Thursday, July 13, 2006
Tonight marks the first day of the second half of the season, or should I say, time to buckle down and play baseball.
The first half always sets the pace for things to come. I had predicted the Red Sox to finish in third behind the Blue Jays, but that never happened. The Sox are in first place three games ahead of the Yankees. Teams that start off strong usually finish off strong, but there are no exceptions. The 2005 Baltimore Orioles were battling for first place most of the first half last year only to fall back and finish in fourth place. Same with the Washington Nationals and their collapse and we almost became witness to the worst collapse in baseball history when the Chicago White Sox who had a 15 game lead in August, wound up willing with a two game lead.
But just because you had a great season, and survived the second half, there are still the playoffs. The 1906 Chicago Cubs, 1954 Cleveland Indians, and the 2001 Seattle Mariners both led the majors on wins, only to fall victim to the playoffs and were sent home early.
The July 31 trade deadline is fast approaching and deals will be thrown around. One of the big stars up for grabs is Nationals outfielder Alfonso Soriano. The Yankees look to be the main contender. Why, I don't know. He does bring a bat with him and a major league leading 12 outfield assists. When he was with the Yankees, he had poor plate discipline and struck out often, but also was able to hit them out of the yard, almost like a modern day Reggie Jackson. He would play the outfield with the Yankees to possible replace Bernie Williams.
Barry Zito is also on the block, but rumor has it that he will finish his season with the Athletics.
One last player that I can confirm is Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis. I haven't heard much about him due t the fact that the Marlins are once again a horrible team. Rumor has it that the Red Sox and the Blue Jays are after him.
The second half of the season starts tonight with the Yankees taking on the White Sox. It is time to play baseball, and to prove that we still can win. There are two and a half months of baseball left till October. Wild card races start, players become more intense, and games mean more.
30 teams, 8 finalists, 1 champion.
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Posted by Steve Kenul at 9:21 AM
ANO posted at 2:57 PM