At the end of April, six major league teams projected to lose 100 games or more in 2018. At the end of June, three of those six still projected to lose 100 or more games in 2018 – – and the Mets threatened to join that less-than-elite grouping. So, here we are at the end of July and what is the “Bottom-Feeder Outlook” projecting:
- Baltimore: Their record as of this morning is 32-74 or a winning percentage of .302. That projects to season-long losses of 113 games. The Orioles have been on this “watch list” from April forward.
- Chicago White Sox: Their record as of this morning is 37-68 or a winning percentage of .352. That projects to season-long losses of 105 games. The White Sox have been on this “watch list” from April forward.
- Kansas City: Their record as of this morning is 32-73 or a winning percentage of .305. That projects to season-long losses of 113 games. The Royals have been on this “watch list” since April.
- San Diego: Their record as of this morning is 42-67 or a winning percentage of .385. That projects to season-long losses of 100 games. The Padres were solidly on the list at the end of April but rallied to be well clear of the list by the end of June. As of today, they squarely on the “100-loss mark”.
For the moment, no one else seems in danger of losing 100 games or more this year; and if that pans out, it would mean that the clear majority of the “stinko teams” for 2018 would be in the American League. In fact, the American League “races” are not particularly interesting this season. If you concede that either the Red Sox or the Yankees will win the AL East and that the loser of the AL East will be a wild card team, then the only real “race” is for the second wild card slot and even that looks to be a “race” between the Mariners and the A’s.
Meanwhile, in the National League, there are races within races wherever you look.
- In the NL East, the Phillies lead the Braves and the two of them lead the Nats. Anyone who says they “had that” back in March needs to raise his/her hand and then provide some documented evidence. Any of these teams would have wild card aspirations if they lose this division.
- In the NL Central, the Cubs and the Brewers are at the top of the standings, but the Pirates are right in the middle of the wild card race. The Cardinals are close and the Reds who have blossomed since the start of May could make a late run but their deficit from early in the season could well be too much to overcome. Baseball is not a sport friendly to a “Silky Sullivan” pace – – Google is your friend.
- In the NL West, the Dodgers seem to have gotten their act together and yet find themselves in a dogfight for the division lead with the D-Backs and the Rockies. Only 1 game separates these three teams this morning. Right now, the second-place finisher in the NL West would be a wild card team in the NL.
Switching gears – figuratively and literally – NBC is televising the Tour de France on a variety of its networks/platforms, so I am not surprised to see a ton of promotional “stuff” at places like NBCSports.com. Nevertheless, I did shake my head when I read this headline on that website:
“Ever Wonder what’s on a Tour de France team bus?”
Since you asked, the answer is a resounding, “NO!”
Over in NFL happenings, the NY Jets finally got a deal done with Sam Darnold – drafted overall #3 by the team a few months ago to be the franchise QB that the team has lacked since Joe Namath left town more than 40 years ago. Without a signed contract in place, Darnold has missed OTAs and minicamp and several days of training camp. He is a rookie QB who needs time to learn the differences between NFL football and NCAA football; no matter what else happens from this day forward, that is learning time he will never get back. According to various reports, there were two “sticking points” in the negotiations:
- The Jets were pushing for “offset clauses” in the contract that would apply to the “guaranteed money” in the case that Darnold is cut within the first four years of the deal. Essentially, the Jets wanted to be sure that if they cut Darnold and he signed with another team, he would not get the Jets’ money plus the other team’s money.
- The Jets also wanted to be able to “clawback” some of the “guaranteed money” in the deal if Darnold was suspended or fined by the NFL for things like domestic violence or PED usage or drug usage.
Those “sticking points” for the Jets were stupid from Day One. Here’s why:
- If the Jets are going to cut Darnold loose sometime in the first four years of this deal, the last thing they need to worry about is a few million dollars that will come out of the team exchequer and find their way to Darnold’s. If Darnold is a bust and has to be released that soon, the havoc that will be wrought within the organization and throughout the fanbase will dwarf the few million dollars that the Jets will “lose” here.
- I can see “clawback language” that relates to suspensions because that would mean that Darnold would be unavailable to the team for regular season games. However, if he is fined by the league for something, I do not see how or why that should entitle the Jets to take more money from him. And, oh by the way, your scouts and coaches and background checkers should have given you a bit of confidence that your #3 overall pick and future franchise QB is not going to have those sort of problems, right?
The Jets need a franchise QB and Darnold has the physical tools to be that sort of player. Given the time Darnold has missed over this summer, it is not “career-threatening” but that time lost is going to make his 2018 impact a tad problematic. To my mind, this is just another incident in the body of evidence that says the NY Jets are a royally screwed-up franchise. Plus ça change, plus ça même chose…
Finally, here is a childhood recollection from Brad Dickson formerly with the Omaha World-Herald:
“When I was a kid my family traveled to Husker football away games and stayed at KOAs which stood for Campground of America. Picture Guantanamo Bay with picnic tables.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………