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Rest of the West

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The whole NL West is a kind of M.C. Escher lithograph. Every team is just steps away from the basement, and yet first place is within reach for all. Is the water flowing down or up? Is the load-bearing post in the foreground or background? Do you prefer M.C. Escher's solo work, or his time with Boogie Down Productions?

Every team is bad. Every team is good. All we are is dust in the wind. The Giants are tied for third place, but just two games out of first. They have a 12-12 record for June, had a 14-15 mark in May, and were 13-11 for April. This fits in nicely with marketing slogans of the past:

1986 - You've gotta like these kids!
1987 - Humm baby!
1999 - Tell it goodbye!
2006 - The Bay Area's "C"-student! (Please buy some tickets...)

But this post is more than an in-depth examination of the blasé. We're here to sniff the competition, and maybe find points to cherry-pick to make ourselves feel better.

San Diego

Something they can improve on:

Their offense is basically the same as the Giants on the days when Bonds and Alou sit. Yeesh. Jake Peavy is much too good to have a similar ERA to Matt Morris, and he'll go on a crazy dominant run soon.

Something they can't expect to last:

Josh Bard is not the second coming of Mike Piazza in his prime. His 88 at-bats are about the only fluke thing going for them, though, and that's a little scary. I suppose the bullpen might be due for a meltdown somewhere along the way.

Something that bugs me about them:

Chris Young for Adam Eaton? I don't know Jon Daniels' explanation for that one, but I'm going to guess it was something like, "The tabs had, like, pictures of Reagan on them, man."

Colorado

Something they can improve on:

They haven't been getting any offensive help from any of the 32 catchers they've tried.

Something they can't expect to last:

I just can't believe that Todd Helton's power is average now. Matt Holliday's poor plate discipline is going to catch up with him sooner or later.

Something that bugs me about them:

A team ERA of 4.23? In Colorado? Freaky. I'm a traditional kind of guy. I like my coffee hot, my Coke classic, and my Colorado ballpark to be a disgrace to humanity.

Los Angeles

Something they can improve on:

Rafael Furcal and J.D. Drew can be better than they've been. Brett Tomko isn't going to give have a ridiculously high home run rate forever, and is just about to turn the corner on his carehahahahahaha. Hooo. Couldn't keep a straight face, there.

Something they can't expect to last:

C'mon. Not every rookie they bring up to put in the lineup is going to produce, right? The Giants need to sprinkle some Todd Linden hair trimmings in that locker room. And Aaron Sele is a tticking ttimebomb, no matter how well he's pitched so far.

Something that bugs me about them:

Jose Cruz, Jr. and Ricky Ledee sittin' in a tree. Gadzooks, I need to learn how to let go.

Arizona

Something they can improve on:

Oh, that starting pitching. Brandon Webb and four guys the Royals would have trouble making room for. Two of whom have completely shut down the Giants, mind you, but that's not the point.

Something they can't expect to last:

Eric Byrnes has already been in a little bit of a slump. When the Giants faced the Diamondbacks last, he and Jeff DaVanon were two halves of the same Mantle. Not so much anymore

Something that bugs me about them:

Well, they are the Diamondbacks. Other than that, I suppose I have a special black spot in my heart for Orlando Hudson, who is making me look like a fool in several different fantasy leagues.