Second half here we come!

Melky Cabrera (yes, the dude who once threw a ball from LF to CF instead of the cutoff man) is your ASG MVP. (photo credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The All Star Game came and went last night. Former Yankees/Braves/Royals outcast Melky Cabrera and Giants teammates Matt Cain and Pablo Sandoval led the way for the National League who put up their biggest victory of all time last. The American League barely put up a whimper and found themselves on the losing side for the third consecutive year, this time to an embarrassing 8-0 final score. So with that, the National League champion will find themselves with home field advantage in the World Series for the third consecutive year. Home field advantage has proved fruitful for the NL who’s taken home the World Series title in both 2010 and 2011. It’s still ridiculous that the winner of an exhibition gets home field advantage for the Series, but there’s no need to complain because we’re onto the second half! 

As always, the MLB season has been filled with surprises, disappointments, and some genuinely great baseball. It’s why baseball prognosticators are so often wrong. Over 162 games, injuries, streaks, and a whole host of other occurrences can send a hot favorite (the Phillies for example) straight to the bottom of their division. This is also why baseball is so exciting and why as a baseball fan, I don’t understand why folks find the game boring. Yes, you might get bored to tears sitting through one game, but the course of a baseball season remains fascinating, exciting, and it’s just getting started.

Now is the time when the good teams will start to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Can Washington continue its winning ways and lead the franchise to its first winning season since the strike shortened 1994 Expos? Are the Yankees going to run away with the AL East? Will the rebuilt Marlins implode and will the Phillies blow up their formerly winning team? Can the Pirates have their first winning season since 1992 and their first playoff appearance since they to accompany it?

So many questions, and it’s why baseball’s second half is always a nail biter. As of the All Star break, 19 teams are .500 or better, 8 teams are within 4 games of the division leaders, and we still have no idea what most of these teams have in store for us in July, August, and September. Many teams are looking to upgrade hitting and pitching, which will surely bolster some as the cellar dwellers look to sell off parts of their lifeless seasons, and others look content with their first half lineups to take them to the promised land.

I would gladly give you my predictions for the second half, but it’s a real challenge to accurately predict what’s going to happen. If my beloved Braves make a big trade for a pitcher like Zach Greinke and Ben Sheets can find some of his former glory, all of the sudden the Braves (only 4 games out of the NL East) will look very formidable, even with the recent injury to rookie sensation Andrelton Simmons. It’s why making a playoff prediction on July 11 is so difficult. I have no idea what teams will do between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and it’s those moves that can make or break a team.

Looking back at baseball history, and again using the Braves as my example, they didn’t add Fred McGriff until July 18 of the 1993 season. The Braves then went from being 9 games down to the division leading Giants on August 11, to winning the division by one game.

That’s baseball.

Fans should just sit back, strap in, and get ready for a wild ride, because some teams that look poised for playoff glory today, might not be there in October, and some of those teams lurking just 4 or 5 games back could be the ones hoisting the World Series trophy on a crisp October night. If you don’t believe me, all you need to do is revisit the standings on September 1, 2011 and the standings again on September 29, 2011.

Let’s recharge our baseball batteries today and tomorrow (that is unless you have the MLB network because the AAA All Star Game is on today) and get ready for the second half!

Play ball!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jarret on July 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Hey guys, I’d love to see a write up about the Pirates (my home team) and how they might have a winning season this year. This might be the first time since 1992 that I’ll be able to “root for my home team” in the playoffs!

    Reply

    • We can certainly get something worked up on the Pirates. They are having a fantastic year and it’s quite nice to see a historically great team starting to recapture its old glory. Unfortunately we won’t be able to make it to PNC Park this season, but I would love to head there in 2013. Y’all have a gorgeous park!

      Reply

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