View From the Center: N.L. West Breakdown
Welcome to "View From the Center," where our resident pseudo-expert slash Cincinnati Reds fan Jeff Gentil takes a regular rundown of the topics of interest within baseball's divisional landscape. Last week, awards. This week, we break down the division races.
San Diego Padres: Still plugging along are the San Diego Padres. Taking on all comers and kicking them away, the Padres continue to be the surprise team in the National League. Bud Black got a three-year contract extension earlier this week and deservedly so. Despite having MLB's second-lowest payroll, the Padres currently reside three games ahead of the Giants (and everyone else in the West) and have the N.L.'s second-best record (behind the Braves).
Arizona Diamondbacks: Despite being buried in last place, the D-Backs aren't in any hurry to move players and/or salaries. Names mentioned in the past - Stephen Drew, Dan Haren, Aaron Heilman- appear to be sticking with the organization. Well, anything can happen between now and the deadline, but there have been very few rumors as we are just 10 days away.
Colorado Rockies: Like every other team in the division, the Rockies are right in the thick of things. This race has all the makings of going right down to the wire and it could be a lot of fun to watch these teams jockey for position. The Rockies got a huge start from Aaron Cook on Sunday at Cincinnati and if the righty is going to round back into form, they are going to be extremely dangerous down the stretch.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The division yo-yo is the Dodgers. One week they're on fire; the next they are awful and driving Joe Torre toward co-signing with Lou Piniella on a beach front condo. Currently the Dodgers are in the midst of a six-game losing streak and the main culprit has been closer Jonathan Broxton, who has blown leads twice in the last three games (Sunday at St. Louis; Tuesday vs. San Francisco). Obviously there is still plenty of time to get back in the race. They're only six games out and if the team can make a move or two, they will be in good shape.Continued on the next page