Tuesday, July 15, 2008

MLB Mid Season Report and other misc. items

I know, I know, because of my many other endeavors, I've been shirking my duties here at the place it all started for me, TBB.

Shame on me for neglecting my roots.

But with the All Star break upon us I've got a little break in the blogging action, so I wanted to take this time to catch up on things here on my original site.

First of all I want to report that my new nephew, Luke Franklin Starke, who turns three months old today, has turned out to be a very healthy and happy baby boy, despite the fact that he lives in New York.

But as you can tell from this photo, he is clearly being raised the right way:

Good job, Sis (and Nana)!

The second item I need to address is the fact that my talented brother-in-law, Paul Starke, was rewarded for producing such a terrific son by receiving an Emmy for the show he produces/writes for, The Tyra Banks Show.

At the Daytime Emmy Awards last month, the Tyra show was named Best Talk Show-Informative, and Paul was right up on stage when Tyra accepted the statue. Click the link to see a video of the moment (Paul is directly to the left of Tyra, right at the bottom of her hair extensions).

Kudos and congrats to my sister and her hubby for the awesome additions to their lives, and just want you guys to know how proud I am of you both.

Okay, now that the sappy family sentimentality is out of the way, it's time to get back to business. And since my business lately has been baseball, that's what I'm gonna cover now.

If you remember back when I was posting original content here I did a 2008 baseball preview piece. In it I predicted all the division and playoff winners, as well as the major award winners in each league.

Well, like any good blogger worth his salt, I'm back to recap my picks, ready to rip myself for all my silly mistakes and break my arm patting myself on the back for all my correct calls.

So if you're interested, keep reading. if not, please be sure to check out my stuff on the other sites.

First thing I did was ask a few pertinent questions related to the upcoming season. Here are the questions, and my then my answers:

Will the Red Sox repeat?
They're in first place despite injuries and inconsistency, so I'm saying yes

Will the Rays finally reach .500 now that they've exorcised the Devil?
Ah, they're not only 16 games over .500, but they've spent a good deal of the half in 1st place

Will Barry Bonds remain an unemployed pariah all season?
So far, yes, and according to this recent article on ESPN.com, the answer is a definite yes

Can the Tigers score 1000 runs with their modern day version of Murderer's Row?
They may score 1000 (they have 449 now), but they've been the biggest disappointment this season

How long before the Brewers regret giving Eric Gagme $10 million bucks (over/under is about 3 games)?
The answer to that is about one month, as Gagme blew 4 saves in the first 3 weeks of the season, then spent the month of June on the DL

Next I predicted the division winners, wild cards, surprising and disappointing teams from each league. Actual leaders in red

American League:
East: Sox Sox
Central: Tigers White Sox
West: Angels Angels
Wild Card: Indians Rays
Surprise: Rays Rays
Dis'pointment: Jays Jays/Tigers

Well I got 4 out of 6 right, so that's not bad. The Sox and Angels lead their divisions, and the Rays have been the surprise of the league by far. The Jays are a major disappointment, but how hard was that to predict - it happens every year!

The Indians, well they are a bigger bust than the Jays, boasting the second worst record in the AL after a four game sweep of the Rays, and Detroit, well I already mentioned them, but they have come on lately and still could win the weak Central.

National League:
East: Mets Phillies
Central: Cubs Cubs
West: Dodgers D-Backs
Wild Card: Padres Cardinals
Surprise: Nationals Cardinals
Dis'pointment: Phillies Padres

Not such a good job with the senior circuit, as I only got one of these right. The Cubs have been the best team in the majors for most of the season, and the Mets are hot now (winning 9 straight), but it took a putrid start and the canning of their manager to light a fire under their underachieving asses.

The Dodgers are one game back in the awful West, so they could take that sorry division, but the Phils have been in first almost all season and the Pads and Nats are the two worst teams in the league. Oops.

Oh well. NEXT!

My award winners are about as spot on as my playoff predictions.

American League:
MVP: Manny Ramirez Josh Hamilton
Cy Young: Josh Beckett Cliff Lee
Rookie of the Year: Evan Longoria Longo

Tracking for 2 of 3 on this as Manny has heated up again after a long dry spell, but still has the numbers (.293/18/60) and capability of winning this award. And Longoria, an All Star and HR Derby participant, is a near lock for the Rookie trophy.

Josh Beckett - chalk that up to wishful thinking.

National League:
MVP: Jose Reyes Lance Berkman
Cy Young: Johan Santana Tim Lincecum
ROY: Kosuke Fukodome Fuko

One out of three here, as Fuko is primed to be the Rookie of the Year. But Reyes has been inconsistent and had run ins with managers and announcers, and Santana is sitting at 8-7 and has been victimized by poor run support.

Now that that's out of the way, I'm going to wipe the slate clean, exercise my bloggers license and give you my mid-season picks.

American League:
East: Sox who'd you think I'd say?
Central: Tigers still can't count out that offense
West: Angels no one comes close
WC: Rays another parade for the Bay area?
MVP: Hamilton if he keeps up this pace (21HR, 95BI), he's a lock
Cy Young: Roy Halladay just can't see Lee or Saunders winning this
ROY: Longoria no-brainer

National League:
East: Mets coming on strong now
Central: Cubs been there all year
West: Dodgers 1GB and better pitching than Arizona
WC: Brewers addition of Sabathia gets 'em over the hump
MVP: Chase Utley if Phils make playoffs, he's in
Cy Young: Edinson Volquez win-win in trade for Hamilton
ROY: Fuko even though he's not a true rookie

Keep in mind that my pick of a Boston/Cubs World Series is still looking pretty solid, so I got that going for me.

Alright, I'm spent now. Hope this gets me up to date.

If I have time tomorrow, I'll recap tonight's Mid Summer Classic and give you my top stories of the first half.

Enjoy the All Star Game.