We begin with the highlights.
Miguel Cabrera accomplished the Triple Crown, the first since 1967. It was exciting because the home run title was in doubt until the last two games of the season.
Seven no-hitters (last accomplished in 1991)
The nameless Oakland Athletics came from 13 games behind on June 30 to win the division title by beating Texas on the last day of the season. 101 games were started by rookie pitchers.
The Washington Nationals had their first winning season since moving to Washington DC in 2005. They are the first Washington-based baseball team to advance to the postseason in 79 years. They clinched the division title on October 1.
The Baltimore Orioles had their first non-losing season since 1997. For most of the month of September one game separated them from the Yankees. The Yankees finally secured the division title in game 162. Baltimore won 16 consecutive extra-inning games. Kudos to their manager Buck Sholwalter.
Two great young players, Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals and Mike Trout of the L.A. Angels, burst on the scene. Unfortunately, neither player will be seen in the playoffs for different reasons. Strasburg was shut down by Washington and the Angels did not make the playoffs. According to many Sabermetricians, Trout deserves the MVP Award. Strasburg is a candidate for the Cy Young Award.
R.A. Dickey, the lone knuckleballer left in baseball today, gave Mets fans a reason to turn out. He should win the Cy Young Award. He led the league in innings pitched, shut outs, strike outs, and complete games. He was second in wins and ERA.
The addition of a second wild card has been a big success. The one-game playoff for the two wild card winners gave fans two thrilling division races. The fans were the real winners.
The Miami Marlins gave Adam Greenberg the opportunity to finish his first at bat in the majors. Seven years ago Adam batted for the first time with the Cubs and on the first pitched was beaned. He was never the same but continued to play in the minors. Great job Marlins!
We now turn to the lowlights.
We must begin with Melky Cabrera, who was suspended for 60 games because of testing positive for using performance enhancement drugs. He later voluntarily took himself out of the race for the batting title.
The Boston Red Sox team, led by their manager Bobby Valentine, had their first losing season since 1997, their first season with more than 90 losses since 1966, and their worst season since 1965. Valentine was fired the day after the season ended.
Other disappointing teams include the Phillies and the Marlins. The Phillies finished third in the NL East with 81 wins. The pitching staff with three number ones really disappointed. Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay combined for 17 wins. The Marlins after signing Jose Reyes and Mark Buehrle were expected to contend. Not only did they not contend but they finished last behind the hapless Mets. Their manager, Ozzie Guillen, deserves the same fate as Bobby Valentine
The Mets repeated their second half of the season swoon at one point losing 20 of 24 home games.
Finally, baseball said goodbye to future HOFer Chipper Jones, who ranks in the top 5 all-time for third baseman and switch hitters. The Mets are glad to see Chipper go.
Chipper got a standing O every game on the road — I saw it in SF. Who was the last guy to get that treatment? Cal Ripken, maybe?
October 28, 2012 03:08:22