First of all, LeBron James is a bag of expletives. Go after a title on a team where you're the man, not one head of a three headed monster. Way to wimp out.
Now that the MLB season has reached the All-Star break, I want to take a look at some of the top stories, as far as I'm concerned, in the first half.
1. Friar Power. The San Diego Padres are 14 games over .500 (they were 75-87 last year) and up by two games in the much-improved NL West. I mean this is a pitchers dominated team - with the best ERA (3.25) and WHIP (1.23) in the MLB. They're hitting a paltry .250 but are in first place - pitching wins. Look at the pathetic KC Royals - they lead the majors in hitting (.282) and are 10 games under .500 and 10.5 GB of the 1st place White Sox. Watch out for the hooded clergy, they're here for real, and I don't think their pitching will go out of style. They have no pressure to succeed and their best pitcher has only 27 starts under his belt for his career (Mat Latos) and a journeyman John Garland is reverting back to old form (when he won 18 games back-to-back years with the White Sox). The Padres are good man, but so is everyone else in the West. It's gonna be exciting.
2. Abe Vigoda (aka Jamie Moyer). How in the hell is this guy 9-8? I watched him dominate the Yankees (8 IP, 3 H, 2 R) and get shellacked by the Red Sox the very next start (1 IP, 9 H, 9 R). He's got a 4.51 ERA in over 107 innings pitched - better than A.J. Burnett (4.75), John Lackey (4.78), and Brandon Morrow (4.86) - all guys with far superior stuff. I watch him pitch and it actually infuriates me. How can this guy do this at the highest level? He throws 83 mph! Are you kidding me? I have to move on, it's pissing me off even thinking about it. Good for you Jamie, you old bastard.
3. Vuvuzelas at a baseball game? Really Marlins? Fire the PR guy instead of letting Fredi Gonzalez get the axe. This was something that people bitched about at the World Cup 2010, and once the USA was eliminated, everyone bitched about everything related to the World Cup. And the Marlins decide it's a good idea to hand out half-assed vuvuzelas to fans for a game versus in-state rival Tampa Bay? Give it a rest. That goes against everything a traditional baseball fan stands for. At least give out cowbells or something like that, everyone needs to have more cowbell. Vuvuzela Night? Never going to a Marlins game, on principle alone.
4. Marco...Polo...Teixeira? He's hitting an eye-popping .254, but surprisingly has 17 HR and 60 RBI. He seems to be AL version of Adam Dunn - HR's and right around a .250 BA (Dunn is at 22 HR and .288 in 2010). He went into the break on fire, hitting .419 in July. I mean he did virtually nothing in April (.136, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and the Yankees still managed to go 15-7. They have a two game lead over the Rays and a five game lead over the Red Sox and they haven't even had the best record in the AL East in any given month (TB - Apr., TOR - May, BOS - June, TB - July). Not to mention the heading to this paragraph - Mark Teixeira is having a mediocre season at best. If they played the White Sox, Twins, and Mariners every series, he'd be hitting .450 for the year (.545 vs. CWS, .400 vs. MIN, .448 vs. SEA). If he can stay hot after the break, watch out baseball! Good time to be a Yankee fan.
That's all I have time for. Gotta go work on a few things. We just got a new GTee in, may go take a few hacks off that, get some frustration out.
HR Derby tonight at 8 pm Eastern (5 pm Pacific) - Swisher looking to bring the trophy back to the Bronx with him.
Be well people.