Some All-Star Break Thoughts
Here are some quick hits to digest at baseball’s All-Star break:
The two MVPs of the first half seem obvious. It’s the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera in the American League and the Reds’ Joey Votto in the National . . .
The Cy Young Award leaders at the halfway point are Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies and David Price of the Rays . . .
By the way, it’s not even close for baseball’s Manager of the Year. It has to be ex-Angels’ pitching coach Bud Black of the Padres. How he’s had that punchless team in first place the whole way is remarkable . . .
The Dodgers are still equipped to make a run in the N.L. West, but only if they can add an arm before the trade deadline . . .
The Angels? Well, they need to add a lot of things, and it still might not be enough . . .
Mike Scioscia’s biggest problem is what to do with Scott Kazmir, who is basically a train wreck at this point . . .
I have only two words for Angels’ owner Arte Moreno between now and next season: Carl Crawford . . .
A lot of people will be rooting for the surprising Atlanta Braves to win it all in Bobby Cox’s final season . . .
Bud Selig should be thrilled the Yankees didn’t end up with Cliff Lee. If they had, the rest of the season — and postseason — would have been a joke . . .
Yes, that blur you may have noticed in Sunday’s Future’s Game was 19-year-old Mike Trout, the Angels’ new No. 1 prospect. This kid might already be the fastest player in the organization’s history . . .
The MVP of the game, by the way, was another Angels’ prospect, catcher Hank Conger, who hit a 3-run homer. Conger probably will get promoted to the big club next season, but he’s had a somewhat disappointing first half at Triple A Salt Lake . . .
The Rangers could have had a truly insurmountable lead in the A.L. West if they hadn’t hit a little bump in the road themselves in the past week . . .
What’s up with Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies? Seems like he hits a home run every day . . .
The best looking young players are those that been promoted since the start of the season. Stephen Strasburg is a given, but two other quick examples are the Giants’ Buster Posey and the Cubs’ Tyler Colvin. Those two kids can hit . . .
I can’t remember another year when this many pitchers have taken no-hitters and/or perfect games into the late innings . . .
Best single pitch of any current starter in either league might be the Cards’ Adam Wainwright’s curve ball. Best I’ve seen since the Bert Blyleven days . . .
I know Johnny Damon’s cumulative numbers are impressive, but please, don’t try to tell me he is a Hall of Famer. To be a true Cooperstown candidate, you have to be a dominant player, something that could never be said of Damon, even in his prime . . .
Don’t look now, but the White Sox’s starting rotation is currently pitching the way the Angels’ starters were supposed to pitch . . .
There are some things in baseball you just know, like the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira wasn’t going to hit in the low .200s and journeyman Kevin Franzen of the Angels wasn’t going to hit .350 . . .
So the Dodgers have a baby boa constrictor in their clubhouse, huh? Now I know I’m never going in there again to get quotes . . .
Look, I know young Mr. Strasburg doesn’t deserve to be in the All-Star Game. But tell me it wouldn’t be fun to see him pitch against the American League’s best hitters on Tuesday night . . .
— Steve Bisheff