Check Point #1
A quick summary of who has surprised...in both directions...and where
each team stands in the first half pennant race
Most pleasant surprise: Woody Williams, 3-0,
Most unpleasant surprise: Brandon Larson, a putrid .083 with 0 HR before his demotion; Derek Lowe's 6.04 ERA also deserves mention
Status: would be losing my hair if there were
any left; hoping for 3rd place this half
Commish's wish: some runs for BK Kim would be nice...
Most pleasant surprise: D'Angelo Jimenez, .310,
3 HR, 10 RBI, 2 SB (but wasting away on the Oaktown bench)
Most unpleasant surprise: tough call with so many contenders, but Wade Miller (0-2, 5.47 ERA) gets my vote!
The most interesting thing is that Art has not started to panic, making just one trade (which, of course, backfired as Hatteberg immediately went berserk).
Status: time to start worrying...and sending death threats to anyone who dares to pick his team to finish in the top 5 again, much less to win it all. No chance at the first half.
Hog Mountain Pygmies
Most pleasant surprise: Esteban Loaiza, 5-0,
1.25 ERA (it will really be a surprise if he pitches like that in
Most unpleasant surprise: Randy Johnson, 1-2, 6.94 ERA...with the win coming from the bench
Status: hair rapidly turning gray, but things should improve soon. Should be strong in the second half.
Blue Ridge Chiliheads
Most pleasant surprise: Runelvys Hernandez,
4-0, 1.10 ERA
Most unpleasant surprise: Miguel Tejada, .167, 4 HR, 14 RBI
Since it is silly to expect Doug's offense to taper off, I hereby ask without shame for a serious groin pull for Clemens and a rotator cuff tear for Pettitte.
Status: ridiculously, unfairly good shape...heavy favorite to win first half
Most pleasant surprise: Hank Blalock, .411,
5 HR, 12 RBI
Most unpleasant surprise: Kevin Millwood pitching a no-no from the Clones' bench
Status: very good shape with the current roster, but of course he can't stand to stand pat. One big trade away from winning the first half. Also one big trade away from dropping to 6th.
Most pleasant surprise: Jeter fill-in Royce
Clayton, .276, 4 HR, 14 RBI
Most unpleasant surprise: Junior Spivey, .180, 0 HR, 2 RBI
Status: good shape, mainly because of one monster week. Will finish in top 5 this half.
Most pleasant surprise: nobody really qualifies...but
Edgar Renteria (.323, 4 HR, 17 RBI) is well on his way to a big year
Most unpleasant surprise: Lance Berkman, .222, 2 HR, 4 RBI heads a group of about 20
Status: planning for the 2004 draft
Most pleasant surprise: Jeff Suppan, 4-1, 1.89
Most unpleasant surprise: Curt Schilling, 1-2, 4.28 ERA
Status: time to start worrying about that rotation. Could bounce back in second half, but not a realistic contender this half.
Most pleasant surprise: Rafael Furcal's .330
average is a surprise to me at least
Most unpleasant surprise: The Boston bullpen, which has made Pedro 2-1 instead of 5-1 where he belongs.
Status: considering an audition for a spot in the BoSox pen...figures he couldn't do any worse. Out of the first half running.
Most pleasant surprise: Shea Hillenbrand, .333.
2 HR, 25 RBI
Most unpleasant surprise: if Junior's injury was a surprise, it means Irv can't read...so I'll give this to Ichiro and his .257, 1 HR, 5 RBI production as a second round pick
Status: time to start praying...and maybe sending spiritual healers to see Griffey, Neagle and Fogg. Historically a much stronger team in the second half.
Sig Ep Stunnas
Most pleasant surprise: Jake Peavy, 4-1, 3.99
ERA, 28 Ks in 29 IP
Most unpleasant surprise: Eric Hinske, .230, 1 HR, 12 RBI, 26 Ks in 87 ABs
Status: good shape, looks like I had
this team way underrated. Looking to possibly finish second so his dad
will forgive a few debts.
Most pleasant surprise: it's somewhat of a
surprise that fred McGriff is still in baseball, but Jason Johnson (3-0,
2.55 ERA) has been more productive
Most unpleasant surprise: lots of guys are sucking on this squad, but the only one that really surprises me is Edgardo Alfonzo (.171, 2 HR, 8 RBI). The Giles injury situation is unfortunate...but the rest of us drafted OF depth.
Status: sinking like a rock, odds-on favorite to finish 12th this half