So, I'm hoping others watched the All-star game. By far the best all-star game in sports for me. Good game. Dobbler - how was it received in St Louis - is it being viewed as a success? Depth of the AL talent is what won them the game, IMO. That, and, escuse me; but, really - there's a guy on 3rd in the eigth, Howard comes up, and the AL puts a shift on. The NL is down only 1 run. Seriously, Howard HAS to just go the other way with a ground ball & tie the game up. That's why that guy is soooo overrated.
General consensus is that it was a success. National ratings were down slightly from last year, but the local ratings (St. Louis area) blew away ratings from any previous year.
Most St. Louisans felt that the city was represented well and that Pujols was genuinely celebrated as the best player in baseball. There were a few quibbles that Stan Musial wasn't given the same treatment as Ted Williams was when the game was in Boston. Joe Torre was the only person to leave the dugout to greet Stan the Man. But that is pretty minor.
As for the game itself, Pujols was a disappointment, but after being booked 14 hours a day representing St. Louis, the Cardinals and MLB, I personally think he was just gassed. The Cardinals played a double header on Sunday against the Cubs, Pujols got back to STL at 2 AM that morning and was up in a few hours starting All Star Festivities. It should also be noted that Pujols was the only batter in the Homerun derby who didn't bring his own pitcher. The normal cardinals batting practice pitcher took a vacation, so Pujols borrowed a Pirates coach. Did you see the stress on his face when he tried to hit a home run for the fan? I've never seen him that stressed, not even in ninth inning, game altering situations. Honestly, I don't care all that much about the HR contest, I was just worried about Pujols overextending himself, possibly causing him to hurt himself or alter his swing (which he did).
I'm looking forward to the second half. I think there are some awesome races that are going to be played out. And there is a trade out there (for Roy Halladay) that is serious going to alter one of them.
Did this thread die? it's been almost two weeks? Or is everyone just gearing up for the August races?
Sealed with a curse as sharp as a knife. Doomed is your soul and damned is your life. - Lord John Whorfin, Leige of Grover's Mill
Um.. Go Giants!
This is probably the first year I have seriously followed baseball, and its partly because I really enjoy the style of baseball that the Giants play. Amazing pitching, good defense, close games, and not a lot of home runs.
Home run games are boring. I began to hate home run games during the end of Barry Bonds's career. The entire three hour game came down to whether Barry hit one home run or two, and whether the other side hit two home runs or three. Boring. Not to say that Bonds wasn't an amazing player (or the greatest player in the history of ever), but it makes for extremely dull games. 178 tedious minutes, 2 minutes of excitement. Like waiting for a new amusement park ride... fun, but overhyped and not worth the wait.
The Giants right now could sure use a little more offensive firepower before the trade deadline, but their games are exciting.
'McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled.' -Joseph R. McCarthy
I hate to admit that the Giants are kind of growing on me, probably because they're the "local" (ish) team and theirs are the games that are on TV. I do think Kruk and Kuip are good announcers, but, in the end, they're still the freakin' Giants.
Phillies trade for Cliff Lee.
Mets front office bungles ANOTHER firing and press conference.
Reyes and Beltran are still not running at full speed and are weeks away.
How long until pitchers and catchers?
"The Giants' inability to score for Cain prevented him from becoming the Major Leagues' first 13-game winner. Cain was rewarded nevertheless, as he trimmed his ERA from 2.27 to a league-leading 2.12. His ERA in six July starts is 0.94.
Cain thrived despite striking out only four batters -- a marked contrast with co-ace Tim Lincecum, who struck out 15 Pirates on Monday."
The 2009 Giants - amazing pitching, almost no scoring. Giants just picked up Freddie Sanchez from the Pirates and Garko from the Indians... hopefully that will help, though neither are marquee players...
'McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled.' -Joseph R. McCarthy
Home run games are boring. I began to hate home run games during the end of Barry Bonds's career. The entire three hour game came down to whether Barry hit one home run or two, and whether the other side hit two home runs or three. Boring.
Yep, totally agree regarding homeruns/high scoring baseball games. In that regard, I'm a firm believer that the casual fan doesn't really know what they like/want. The whole McGwire/Sosa thing was credited with 'bringing back' the game after the strike - but, I think it's was just a natural arc after the strike/people were bound to come back to the national pastime. Sure, if you survey casual fans, they'll say they want to see homeruns (remember the 'chicks dig the long ball' ads?). However, those same people will then complain that the biggest problem is games taking too long - & there's a direct correlation between the two.
Anyway - Brewers are just blahh/hard to get excited about. Yeah, they can hit a lot of homeruns - unfortunately, their offense ends there & needs to be better the way this team was built. It was supposed to carry the pitching.
Any Pirates fans out there? Man, I get that they're going nowhere this year/need to cash in on their players - they just don't seem like they get much of a return for some of the players they do trade (e.g the Grabow/Gorzelanny deal with the Cubs), or the Bay deal last year.
Peavy to ChiSox suprised me. Have to make them the favorites in the AL Central now methinks.
I think the Cardinals did well getting Holiday when his value was low.
I'm kind of surprised that Cleveland traded Cliff Lee. Pundits seem to think they did OK, but he wasn't costing that much/I'm not sure I would have traded him if I were the Indians. At some point, you have to make a stand/go for it - you can't just keep churning over your best players for prospects (I think the A's/Beane has fallen into this trap).
I really don't like the way the Pirates and Indians have gutted their teams of players comiong up for new contracts/free agency. I am not sure about the Indians, but I know damn well the Piartes are beneficiaries of teh luxury tax - and it just sucks that they don't pump that money abck inot payroll. You have to feel bad for fans of those teams - even Tom Snow.
In the Pirates defense...they did get some really good young players back for a bunch of players they weren't going to re-sign anyhow; LaRoche, Sanchez, Wilson weren't exactly superstars anyhow, though the McClouth deal with the Braves earlier on was odd (but McCutchen does look to have all five tools). I do agree with you about the luxury tax, though. If you're gonna be a team that receives money from the tax, put it back into the team! It seems mind-numbingly simplistic, but apparently teams can't figure that out (aside from maybe Tampa Bay).
Kade: All I'm reading is that the Pirates didn't get ANYTHING back for these deals. Of all the players the Pirates got back for their former regulars, only two, Double-A pitcher Tim Alderson (acquired from the Giants for '06 NL batting champion Sanchez) and righty Charlie Morton (who came over from the Braves in the McLouth deal) are regarded as potential frontline prospects - and neither of them was rated by their teams as top-tier. It makes me nuts.
Yeah, here on the West Coast, we don't hear much, but Alderson was pretty highly regarded by the Giants (at least...according to the Giants), and I don't think Freddy Sanchez is all that great. Really, Jack Wilson was the best player they lost, but were they gonna be able to pay him $8 million? I think what the Indians gave up is much worse.
And I guess since we're on the subject, Jerry Crasnick just put up a piece on ESPN about those hapless Pirates:
I think the Pirates GM made a fairly good point about "not like we're breaking up a juggernaut," even if it is regarded as "cocky."
Indians got a lot more then the pirates.
Alderson is the best piece that the pirates got and he was the #2 (behind baumgartner) pitcher in the giants system.
The indians got Masterson (who won his start for them the other night) from the Red Sox (thier #2 pitcher in the system counting bucholz) and two other guys with one of them being described as having the second highest ceiling on any prospect moved. Who had the highest ceiling? On of the other 10 guys they got, Jason Knapp a 6'6" fastballer. Carriascio (only the #2 pitcher because Drabek was a surprise in that he is doing so well so fast this year) is no slouch and will be fighting for a spot in the rotation next spring training (Drabek is still 2 years away), Macdonald was my favorite phillie in spring training, plays just about any INF position and would look much better as the phillies depth INF then Eric Bruntlett does...(bleh). Marson was a guy the philies really wanted to get his bat into the line-up, but with Ruiz (and manuel's and the pitching staff's hard on for his defensive work) entrenched there Marson wasn't coming up any time soon. Marson will also be better in the AL then in the NL where he can DH half the year if need be. The only reason it feels like these guys are chumps is because toronto tried to ass-rape the phillies and wouldn't take a deal that didn't include happ and drabek (which we couldn't have given both up).
Warden of the East '07