Out of Playoff Contention

My View From the Stands

Hearts have been broken. I know mine is. If you love a baseball team from somewhere other than Texas or Canada, it is likely that your heart has been broken too.

After 162 regular season games and a Wild Card game in each league, only eight out of the 30 Major League Baseball teams remain with hopes of becoming 2015 World Champions.

Among the 22 that did not make the Divisional Round of the playoffs sit the most disappointing teams in MLB

The Detroit Tigers began the season with David Price and Yoenis Cespedes. They were set and ready to win the American League Central Division for the 4th straight year. Except, they weren’t. Underproduction from hitters and an early injury to Justin Verlander set the tone for the rest of their season. Price and Cespedes were traded away and have since lead their new teams into the postseason.

The Seattle Mariners have been the “up and coming” team for a couple years now. After acquiring Robinson Cano before the 2014 season, they finished third in their division and Cano was fifth in MVP voting. 2015 looked promising for the Mariners and preseason predictions put them on top of the West. This year did not go as planned because Cano underproduced and brought his team down with him. Nelson Cruz was the only up side to the team that finished 10 games below .500 and 12 games behind the division winning Rangers. Yuck. The Mariners got Cano with hopes of giving the team an offensive boost. A veteran guy in the club house was supposed to help the team grow, but this year the second-baseman held them down in the standings.

The Washington Nationals finished the season with an above .500 record, but they deserve a mention because of the Harper/Papelbon altercation that perfectly represents their frustrating season full of injuries and underachievement.

Although starting pitchers did not pitch as well as expected, the injuries to Jayson Werth and Anthony Rondon that left Washington’s season up to Bryce Harper’s bat is what ended their season and made Papelbon and Harper so unhappy.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim — the team my friends and I were certain was playoff-bound, sadly was not. After finishing the first half of the season brilliantly in the month of June, the Angels sat comfortably in first place of the American League West and watched Mike Trout become the first player in history to win back-to-back All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Awards. They played progressively poorer as the season continued, and fell to third place during the month of August; the same month in which Mike Trout put up the worst numbers of his career. They eventually turned around and had more wins and fewer losses in the last 30 games than any other team, but losing their last, and most important game of the year to the Rangers ended postseason hopes. In game 162, the Angels came back from a 10–6 deficit in Arlington; scoring five in the ninth to win the game by a run and keep their season alive. The postseason seemed more certain than it had all year until they lost the next day. I imagine that all the players had a facial expression similar to Jered Weaver’s the night somebody in the dug-out threw a full water bottle at him mid-interview after pitching a great game.

The problem with the Angels in 2015 was this: they couldn’t win when Trout didn’t play like the star he is expected to be.

If your team is on this list, I know your pain.

Whether the team you have loved since before you really understood baseball is in the running or not, the playoffs will be fun. And I mean, how upset can you really be when the Yankees aren’t in the picture?

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