The landscape of baseball is dramatically changing. The Astros are moving to the AL in 2013 to make it an even fifteen clubs in each league. There will be an extra playoff team in each league as well, starting as soon as next season. In the new format, two wildcard teams will battle each other in a one-game playoff for the chance to play the number one seed. This puts even more emphasis on winning your division, something which the AL East has become less and less concerned with. Finally, three teams have undergone drastic changes in their logos and uniforms. Check it out:
First off, the newly branded Miami Marlins. The logo on the left is of the classic Florida Marlins, the one on the right is for 2012 and beyond.
Second comes the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays have gone through several logo changes over the past few decades, including three different logos in three years. Toronto’s new logo, on the far right, is an homage back to the franchise’s first bird.
Finally we have the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s have undergone numerous logo changes since the franchise moved to Maryland in 1954. The ornithological bird from 1998 was updated to be more stout, majestic, and modern in 2008. Now, much like Toronto, they are reverting back to their old days and going back to the ‘cartoon bird.’ The 2012 logo is a mix of two previous designs…
Baseball is surely changing, but you’ve gotta believe that it’s for the better. In Bud We Trust, right? He’s a UW-Madison grad, so he’s cool in my book. Oh and in case you haven’t heard, RYAN BRAUN was named the 2011 NL MVP.
1. Philadelphia Phillies (35-24; 1st NL East)
No reason for the Phillies to move out of the top spot. Their pitching continues to be rock solid while the return of Chase Utley has sparked their once dormant offense.
2. Texas Rangers (34-26; 1st AL West)
Texas is a major league best 8-2 over their last 10 games. The return of Hamilton and Cruz have ignited the Ranger bats; and Elvis Andrus continues show why he’s one of the best young shortstops in the game.
3. Milwaukee Brewers (33-26; 2nd NL Central)
The Brewers are 19-6 since May 9th, the best record in all of baseball. Three straight 1-run victories on the road versus Florida seem to have dismissed any worries of Milwaukee’s road woes.
4. St. Louis Cardinals (36-25; 1st NL Central)
Albert Pujols seems to be back on track, hitting back-to-back walk-off homers to sink the Cubs. A weekend series at Miller Park should help clear the fuzzy picture atop the NL Central.
5. New York Yankees (33-24; 1st AL East)
The Yanks have regained sole possession of 1st place in baseball’s toughest division thanks to wins in 8 of their last 11 games. Next up is a home series with the Red Sox, who trail New York by 1 game in the standings.
6. Boston Red Sox (33-26; 2nd AL East)
Adrian Gonzalez is hitting a blistering .339 to go along with 12 home runs and a major league leading 50 runs batted in.
7. Arizona Diamondbacks (33-27; 2nd NL West)
The D-backs continue to show pop in their lineup to go along with their surprising starting pitching.
8. Cleveland Indians (33-24; 1st AL Central)
The Tribe has cooled off a bit since their torrid start, but there’s no reason to believe that their 33 wins are an aberration.
9. San Francisco Giants (33-26; 1st NL West)
The defending World Champs may have lost their star catcher to injury, but their pitching is too solid for them to disappear just yet.
10. Florida Marlins (31-26; 2nd NL East)
Four straight loses have stymied the Fish, who have now dropped to 14-15 at Sun Life Stadium.
If the season ended today:
AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez – 1B – BOS
NL MVP: Ryan Braun – LF – MIL
AL Cy Young: Alexi Ogando – SP – TEX
NL Cy Young: Roy Halladay – SP – PHI
Sitting out the game due to his ailing shoulder, Ryan Braun came off the bench in the 9th inning and smacked a Leo Nunez fastball deep into the left field bleachers at Sun Life Stadium to give Milwaukee a 6-5 lead. It was Braun’s first career pinch-hit homer, his first since May 15th, and his 13th on the season. John Axford came on in the bottom of the 9th and walked three batters before closing out the game, giving the Brewers a win to remember over the Marlins. After the game, Braun admitted that he had not swung the bat at all before the pinch-hit at-bat. Now that is the Brawn of Braun. Milwaukee improved to 31-25 on the season; and Braun should be back in the lineup tomorrow.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s flagship website, jsonline.com, Ryan Braun is out of the lineup for Friday night’s game at Sun Life Stadium. The back to back days of rest (Milwaukee did not play Thursday) should give the all-star left fielder a much needed break, as he has been dinged up all year and is currently dealing with a sore shoulder. With that being said, let’s take a look at Milwaukee’s starting nine for game #57 of the season versus Ricky Nolasco and the Florida Marlins.
2B Rickie Weeks (.291, 10 hr, 23 rbi)
CF Nyjer Morgan (.383, 0 hr, 4 rbi)
RF Corey Hart (.275, 5 hr, 14 rbi)
1B Prince Fielder (.291, 11 hr, 42 rbi)
3B Casey McGehee (.246, 4 hr, 23 rbi)
LF Mark Kotsay (.242, 0 hr, 7 rbi)
SS Yuniesky Betancourt (.226, 3 hr, 19 rbi)
C Wil Nieves (.163, 0 hr, 0 rbi)
SP Randy Wolf (.150, 0 hr, 0 rbi)
1. Philadelphia Phillies (33-20; 1st NL East)
Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels have combined to go 17-9 with a 2.93 ERA, 250 strikeouts and only 44 walks.
2. Cleveland Indians (31-19; 1st AL Central)
Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .452 (19/42) with runners in scoring position this season.
3. Boston Red Sox (30-23; 1st AL East)
Adrian Gonzalez (45) and Kevin Youkilis (34) trail only Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder (42) and Ryan Braun (38) for the duo with the most RBI.
4. Florida Marlins (30-21; 2nd NL East)
Leo Nunez leads all of baseball with 18 saves in 19 chances.
5. St. Louis Cardinals (32-22; 1st NL Central)
Lance Berkman (.354 AVG/.473 OBP) and Matt Holliday (.347/.440) are making up for Albert Pujols’ slow start (.257/.326).
6. Milwaukee Brewers (29-24; 2nd NL Central)
Ryan Braun ranks top 10 in the majors in runs (40), hits (62), triples (3), homers (12), RBI (38), total bases (114), walks (31) and steals (13).
7. Arizona Diamondbacks (29-24; 1st NL West)
Superb pitching has led Arizona to a MLB best 9-1 in their last 10 games.
8. New York Yankees (28-23; 2nd AL East)
Derek Jeter is only 20 hits away from becoming the first New York Yankee to reach 3,000.
9. Texas Rangers (28-25; 1st AL West)
Josh Hamilton has driven in a run in 4 of 6 games since coming off the disabled list May 23.
10. Tampa Bay Rays (28-24; 3rd AL East)
Jeremy Hellickson, 6-3 with a 2.80 ERA, looks to be the early favorite for AL Rookie of the Year.
If the season ended today:
AL MVP: Jose Bautista – RF – TOR
NL MVP: Ryan Braun – LF – MIL
AL Cy Young: Trevor Cahill – SP – OAK
NL Cy Young: Jair Jurrjens – SP – ATL