Old faces you won't be seeing playing October baseball
As we get closer toward September and baseball's pennant races, it's time to examine how teams are faring in Major League Baseball.
Let's start off with a breakdown of teams who normally make the postseason, who won't be making it this season.
There are five teams this season who won't be playing October baseball, all who were in the playoffs in 2009, some for consecutive seasons.
It'll be weird to see these teams out of it by season's end in place of some new faces.
So here's the list of teams who will be playing golf in October, unexpectedly.
Boston Red Sox (5.5 games behind)
The Boston Red Sox have made the postseason six out of the last seven seasons, only missing out in 2006. This season, it's not going to happen.
Give the Red Sox credit for even being 17 games over .500 at this point with all the injuries they have suffered.
The big blow was to first baseman and heart and sole of the team Kevin Youkilis. After he went down, Dustin Pedroia went back on the disabled list after returning for a couple of games.
They may only be 5.5 games behind for a playoff spot, and they may have great starting pitching, but the Yankees and Rays are too good to collapse.
The Red Sox have been in third place since July 5 and unless they find a way to produce enough offense, they will be watching their two rivals from home.
If they do actually make the playoffs, Terry Francona would have to be frontrunner for AL Manager of the Year.
Los Angeles Angels (7.5 games behind)
The Los Angeles Angels have made the postseason six out of the last eight seasons, missing out in 2003 and 2006.
This has been a very disappointing year for Mike Scioscia's club, as they are only 62-62 and 7.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West. It's their worst 124-game start since 2003.
Earlier in the season, already playing mediocre, they lost Kendry Morales for the season. He broke his leg while emphatically stomping on home plate to celebrate a walk-off grand slam.
Coupled with a lack of run production, only eighth in the AL in runs scored, and a team ERA of 4.36, the Angels just didn't have enough to keep up with the poweful Rangers this season.
They needed a big bat desperately and never really got one at the trading deadline. They were turned down by some veterans including Derrek Lee and Paul Konerko, so that wasn't a good sign in itself.
The AL West will have a very new face in 2010 representing the division in October.
St. Louis Cardinals (2 games behind)
The St. Louis Cardinals made the postseason seven times in the last decade and won a World Series in 2006.
Now, this pick on missing the playoffs is the closest and most debatable call of all five, but I firmly believe the Reds will hold on to win the NL Central. I also think the NL East loser will win the Wild Card, so that's how I see the Cardinals missing out on October.
It's not as if they don't have a chance being they're only two games behind the Philies and 3.5 behind the Reds, but both teams they trail are slightly better.
You can make a case that St. Louis has the fearsome foursome in Pujols, Holliday, Carpenter, and Wainwright, but do they really have enough hitting to keep up with the slugging Reds?
They just won two big games consecutively against the Giants to tie them in the Wild Card race, and they already proved they can play with the Reds by sweeping them in Cincinnati, but a team with Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Scott Rolen and a young pitching staff is more appealing than the Cardinals with a weak infield other than Pujols.
It's surprising though, because they were my spring training pick to win the Central, just not anymore.
Colorado Rockies (7 games behind)
The Colorado Rockies have made the postseason two of the last three seasons, including their magical run to the World Series in 2007.
It's not as if they are perennial playoff contenders, having only gone once (1995) before their mad dash to the Fall Classic, but they were looking like consistent winners, and I picked them to win the NL Wild Card in spring training.
They're only 63-60 and this point, and that's kind of stunning considering their ace has 17 of the wins. Ubaldo Jimenez has won 27 percent of the Rockies games this season, and they didn't really get what they were hoping for from their starting rotation.
Up until recently, they were without Jorge De La Rosa, and they have been without previous staff ace Aaron Cook for a while.
Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez has developed into a star, and the Rockies have a good young nucleus, but the teams they trail in the playoff standings are not going to be caught by the Rockies, if not by the Cardinals.
Los Angeles Dodgers (8 games behind)
The Los Angeles Dodgers have made the postseason four of the last six seasons, missing out in 2005 and 2007. Each of the last two seasons they were eliminated in five games by the Phillies in the NLCS.
The problem with this year's Dodgers team was consistency. They were never able to stay hot for months at a time.
They had a nine-game winning streak in May and took over the best record in the National League, even tying the Padres for first place at one point.
It's shocking that the Dodgers were ever in the race, as they got off to a horrible 8-14 start.
They made some moves at the trading deadline to try and improve but they have just lost six of 10 and are falling farther and farther out of the race.
It looks like Joe Torre will miss the postseason for the first time since his Yankees tenure began in 1996.