Major League Baseball at the break

We have finally reached the mid way point of the 2011 season and while there have been some surprises and some standard things that happen every year. One of the biggest surprises that has come out of the first half of the season, is the fact that the Boston Red Sox are in 1st place after starting the season 2-10. Most teams would have lost any hope of being a division leader after than kind of start, especially in the dreaded AL East. But somehow the Red Sox found a way to keep it from ending their season before it began. Once again you have the usual back and forth with the Sox and Yanks, which will get more intense as we near October.

Another surprise out of the first half is the fact that the Cleveland Indians have been one of the best teams throughout the first half. They cooled off a little bit as it neared the All Star Break, but for a while they were running away with the central. Now that things have tight-end up, it should be interesting to see how a youthful team like the Indians handles the pressure cooker than can be September and October. The Pittsburgh Pirates have been a surprise team also with the leadership of new manager Clint Hurdle. They are in the hunt in the NL Central being only 1 game back from St. Louis and Milwaukee.

Unfortunately tragedy has struck fans in Major League Baseball this season with two deaths from fans falling out of their seats while trying to catch a foul ball. It happened in Colorado earlier and then more recently in Texas. This is something that has happened without any real casualty for years and  years, but this season two deaths has to make executives in the MLB wonder what needs to be changed. I am not going to sit here and blame MLB, or the teams themselves for some fans who went to an extreme to catch a foul ball. But at the same time, everybody needs to brainstorm and see if there is a possibility to find a new safety feature to add into ball parks to prevent this from happening. One thing I would suggest is do an announcement before the game and have a strict warning for fans who sit in the upper sections, that reaching over the railing could have dangerous or potentially fatal consequences. Will it stop someone from trying? I doubt it, but it will at least put it in the front of their mind and people may let the ball go if it isn’t easily accessible. Because a baseball isn’t worth a life.

While this is the mid point of the season, there is a lot of games to be played and there is a lot that could happen right now. Should be a fun run through the summer and into the early fall. But to me the All Star Game is slowly becoming a joke. The big name players get voted in regardless of their season and now you have some stars who have opted out of attending the game at all. This whole game is becoming a farce and I don’t think many fans really care to watch it. Can we just hurry up and get back to the games that matter. Last thing I want to say is a congratulations to Derek Jeter for reaching the Milestone of 3,000 hits. But in reality Jeter is nothing more than an over hyped player who gets a big spotlight for being in New York and playing for the Yankees. Place him on any other team and he would just be one of the nameless guys who is consistent. Now, lets strap in and prepare for the 2nd half of the season and enjoy the ride into October.

2011 Major League Baseball Preview

It is that time of year again, the start of the baseball season is coming up fast, and I have poured over hundreds of breakdowns and watched hours of expert analysis to come up with this outlook on how I think this season will go. Ok, maybe not…I haven’t really done a lot of research on this, but I do have a gut feeling about the teams and I am basing my picks on my gut feeling. There have been a lot of changes, and some teams have improved, but I think it will be a fun season. It better be to tolerate a 162 game season. So without further ado, here is my gut feeling on this season.

American League:

AL East:
The AL East is pretty much looking like a 3 team race(again) but the Rays look like they have fallen off from last season, so it may be up to the Red Sox and the Yankees to decide the fate of this division. But watch out for the Orioles, Buck Showalter is jawing and he could have this team be a surprise before the year is out.

  1. Boston Red Sox
  2. New York Yankees
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. Tampa Bay Rays
  5. Toronto Blue Jays

AL Central:
This division is pretty much cut and dry, the Twins and the White Sox hold the key to the penthouse. It will be a dog fight to see who is the tennant at the end of the year and gets that coveted playoff spot.

  1. Minnesota Twins
  2. Chicago White Sox
  3. Cleveland Indians
  4. Detroit Tigers
  5. Kansas City Royals

AL West:
Last season the Rangers came almost out of nowhere to surpise the entire league and win the division, which led to the American League Pennant. This season, the West almost looks even top to bottom. The only team that probably won’t be able to keep pace is Seattle, but the other three teams will be clawing for the division title and could even steal a wild card spot from one of the other division teams.

  1. Texas Rangers
  2. Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem
  3. Oakland A’s
  4. Seattle Mariners

There you have it, the American league is very similar to last years final standings, but there will be a couple suprises this year and I wouldn’t be shocked to see a team come out of nowhere to steal a playoff spot. Now it is time to tackle the National League.

National League:

NL East:
This is the easiest NL division to decide, barring any major injuries, this division should belong to Philidelphia.

  1. Philidelphia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. Florida Marlins
  4. Washington Nationals
  5. New York Mets

NL Central:
Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that this division will be the tightest division in all of baseball and it wouldn’t surprise me to see a loveable loser win the division and make a long playoff run out of the Central.

  1. Chicago Cubs
  2. St. Louis Cardinals
  3. Milwaukee Brewers
  4. Cincinati Reds
  5. Houston Astros
  6. Pittsburgh Pirates

NL West:
Once agian, this division is the Giants and I think the other teams will give them a run, but without any real offseason changes, this should be another west title for the bay area boys.

  1. San Francisco Giants
  2. San Diego Padres
  3. Colorado Rockies
  4. Arizona Diamondbacks
  5. Los Angeles Dodgers

There you have the NL breakdown, some what surprising but some what expected also. This should a be a fun season across the board, and I am looking forward to watching the season shape up and progress. Well, at least until Football season kicks off. Just remember, I took this off of gut instinct and didn’t do any long analysis of this. So if I am completly wrong, then I didn’t lose any sleep over researching this.

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