The MLB All-Star Break features a game played based on the fans favorite players and the winner gets home field advantage in the World Series. It also represents the halfway point of the grueling 162 game-season.
So, with 81 down and 81 to go, how was the first-half of 2011?
Well, it has exceeded my expectations, as it has been competitive across the board with all six divisions still up for grabs.
Without further a due, here are LADY LOVES PINSTRIPES HALFTIME BASEBALL AWARDS:
The Hottest Double Team Award:
1B Mark Teixeira/OF Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees have 51 homeruns combined and there are still three games left before the All-Star break so don’t be surprised if they tack on a few more.
“It’s Not My Job, Oh Yes It Is” Award:
C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants won the 2010 ROY Award doing his job behind the plate superbly. So, after an unfortunate collision in May that put him on the DL for the rest of 2011 Posey says that blocking the plate is not part of the job. Earth to Buster….it certainly is.
WAB Award (“What A Bust”):
The mighty Boston Red Sox were anticipating that SP John Lackey would show that he is worth the $82.5 million paycheck entering the 2011 season. Lackey just lacks everything he used to have. Lackey’s 6.84 ERA and 6-8 record has Red Sox fans booing. Many will say his last start was better, which is true but definitely not enough to trust him yet. Lackey heads into the break having hit 11 batters, which is the most in the Majors.
Kiss My Bat Award:
OF Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays is proving that his 54 homeruns in 2010 was no fluke, as the slugger has 31 already this season and remember Bautista has more three games to add to that total till it is officially baseball’s halftime. Joey Bats also leads the majors in walks (74), OBP (.468) and SLG (.702), so it’s fair that we should all be kissing Bautista’s bat.
Up My Ante Award:
A lot of good players contracts are set to expire at the end of 2011, so the better they play the bigger the paycheck. No one is upping his ante like SS New York Mets Jose Reyes, who is showing teams just how beneficial he can be. Everyone knew Reyes was a natural ball player, but not this good. If Reyes can get active right after the All-Star Break it won’t hurt his worth if he keep playing at the same level.
Batter’s Beware Award:
When any of these three pitchers take the hill, opponents tremble with every at-bat because these guys can flat-out pitch. Utter any of their names and you are almost guaranteed a win…Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies; Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers; and CC Sabathia, New York Yankees.
“Comeback Kid” Award:
AL…Yankee fans were pissed when GM Brian Cashman inked a pitcher who had already passed washed-up status after losing out on Cliff Lee. Well, the tides have certainly turned as former 2005 CY Young winner Bartolo Colon has been outstanding and that is an understatement. Colon is still an ace and how nice is it that the Yankees basically got him for free. NL…. The Rockies can almost say the same for veteran and Colorado lifer Todd Helton. Helton is proving that at 37-years old is just a number, as he is posting a .321 batting average, with 41 RBIs, 17 doubles, 38 walks and 10 homers heading into the break. Helton has been the Rockies leader and played in his 2000th MLB game back in June.
“Making A Difference” Skipper Award:
NL Manager Clint Hurdle has gotten the Pirates to play baseball and is reminding the city of Pittsburgh how to love baseball again. In the AL Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Madden is making sure the AL East remains a three-team race, sans half the stars from 2010. The Rays could win the AL East for the second year in a row because Madden believes and his players respond.
Hostess With The Mostess Award:
If home records were the only ones that counted, the Milwaukee Brewers would be the best team in baseball. The Brew-Crew’s 32-14 record, which is a .696 winning percentage in Miller Park is why they are still in the NL Central race now, tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for first place heading into the break. If the Brewers could improve their 16-29 road record, they could easily run with the division.
This Keg Is Skunked Award:
The Houston Astros have a 30-62, the worst record in baseball but no one expected things to be any different down in Texas. So, the Skunked Keg Award goes to the Baltimore Orioles because they were supposed to be better, started out like that and now have fallen back to the familiar cellar of the AL East. With a 36-52 record, which is 18 games out of first place, it looks like the same old O’s are back, again but maybe they never really left.
- Bautista first Jay to hit 30 homer before all-star break (thestar.com)
- New York Yankees: Mitre, Hughes and Why Joe Girardi Is Not Doing His Job (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Jays beat Indians 7-1, take three of four in series (thestar.com)
- It’s time for this group to step up to the plate (boston.com)
- MLB Truths: Totally Different Story If Jose Bautista Was A New York Yankee (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Verlander moves Tigers into division lead: AL roundup (cbc.ca)