Questions on the Break

Don't Question The Intermission....Question The Second Act.

7/12/12 in MLB   |   This_is_Rick   |   265 respect

Tony LaRussa's managing brilliance and the return of his sweet, tailored weave were not the only success stories to pop, culturally, across the headlines and tweets of yesterday morning. It took only one swing of the bat, followed by a hilarious, extremely slow-paced sprint that ended at third base, for non-west coast-America to meet "the Kung Fu Panda."  Kids, have that tenth slice of deep-dish....there is always third base for the Giants. Kick it!
July 23, 2011; Pittsburgh,PA, USA: St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa (10) before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USPRESSWIRE
Sandoval's star, carried by Melky's way, shot over the American League All-Sorts?? and left the baseball world, Tim McCarver included, in shock-and-awe. It wasn't as impressive as back in the 60's - as McCarver will always and forever proclaim - but even Juan Marichal would have been proud to see the National League, led by the Giants players, use a leg lift of his likeness to kick the American League in their arses!! Fluffy blow-up cushion, Derek? Three years in a row is called "a trend."

So, what does this romp mean for the rest of the season? Nothing. Home-field advantage aside, the Mid-Summer Classic left a better perspective on the Kansas City field, and city, and that's about it. The game strategy won't be posted on the clubhouse chalk boards as a diagram for success - I don't have my schematics, but I am 91% positive clubhouses don't even have chalkboards anymore. It's all flat screens these days. Sorry, Tim.

But, there are still questions and concerns: What did it mean? What about this guy, or that guy? Will Chris Berman ever come with a mute button? Who the hell is Kelly Pickler? Where can I pick up a bottle of George Brett's tanning lotion?
July 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; USA manager George Brett walks back to the dugout before the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE

All good questions.  Here is the water-cooler approved knowledge you seek from the All-Star break.

1.) Sometimes hate can stick to your shoes like a wad of gum - Robinson Cano could have saved his lack-luster rep' at the All-Star game with one simple gesture, shake-the-hand. Not only did he snub a Royal for the Derby, but he also snubbed the classic sandlot-congrats to a player that previously dawned the powder blues. Boo Robinson Cano, BOOO!!! The Yankees will need hitting to stay in-stride in the A.L East while their pitching questions linger. Robinson Cano is one big piece of the puzzle, and one of the more fragile - It think that's Italian (Christmas Story...see it 24 hrs in a row). The simple argument made by the Bronx faithful is that Yankees players are hated everywhere outside of Ruth's house, and Cano's current dislike is not a new phenomena. However, this not Jeter, A-Rod or even Swisher. Will Cano shrug off the national dis' or will he go LeBron and make a Nike-Ad/Apology? It's a predicament he has never juggled and one that may nag him long into the second half. Hopefully for Yankees fans he left that baggage at the Kansas City airport...hopefully.

2.) Chipper makes you chipper - It wasn't the Cal Ripken Jr. home run that Park served up back in 2001 - Scripted as it was - but the Chipper Jones side-squibbler single was one of the more sentimental moments of the game. And, maybe the right energy the Braves can carry with them into the fall. Ben Sheets will be making his pitching return in the second half for the Braves, and Strasburgh will be making his finale for the Nationals, very soon. Chipper may take his William Wallace'esque speech ability and ride his farewell steed all the way to the playoffs. "They may take our lives....but they will never take....our N.L Pennant!!!" 
Blog Photo - Questions on the Break

3.) Young players, scouts, radar gun attention - Throwing 100 m.p.h down the middle will win you a stuffed pony at the local carnival, but it won't get you success in the Major Leagues- Most of the time. Pitching is key down the stretch, and wins vs. loses for a staff starts with locating pitches, consistently. Constantly missing the target usually is the weight behind most collapses in September and teams didn't need Verlander's performance last night to prove that. But, the wake-up call probably hit the front offices, quickly, so don't be surprised to see the trade market lean towards control pitchers with experience. And, with Verlander in mind, don't be surprised to see Kate Upton getting on Jim Leyland's the rest of us

4.) Look West - There are two teams not in first place, currently, that have a chance to cause headaches down the stretch. The Giants and the Angels have the players and momentum to be the pushy kid at the back of the line....up. The All-Star game may not carry a ton of meaning, but it is still big-time experience under the belt. Cabrera, Sandoval and Cain have been in big situations before, but a re-charge of the battery never hurts.  Perhaps there will be juice left over for Lincecum as well. - Fingers should be crossed in the Bay Area because they need him, badly.

Like the Giants, Trout and Trumbo, in hand with Weaver and C.J Wilson, have the opportunity to take their success in the All-Star game and use the experience to help the Angels punch their playoff ticket, sans even a strong second half for Albert - Which is not a terrible thing, either. With the pressure not solely tap dancing on Albert's psyche he may start producing more steadily, and the Angels team will benefit. - We all know now what Trumbo does to fastballs.
July 10, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; American League outfielder Mike Trout (27) of the Los Angeles Angels hits a single during the sixth inning of the 2012 All Star Game at Kauffman Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE

Count on this: One of these teams will make an impact, if not win the whole thing, in October. 

5.) This All-Star Relic wont be there in October - New Miller Light inventions of speedinessKeep your spare spark plugs and bowling trophies in the garage, the new can will not last. Who knew drinking a beer needed this much speed assistance. Before long, they will just sell an empty can and say, " So fast, you didn't even know you drank it." 

Consider yourself spray-tanned and in-the-know. 
Blog Photo - Questions on the Break

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