MLB Thoughts

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Yet another edition of MLB Thoughts is coming to you hot off the presses. We’re approaching the dreaded Dog Days of the Baseball Season, including the Bermuda Triangle of Sports that is the MLB All Star Break. But, still plenty going around around the Majors, so might as well dive right in.

  • Have to start with the obvious. The All Star rosters are being announced tonight, so I need to give my official Brian’s Den All Star Picks©. As I’m sure you know, the MLB All Star rosters are required to have at least one representative from every team, one of my least favorite rules in all of sports. So, rather than parse through the Padres bullpen in order to fill out the 25-man roster, I’ll just give my starting lineups. I use games played as a bit of a tie-breaker, so even thought Mike Trout’s stats still somehow rank among the best in the league despite the fact he’s missed the last month or so, he doesn’t make the cut. Winning doesn’t matter to me, because holding an individual position player accountable for the success of a baseball team is stupid (it just so happens that the good teams have a lot of good players. Weird). I also don’t care about fan voting, so if you’re wondering why you see players from teams that aren’t the Yankees, Red Sox, Royals, and Cubs, that’s why.
    • American League
      • C- Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
      • 1B- Justin Smoak, Toronto Blue Jays
      • 2B- Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
      • 3B- Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
      • SS- Carlos Correa, Houston Astros
      • OF- Aaron Judge, New York Yankees
      • OF- Mookie Betts, Boston Red Sox
      • OF- George Springer, Houston Astros
      • DH- Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay Rays
      • P- Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox
    • National League
      • C- Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
      • 1B- Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
      • 2B- Daniel Murphy, Washington Nationals
      • 3B- Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies
      • SS- Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds
      • OF- Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
      • OF- Cody Bellinger, Los Angeles Dodgers
      • OF- Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
      • DH- Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
      • P- Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals
  • Boy, the Yankees have been scuffling lately. After spending the entire year in first place, all of a sudden they’re two games behind the Red Sox. It’s almost as if they couldn’t sustain this pace and are starting to regress towards the mean. If only someone thought this might happen. Oh, well. You can’t always be right.
  • Speaking of the Red Sox, they’re in first and haven’t even really played well all season. The offense has been stinky all year. They give up home runs every two seconds. But, they have Chris Sale, play good defense, and have gotten some unexpected dominance from the bullpen, which is apparently enough to climb to the top of the toughest division in baseball.
  • At long last, the Rockies are no longer in first place. In the blink of an eye, they’re seven games back of the Dodgers. They still have the third most wins in the National League, but I can’t beat my chest about calling their success all year without facing the music when they start sucking.
  • Brewers need to go to these jerseys full time:
  • Personally, I can’t wait until top prospect Timmy Tebow makes his MLB debut for the Mets when rosters expand later this season. You know, you just know he’ll go deep in his first game.
  • June set an all time record for home runs in a month, and, this being baseball, that’s of course a bad thing. Why can’t baseball just embrace something fun, for once. Home runs are awesome. They make things exciting. It gets new people to tune in. Higher scoring means more people care. More people care and everyone makes more money. But, predictably, the crybaby pitchers, lead by David Price (who is doing the impossible and making a run at J.D. Drew for the title of My Least Favorite Red Sox Player Ever. He and his constant bitching can go straight to hell) have to make a big stink about it. Like so what if the balls are juiced? Maybe don’t throw it right down the pipe and people won’t hit it into the stratosphere. It’s just so typical and annoying. No one’s allowed to have fun playing baseball, not on baseball’s watch.
  • A lot of great third basemen in the league this year. One would imagine it’ll be tough to crack the All Star teams at that position. I mean, someone like Travis Shaw is hitting .291/.357/.911 with 17 homers probably won’t make it. Man, can you imagine if the Red Sox had a guy like that? Can’t believe they haven’t had anyone in their organization the last couple years who has proved time and time again to be better than fat turd Pablo Sandoval. Just bad luck, I guess.
  • Julio Urias injury aside, I feel like the Dodgers have the best minor-league player development in the league. Everyone they bring up is nasty right away. Cody Bellinger leads the National League in homers. Corey Seager is going to be an All Star every year for the next decade plus. He goes through hot and cold streaks, but rookie Joc Pederson was electrifying. It feels like they never bring a guy up just to bring him up. If they bring you up, you automatically produce. And this isn’t new. Rookie Yasiel Puig threatened to completely change the game. That Kershaw guy was pretty decent. In fact, since the award’s inception, the Dodgers have more than twice as many Rookies of the Year as any other team in the majors. Maybe they just keep getting lucky with great players, but I think the Dodgers themselves have something to do with it.
  • I don’t care if this comes back to bite me later, but the Cubs are officially Dead. They stink and should feel bad about themselves.
  • Angels are 26-27 with Mike Trout and 17-15 without him. Is Mike Trout Overrated? Pick up tomorrow’s Newspaper for my column.
  • Because MLB treats its video vault like Fort Knox I can’t really embed the footage, but longtime catcher Carlos Ruiz pitched against the Twins a couple weeks ago and promptly gave up a home run to the first batter he faced. I feel like when position players pitch they never give up homers. I can’t remember it happening, at least. Almost every time a position player pitches he winds up doing okay. Maybe that’s why David Price is so sensitive about everything. He knows that if Mookie Betts decided to start pitching his ass would be out on the street.
  • I know it’s kind of played out by now, but I’m still a big Home Run Derby guy and don’t really get why people don’t want to do it. It’s just batting practice, man. One night of trying to hit homers won’t ruin your swing unless you’re Bobby Abreu.
  • I’m excited to see how Goose Gossage thinks the game is being ruined this year. I’m sure he’ll be interviewed during the All Star Break.
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