No Stopping Cargo

Major League Baseball’s most overlooked star was once again glanced over this week.  While the world was focused on Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers for his spectacular first week, Carlos Gonzalez put on a show Wednesday evening pounding out three home runs and driving in six as his Colorado Rockies defeated the Cincinnati Reds 12-4.   Cargo could very well be on his way to a career year as the Rockies have been the most surprising team in baseball with their 33-30 record, 2.5 games out of first place in the National League West.

Carlos Gonzalez is the best left fielder in baseball right now.  Image:  1043thefan.com

Carlos Gonzalez is the best left fielder in baseball right now. Image: 1043thefan.com

Ever since coming to Colorado in the deal that sent Matt Holliday to the Oakland A’s, the 27-year old Gonzalez has been a fixture in the lineup.  Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is the most recognizable member of the Rox  but Cargo has quietly been putting up steady numbers.  His best year was 2010 when he slugged 34 long balls and drove in 117 while placing third in the National League MVP race.  So far in 2013, he has 17 dingers, 45 RBI’s and a .304 batting average along with twelve stolen bases.  He has also provided some highlight-reel defense in the outfield.  With another PED cloud hovering over Ryan Braun, Cargo is ready to assume the title of Best Left Fielder in baseball.

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Speaking of Braun, I hope this latest PED scandal is the last.  I know as a fan, I am both tired and disgusted by this ongoing saga of steroids and other drugs in baseball and in all sports for that matter.  I would have to imagine that those athletes that are clean are also tired of having to answer question after question about using performance enhancing drugs.  The only way these stories go away is if the players say to their breathern who are dirty, “enough is enough”.  The games and their seasons are too much fun to have them tainted by players sticking themselves with needles to gain an edge.  To those who say they don’t care what these guys do to their bodies, that they only hurt themselves, well it does matter.  We don’t want records or statistics tainted by people who gained an advantage instead of those who decided to do it without the benefits of drugs.  I also don’t want to see players who are forty-five or fifty drop dead because they recklessly used when they were in their playing days.   It is almost a callous disregard for human life even if it is the player’s own fault.  I would rather have our athletes sticking around long after their playing days have ended, becoming productive members of society than to become another casualty in the race to have the biggest stats and the most money.

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The Baltimore Orioles are proving that 2012 was not a fluke.  They stand at 35-28, 3.5 games off the lead in the American League East.  This, despite the fact that closer Jim Johnson who dominated with 51 saves a year ago has a 4.30 ERA.  Chris Tillman is the only starting pitcher who has an ERA under 4.00 (3.89) who has made at least ten starts in 2013.  The O’s have been doing it with first baseman Chris Davis, who is having a great season leading the American League in homers with 20, slugging with .709 and OPS with 1.133.  Third baseman Manny Machado, not yet 21, has 33 RBI’s and is batting .314.  Expect him to man the Baltimore hot corner for the next fifteen years.   Outside of Johnson, the rest of the bullpen has been stellar led by Darren O’Day (1.61 ERA) and Tommy Hunter who has found his niche as a reliever (1.84 ERA).  The rotation will get better eventually when super prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman stay with the big club for good.  They may not make the playoffs in 2013 but manager Buck Showalter has this team primed for the foreseeable future.

Follow me on Twitter @ltj41 and covering the Arizona Diamondbacks at http://venomstrikes.com

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2 comments

  1. Kathleen Keane

    I agree about the PEDs – enough is enough. And I have to say that I will be greatly disappointed should the accusations against Ryan Braun be proven true. I also hope that this is the end of ARod. Despite the myriad of injuries, the Yankee dugout/clubhouse seem somewhat serene – it’s really nice to not hear
    about a controversy every day. Could it be because ARod is not there? I tend to think so. If the latest scandal means the end of ARod in a Yankee uniform, so be it. It’s time to move foward, and get rid of the dead weight and over-priced contract.

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