Sometimes I think it's the catchy titles that keep me coming back to the warm embrace of baseball. The Year of the Pitcher just has such a nice ring to it, kinda like The Most Interesting Man In The World. I should name myself The Most Interesting Writer On The Blog. Perhaps not, since I think I'll always be remembered as I'mGivingYouARaise or IGYAR for short. What I can do though is give this year its own catchy title, and I can think of no greater title for the 2012 baseball season than The Year Of The Unheralded.
I could have gone with The Year of the Unexpected, but I just think Unheralded is a cooler word. Chalk it up to my love of Galactus and his Heralds, like the Silver Surfer. Please do not associate the awful Fantastic Four movie with what I just said. Now that I fully expected to be god awful. This baseball season has been a surprise all around though. The only real constant, in terms of where I think teams would be in the standings at this point, are our New York Yankees. Despite unheralded injuries and just perplexing stats, which my fellow PSA writers let me know about, they are where I expected them to be. It's the rest of baseball that's being weird and I love it!
It's August 8th and the Yankees in first place in the AL East. This is pretty much exactly where I expected them to be at this point. The Red Sox are in fourth place in the division and constantly flirt with last place with the Blue Jays. I honestly didn't expect that. I just really really really hoped it would be the case. Then you get to the Baltimore Orioles. Find me the person who bet money on them being anywhere near first place or a wild card spot at this point in the year and I will buy them a whole pizza pie at Bleecker Street Pizza. I usually expect good things from Buck Showalter. Nothing like this though.
The AL Central and West are no different as well. When the Tigers purchased the services of one Prince Fielder, the majority of baseball fully expected them to pretty much run away with the division. Yet the White Sox are in first place by the smallest margin possible. These are the same White Sox that were suppose to be in a rebuilding phase. MERCY! Maybe Hawk's insano passion has propelled them to their first place status. Do the Athletics have a Hawk Harrelson? Okay that was a silly question since there is only one Hawk Harrelson. Something has gotten into the A's though. They are half a game out of second place and six games away from first. With two months left, it is not an impossible notion to think the A's cannot win one of the wild card spots or take first place away from the Rangers.
The National League also falls under the unheralded banner as well. The Phillies are in last place. The Marlins are rebuilding after spending and building a new building. The Pirates are only three and a half games away from the first place Reds. And the Astros are exactly where we expected them. Oh how I cannot wait till they bring some more competition to the AL West next year. If they did, that would truly be unheralded.
Anything and everything can change in these remaining two months of baseball. It's that uncertainty that makes me love the sport so much more than any other sport. As cliched and overused as the saying goes, "You can't predict baseball" and it's that unpredictability that makes the sport worth watching. This is one of the most exciting years of baseball that I've witnessed in recent memory. I don't believe that the second wild card is what is making it so exciting, but rather that teams we normally do not see compete at all still have a chance for first place or at least the regular wild card. Maybe the second wild card promise does make the regular season a bit more exciting for fans of other teams like the O's or Pirates. The one game elimination just rubs me the wrong way. Seeing new teams compete in addition to the Yankees rubs me the right way though.
How do you feel about The Year Of The Unheralded? Or are you just interested in Yankees Baseball?