GRAND SLAMS: MIDPOINT
Once again, I find myself thinking of baseball in geometrical terms. At the All Star Break, the MLB season is at its midpoint and we have easy math to figure out projections for players and teams.
So far, I feel good about my preseason predictions. I said the Nationals would be sneaky good and they are. I said the Rangers would dominate and they have. I said the Phillies should crumble and so far they have. Now mind you I’m not declaring victory just yet. I might be the one guy not counting out the Phillies for a run at the playoffs still. But yeah, overall, I feel good.
The All Star Game was just played in Kansas City and had several notable moments. The National League stomped the American League 8-0 and I’m happy about that. The NL just seems purer and more old school (it is called the senior circuit, after all). The ASG also gave Chipper Jones an opportunity to visit Kaufman Stadium, one of the only stadiums he’d never payed in during his lengthy and Hall of Fame career. Chipper’s kind of a big deal in the south, so I was really glad to see him having fun and getting one last hurrah with other All Stars.
Maybe the most important the about the advent of the second half of the season is that so many notable players will be coming off the DL. Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Emilio Bonifacio and other players crucial to their teams’ success will get a chance to contribute on the field again.
In some music-related news, I keep seeing tweets that Mark Trumbo (he of the mighty swing) comes to the plate with Thrice playing. I have no idea if any of you dig Thrice or not, but I happen to like them, so I think maybe Trumbo’s not such a bad dude. So I’m starting to “collect” names of players who come out to rad songs. Are there any others I should know of?
Finally, as we approach the beginning of the end, it’s also nice to notice that there are lots of teams that still have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs. There should be multiple exciting division races and wild card races. On top of that, there are lots of questions about which teams will be buyers and which will be sellers over the next couple weeks as we approach the trade deadline. Will Justin Upton be moved? Will Zack Greinke be shipped out? Will Jamie Moyer become the first man to die of old age while pitching in a major league baseball game? The great part is, no one know! Now, you mix that in with some guaranteed drama from Ozzie Guillen and Bobby Valentine and we should be set for some excitement!