posted on August 03, 2012 07:32
The 2012 National League: An Ode To Sucking
A loss on a day when the Reds win is really bad at this point. A loss to the Rockies any day in 2012 is dreadful.
If you follow baseball in even a casual manner, odds are you know the National League sucks this year.
But, perhaps fittingly, in 2012, when one of the most popular narratives is of the growing disparity between the upper class and the lower class, this year’s National League has history-making potential in suckery.
The Astros, Rockies, Cubs, and Padres will finish with less than 70 wins unless there’s a small miracle. The Phillies, Marlins, and Brewers all have a legitimate shot to finish with less than 70 wins as well.
But, the Astros, Rockies, Cubs, and Padres are all but a lock to be bringing it with less than 70 wins…and you’ve got to go back to 2004 to find the last time four teams won 69 or less in the National League.
That’s bad enough. But, there’s more to the crappery.
The Astros and Rockies are currently projected to win 53 and 58 games, respectively.
And that’s where the real history is made.
You’ve got to go back 40 years to find the last time the National League had two teams finish with less than 60 wins. The 1972 Phillies won 59. The 1972 Padres won 58.
The 2012 Astros scoff at that.
They suck so fucking badly that they just might pull off an under 50 score.
Think I’m joking?
Remember the All-Star Game almost a month ago in Kansas City?
The Astros have won two games since then.
They’re at 35 wins right now.
These guys just might have it in them to win 10 or so more games.
Meanwhile, Colorado has brought the heat a total of five times since the All-Star Break.
They view the Astros the way Arkansas views Mississippi.
Considering their trends, I think there’s a damn good chance that we might see both win less than 55 games. And, seeing as there have been just six teams since 2000 to win less than 60 games…and just one team since 2000 to win less than 55, you’ve got to really tip your cap to these two operations.
Why is this relevant to the Cardinals…or the National League in general?
Because going through Houston and Denver right now is like going through Faurot Field when Woody’s Wagon was around.
The Astros and Rockies are losing at historical paces, and that means whoever gets to play them will be picking up wins.
And while we’re focusing on these two jackwagon festivals in Texas and Colorado, please don’t forget the messes in San Diego and Chicago. And after letting go of some big pieces at the trade deadline, things could get real shitty real quickly in Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Miami.
That is why I can’t bow at the altar of the Cincinnati Reds. They could damn well win the National League Pennant…as could seven other teams. But, whoever emerges from this six-month season won’t come out of it looking like they just left the spa. They’ll look like Andy Dufresne after his journey out of Shawshank.
Lot of media masturbation to the Reds winning without Joey Votto. You know who they’ve picked up all these wins against over the last two weeks?
The Brewers. The Astros. The Rockies. And the Padres.
What about the second coming of the 1998 Yankees in western Pennsylvania?
Over the last two weeks, the Pirates have played six against the Cubs, four against the Astros, and three against the Marlins.
I want to make it clear: this isn’t some pro-Cardinals or anti-Reds or anti-Pirates’ propaganda.
Unlike the Cardinals last weekend in Wrigley, to the Reds and Pirates’ credit, they’ve beaten these clown groups more often than not. The Cardinals had six games against two of the crappiest teams in the league, and they went 3-3. If anything, the Cardinals’ failure to take advantage of this situation is the reason they’re in the spot they are.
And, this farce of a situation cuts both ways. Not only have the Cardinals failed to take advantage of the situation, but because of the situation, it will cause problems down the stretch.
The knowledge…which is really just opinion based on projections…but I’ll call it knowledge anyway:
a) the 2012 National League is historically bad…and may actually set records for its ineptitude.
b) and because of that, it’s going to be even more difficult to catch teams if they pull away.
c) a team’s win total in the 2012 National League may be more deceptive than a photoshopped Girl Next Door layout.
There have been some great National League teams since 2000.
The 2001 Diamondbacks.
The 2004 Cardinals.
The 2005 Cardinals.
The 2008 Phillies.
The 2010 Giants.
Even though the Reds are on pace to win 99 games, I’d have a tough time putting them in the category of any of the above.
Perhaps they’ll prove me wrong, but I think the 2012 Reds---along with the Pirates---are more a product of the 2012 National League…which could damn well be the worst National League of many of our lifetimes.
The shame of it is that the Cardinals haven’t taken advantage of it.
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