The All-star break is brutal. I have to sit without real baseball for 3 days, and no Oriole’s baseball for 4 days. The All-star game itself, which I boycott, is a ridiculous joke for a dozen reasons at least. The home run derby is one of the most boring events in sports and I’m sure this year’s was no different. Seriously, Omar Infante was selected to the NL All-star team this year, the same Omar Infante who doesn’t start on his own team. Joey Votto, probably the MVP of the National League so far, had to be voted in for the final spot.
Yeah, the system to select All-Stars clearly works.
I would propose a system where the best players were chosen by their actual performance so far in the season. In my system the fans would vote on nothing and the teams would be picked completely by statistical analysis. This would get away from the current system where fans are encouraged to vote for their teams players and their favorites. Instead, the most deserving would be selected. Anything that gets the general public and general baseball “fans” opinion omitted is a good thing. I go to a lot of baseball games and I talk to baseball “fans” a lot. I have this conclusion, most of them have no idea what they are talking about and are not extremely intelligent. I’m willing to sacrifice my own ability to vote on the players in order for this to happen. In my system, we could use an advanced metric such as WAR to figure out the best players and select the teams this way. Under my plan, here are your starting lineups:
C: Joe Mauer
1B: Justin Morneau
2B: Robinson Cano
SS: Alex Gonzalez (That’s right. He’s been more valuable than Jeter, so has Cliff Pennington of the A’s. Marco Scutaro is even with the Golden Boy too.)
3B: Evan Longoria
LF: Carl Crawford
CF: Alex Rios
RF: Ben Zobrist
DH: Vladimir Guerrero
C: Brian McCann
1B: Joey Votto
2B: Chase Utley (since he is hurt, it’s Martin Prado)
SS: Hanley Ramirez
3B: David Wright
LF: Matt Holliday
CF: Andres Torres
RF: Ryan Ludwick
DH: Albert Pujols (sorted NL by batting runs and selected the first guy not in the lineup already)
Quite a bit different from the winners of the popularity contest. This is more in line with actual performance however, with both offense and defense taken into account.
Back to the Orioles, we are surging coming into the break winning 4 straight to sweep a road series with Texas. It has been a while since we have done that. I’m not sure if the break is a good thing or a bad thing. Some of the guys could use the rest and we have some guys real close to being healthy enough to return (Scott, Roberts, Gonzalez, Pie, Wieters) so that is a good thing. However, it would also have been nice to keep that positive momentum going for a little bit.
There’s not much positive to talk about at the “halfway” point in the season. Almost everyone has significantly underperformed expectations with the exceptions of Nick Markakis, Jason Berken, David Hernandez, Luke Scott, and Corey fucking Patterson. You may be able to include Adam Jones in that group soon but I expected a league average on base percentage and he hasn’t come close to that. Despite his recent hot streak, the guy has been an out machine this year, along with almost everyone else in the lineup. It’s been an awful half season, no doubt.
We are supposedly close to inking Buck Showalter as our next manager. I’m indifferent. To me, as long as they choose someone not named Rick Dempsey I’m fine with it.
I’m actually pretty excited about watching this team in the second half. Arrieta and Tillman have shown at least a little promise lately. We should be making some moves at the deadline which may add some excitement. We will be getting some guys back which could help us out a great deal. So, the question comes up as always, do we want to see the team win games in the second half or do we want the number one pick in the draft?
We are dangerously close to Pittsburgh catching up to us in the Anthony Rendon sweepstakes. The Pirates are now just one game behind us and we are well within quick striking distance of several other teams. Rendon is far and away the best talent in next years draft class, some analysts even prefer him to Bryce Harper. After that, the draft class is very solid and deep with talent. However, once again it is a very pitching heavy draft but we would still end up with a very solid prospect if we missed out on Rendon. So, I say win…we need to see some growth from our current players if we are ever going to be anything in the near future. So I want to see our core perform in the second half. I especially hope to see some drastic improvement from Wieters in particular and can we get Felix Pie to stay healthy for any amount of time? He is so fun to watch when he is on the field. Seriously, he better not end up being this guy: