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Which talent-rich MLB team is least likely to make the playoffs?

September 06, 2012
  • The Dodgers are in danger of missing the playoffs, despite the addition of such high-profile players as Adrian Gonzalez.
The Dodgers are in danger of missing the playoffs, despite the addition… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)

Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss which Major League Baseball team will be sitting out this postseason despite having a star-laden roster.

Check back throughout the day for their responses and feel free to join the conversation with a comment of your own.

Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune

A long time ago, the Dodgers were one of the best stories in the majors. They didn’t know who was going to be their owner, but they had the best player in the National League, Matt Kemp, and the reigning Cy Young winner, Clayton Kershaw, and started the season 30-13, rolling to a seven-game lead in their division.

They’ve added a big-pocket owner and tons of talent (and future payroll obligations) since then but they’re like Humpty Dumpty. King Stan Kasten and his men can’t put them together again, not even with guys such as Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Shane Victorino and Josh Beckett aboard.

They’re pedaling frantically to get to the finish line, but the Giants, Braves and Cardinals seem built to last.

[Updated at 12:11 p.m.:

Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times

Assuming this is not a trick question, I'll go with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are all but eliminated from playoff contention, despite opening the season with a $175-million payroll, the most of any team not named the New York Yankees.

The Boston Red Sox have started to dismantle their team, but the Phillies have kept most of their key parts. That might not be the best sign for a team built upon aging stars.

The Phillies were doomed by injuries to Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay -- but all those players will be 33 or older by the time next season opens, and the Phillies have guaranteed those five players a combined $91 million in 2013. Good luck with the rest of the roster.

Peter Schmuck, Baltimore Sun

It's a pretty good idea to never underestimate Joe Maddon and his Tampa Bay Rays, especially when you consider the strength of that pitching staff, but the Rays are going to have a very difficult time staying alive for the postseason with their tough September schedule.

Sure, everybody has it rough down the stretch and you can't always depend on bad teams playing badly in September -- as the Orioles proved to the Red Sox last year -- but the Rays may not be balanced enough to get through a season-ending schedule that includes 16 of their remaining 25 against teams with winning records and 10 against the three teams currently leading their AL divisions.

By comparison, the Yankees have just nine more games against winning teams, the Orioles have 12 and the White Sox have 11.]


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