Armando Galarraga, James Joyce. You know these names, you know what happened. But there was still a lot of baseball last week in 28 cities not named Detroit or Cleveland. What happened? A lot more than everyone realizes.

You have your Power Rankings, you have your Web Gems, you have your local sports radio, you have your biases.

Of course you know what’s going on with your favorite player on your favorite team. You know what’s going on with Albert Pujols, Jason Heyward, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Roy Halladay (heck, you even know who Armando Galarraga is, how to spell his name, and that there is an umpire out there who wrote Ulysses…that’s a joke…).

But what don’t you know? What’s the secret behind the Padres’ success? How are the Blue Jays this good? What is the reason the Mariners are so bad? Every team has a hero and a goat, just as every team has a story and a reason. TMI and Man Cave Sports go beyond the top national plays every Monday and give you a quick recap about every single team for that week.

So, take your Power Rankings and Web Gems, bookmark them, and bookmark us too. We’ll give you just as much entertainment and a little bit different perspective that’s definitely The Most Interesting…


Tampa Bay (37-20)

The Rays seem to always find a player to perform when they need one. Granted, that’s a classic mark of a great team, but this borders on the edge of slightly ridiculous. John Jaso? Sean Rodriguez? Sure, Carlos Pena is hitting .175 from the five hole, but when your ninth place hitter is B.J. Upton, there’s not much you can complain about (even if he has been a disappointment).

The pitching continues to be the Energizer Bunny for Joe Maddon, and it’s going to be interesting to see how he handles these relatively young arms come August and September.


New York AL (35-22)

If they were not bitten by the injury bug, they would most likely lead the majors in wins, but because of that and the Rays’ inability to give up any ground, they are a close second. Nick Swisher is having a career year to go along with the emergence of Robinson Cano and the explosion of Brett Garden.

Once Curtis Granderson can get back on track, the only weakness seems to be catcher. (I refuse to speak of Mark Teixeira’s troubles yet. He always manages to turn it around just as soon as everyone gives up…which will be soon.)

Javier Vazquez continues to be an interesting project to keep your eye on. The inconsistency is fascinating.


San Diego (33-23)

In the final 56 games of 2009, the Padres went 33-23. In the first 56 games of 2010, the Padres are 33-23. That’s a record of 66-46 in their last 112 games. Pretty impressive, since if you put that into 162 games, that’s roughly a 95-win season.

How are they doing this? Pitching has sure helped (and a huge home ballpark) and includes Jon Garland (2.68 ERA), Clayton Richard (2.87 ERA), Mat Latos (3.26 ERA), and Wade LeBlanc (3.67). Heath Bell and Luke Gregerson shore up the bullpen. Sometimes it’s that simple.

As for the offense? Everyone knows about Adrian Gonzalez, but how about Chase Headley, Nick Hundley, Will Venable, and the rookie Kyle (although struggling) Blanks? It’ll be interesting to see how deep they can go this year and if they’ll be in the market to pick up players, rather than drop them.


Minnesota (33-24)

There were a lot of unknown concerns heading into 2010 that began to snowball on the Twins in spring training. A new stadium, the injury to Joe Nathan and subsequent closing concerns, Joe Mauer’s health, Justin Morneau’s health—a season-threatening injury to either player would seemingly derail the Twins’ train ride to the top of the division.

However, they apparently love Target Field (18-9), and Jon Rauch is a better stopper than a drain plug. The M&M boys have seen very minor setbacks and remain in the lineup. This equals a dangerous team, whose rotation is solidified by Francisco Liriano’s return to dominance.


Atlanta (33-24)

On May 7 the Braves sat in last place in the NL East at 14-17. Fast-forward 30 days and we are looking at a 33-24 team in sole possession of first place.

Don’t try to find an excuse buried under the rug of an apparent easy schedule. The Braves played Philadelphia, Los Angeles NL, Cincinnati, New York NL, and Philadelphia again during this span. These are all teams gunning for their respective division leads. Florida is a dangerous team, and so are Washington and Milwaukee (when they want to be). So, this month was no cakewalk, and all they’ve done is go 19-7.


St. Louis (33-24)

With the extra innings loss to Milwaukee on Sunday night, the Cardinals fell to a tie atop the NL Central with the Cincinnati Reds.


Cincinnati (33-24)

With all the hype around Aroldis Chapman, Mike Leake was totally forgotten in spring training. But Leake was awarded a nod in the starting rotation, and after his first two shaky outings where he walked 12 men, he has walked a mere 13 during the rest of them. He stands at 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 73 innings. Did we happen to mention a .417 offensive batting average?

Speaking of offense, fellow young players Jay Bruce (seven home runs, .361 OBP, 29 walks) and Joey Votto (11 home runs, .409 OBP, 28 walks) are being led by wily veterans Orlando Cabrera (16xbh, eight stolen bases) and Scott Reincarnate Rolen (14 home runs, 40 RBI, .288 AVG, .351 OBP, 13 doubles). This team might not go away easily.


Los Angeles NL (33-24)

After struggling to put anything together to start the year (their three-headed outfield monster struggled to play in the same games until recently), the Dodgers have come alive in Mannywood.

They have five hitters with more than 25 RBI so far, and their pitching rotation of Clayton Kershaw (3.06 ERA), Chad Billingsley (3.80 ERA), Hideki Kuroda (3.63), and John Ely (3.00) are performing exactly where they are supposed to (well, except for the phenom Ely). While San Diego is impressing the league, the Dodgers are the defending division champs two years running and are the club to beat…if they can.

(Five teams at 33-24 after 10 weeks? Who would have thunk it?)


Boston (33-25)

What to say about the Red Sox? It seems that they dug themselves into a hole to start the season and now, 58 games in, are battling to stay out of fourth in the AL East. It’s going to be difficult the way the Blue Jays are playing these days, especially after their successful series at home against New York.

The Red Sox’s biggest burden right now is getting Josh Beckett healthy and figured out. Once they get him back to form, they can relax a little (but just a little). Oh, and David Ortiz seems perfectly content these days (and is looking much better than Mark Teixeira) once again. With 14 xbh and a .363 AVG in May, it does appear that he’s back.


Toronto (33-25)

Jose Bautista continues to amaze the baseball nation with his 18 home runs this early on. Granted, the entire team has 28 more home runs than the second best team in baseball, and that says something about your offense. So does hitting.245 as a team, but I suppose you can’t have Christmas and Thanksgiving on the same day. Although you can have Vernon Wells and his 36 xbh, so far, in an impressive comeback year.

(Does anyone notice that four out of the top 10 teams in baseball are coming out of the AL East? If you’re going to look into instant replay, you have to look into realignment. Period.)


San Francisco (30-25)

The talk around the Giants’ ballpark these days is Tim Lincecum and his inability to…well…dominate. After three straight un-Lincecum-like starts, he managed to pull out a decent one in Sunday’s eventual win over the Pirates. Please, please, please. Do not worry one bit about Tiny Tim; in fact, be thankful. Be thankful that this is happening now and not in September when the G-men are fighting for a playoff spot.

Be thankful that Barry Zito has returned to form; that Matt Cain is as silently awesome as he always is; and that Jonathan Sanchez has a .183 BAA. These guys can lead a team through the playoffs. The question earlier in the year, is could their offense get them there?

Well, thanks to the timely additions of Buster Posey, Freddy Sanchez, and Pat The Bat Burrell; this team looks a lot better than it did the last time we looked at them. Pablo Sandoval is one of the game’s more exciting hitters, and Aubrey Huff, Bengie Molina, Aaron Rowand, and Juan Uribe are solid professional hitters that most teams would love.

Throw in the nice year Andres Torres seems to be having and the fact that Mark DeRosa and Edgar Renteria will be back later this year, and the Giants actually have a very, very dangerous team. There are two teams that will storm into the playoffs this year, and the Giants are one of them.


Philadelphia (30-25)

The Phightin’ Phils have phallen into second place in the NL East, and that’s as much their phault as it is the Braves’. Over the last two weeks (where they were unceremoniously swept by said Atlanta), they are 4-9 (one helped by a certain Roy Halladay in Florida) and have really struggled to put some offense together.

This is perhaps a midseason phunk they are going through (and most likely is), but with the Braves playing the way they are, this will no doubt make for a very interesting race come September. After Sept. 6, every game they play will be against NL East teams, in a division that will be extremely tight to the wire.


Texas (30-26)

Tommy Hunter welcomed himself to the roster with a nice complete-game victory over the best team in the Bigs on Saturday afternoon. This is important because Texas is filled with good quality arms that are mostly unproven. The addition of another one is nothing to frown at and could be a huge help to the staff, led by Rich Harden (5.34 ERA) and Scott Feldman (5.82 ERA). They haven’t exactly pitched like they were expected to.

Instead, the Rangers have seen nice results from C.J. Wilson (3.62 ERA, 11 starts) and Colby Lewis (3.62 ERA, 11 starts). Matt Harrison and Derek Holland seem to be the ones who will lose playing time due to Hunter’s arrival.


New York NL (30-27)

It’s difficult to determine if the Mets are playoff contenders because they are one of those teams that have a huge budget but always balk at the last moment when working to improve the team. (These front office blunders are reflected on the field—don’t ignore that.)

They seem to have the tools to compete, yet sit only three games above .500 even after sweeping the Marlins at Citi Field this weekend. Their offense doesn’t seem to fit the mold of Citi Field, and it may be a while before the guys who make changes realize that.


Los Angeles AL (31-28)

The Angels finally cracked the .500 mark but certainly will find it difficult to maintain it thanks to Kendry Morales’ misfortune with home plate. This team is older and not as exciting in years past. Don’t count them out, but this should be Texas’ league to win.


Oakland (30-28)

The Athletics appear to be the Mariners from a year ago: decent to great pitching, lackluster to decent hitting, and a lot of luck. To see them continue in their winning ways would be fun to see but unlikely.


Detroit (29-27)

We won’t talk about the White Elephant here. If you want to read about it, go here or here. The Tigers are among the better teams to love right now. They have three very good weapons to their artillery cache. The only problem is getting the offense to click with the rotation and bullpen, and vice versa.

Earlier this season the bullpen and offense led the team as the rotation struggled to find consistency. Fast-forward through the season, and it’s relatively the same. Then Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello began to piece it together in May, and finally last Sunday, something clicked for the rest of them.

Max Scherzer struck out 14 Athletics (while facing 17), Armando Galarraga pitched a 28-out perfect game, and Jeremy Bonderman (while struggling Sunday) has gained more and more confidence each time he goes to the mound, and that means a lot. Detroit has five dependable starters. There aren’t many teams who can say that.

To look at it further, Detroit has a very good lineup with very professional hitters in Johnny Damon, Magglio Ordonez, and Carlos Guillen; very exciting hitters in Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera, and Brennan Boesch; and somewhat streaky hitters in Brandon Inge, the duo of Alex Avila and Gerald Laird, and Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth.

Detroit, much like San Francisco, is a team that might need one bat to push it over the threshold of success. Remember those two teams who will storm into the playoffs? The Tigers are the second.


Colorado (29-27)

Ubaldo Jimenez saw his scoreless innings streak end at 33 innings but proved to be just as dominant as ever in his start on Sunday, where he improved to 11-1 but saw his ERA rise to 0.93. Forget all the comparisons for a second and just think about this: He’s the next sure thing to win every single time out, relief for the bullpen, and just a fun guy to watch pitch. That’s why he’s exciting.

(18 of the 30 MLB teams have winning percentages over .500 after 10 weeks. What does this say about diversity? Stop hating on the big market clubs. It’s all about how talented your team is, how you develop your young players, and how you execute the small things.

The following teams are talented but seem to need pieces or are in positions that require tweaking—or firing—of certain managers and coaches. In Chicago’s case, just blame it on Twitter. One manager doesn’t know what it is; the other can’t shut up.)


Florida (28-30)

The Marlins are going to bring up young stud Mike Stanton in their upcoming series against Philadelphia on Tuesday. The last time they promoted a 20-year-old slugger midseason, they won the World Series that year. Can history repeat itself? Never say never.


Washington (27-31)

Stephen Strasburg pitches on Tuesday. Be there or be square (or wherever your smart phone can pick up the game).


Chicago NL (25-31)

Perhaps Lou Piniella doesn’t hold enough respect as he used to, but a lot more people think that it’s just that his team stinks, not that he is losing his touch. Perhaps Starlin Castro can bring people into the seats, but there’s no I in team (although there is a me).


Chicago AL (24-32)

Ozzie Guillen told his players that if they didn’t improve there would be moves made. Such threats!


Kansas City (24-34)

Ned Yost loves the batting order but can’t stand the bullpen (and neither can Zack Greinke). Can anyone blame them?


Pittsburgh (23-33)

Andrew McCutchen is going to be a good player for a very long time. Neil Walker is an exciting young former first round pick. Their farm system is always going to be good (thanks to high draft positions year in and year out), but the real question is, are the upper echelons good enough to figure out a way to piece them all together during the same year?


Milwaukee (22-34)

It’s just proof that poor pitching loses and your offense can do nothing about it. Sad proof.


Seattle (22-34)

And also proof that “just” pitching doesn’t win. You do need some offense if you have pitching.

(It’s called balance, people.)


Arizona (22-35)

Dontrelle Willis pitched a fantastic game on Saturday and joins Edwin Jackson as Detroit’s castoffs in the Arizona rotation, paired with the Yankees’ castoff (Ian Kennedy) and everyone else’s castoff (Rodrigo Lopez). At least Dan Haren is still around (but for long?).


Houston (22-35)

Trade talks swarm like flies around the pigs at Roy Oswalt’s farm. He might be moving this summer. Anyone have a garage big enough to fit a bulldozer in?


Cleveland (21-34)

No Size More? No More Season.


Baltimore (16-41)

Perhaps a new manager can change their losing ways. Perhaps I will write a column for ESPN next week.

Joshua Worn is an editor, journalist, and sportswriter who spends way too much of his time studying Major League Baseball box scores. He publishes The Most Interesting Column on his personal website. Contact him at

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