The best team baseball has one of the hottest hitters of this young season, but also has a young hitter on his own 12-game hitting streak, so I thought it would be fun to debate whose performance was more impressive: Tampa Bay Rays 12-game winning streak, or St. Louis Cardinals rookie Jordan Walker’s 12-game hitting streak?
The year 2023 MLB season has had a few constants, and while the shortened games are sure to remain, we’ll soon have a game where the Rays lose or Walker fails. That’s a question the announcer would ask Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon on PTI, so I’ll argue with him. (Apologies if this has already been done. I haven’t watched much of this show in the past decade, and the last time I saw it was when Wilbon went full fanboy. The departure of Patrick Kane from his beloved Blackhawks.)
Okay, let’s get started, and let me apologize now if this sucks, but I feel like it might be funny.
Here’s how it can work on PTI
MW: Tony, that’s not even a question. This is Tampa. I hate the Cardinals, so I never picked Jordan Walker. However, we are 12 games into the season and the Rays have a +65 run differential.
That’s better than four playoff teams a year ago, including the Phillies, who were in the World Series. I know this has nothing to do with our discussion, but it sounds impressive when I yell it. TAMPA IS BETTER THAN FILLING THE AWAY WORLD SERIES!
TK: First of all, congratulations for admitting your bias even though the last time you were at Wrigley, you were met with chants of “Akron hates you.” Second, you failed to mention that we’ve seen teams get off to hot starts like this with our own eyes. We’re weak now, but we were still considered old when Milwaukee and Atlanta started 13-0 in 1987 and ’82respectively
None of us were alive — well, maybe you were — the last time a rookie had a hit in the first 12 games of a season — in his major league career. ::He puts on glasses to read the stats:: The last player to do so was Eddie Murphy of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1912.
Mike, that suggests it’s an extremely difficult thing to do, and definitely more difficult than beating the teams Tampa plays.
MW: OK, let me read two lines of statisticsand tell me which is better: .340/.377/.720 with 17 hits, four home run and 12 RBI, or .319/.360/.489, including 15 hits, two homers and eight RBI. The second one is Playpen. The first one is Roam Franco. So not only does Tampa have the better record — St. Louis is 4-7 and Walker is one of the few players who can hit on this team — but they also have the hotter hitter.
TK: We don’t compare teams, but if you want to compare the competition, we can. Tampa defeated Detroit (2-9), Washington (4-9), Oakland (3-9) and Boston (5-7). That’s a total of 14-34. They crush minor league teams and throw in what Walker did a year ago.
The Cardinals’ right fielder met with Atlanta, Milwaukee, Toronto and Colorado. They are 30-20 overall, and three of those clubs are projected to be playoff teams. I just don’t know if I can sound any more annoyed, so I’ll leave it to you and wait for the next complaining thread.
MW: Um, I’m out of points. Can we have the bell? Stat boy right Reali? Are you there? And you, narrator? No, just a web writer responsible for my features. Oh my god, it’s only a matter of time before he forces me to do something stupid…
“Hi, I’m Michael Wilbon and I love the Cubs and Northwestern and all things Chicago, including Patrick Kane. My favorite player ever. I won’t mention his off-ice issues or how troubled this franchise is. I just want to talk about Stanley Cups and parades.”
Annndddddd, I think I’ve taken it as far as I want.