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Malaise Forever

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I'm in a bad spot when it comes to writing. On the one hand, I feel like a complete jackass writing negative things about a team with the best record in baseball. On the other hand if I started going "whoo! Dodgers" I'd consider myself a reactionary fool for doing a 90 on a team that I spent most of the off season calling mediocre. Consequently, I'm doing the same thing I always try to do, look for things that lend themselves to interesting analysis, and perform said analysis. Admittedly, this is a lot easier to do when things are going wrong.

The Dodgers were the first team to 10 wins this year, and held the best record in baseball coming into tonight's game. Despite this, I only felt passing joy about my team doing so well. Why? It's a long, long season, and playing well after 14 games isn't an indication of anything. Case in point, here's the last few teams to be the first to 10 wins, and their final records.

  1. Mets (97-65)
  2. Dodgers (71-91)
  3. Dodgers (93-69)/Marlins (83-79)
  4. Giants (100-61)
  5. Indians (74-88)
Other than the rather amazing fact that the Dodgers have been the first team to 10 wins three of the last four years, all this data tells us is that being the first to 10 wins means that you'll probably be a team that finishes above .500. That's certainty if I ever heard it.

To further beat this point down, let's say it would take 90 wins to secure a division title. The Dodgers would need to go 80-68, or .541 ball to wrap up the division. If they were 4-10 at this point, they would need to go 86-60, or .581 to win the division. This comes out to a little more than one extra win a month. Do you see why it's hard for me to get excited about the Dodgers hot start now?

I really wouldn't mind a shorter season, just to make some of these games feel like they really something. It's hard to get excited about sweeping the Diamondbacks when it means that Arizona now has to win one more game than us every three months to make up the deficit. If they just shortened the season to 120 games, maybe it might help me stay enthusiastic throughout the season. I'm happy that the Dodgers are out to their great start, but last season drove into our heads the fact that good or bad two to three week stretches don't mean much.

Some other various news/boneheadedness throughout the league.

Mark Hendrickson is going to take Jason Schmidt's spot in the rotation. About a month ago, I thought Hendrickson was the eighth starter, and he would only take the mound in an emergency. One month later, I'm really not surprised to see him towing the mound in mid April.

I didn't pick the Angels to win the AL West this year simply because it was nearly unfathomable what would happen to that lineup if Vladamir Guerrero got hurt. Today, we found out. They had an Izturis batting third.

Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel, in a clear understanding of sample sizes, has moved number one starter Brett Myers to the bullpen following two bad starts. Whenever things get bad, you can always count on the Phillies to make you feel better.