The All-Star break has just started and I’m bored already. Here’s some comments on this and that:
All-Star Home Run Derby is tonight at 8:00 on ESPN (yawn).
Standings: The Braves finished the first half at 54-38 putting them 3 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East. We are the Wild Card leader by 5 games over Brewers/Cardinals, and D-Backs, by 6 games over the Pirates, by 7 1/2 games over the Mets, and by 8 games over the Nats.
All-Star Futures Game: The AAA Gwinnett Braves’ Julio Teheran started this game for the World team. He gave up a lead off home run then retired the side (he struck out Bryce Harper). Another Braves’ prospect, Arodys Vizcaino, was impressive with a six pitch inning. He retired all 3 batters he faced mostly with fastballs that were up to 98 mph.
Prado Update: Martin Prado went 0-5 for AAA Gwinnett Sunday afternoon. He plans to be with the Braves for the Nationals game in Atlanta the Friday after the All-Star break. I’m excited–we have tickets for that game!
A-Rod: Alex Rodriguez went ahead with the surgery for his torn meniscus. The Yankees are projecting that he’ll be out for 4-6 weeks. That seems a little more realistic than the 3 weeks that the Braves are projecting for Chipper Jones.
Just my opinion: It seems to me that since Buster Posey (and another catcher whose name I can’t recall) got hurt in a home plate collision, I’ve seen alot of sliding into home instead of running into the catcher. I saw Russell Martin of the Yankees get plowed over but that’s about it. It almost seems as if the players are policing themselves.
There were actually 2 games in the last 9 days where the batter was awarded a 3 ball walk against the Seattle Mariners. What’s up with that?
Biggest first half Surprises: I have to say the biggest surprise is the Pirates at 47-43 and only 1 game out of first place in the NL Central. I also wasn’t expecting the D-Backs to be 49-43 and only 3 games behind the Giants in the NL West. And even though Cleveland has stumbled a little, they are still only 1/2 game behind Detroit in the AL Central.
Biggest Disappointments: My vote goes to the Florida Marlins. I thought with their pitching that they would be able to hang tough in the NL East race for most of the year. I know that they lost Josh Johnson but still…how is it even possible to only win 4 games in the entire month of June? In the AL, Chicago & Minnesota had horrible starts but both seem to be rebounding. It’s going to be tough for them because they are going to have to expend alot of energy just to get back to .500. And, of course, the NL Cubs are a disappointment but that’s not really a surprise, now is it?