Eight Reasons To Watch The Second-Half of MLB '08
MLB

Great in '08? You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet! Eight More Reasons To Root For 2008

7/17/08 in MLB   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

2008 has already been a great sports year and Major League Baseball is no exception.  You guys know the stories already, so I'm going to throw out eight reasons you should watch the second-half of this great 2008 season.

1.  Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays

Yeah, they're on a seven-game skid.  Yeah, they can't win on the road.  Yeah, they're in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox.  But, man, they're fun.  I like the fact that they're not afraid of Boston.  I like the fact that they're kind of pissed off that no one is giving them a chance.  And I especially like the fact that it's going to be August and they're still relevant.  This story is far from over and the next three months should be very enjoyable in western Florida.

2.  Those Amazin' Mets
Do I think they're going to collapse and lose the NL East again this year?  Nah.  I'm pretty sure they're going to collapse and blow the NL Wild Card this time.  Why not mix it up, eh?  It's only a matter of time, isn't it?  As a Phillies fan, I'm glad to see Billy Wagner in the news, whether it's blowing saves or blowing up at his teammates.  Of course, I think Walkoff Walk has more against him than I do.  After watching Dan Uggla show his stuff in the All-Star Game, I don't think they're still arguing Wagner's the worst All-Star selection.

3.  Chipper Jones
"Can Chipper hit .400?"  How many times did we hear that the first couple of months of the season?  Well, the obvious answer is that he's not going to hit .400.  I don't even think he's going to hit .350.  But the real story is this:  How the heck has Chipper turned it around?  I mean he's healthy, he's hitting, he's happy - and he's still playing for Atlanta!!  I think we all know the answer here.  One word:  Hooters.  Yeah, me thinketh Chipper's back on the (wing) sauce.  So what will he end the season with more of - children or hits?  This can only help but add to the lore of Chipper!

4.  The Yankees
Well, at least the Yankee fans had an All-Star Game to cheer about.  I honestly doubt there's anyone outside of the Tri-State area that's feeling sorry for them.  Kind of reminds me of the scene in Dumb and Dumber when they're in the apartment talking about how bad their lives are.  "Man, we got no pitching, our stars are slumping......WE'RE LOSING TO THE (DEVIL) RAYS!" 

5.  Yankee Stadium

Yeah, the drama was a bit much the other night.  But it is a shame to see it go.  I can only imagine the festivities that are planned for the final games.  At least they got one more meaningful game in before the old ballpark is torn down.  Too bad it was the All-Star Game.  How ironic - the last meaningful game in Yankee Stadium is won by a Red Sox manager and the MVP is a Red Sox player.  Ouch....

6.  Hall of Fame Announcers
On a serious note, if you even remotely like baseball, you owe it to yourself to take the next three months to listen to as many games from some of the once-in-a-lifetime announcers that are still calling games.  Yeah, you probably don't like them all, but you can't deny that they're the last remnants of a dying breed.  Honestly, I can't imagine that in 30 years our children or grandchildren will be giving the same advice about some of the hacks that are working today.  In my opinion, you should start yourself off with a Vin Scully call and then work your way to Harry Kalas (no, NFL Films does not count!).  Be sure to include Marty Brennaman and Bob Uecker, too!  Do it soon, as they're eventually going to be forced out of the booth or retire. Please, Vin, don't go yet!

7.  Los Angeles Angels
Do I really have to call them the Los Angeles Angels?  Am I the only one that still has a problem with this?  Regardless of my issues, this is the team to watch in the second-half of the season.  They're tied for the most wins in the Majors right now and have the best road record in either league.  Most (east coast) people haven't heard too much about this crew, but that will change soon.  The Angels are putting themselves in a position as the team to beat in '08 and I'm having a hard time arguing with them.  Should be interesting to see if they can keep it going.  The real question is:  Will the Rally Monkey return?  Ah, the anticipation.....

8.  Chicago Cubs
This is going to be that story that won't go away until it is put to bed by the Cubbies themselves.  Can the Cubs get that (non-Rally) monkey off their back?  So far, the answer appears to be yes.  They're playing well and they've made some moves.  If they can continue to get the clutch performances they got in the first half, then it's going to be hard to deny this story.  Of course, history tells me that for every Rich Harden trade there's a Steve Bartman waiting in the wings.

OK, let's start the list of all the things I left out.

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7/18/08   |   primo   |   1 respect

TurkogluForMVP wrote:

I love his commentary... why? because he says the dumbest things to acheive his goal of being the John Madden of baseball.

 

"I think the goal of this Dallas Cowboy offense is to get a TD."

 

I'd settle for a FG myself lets not get too cocky and go for it all when we can just get 3 points...

'In order for the batter to get a hit, he must put the bat on the ball.'

 

'You need to run the bases to score runs.'

 

We need Harold Reynolds back!!! 

7/18/08   |   TurkogluForMVP   |   50 respect

primo wrote:

How about reason #9 to root for 2008... more Joe Morgan quotes.

 

'What I like about this player is that he plays baseball'

I love his commentary... why? because he says the dumbest things to acheive his goal of being the John Madden of baseball.

 

"I think the goal of this Dallas Cowboy offense is to get a TD."

 

I'd settle for a FG myself lets not get too cocky and go for it all when we can just get 3 points...

7/17/08   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

MarkTheShark wrote:
Vin Scully may be the best game announcer ever. Trust me, I'm a harsh critic.
Some people have said they learned English listening to Vin Scully.
(Edited by Ryan)

MarkTheShark wrote:

Vin Scully may be the best game announcer ever. Trust me, I'm a harsh critic.
Some people have said they learned English listening to Vin Scully.
Most of the hacks working today need to learn announcing by listening to Vin Scully.

7/17/08   |   MarkTheShark   |   590 respect

Vin Scully may be the best game announcer ever. Trust me, I'm a harsh critic.
Some people have said they learned English listening to Vin Scully.

7/17/08   |   primo   |   1 respect

How about reason #9 to root for 2008... more Joe Morgan quotes.

 

'What I like about this player is that he plays baseball'

7/17/08   |   Boski93   |   375 respect

If Scully goes then there will be panic in the streets of Southern California, now if the McCourt's push him out which is never out of the realm of possibility then there will be a insurrection. Scully means that much to L.A. even to people in Orange County. I hate to do this but I think Plaschke pens it perfectly with,

 

"Now, more than ever, a city with few sports or civic leaders worth trusting needs him. Vin Scully has the only sports voice in this town that really matters, doesn't he?  Vin Scully is this city's last civic treasure that everyone still believes, isn't he?"

7/17/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

I'm looking forward to the NL West sending a team to the playoffs that's 15 games under .500

7/17/08   |   CriticalFanatic

In regards to the announcers, that's the primary reason I purchase the MLB Extra Innings package every year. Sure its fun to track fantasy players, etc, but there's nothing like listening to Vin Scully call a late night Dodgers came or Kalas make a routine home run sound like an all-timer.

7/17/08   |   Ryan   |   153 respect

CriticalFanatic wrote:
Great post.

Normally I spend these waning days of July hoping that when I wake up the next morning that football will finally be here. I'm definitely a baseball fan, but football comes first.

This year, however, thanks to the Cubs emergence as a serious contender and many other great storylines, I'm jacked up for this second half. It's going to be fun... unless, of course, Rich Harden's arm falls off. Tracking...

There's no way his arm stays attached naturally.  I'm sure there are fine surgeons (or seamstresses) in Chicago.  He'll be fine.

7/17/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

kantwistaye wrote:

Bob Uecker is so awesome he still chills around the hotel pool bar in a speedo... or maybe thats creepy.  Either way...

 

Definitely creepy, primarily because of those trunks.

Yikes.

7/17/08   |   CriticalFanatic

Great post.

Normally I spend these waning days of July hoping that when I wake up the next morning that football will finally be here. I'm definitely a baseball fan, but football comes first.

This year, however, thanks to the Cubs emergence as a serious contender and many other great storylines, I'm jacked up for this second half. It's going to be fun... unless, of course, Rich Harden's arm falls off. Tracking...

7/17/08   |   kantwistaye   |   4214 respect

Bob Uecker is so awesome he still chills around the hotel pool bar in a speedo... or maybe thats creepy.  Either way...