2012 MLB Halfway Point Review
Boy oh boy it’s been a fun if not very strange 2012 baseball season so far hasn’t it? Every season has its weirdness and surprises and this season is no exception. Let’s look at some of the things which have been going on so far as we reach the halfway point.
Ryan Howard has received over 800,000 all Star game votes. He’s not leading of course, as Joey Votto seems to have all but sowed up the nomination but wait. Ryan Howard hasn’t played a game all season. I am guessing that those fans who voted for him are basing their choice on the fact that Howard hasn’t struck out all season or made an error. If that’s your criteria then by all means, mark his name on the ballot. Oh yeah, and do it 25 times. Howard used to be known as a strikeout guy with power. Sure, his homeruns are way down this year but apparently he has mastered the art of putting the ball in play.
Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels star rookie is better than Bryce Harper which apparently, according to some columns, indicates quite graphically, that Bryce Harper isn’t really that good. Couldn’t they both be good? Harper may not be selected for the home run derby (I’m certain the Nationals manager Dave Johnson is more than happy about that, tends to make a player homer happy in the second half) which apparently is proof in of itself that Trout is good and Harper is not. I’m thinking that as the season continues, valid topics to write about become fewer and fewer. Let’s tighten those thinking caps and dig a little deeper fellas. Both players are certainly destined for greatness. Let’s leave it at that shall we?
There seem to be more and more calls for instant replay. This always comes up about the end of June as the umpires seem to be getting a little less efficient than their usual spot on performances from earlier in the season. Certainly there have been some bad calls lately and the ball strike calls which were dead on earlier seem to be getting a little inconsistent. The obvious solution would be for the crew chief to over ride obvious mistakes but as the support system in umpiring is so important I don’t see that happening anytime soon. Instant replay is not the answer. I still haven’t come up with a solution but I’m thinking about it.
Major league managers have been far too polite this season. I’m able to watch the majority of games thanks to my on line baseball subscription and there just doesn’t seem to be an Earl Weaver or Lou Pinella in the dugout anymore. Sure I’ve seen some barking from the dugout and heard the odd colorful metaphor and walking away mumbling but where is the real thing? When is someone going to throw all the equipment onto the field or rip up a base of turn red in the face with neck veins popping out or turn their cap around and go nose to nose?
A.J. Burnett is pitching well. Tim Lincecum, with the exception of last night isn’t. The New York Yankees have no pitching staff remaining and continue to win game after game. Suddenly, Coors Field in Denver has once again become death on two feet for Colorado pitching. Probably the pitching staff in Denver as their road ERA isn’t much lower than at Coors.
Jose Bautista has finally remembered that he is the best hitter in baseball. It was only a matter of time and while I’m not a fan of Toronto per say, he is a joy to watch hit. He is a scary clutch hitter on a team with no hope again this season.
The Cincinnati Reds have starting pitching and the league seems to have figured out Aroldis Chapman. How one figures out a 106 mph fastball is beyond my ability but lately his fastball has been severely redirected to the seats far, far away somersault notwithstanding.
The Chicago Cubs by all my reading have promoted potential star first baseman and are looking to deal Bryan LaHair, their current star first baseman. I guess it’s not a good idea to have more than one good player on your team if one is to follow that logic. I know, I know, they are trying to trade/giveaway Soriano to find a place for LaHair but talk is that LaHair is not a good defensive outfielder. You know, good like Soriano. Cub fans continue to wonder why this will be year 1,000 since the last World Series victory by their beloved.
One more note to pass on to you. The best centre fielder in the National League is indeed Andrew McCutchen.
By: Doug Bird