Siberian Baseball

Saturday, March 18, 2006

NL East Wrap Up

As strong as this division is, I can't help ut see this as a two horse race between the Braves and the Mets. While the Braves have the experience and an infusion of fresh blood, they lost Leo Mazzone and the law of averages says they can't win forever.

On the other hand, the Mets continue to spend in the offseasons and have a few young guys who were home grown and give New York some serious options in the field and behind the plate. Whether or not the new faces can come in and contribute remains to be seen as the Mets have been stockpiling contracts for a few years now.

Here's the thing - for as much of a lopsided division as this may appear to be with the Phillies, Marlins and Nationals, none of the East's teams finished under .500 last season. More on this when I look at the NL West, but that's a really high level of competition there.

The Marlins will fall off the table this year with their M(AAA)jor League ballclub, but the Nationals and Phillies should be winning clubs again this year. Aside from that drop, it should be a competitive (if overlooked) division this season. I qualify this as we wait on Soriano in Washington, DC and to see what other moves shake out with Atlanta, because I have a hunch they aren't done.

In the end, I think the Braves have the advantage in pitching and stability as the Mets are still letting everything settle out and for word on Pedro Martinez's toe problems which might hinder them to start the season. Simply put, the Braves are a team that know how to win and are well-coached on top of that. It is an older team with a few young guns and solid position players and pitching.

Additionally, Atlanta was held up as the gold standard in terms of their farm system last year when they were able to patch holes without skipping a beat as injuries cropped up, so really what more can you ask for?

Well, except to win a post-season series more than once every 12 years.

National League East
1.) Atlanta Braves
2.) New York Mets
3.) Washington Nationals
4.) Phildelphia Phillies
5.) Florida Marlins (and are relegated to the Carolina League after the season)



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