It’s always been my least favorite part of the baseball season, the all star break. It reminds us that we’re already half way through the summer, the all star game I’ve always found to be a bit boring, and I’ve never cared much for the home run derby.
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been home sick all week, but I watched every bit of the all star break’s entertainment this time around. I’m sure a lot of people did. The home run derby was fantastic, but all anyone really wanted to see was how many homers the Yankees Aaron Judge could bash into the Marlin’s outfield sculpture. In the first round when it looked like Justin Bour had him beat with 22, Judge simply bashed 23. He made the whole thing look easy. How can it not be when you’re 6’7″ and about 280lbs? Smaller hitters like the Yankees Gary Sanchez, and the Dodgers Cody Bellinger would always have to work twice as hard to make those balls travel anywhere near as far. The shorter guys, while capable of hitting maybe just as many during a full season, don’t fair too well in a competition that requires you to hit them back to back to back. Being a bit smaller usually requires a bit more power from your legs incorporated in your swing, which will always tire you out much faster. Judge took the home run crown with ease. I don’t like a lot about the Yankees, but I love their ability to scout and bring up great players with wonderful temperament. They had it with Derek Jeter, and now they’ve found their next dynasty player in Aaron Judge.
The All Star game. I almost skipped this again. But being sick, all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch and watch some baseball. No longer used to decide home filed advantage in the World Series, it was some how a bit easier for me to watch. There were fewer stakes on the line but you wouldn’t know it by the pace of the game. It was a pitchers duel through nine innings. The score tied at 1-1. In an era where the long ball seems to be making it’s come back, you wouldn’t know it by watching that All Star Game. The pitching stole the show. It was only on Robinson Cano’s homer in extra innings that would put the AL on top and win them the game.
And of course, aside from the all star break, July means it’s time to make moves at the trade deadline. The time of year when everyone holds their breath and hopes the team they love doesn’t fuck everything up. It’s early, but in the last 24hrs we’ve already witnessed the first big move. Jose Quintana will be leaving the South Side of Chicago for the North end. The Cubs definitely needed a pitcher to help make up for their dismal first half, and they gave away their number 2 and 8 prospects to get him. The White Sox are no where near contending this year, but now have a beautiful young crop of talent that will no doubt bring them success in the years to come.
There’s a headline on the MLB.com front page today asking if you’d rather have the Cubs rotation or the White Sox farm system. It seems like a no brainer to me, that I’d much rather have the Sox farm system. There’s so much potential there for the future, where as the Cubs rotation this year has been nothing to envy. Lester and Lackey are getting older and it’s starting to show. Montgomery and Arrieta have not been consistent. Maybe a year ago the Cubs rotation would have been something to desire, but as it stands, the White Sox future is the way to go.
Things should definitely get interesting as July rolls along. Sonny Gray is on the market and could find a home with a post season contender like the Astros. Giancarlo Stanton’s name has been floating around as well much to Miami fans displeasure. That would be a huge contract and it seems tailored for teams like the Dodgers or the Yankees. But as of tonight, the most important part of the season begins. And as of tonight, it will be my last time blogging from New York. Come tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be setting up my new home in California, and taking in the beautiful weather and some West Coast baseball.