Monday, July 12, 2004


Halfway there

Well, we're more than halfway there. When I was a kid, the pedant in me (which was, like 75% of me) was regularly annoyed by the demarcation of the All-Star break as the halfway point. Now that I know what it's like to be an adult and once in a while need some days off, I understand better why three days off in the midst of a long season should be viewed as the halfway point, regardless of its mathematical accuracy.

So at the halfway point, it's time for a quick list of the best things about the first half for me:

1) The Cardinals, and their position in the standings relative to the Cubs, the Astros, and the rest of the Senior Circuit.

2) Johnny Damon's first at-bat of the season. Even more than the rest of his season, the spit-out-your-beer surprise of seeing him stand in that first night has made me smile for three months.

3) Scott Rolen

4) The Unit's perfect game.

5) The Tigers' win total, one less than at the end of last season. Do you think they'll just take the rest of the year off?

I'm sure I've missed some. For example, there's no way that the Tigers' season has been one of the five best things about baseball this year, even for Tigers fans. But I am impressed with their season, and I'm working, and listing Johnny Damon twice would be wrong.

So you should add your own top five in the comments. 'Cause yours will probably be better than mine.

Original comments...

Steve: 1) The Cubs are being the Cubs
2) The White Sox are making baseball fun (at least for me)
3) Baseball Related Program Activities
4) The NL East Race
5) Ivan Rodriguez (his stats are crazy when you consider he's a catcher. He hit .500 for the month of June)

Levi: .500?

That's insane.

Oh, and if I expanded my list, I might include:
6) The AL looking like it might, just might have a different order of finish for the first time since the birth of the Devil Rays. The teams have all finished in the same spots every season since then.

Dan: 1) Mets finally giving me a reason to enjoy the day-to-day pennant races again.
2) Traditionally shitty teams doing really well, in nearly every division: Tigers, Rays, Brewers, Padres, (erm, Mets), Rangers
3) Jason Marquis establishing himself as the best Jewish pitcher since Steve Stone
4) Mets sweeping the Yankees and winning the season series, both for the first time ever
5) The Astros imploding.
**6) Johnny Damon -- indeed, that first game was magic, and I was sitting here watching alone

2nd half wish list:
1) Mets sneak into the playoffs, I don't care if it's with an 82-80 record like it was in '73
2) Someone hits Clemens in the head (or hand)
3) Someone hits Jeter in the groin
4) Rickey Henderson returns
5) Andy Baggarly breaks open the BALCO case

Toby: 1. A Hoosier from Levi's sister's town leads the All-Star voting
2. Blue Jays' new logo/uniforms
3. Astros virtually out of the race
4. The Braves NOT in first place at the break
5. D-Rays' and PIrates' long winning streaks

Jason: 1. Finally getting to a Visalia Oaks game.
2. Finding a A&W Restaurant before the Oaks game.
3. Visiting PETCO park for a Padres-Cubs game.
4. Taking a pleasant weekday drive through the San Gabriel mountains before a Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game.
5. Watching Cal State Fullerton win the College World Series, giving me incentive to try to attend a game there next season.

Levi: How could I have forgotten the Braves' struggles? That really is a top-five event. Go, Mets!

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