Latest posts by Senor Weaselo (see all)
- Quick Picks in the Underworld – February 3, 2019
- A BattleBots Beat Special: What Got Cut – January 3, 2019
- Your “Isn’t This the Part…” Final Friday Evening Thread of 2018 – December 28, 2018
Yup, that’s where I went with the title. Because as I mentioned last year, I did have the fortune to go to the 2008 game, and it was a midsummer night’s dream to me.
…If you think that joke’s bad, wait until I tell you about the piece one of my friends picked for her HS orchestra last year (she’s an orchestra teacher). It was written by a Canadian composer, so she asked whether it was in… Eh Major.
Well, I thought it was cheesy-funny.
Anyway thanks to already doing so last year, I’m not going to wax poetic, even though it was ten years ago and therefore worth waxing poetic on. Incidentally I didn’t realize until just now that both the first- and second-best days of my life so far were on July 15ths, eight years apart. So that’s cool I guess. Less cool, I cannot find the “Hit the ball to Uggla” chant on the Youtubes. Or the “You still suck” chant for JD Drew (then playing for Boston) after he hit a game-tying homer. Also I had a digital camera… but either the memory or the batteries were shot so I didn’t get to take any physical pictures. That’s right, it was pre-everyone having a smartphone days (that would be later that summer as I left for college). Yeah, I dropped the ball. Well, Dan Uggla did.
Anyway, fast-forward to now. The game doesn’t count for World Series home-field anymore, which is fine in my opinion (it’s best record), but I think there’s money involved so there is some incentive. The youth movement continues to grow, though I guess the previous youth movement isn’t so young anymore in that case. There are a lot of really good young players, and as I’m now in my mid-20s, so you know, the age of the league now, it feels a little weird I guess? Gleyber Torres and Ozzie Albies are younger than Hermana Weaselo. She feels old.
The first-timers include Albies (21), Torres (21), Joe Jiménez (23), and a host of 24- and 25-year olds. Also Nick Markakis (34), Charlie Morton (34), Jed Lowrie (34), J.A. Happ (35), and Shin-Soo Choo (36). They’re on the other end of it. The pitching matchup—well, to the extent there’s a pitching matchup—is Chris Sale and Max Scherzer, and if you think that sounds familiar you’d be right! They started last year too. Something’s gotta be old hat, I guess.
I could give my midseason updates on predictions, but I kinda want to see what happens if they remain untouched. I know Shohei Ohtani won’t win AL Rookie of the Year due to the arm injury, which means he isn’t pitching at the moment. As of right now I’d say it’s Gleyber Torres’s to lose, since he’s no longer a “trade for a pitcher” chip so he won’t be traded to the Mets for deGrom, for instance, whether that actually happens or not. As for the big Manny Machado Trade Sweepstakes it looks like a deal is close, unless you ask someone else who says it isn’t. And it’s with the Phillies, unless it’s the Brewers. Unless it’s the Yankees. Point is, we don’t know.
What we do know this year is that the Braves and Phillies are ahead of schedule while the Nats once again are the Not Ready for Prime Time Players, and there are three really good teams in the American League vying for the 1, 2, and 4 spots, and the loser of the East is going to have a suspense-filled Wild Card Game and then get to face one of those other two teams. I think the Astros have the catbird’s seat there because the two East teams look like they will be the 1 and the WC1 and if that runner-up wins the Wild Card Game then they play each other in the ALDS and Houston has to play Cleveland. And Cleveland isn’t the 2016 team; the bullpen isn’t as good. Meanwhile the AL West that isn’t Houston is actually still decent, with Seattle, Oakland (!), and the Los Angeles Redundancies all over .500, so it’s less likely that the Dirt 500s will play to a .650 winning percentage.
And can we just have a team of Mike Trouts, or give every playoff team a Mike Trout for their run? I mean, yeah we need to work on cloning but he’s still not going to sniff the playoffs unless some crazy shit happens. Like if Zombie Ohtani starts pitching again, impending Tommy John be damned, every third day or so. Because Trout’s on pace for one of the best seasons ever by the Wins Above Replacement metric by being good at everything. At this point, all he has to do to be a Hall of Famer is play enough seasons to be eligible.
What else… oh yeah, they don’t actually have enough starters in Tampa so they have relievers starting games. And it’s been working! Tampa’s over .500! Meanwhile, not over .500 are the Fightin’ tWBSes and the Kansas City Royals. They’re also not over. 400. Or .300. There are 49 players with a better batting average than the Royals have winning percentage (.284.) That is less than ideal.
Also less than ideal? Sure, home runs are up and chicks dig the long ball…
…but it’s at a cost. Launch angles are up but contact in general and action happening is down. There’s a chance that there will be more strikeouts than hits in a season for the first time ever—it happened in April though the hits recovered in May. It’s not helping fight the “baseball is boring” attacks. I imagine at some point it’ll correct itself and we don’t have to hear about making illegal defenses with the shifts taking away hits. Or at least I hope. But you would have thought that should’ve started happening by now, right? Going the other way with a bunt is still the exception, not the rule, even if there’s a man on second or third and doing so may lead to a run. Something’s gotta give though, right? I really hope so.
As for what else is on tonight, I’m guessing the NBA Summer League finals between whoever and whoever else, uhhhhh, the Lakers and the Blazers.
Oh, and in NFL news… you can buy and become Boltman. Femurs not included. 2018 will probably be Le’Veon Bell’s last season in Pittsburgh according to his agent. And going-into-the-NFL-Hall-of-Fame Terrell Owens wants to play in the NFL, but since there are no options, he’s looking at a CFL stint. His options are currently held by Edmonton but Owens invoked a clause in his contract requiring them to offer him a contract or release him from their exclusive negotiation list within 10 days. Meanwhile Larry Fitzgerald only wants to play for the Cardinals (for some reason) and the NFL is considering more “minor” kickoff changes in addition to the ones already rolled out for the 2018 season.
So yeah. You know one of the best things about going to the All-Star Game? I didn’t have to listen to Hairplugs McGee. And speaking of Fox Sports, bring back the actual MLB on Fox music and not just recycle the NFL music! The variation in the instrumentation and alteration to the sports on Fox theme is crucial, you philistines! You have it with college football having more of a marching band feel than the NFL version, which I think is clever.
All right, enough ranting, time to do whatever our version of “Play ball” is. Pants off? Comment away? Fat dog for midterms? Don’t know, but do the thing!