About 20% of the MLB regular season is in the rear-view mirror and there are more than a few oddities when you look at the standings.
- The NL East is led by the Nats with a record of 12-12. The Nats have a run differential of minus-14.
- In fact, in that NL East division, only one team out of the five – – the Marlins – – has a positive run differential and the Marlins are in last place in the division.
- In the NL Central, the Brewers are tied for first place with the Cardinals at 17-12. However, the Brewers’ run differential is minus-2 while the Cards’ is +20.
- In the NL West, the Giants lead the Dodgers by a half-game. The Giants’ run differential is +25 but the Dodgers’ run differential is +45. [Aside: The Dodgers have the highest run differential in MLB now by a wide margin.]
- In the AL Central, the Royals lead the White Sox by a game. Nevertheless, the Royals’ run differential is minus-5 while the White Sox’ run differential is +28.
- In the AL West, only the Astros have a positive run differential at +32; the Astros are only in second place in the division; the A’s lead the division with a run differential of minus-5.
- The worst run differential as of this morning belongs to the Tigers in the AL Central. It stands at minus-62 after only 29 games. The Tigers have lost by an average of just over 2 runs per game so far in 2021. Yowza!
The season still has a long way to go, and some of these trends might be interesting to track. Here in Curmudgeon Central, we focus on the negative trends more than most folks do. So, considering the Tigers’ record of losing games by a little over two runs per game consider this yardstick:
- The last MLB team to lose by an average of just over 2 runs per game were the Detroit Tigers in 2003. [Clearly, Detroit fans are not looking for an encore here.] The 2003 Tigers’ season record was 43-119.
- The worst record in MLB since the days of the Cleveland Spiders was 40-120 by the 1962 NY Mets – an expansion team.
As I said, it is still early in the season – – but there is potential for high ignominy here…
If the numbers above seem a tad confusing, let me say that there is another baseball story that might cause you some bemusement if not bewilderment. Last week, Roberto Alomar was fired as a consultant to MLB and placed on baseball’s ineligible list by Commissioner Rob Manfred. That means Alomar is banned from baseball for life; he cannot work for any entity associated with MLB unless Manfred or a future Commish removes him from the list.
This action came as a result of an investigation by a legal firm hired by MLB to look into allegations made by an employee of MLB about sexual misconduct on the part of Alomar in 2014. MLB said they would not be releasing the report to protect the identity of the person who came forward, but the findings of the investigative report must have been pretty damning given the action taken by MLB and the lack of an outcry from Alomar and/or a threat from him about legal action on his behalf. Just to be clear, I do not even know what allegation(s) may have involved here let alone any details of the investigation; I am engaging in deductive reasoning and nothing more…
Moreover, the story has another wrinkle… Roberto Alomar served on the Board of Directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY and he was elected to be in that Hall of Fame based on his career in MLB; he was inducted in 2011. Alomar sent a resignation letter to the Board of Directors as this saga unfolded but – interestingly – the Chairperson of the Board, Jane Forbes Clark, announced that Alomar’s bust and plaque would remain in the Hall of Fame because:
“… his enshrinement reflects his eligibility and the perspective of the BBWAA voters at that time.”
Well, isn’t that special? Alomar can be banned from baseball for life but can be in the Hall of Fame because his misdeed(s) took place after he was inducted and/or because any such disqualifying behaviors were not known at the time the BBWA did their voting. However, if a player did something in a time period where his misbehavior was known to the voters, that player should not be in the Hall of Fame notwithstanding accomplishments on the field. It is that sort of moral tightrope walking that creates the following situation for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum:
- The player with the most base hits in MLB is not enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
- The player with the most home runs in MLB is not enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
- Roberto Alomar joins a cast of other ne’er-do-wells who got into the Hall of Fame before some of their infamous acts came to light so it is OK for them to remain.
Just imagine if the so-called “cancel culture” ever comes to Cooperstown, NY…
Finally, having dealt with the “morality” of Roberto Alomar remaining in the Hall of Fame, let me once again let H. L. Mencken close out this rant:
“Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99 percent of them are wrong.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………