Normally when the sports calendar reaches June, the Major League Baseball season is in full swing from coast to coast. Yet, as we reach the second 1/3 of the season’s schedule, teams that are below .500 outnumber those above the breakeven point by a 3-2 radio. Does that mean the rest of the baseball season is meaningless for 18 teams? Does that mean fans of those MLB teams know their 2022 season is already over? Sadly, in almost every case, it does, and that is what’s wrong with baseball and so many other sports nowadays.
Baseball’s American League only had three teams with at least 30 wins over the first two calendar months of the season, they are each a divisional leader as we begin the June schedule, Houston (West), Minnesota (Central) and the Yankees (East). The East leaders have two of the other three teams above .500 in their division (Toronto and Tampa Bay) while the West leaders has the Angels, who enter June on a six-game losing streak and going in the wrong direction (again). The Twins don’t have another team with a winning record in the Central, but all three divisional leaders start June with a five-game lead in the standings.
It is the National League East leading Mets who hold first place in a division with one team above .500 with the franchise setting a pace unseen by their fans since the glory days of 1986 and 1988. It is the senior circuit that appears to be offering the best races for a divisional title this summer, however, with Milwaukee just two games ahead of St. Louis in the Central and both teams over .500. The West is also packed with title contenders as the Dodgers are winning more than two-thirds of their games; but are still just four games ahead of the Padres and five in front of the Giants.
Sadly, for Major League Baseball … the likely playoff teams will, in large part, come from the field of teams you see above. Meaning that life for baseball fans from Boston, Detroit and Seattle as well as Arizona, Chicago, and Washington is likely over for 2022 as we step into June.
Yeah, I know that a team or two may get hot over the next few weeks and rip off a ten-game winning streak (Toronto enters the month winning six in a row); or a team in from may see a star player go down for two weeks or more. However, in either case, with so few teams involved in the divisional and wild-card races already, unless one of the current contenders becomes a seller at the trade deadline, chances are 18 teams know the Summer of ‘22 will be without meaningful baseball.
There are too many teams that know they are not going to compete for a playoff spot before spring training starts, so all they are looking to do is save money by starting younger, cheaper players and trade off those few valuable players they have to stock their AAA team as they build for the future. A perfect example is the Washington Nationals, who have let Bryce Harper walk, and are currently considering trading away Juan Soto.
This only proves that there are a group of “haves” and an even larger group of “have-nots” in baseball, with those in the middle deciding who will be traded.
It may be too early to declare the season over for 18 of the league’s 30 teams, but MLB must know that too many teams are not trying their best or doing the most for their fans … and fans must accept that this level of losing is only accepted when they don’t complain about the lack of money being spent by their teams. Otherwise, the owners of these teams will keep on walking away with the cash as star after star leaves town and only a few teams will know what it feels like to win a World Series championship.
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