Every MLB season, the All-Star break is viewed as the halfway point of the 162 games season. Even with still a lot of baseball to play, this is the time when a team’s reputation and attitude have been backed by enough play on the field.
At this point, there are the obvious observations that only a miracle could change, but there are many more what if’s than anything.
Now, I have gotten way ahead of myself, in predicting seven headlines that fans might be reading at this 2011 season’s half-time. The headlines, in no specific order, are the forecasts, while the summaries below give the present reasons why each lead could be future news.
1. New York Mess: Finally Cleaning Up The Mets
No one from the fans to the players expect much out the New York Mets until 2012. Still, Citi-Field’s atmosphere certainly feels different, with a new GM and Skipper.
Even without Santana, the Mets have the pieces and it’s about time the puzzle started coming together.
The team should be more relaxed, respectful and the players’ natural competitiveness to win, as that’s what pro athletes like to do, could actually do just that. My bet is 2011 will be a nice surprise for Mets
fans, to finally get some genuine hope.
2. Twins, White Sox, Tigers – AL Central Looks To Be A Fight To The Finish
The AL Central will be a tight three-team race that should continue till the end. This division did have to have a tiebreaker back in 2009, when the Tigers lost to the Twins in a literal baseball dual.
Definitely throw the White Sox back in mix for 2011. If the AL Central didn’t house the Royals and Indians, it could rival the AL East for toughest division.
The moment the Phillies signed Cliff Lee expectations soared in Philadelphia.
Now, the 2011 season is a World Series or bust situation. Lee came to win; the Phillies broke the bank to get Lee in order to win; which makes leading the NL East at the All-Star break by a half-game completely
unacceptable. Phillies should only lose every fifth game and they might have to start to if they get behind the Marlins and Mets.
The Phillies should effortlessly win a minimum of 98 games or else the Lee signing will look like a failure. Lucky for Philly fans the team always plays better post-All-Star break.
4. Jeter Still Finished? No Way As The New York Yankee Captain Is Proving Everybody Wrong
I can guarantee what a bad idea mocking the Yankee Captain’s ability was this off-season. Jeter wills and hard work is going to shut-up his detractors in 2011.
Hopefully, Jeter will earn the well overdue respect from all who have criticized this man’s every move.
Jeter is moving all right, but it isn’t away from shortstop, as Jeter has taken his off-season workout up a few notches. He is already in Tampa, and amped-up for the start of Spring Training.
5. Giants Are Struggling Out In San Francisco
The Reigning Champs felt so good in 2010, that they did nothing in the off-season. Why mess up a good thing?
Well, reality bites and the Giants will realize that winning the World Series once is just good timing, but repeating is what makes a team truly worth keeping together. It is presumable that their young pitchers will have growing pains as a group. The bats can’t not score runs like last year, but Posey and Huff have to lead the way. Also, Cody Ross will prove to be a postseason fluke or a legit player??
Lucky the NL West is home to D-backs, Padres who pose no threat this season. Still, Giants are not in the clear as the Colorado Rockies have the complete package, while the Dodgers will either be much better than expected, or embarrassingly awful.
Last night, Tuesday January 25, 2011, the MLB Network Special analyzing the 2011 “Top 50 Prospects” aired, and just three New York Yankee minor leaguers made the cut.
Making the list…
PLAYER MUST HAVE ROOKIE STATUS TO BE ELIGIBLE (To qualify for rookie status, a player must not have exceeded 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched in the Major Leagues or accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the 25-player-limit period, excluding time on the disabled list or in military service)
BASED ON INPUT FROM SCOUTS AND FRONT OFFICE PERSONAL
TIES BROKEN BY JOHNATHAN MAYO
So, which pinstripe prospects made the cut?
To be exact, two catchers and a left-handed pitcher out of the Bomber’s farm system graced MLB Network’s Top 50 Prospect list. Click here to see the entire list.
Jesus Montero has been atop the Yankees prospect list for two years, so it was expected that the 6’5″ catcher land in the top 10 across the minors, as well as being the top catcher on the list. Montero has Yankee Universe salivating in anticipation of seeing this youngster up in the Bronx in 2011. Montero is hitting .300 and averaging 30+ home-runs. Montero has a great arm, but the Yankees are still toying with moving him from catcher due to his large size. Being compared to All-Star Mike Piazza is not a bad rap to have.
Gary Sanchez No. 32
At just 18-years-old, catching prospect Gary Sanchez is said to be the real deal. MLB.com picked Sanchez as the third best catching prospect, so this kid has superstar potential. Sanchez has the bat of Montero and the defensive skills of Yankee prospect Austin Romine, but considering his age he looks to surpass both. 2011 will mark Sanchez’s first full minor league season, so Yankee fans will have to hold their breaths a little longer.
Slick move, but ESPNw slogan is ESPN’s“Online Destination for Female Sports Fans and Athletes.”
Guess that is going well for the company, as all of a sudden ESPNw is reporting on men’s sports, which completely contradicts the need to be gender separate.
Regardless, every news outlet is reporting on Cashman’s statement, which was a response to a question asked at his annual breakfast during the Q & A.
Cashman was asked about Jeter playing shortstop for the next four seasons.
Cashman’s answer was this:
“I like corner outfielders and corner infielders who have power, so for me, if he’s ever gonna move, it’s probably gonna be a Robin Yount situation. But we don’t have to deal with it at this point. We’ll deal with it when we have to.”
Cashman made it clear following that by saying, “Jeter’s our shortstop, period.”