by Tommy Gimler
R.A. Dickey’s name was mentioned more times on SportsCenter than Tim Tebow, the Dodgers are reeling, and oh yeah, YOUK!!!!
Stud Team of the Week – Boston Red Sox (5-1)
It was quite the week for the Sawks. On the field, they averaged almost eight runs per game as they dismantled two NL East teams that were supposed to compete for that division’s crown (Braves, Marlins). Off the field, they were able to move Kevin Youkilis and actually got something in return.
The Youkilis deal had to be done, and the fact that the White Sox were willing to take care of $2 million of Youk’s salary plus send over two human beings made Chicago an easy choice. Taking over as the everyday third baseman is Will Middlebrooks, who has been on fire since being called up to the men’s game. In the last week alone, Middlebrooks hit .625 with 10 hits, 3 HR, and 10 RBI.
Boston finds themselves a season-high four games over .500 and only 5.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. The scary thing is that the Sox are that close even though Felix Doubront has just as many wins (8) as Jon Lester and Josh Beckett combined.
Runner(s) Up: Arizona Diamondbacks (5-1), Texas Rangers (5-1)
DUD Team of the Week – Los Angeles Dodgers (1-5)
Where would this team be if Chris Capuano wasn’t 9-2? Cap was brilliant again against the Angels on Saturday, throwing seven innings of one-run ball as the Dodgers won their only game of the week. He’s by far the biggest reason why the Dodgers’ pitching staff currently ranks 2nd in MLB with a 3.24 ERA.
But offensively, the Dodgers are so bad right now that they almost lost that game. Their three runs were a result of a fielder’s choice, two errors, and an infield single. To say the Dodgers’ offense misses Matt Kemp is a bigger understatement than saying I would kind of be happy if I caught my fiance scissoring Kate Upton. Since June 1st, the Dodgers are averaging less than 3.7 runs per game, good for 23rd in MLB. I’ll let you guess where their 6 home runs, yes, 6 home runs, rank in the bigs over that same span.
The Dodgers’ next 14 games are against teams with a combined winning percentage of .536, including three against the Giants and four against the Diamondbacks. If somebody doesn’t step up offensively, they’ll be out of first place before the All-Star break, if not by the end of June.
Runner Up: Miami Marlins (1-5)
Stud Player of the Week – 3B Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox
Amidst the Kevin Youkilis distraction, Middlebrooks just kept his mouth shut and let his bat do the talking. Actually, his bat was screaming. In 16 at-bats, the Red Sox third baseman had 10 hits, 6 for extra bases, 3 HR, and 10 RBI. That was good for a .625 average and 2.007 OPS. Most people consider any OPS over 1.000 to be a pretty good week. Well, except my mom. She thought OPS had something to do with menstruation cycles.
Runner(s) Up: Justin Upton, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Jayson Heyward
DUD Player of the Week – DH Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox
Sometimes when you go up to the plate and swing as hard as you can, you hit spectacular home runs, and women want to meet you in the Pippin’s Tavern men’s room for a quickie. Sometimes when you go up to the plate and swing as hard as you can, you hit absolutely nothing, and that’s also what you’re hitting later that night.
And that pretty much sums up the 2012 season for MLB’s best softball player Adam Dunn. The free-swinging DH had another 22 at-bats this week, and 11 of those finished rather poorly. That gives the “Strikeout King of Chicago” 115 K’s on the year, and he’s on pace for 259. That would shatter the MLB record of 223 set by Mark Reynolds in 2009.
He also finished the week with just two singles (.091 average), lowering his batting average for the season to .215. Look out, Rickie Weeks! Here comes Adam Dunn…
Runner(s) Up: Curtis Granderson, Cody Ransom, Chris Young, Elian Herrera
Dumbest Logan Morrison Tweet of the Week
The DUD’s Response
@LoMoMarlins Hitting .232 & tweeting about gear? I’d save every freebie, dude. You won’t be able to afford new gear for long with those #’s.
Here’s even more proof that the Kevin Youkilis for two guys who will never matter in the big leagues was a great trade for both teams.
If you’re Boston, you’ve unloaded what was about to explode into a major distraction, and you picked up some “potential” in Stewart. You also found somebody to pick up $2 million of Youk’s contract, and now Middlebrooks and his bat will be in the lineup everyday. He’s currently hitting .331 with 9 HR’s and 33 RBI, the first player to have numbers like that through his first 40 games since Albert Pujols in 2001 and just the fifth player ever.
If you’re Chicago, you’re getting a proven veteran and clubhouse leader in Youkilis. He might only be hitting .233 this season, but that is still better than White Sox third basemen. They were hitting .168 with a league-low OPS of .466, 1 HR, and 18 RBI. Christ, they could have picked up Casey McGehee, and he would have looked like an All-Star instead of a fat piece of shit.
Who are these fuckin’ guys?
Don’t cheat. Look away from the computer, pull up your pants, close your eyes, and think hard about which pitchers lead each league in wins. C.C. Sabathia? Jered Weaver? Justin Verlander? Stephen Strasburg? Cole Hamels? Clayton Kershaw?
The answer is none of the above. In the National League, R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball have been lights out this season, winning 11 games so far as well as compiling a 2.31 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. He’s also among the league leaders with 106 strikeouts. This is a guy who coming into the 2012 season had a career record of 41-50, and the most games he had ever won in one season was 11 in 2010. Even after his spectacular start to this season, Dickey still has a career ERA of 4.11. So what’s behind his overnight success? I have no fucking idea.
In the American League, David Price and Matt Harrison sit atop the leaderboard with 10 victories each. Seeing Price at the top really isn’t too surprising, but the average baseball fan outside of Texas probably doesn’t even know that Harrison is a member of the Rangers or any baseball organization for that matter.
Last season was the first in which Harrison threw over 84 innings, and while he finished a respectable 14-9, nobody saw this coming. He’s currently on pace to finish with a 22-7 mark even though opponents are hitting .263 against him. In comparison, opponents are hitting 21 points lower against Price. Then again, with the Rangers’ offense, Harrison could probably finish with a .300 BAA and still win 20 games this year.
Milwaukee Brewers OVER 81.5 wins – DAMN
LA Angels of Anaheim OVER 89.5 wins – Even
Kansas City Royals UNDER 78.5 wins – You fucking know it!!!
Houston Astros UNDER 62.5 wins – DAMN
On pace for: 1-2-1
The Astros won two games in a row last week. I didn’t think that would happen until 2014.