Print and Go Back ESPN.com: SweetSpot [Print without images]

Thursday, September 5, 2013
Tank of the night: Blue Jays

By David Schoenfield

On Tuesday, I wrote about how MLB is essentially encouraging tanking by tying free-agent compensation and draft budgets to a team's final position in the overall standings. Since the first 10 picks in the first round are protected if a team signs a free agent who has been given a qualifying offer, there is a potential huge price to pay if you finish with the 11th-worst record instead of the 10th-worst.

So, in honor of the race to the 10th spot in the draft, we present the tank of the night. (All in good fun, of course! We don't really think teams are trying to lose, just that, you know, it may be beneficial if they finish with the 10th-worst record or worse.)

Wednesday's winner: The Blue Jays, for batting Rajai Davis and his career .377 slugging percentage fifth in the order, while benching Adam Lind against a right-handed starter (he pinch-hit later in the game). It was the ninth time in his career Davis started in the fifth position in the lineup, although the fifth this season. Then again, maybe labeling this as the tank of the night is a little harsh considering Mark DeRosa has hit cleanup eight times for this team. Oh ... Davis hit a two-run homer in the first inning, although the Jays lost 4-3 to the Diamondbacks.

Current standings:

 


Team W L Pct. GB
1. Astros 46 93 .331 ---
2. Marlins 52 86 .377 6.5
3. White Sox 56 82 .406 10.5
4. Cubs 59 80 .424 13
5. Brewers 60 79 .428 14
6. Twins 61 77 .442 15.5
7. Padres 62 77 .446 16
7. Giants 62 77 .446 16
9. Phillies 63 77 .450 16.5
10. Mariners 63 76 .453 17
11. Mets 63 75 .457 17.5
12. Blue Jays 64 76 .457 17.5
13. Angels 64 74 .464 18.5
14. Rockies 66 75 .468 19


With a 5-2 win over the Braves, the Mets drop out of the top 10, unfortunately facing spot starter Kameron Loe and his 7.63 ERA.