The List: Where are they now?

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 28, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Just for laughs, I found out how last year’s Major League playoff teams are doing now that we’re more than a quarter into the season.

Then I found out there wasn’t a lot to laugh about.

Braves

Last year: 90-72, NL East champs (again), Lost in Division Series (again)

This year: 26-23, second in division

I didn’t think they could get any younger, but somehow this team got painted in a new shade of green.

And if you’re still not worried about the Mets, now would be a good time to start.

Yankees

Last year: 95-67, AL East champs, Lost in ALCS

This year: 28-20, second in division

Same old story with the Pinstripers. Great offense. Good bullpen. Shaky starting pitching.

Cardinals

Last year: 100-62, NL Central champs, Lost in World Series

This year: 32-17, first in division

Albert Pujols is swinging the bat like some kind of mutant, and the Cards have broken in the New Busch Stadium with the NL’s best home record (18-7).

White Sox

Last year: 99-63, Al Central champs, World Series champs

This year: 32-17, second in division

I wouldn’t worry about being 2 1-2 games behind Detroit. The Tigers are far too inexperienced to keep this up.

Jim Thome is a monster once again (18 HRs in 168 at-bats), but is anyone is talking about Jose Contreras for the Cy Young Award (5-0, 1.83 ERA)?

Padres

Last year: 82-80, NL West champs, Lost in Division Series

This year: 25-24, last in division

No one counted on current division leader Arizona and fourth-place Colorado being such overachievers.

Speaking of the Cy Young, Brandon Webb (8-0, 2.18) is an absolute hoss.

Angels

Last year: 95-67, AL West champs, Lost in Division Series

This year: 21-28, third in division

Vladimir Guerrero has 13 homers, but the next closest man has six.

Their best pitcher, Bartolo Colon, is winless in just two starts (7.07 ERA).

Plus, they can’t figure out if they want to be called the Los Angeles Angels, the Anaheim Angels, or the Anaheim-Los Angeles of California and the Pacific Time Zone Southern West Coast Angels.

Astros

Last year: 89-73, NL Wild Card, Lost in World Series

This year: 26-25, fourth in division

They were in worse shape this time last year and still went to the World Series. But this isn’t last year. Cincinnati has a healthy Ken Griffey Jr. and better pitching, and Milwaukee has a bunch of young players that don’t know they should be doormats right now.

Red Sox

Last year: 95-67, AL Wild Card, Lost in Division Series

This year: 30-18, first in division

If there’s one thing that will allow them to win the division, it’s better players all the way up the middle of the defense – even Johnny Damon’s replacement in center field, Coco Crisp.

George L. Jones is a staff writer for the Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at .