Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ask Dr. Lars - NL East

Dr. Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

As Lars was unfortunately caused to miss his season preview deadlines by the birth of his daughter, he has made sure that he can assuage his readers with a midseason checkup on the two divisions he missed, the NL East and NL South. So Dr. Lars hopes that your insurance is current, and that you follow his prescriptions for better baseball health.

Syracuse Beagles (61-28 1st place)
Ailment: None! This team is one healthy squad, and passes it's physical with flying colors.
Prescription: As with all his patients who are in excellent health, Dr. Lars recommends the continuation of a healthy diet and regular exercise. But other than that it is hard to prescribe anything else, as this team is as good as it gets right now. Tito Shigetoshi is a bit weak for a 1B, but if that is the worst thing that is wrong in Syracuse, life is pretty good.
Outlook: 1st place at the seasons end by 5-10 games, even though the rest of the division is pretty good.

Atlanta Pitbulls (53-36, 2nd place)
Ailment: The Pitbulls suffer from an extreme case of talented divisional opponants and previous lack of regular season success.
Prescription: Dr. Lars orders a healthy dose of Beagle losing streaks, coupled with the continued resurgence of veteran C Vernon Jones and steady bullpen action of Sean Hill. Dr. Lars is concerned with the production of #2 starter Wesley Hull, who has been just brutal this season, but otherwise the Pitbulls don't need much of of a change.
Outlook: 2nd place, with a wildcard spot and the first playoff appearance for the former perennially mediocre franchise.

St. Louis HoundDogs (46-43, 3rd place)
Ailment: Some seriously bad bullpen meltdowns, a bit of underproductive bats, and some power outages in the lineup, all at inconvenient times, all resulting in a mystery illness for the best fielding team in the league that is also a top five hitting a pitching squad.
Prescription: Dr. Lars isn't quite sure what to prescribe here as on paper everything looks good. A good suggestion is to use modern medical technology to clone Chipper Harper and the Elvis tandem and go from there. Otherwise Dr. Lars suggests trying to get some power in the lineup through a trade or two.
Outlook: 3rd place, really close to Wichita. For whatever reason, this is just not the HoundDogs year, and it is beyond the good doctor why.

Wichita Wankers (43-46, 4th place)
Ailment: The pitching is only average, but the real illness factor is a lineup that is dead last, getting outhit by the likes of Kansas City, Iowa City, and Trenton.
Prescription: Try putting all of the studs on the trade block to see if that lights a fire under the lineups collective behind, as it seems every single star on the Wankers has decided to have an off year. When a player of level of Grant Keats can only muster a .234 average, there is a problem in the lineup. If the trade block idea doesn't work, perhaps a lineup shift is in order.
Outlook: 4th place, as there is no way the Wankers can keep the division from going to the dogs if their bats don't improve.

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