MLB Power Groupings: Who Could Use a Break?

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IJuly 14, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 11:  Raul Ibanez #29 of the Philadelphia Phillies at bat against the New York Mets on June 11, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

We're officially at the break that is not actually the midway point, but we still call it the midway point.

I don't know why we call it the halfway mark when it technically is past the halfway mark.

It's still trendy to call it that though, so we do it.

This is the last week when I don't consider the Wild Card. So get ready to see one more forgiving week of the Power Groupings.

And since we're talking about breaks, this week's comments will have to do with a team needed a break or not.


Welcome to the Disaster Zone

Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Oakland, Washington, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Arizona

Before I get into the break or no break thing, we've got two additions.

The Pirates and Royals cannot run from the disaster zone any longer. They are officially staring disaster right in the eyes.

Let's be frank here though. Do any of these teams not want a break? I mean the stress of a season is enough for anyone to want to take a few days.

But the stress of a losing season, especially if you are a team like Cleveland and Arizona, and you were expected to contend, that is just monumental type stress.

None of these teams were playing particularly well baseball at the time of this little vacation, so there isn’t any particular team wishing the break wouldn’t be here. I'd say Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and San Diego are probably the most eager of all the teams considering the rather more awful play of late.

The best part of the Nationals break was firing Manny Acta, so I'm sure their willingness to end the break has increased.


Teetering on the Brink of Disaster


See, what happened was...wait, what did happen?

I have no clue, but all of a sudden, the Blue Jays are in fourth place, below .500 and just three games ahead of the lowly Orioles.

You think they don't want this break?

All of a sudden, Roy Halladay is on the block as well. When did this happen?

Toronto has fallen hard and fast, and you'd think with the first half they were having, they would want to keep playing.

Not the case the way it's ended. It's as if they didn't even make that huge run in the first two months anymore.


Shifty Eyes

Atlanta, New York Mets, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, Houston

Things remain unchanged in the group that is a little nervous.

Houston would rather not stop playing baseball, because they've pushed themselves ahead in the division and above the .500 mark. Remember earlier in the decade when the Astros were the team that sucked for the first half and then shot themselves out of a cannon after the break?

Just a random thought that needed to be thrown in, just in case they do it again.

The rest of the teams probably would like a little bit of a break. Cincinnati based of the recent play most definitely, but I think New York is most desperate.

And why wouldn't they with all the injuries they've got? New York needs to rest.


I like the middle, where the center is warm.

Tampa Bay, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota, Seattle, Florida, Colorado

A few of these teams are ones that are on the fence for me as far as wanting a break.

But how could that not happen with a group that is in the middle?

I think both Chicago and Minnesota were both starting to get things figured out, Chicago especially who seems to be heating up offensively. However I don't think the break will hurt things.

Tampa Bay is one of those teams that could either been benefited or harmed. They're getting healthy, which is a positive and I think they're primed to do something here soon.

Seattle, Florida, and Colorado would definitely like to keep playing. While they aren't blazing hot, they all have been playing decent baseball as of late and have made good strides in their division.

Colorado would love to have gone back like a few weeks and go on that streak again.

In it to win it.

New York Yankees, Detroit, Texas, Milwaukee, San Francisco

Typically these teams would rather keep playing, but there is one team that needs this badly, probably more than any other team.

Milwaukee has won just three games in the month of July and are just a game ahead of sudden...contender? Wait is Houston a contender now?

I have no clue, but Milwaukee is falling hard and fast and they need this break.

Texas seemed to be a team that went through a small lull but is gaining their steam back.

The Giants are probably a team that would rather be playing. They also wish that the Dodgers would take a few games off, so maybe they could gain a few on them.


Here we are, where we should be.

Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles Angels, St. Louis, Los Angeles Dodgers

There are two teams in this group that I most definitely put ahead of everyone else, because all of these teams would love to continue playing.

Philadelphia is fire-burning hot right now. This is a team that would rather not sit for a few days and just keep going.

The other team is the Angels, who are finally healthy in the pitching staff for the most part. That has carried them to the point of gaining control of the AL West and playing good baseball.

St. Louis is probably welcoming the break because it's a chance for extra revenue. I mean why not?

Then of course we have the Red Sox and Dodgers sitting there at the top. Does it even matter? They could probably take two weeks off and return to playing their game just as well.


Extra Bases: All-Star Break Awards

AL MVP: Jason Bay, Red Sox

NL MVP: Albert Pujols, Cardinals

AL Cy Young: Zack Greinke, Royals

NL Cy Young: Dan Haren, Diamondbacks

Forget About the Last Half, Hitter: Chris Young, Diamondbacks

Forget About the Last Half, Pitcher: Fausto Carmona, Indians

Breakout Pitcher Next Half, AL: Brett Anderson, Athletics

Breakout Hitter Next Half, AL: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Heat it Up Pitcher Next Half, NL: Derek Lowe, Braves

Heat it Up Hitter Next Half, NL: Adam LaRoche, Pirates

Best Managerial Job: Don Wakamatsu, Mariners

Most Surprising First Half: Milwaukee

Most Disappointing First Half: Cleveland

*All statistics, standings, and opinions were based off their states going into the All-Star Break.


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