First, a few of the weekend's scores: 3-2, 8-5 and -- in a key game -- 13-6.
Next, some of the baseball stories you might have missed if you spent your entire weekend in northeastern Oregon chasing birds ...
It happens every spring and summer ...
I don't think it's any secret that the American League, for some years now, has been having its way with the National League. I've read plenty of reasons and excuses for the Junior Circuit's dominance, but the bottom line is that the American League teams have simply been better than their National League cousins.
The trend line has been moving, though. In 2008, the AL went 149-103 (.591) against the NL. But in 2009, the AL's winning percentage was just .548; in 2010 it was .532. Still certainly significant, but a year ago it seemed like the NL was making some real progress.
Well, maybe not so much. After a huge weekend, the score this season (so far) is American League 50, National League 34. Granted, there are still plenty of interleague games remaining. But it does look like the Americans will keep their long streak alive.
Beckett's great, but he's not alone
With his 1.86 ERA, Josh Beckett might still be the No. 1 Cy Young choice in the American League. But Beckett's highly unlikely to finish with a sub-2.00 ERA, and he currently trails some of his competition in key categories like innings and strikeouts. Particularly after Sunday's action, when both James Shields and Justin Verlander both went the distance to earn W's. The fourth top candidate, Jered "The Pride of Orange County" Weaver, pitches tonight against the reeling Marlins. Speaking of whom ....
Marlins so ill-behaved, they make their manager cry
Sunday, the Marlins lost a) their 10th straight game, and b) their manager, who tendered his resignation. Maybe we should have seen this coming, with the Hanley Ramirez nightmare season and the recent firing of hitting coach John Mallee. But while it's not uncommon to see a managerial change during hard times, it's uncommon to see a manager willingly resign in June and it's exceptionally uncommon to see him replaced -- as reports suggest -- by someone born during the Great Depression. We'll have more, you can be sure, as events warrant (or even as they don't, just because that's how we roll).
What's going on out West?
Remember when the Rangers with Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz back in the lineup were going to run away and hide from the rest of the American League West? I do, because I'm sure I went on the record at least a few times saying exactly that.
Well, I still say they'll run away and hide if Hamilton and Cruz stay reasonably healthy. But it's odd for a team that was a) supposed to win this season, and b) hasn't really faced serious competition to have just a half-game lead on the 19th of June. And a half-game lead over the Mariners, no less. Speaking of which, the Giants -- who also were supposed to win this season -- sport just a half-game lead in the other West Division ... and a half-game lead over the Diamondbacks, no less. If I didn't know better, I might think Someone was pulling the strings, because this is getting to seem downright spooky.
I'll see your drewstoren, and raise you a nickswisher ...
This isn't a story, exactly. But if you missed this exceptional bit of whimsy by most of Baseball Nation's writers not named me, you missed one of the best arguments you will ever see for this website's very existence.