Baseball has reached the All-Star break which marks the halfway point in the MLB season. There have been numerous surprises in the three months of baseball that have been played so far. David Wright is having an unbelievable bounce-back year. Tim Lincecum imploded overnight. R.A. Dickey is in serious contention in winning the Cy Young Award. And who could forget about the year Josh Hamilton is having over in Arlington, Texas. The All-Star break is a good place to see where teams stand. Will they be contenders or not? Some teams have been good, some teams have been bad, and some teams have just been downright ugly thus far.
Man what a nice little surprise it has been for the Washington National fans. I mean the team went through about seven years of hardship and finally a winning team is on the field. First-round picks Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper have fueled this team to first in the NL East and show no sign of slowing down. They are an astonishing 15 games over .500. Davey Johnson looks like he’s that same manager that won the 1986 World Series while managing the Mets. Their starting pitching has been nothing but outstanding. They lead the majors in ERA with Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez leading the way. I think you can definitely see the Nats in the playoffs come October. The great thing about this team: they’re young.
Who can forget about the New York Yankees? Yes I know the Yankees are arguably always one of the best teams in baseball every season. Money is usually one of the big reasons why they are at top for most seasons but not this year. Plagued with injuries, the clubhouse has not let this get in the way and is one of hottest teams in baseball. Even with Rivera, C.C., and speedy Bret Gardner, winning has come easy for the Bombers. Like every year, the World Series is in their grasps. We’ll see if the Yanks can keep this torrid pace up.
What is going on in Miami? This is the most important year in their franchise and they just can’t seem to do anything right. First there were the comments made by Ozzie Guillen about former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. Guillen failed to realize many of the fans are of Cuban decent. I mean the ballpark is located in Little Havana! Then there is the former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes. What happened to him? After winning the batting title last season the guy is batting .260. Met killer Gaby Sanchez is have an atrocious year, to the point where he had to be sent down. And how about Heath Bell? The heavy-weight closer has already blown six saves. That’s more than his last season’s total. Yikes.
Before the season started, Detroit was given a 1 in 5 chance in winning the World Series. Well right now they’re currently two games over .500. Not terrible but they haven’t been playing very good baseball up there in Detroit. Aside from Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera who have been tearing it up, the Tigers look helpless offensively. They have been getting some production from Austin Jackson but not enough from the whole lineup to win a big amount of games. Their pitching has been good but you’re not going to win if you can’t score runs. Detroit lost Brandon Inge to Oakland, who has been having a good year offensively, and their power threat catcher Victor Martinez. Detroit better wake up quick or else they’ll be changing their name to the Pussy Cats.
Wow. What the heck happened in Philadelphia? Age. News flash Phiily. You do get older and when you get older you’re skill and ability starts to diminish. Now the Phillies did lose guys like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay for most of the first half of the year but man, oh, man has the team been playing bad as a whole. Carlos Ruiz has been having a great year and Hunter Pence is showing the Phillies why he was a good trade. Cliff Lee finally got his first win one start away from the All-Star break. They are shopping around Shane Victorino who has always been a solid player. Jimmy Rollins looks old and debilitated. With Howard and Utley coming back, I wouldn’t be surprised if Philly makes a run but don’t bet on it. The team is in need of a serious overhaul. Expect bad times in Philadelphia in the future.
Chemistry is a key part to winning. And Boston just doesn’t have any chemistry at all. It started early in the season. Problems with Bobby Valentine and Kevin Youkilis arose in the clubhouse. Players took sides leading to a split in the locker room. Youkilis was soon traded to the White Sox where he is proving Boston and Bobby V that he can still play. Sparkplug Jacoby Ellsbury has missed the 2012 season. He was a vital piece to the Red Sox team and Boston sure is missing him. The Sox are going through the same thing the Mets went through after the collapse. Added pressure as well the collapse still fresh in their memory. Boston is 9.5 out of the next playoff spot and is seen to be in serious trouble.