July 2, 2008
At the start of the season, I was optimistic for the Brewers and the Dodgers. Well, every season brings its surprise and the big surprise right now is Tampa Bay. The Rays have won something like two out of every three games they've played for the past two months and right now they look like they could give their better-financed rivals in Boston and New York a serious run. Maybe losing the "Devil" in their team nickname was a good idea after all. The Brewers are meeting, but not exceeding, my expectations. They're winning on the mound, with good pitching more than swats. Ben Sheets and Manny Parra, in particular, have impressed. And my Dodgers? Well, they've done a good job of being heartbreakers, once again. The young talent is developing as well as could reasonably be hoped, but the team hasn't gelled all that much even under Joe Torre's leadership, and there hasn't been enough flash or sizzle in any dimension of the team's play to elevate Los Angeles above the .500 mark for more than a game or two in the entire first half of the season. About the only exciting thing they've done in recent memory is win despite getting no-hit. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (the team that lost despite not giving up a single hit to the Blue) are much more exciting, and an Angels-Rays pennant race is, while still improbable, not laughable at this point in the season.