congratulations to Albert Pujols for knocking in his 1,000th RBI of his career. However, I must say that he didn't really deserve it.
Okay, he does, but did you see the pitch he hit? What kind of jerk throws Pujols a first pitch fastball, right down the middle, with the bases loaded?
David Patton, a rookie. Welcome to the big leagues, buddy.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Indians rookie Tony Sipp struck out Justin Morneau and the hot-hitting Jason Kubel in back-to-back at-bats with the bases loaded on Sunday. It was just his second major league appearance and he came into a dicey situation.
I think it's funny to have the same sort of situation and different outcomes. Now, follow their careers and see which one is more successful.
The Tribe's first round pick in the 2008 Draft, Lonnie Chisenhall, hit two grand slam home runs in consecutive games this past week. He also had 13 RBI in just three games, because he hit a three-run shot in the game following his second grand slam. That's what you call making up for lost time, because he only had four RBI going into the series.
Where is Pedro Martinez going to play? The Nationals can't be serious, can they? Better yet, Pedro can't be serious, can he? Why would he go play for the one team that has been eliminated from playoff contention?
And why wouldn't the Angels go out and sign him? Ryan Dreese? Really?
I just used seven question marks in a row; I don't think you can beat that if you tried, could you?
From the department that you've never seen before: Ryan Braun had a game that noone else has had in 25 years. 5-5, two home runs and three infield singles.
More impressively, we had the first Sanchez-on-Sanchez crime. Freddy Sanchez hit the first home run off someone with his own last name, Anibal Sanchez.
Why is everyone making a big deal about Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home plate in Sunday night's Boston win over New York?
I've seen Grady Sizemore steal home twice in the past few years. Someone did it against Andy Pettitte a few yeas ago as well.
Its fun, and I like to remark about it as much as the next person.
But when a Red Sox does it in a game against the Yankees?
Everyone marks out.
Speaking of marking out, who called Zack Greinke as the AL Cy Young? I sure as hell didn't, but I heard a few people—maybe club officials—make the prediction. What an ugly way for his consecutive innings scoreless streak to end. It wasn't even an earned run!
Brandon Inge is approaching something he did back in 2005. He reached base in his 18th straight game on Sunday and, with four more games, he'll surpass the 21 games he started the season with back in '05.
Out of all their ups and downs this decade, he's been a guy who brought that team through it all. Despite their awful 20-loss pitchers to their good one that went to a World Series, Inge has been the one constant.
In the draft world, Quan Cosby spent a few years in the Angels system after being drafted in the sixth round back in 2001. He was drafted higher in baseball than football because Cosby went undrafted this year in the NFL.
Cosby was pretty old, 27, for a college football player, but after so many years in the Angels system, he decided to give football a try. He's signed on with the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent, and, hopefully, the football avenue works out for him.
Nino Colla is Talking every Monday of the baseball season, or whenever time needs to be wasted, provided objects don't get thrown.