Thursday, May 25, 2006

Near... Far....

What's that saying on those side mirrors attached to your car... Something like "Objects are closer than they appear" -- along those lines, right?

Well, as of last night, here it is almost June and the M's are actually closer to first place than they are to last place. Just like that mirror, though, it might be more of an illusion. I saw Richie Sexson on the news last night, holding his kid, and he was actually a little bit excited that the M's were so close to the division lead. Nothin' wrong with that -- a little confidence definitely could help Richie get back on track. We'll certainly need a hittin' Richie to stay anywhere close to the top of the division.

When people aren't confusing me with that "Positive Paul" who calls into the post game show (I get that a lot), they accuse me of being an optimist. Sure, "positive" can relate to optimism -- that's indeed one of its meanings. But "positive" can mean so many other things. Like "confident" and "sure" and "affirmative" for example. I actually consider myself more of a realist than an optimist. I generally try to find the good in things, but I'm by no means perfect, or even consistent, in that regard.

What the M's need, though, is indeed a shot of confidence. Getting guys like Richie and Adrian back on track is HUGE for the M's future success. After the nice grand slam on Tuesday, and yesterday's multi-hit, multi-RBI performance, Richie appears to be headed the right direction. Adrian's defense, for the most part, hasn't disappeared along with his bat. That's a good thing.

The starting pitching has been consistently mediocre, which is actually somewhat OK. We knew the M's rotation had some major holes, and we thought that Felix would be better than he has been. I'm confident Felix will turn things around, and that we'll see Hendu's law of averages swing back the other direction on guys like Pineiro, Moyer and Meche.

So, yeah, the M's appear to be currently heading back towards the 81-83 win team we all thought they had a good chance of becoming this season. Amazingly, none of the other teams in the AL West seem to want to hang on to first place. You can bet on Oakland turning things on later in the season. Texas may come down to earth a bit. The The Angels Angels will probably jockey back and forth with the M's for the cellar.

It reminds me of that old Sesame Street gig. The one with the muppet running to the front of the TV saying "Neeeeaaaarrrrr!" and then running back to the back of the stage and saying "Faaaaaarrrrrr!". We'll probably see a lot of that skit this season.

But, hey. As of today, the M's are closer to first than to last.

Gil Meche. Rodrigo Lopez. Don't miss the matinee.



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