We were shocked yesterday when we consulted the general major league stats/standings and discovered what team was leading in home runs...
No, not the Braves, who probably won't hit as many all season as this team has hit in just 56 games (now 57...time keeps passing, you know?).
To keep this semi-suspenseful for those of you who don't spend every morning keeping track of what players are on which teams, we will namecheck the members of this unlikely aggregation:
Logan Forsythe (17)
Desmond Jennings (14)
Brad Miller (11)
Brandon Guyer (8)
Have you figured out the team yet? And have you figured out that the numbers in (parens) are not these players' 2016 HR totals, but their career highs in HRs? We continue...
Curt Casali (10)
Logan Morrison (23)
Steve Pearce (21)
Corey Dickerson (24)
Now that's a little better, but full disclosure reveals that the the first guy and last guy on this mini-list are both hitting under .200. Pressing forward...
Steven Souza (16)
Evan Longoria (33)
OK, the jig is up. (Always wanted to use that in one of these blog posts.) Longoria is the giveaway if you hadn't gotten it earlier. The team HR leaders in MLB on 6/7/2016 were...the Tampa Bay Rays? With their top ten HR hitters projecting to a max total of 177?
Interesting to say the least. There is something of a "southern strategy" when it comes to just trying to hit homers all the time and let the chips fall willy-nilly (as they are wont to do). Of course the Braves and the Fish blow this notion out of the water, with their combined HR totals in '16 barely reaching the league average for a single MLB team. But there are the Astros (with less of a claim to this approach without the hulking presence of Chris Carter).
And there are the Orioles ("southern"? well, "border"...) who remain besotted with the "tater tot" offensive strategy. They've been at or near the top of the MLB HR charts for a number of years now (they are first in HRs over the past four-plus seasons with 937, which is 70 ahead of the more recently-fabled "murderer's row" in Toronto).
And sanity reared its ugly head yesterday, when the Rays were shut out by the Diamondbacks--and the O's blasted four HRs in a 9-1 win over the Royals. That put Baltimore back on top in the HR race--a race they are pretty likely to win.