The second half of the season is officially underway and already it’s looking like its going to be great times for baseball fans. As we sit right now, all three divisions in the National League sit with two teams tied for first place. The closeness of the races will certainly make for an exciting finish to the regular season. Now we all know this week was the annual all-star game and for most part the game itself was alright game and a great send off to one of the all-time greats in Derek Jeter. That said MLB did miss on some things and we will deal with that in a bit. With that being said, here are this week’s MLB standout players of the week.
AL standout – Jacoby Ellsbury
New York Yankee’s outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury started off the second half of the season hot for the New York Yankees. He has been one of the more consistent pieces for the Yankees who have been bitten by the injury bug this year (SIA Team Report). Still even with those injuries the Yankees sit only three games out of first in the AL East and have a chance to extend the playing career of Derek Jeter by making the post-season. This week, Ellsbury posted a .500 batting average, .538 OBP, .833 SLG and added one home run and 3 RBI. Jacoby Ellsbury is this week’s AL standout player of the week.
NL Standout – Anthony Rizzo
Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo showed this the week that the fans got it right by voting him into the all-star game. What a weekend he had at the plate for the Cubs who still sit at the bottom of the division, but do show promise that in a few years they could make some noise. Rizzo had a nice weekend at the plate with a .455 batting average, .500 OBP, 1.273 SLG, and added three homeruns and 4 RBI to take this week’s NL standout player of the week honor.
Disappointment – Major League Baseball
As stated earlier, there were a few things that Major League Baseball just plain dropped the ball on, both for the league, and for the fans this week. The first dropped ball was the boring display if the Home Run Derby. While I did jump out of my seat when Giancarlo Stanton hit one to the moon, the Home Run Derby was once a proud event to participate and now it’s turned into a circus act that MLB always has to tweak every year. The event goes longer and longer every year. The only thing to save face for this event it leave it alone and go back to the original format. The home run derby wasn’t broke but for some reason MLB tried to fix it, and they’ve only made it worse.
The second hiccup for MLB was the Tony Gwynn situation at the all-star game. Most of us know what happened and I could write a whole article on the situation, but really MLB dropped a huge ball on this and that’s a shame. If you didn’t know what the fuss was about, MLB not once mentioned Tony Gwynn at all during the broadcast of the game and all they kept talking about was Derek Jeter. Now this isn’t a knock on Jeter but not mentioning or just having a little segment on Gwynn was a shame and huge black flag on MLB. Now MLB tried to save face and told fans that they did do a little piece on Tony Gwynn on the pre-game show where hardly anyone is watching on Fox Sports Network, a channel many fans don’t get.
Fans didn’t ask to have the whole broadcast about one of the all-time greats gone too soon but at least a few stories or favorite memories about the greatness that is Tony Gwynn would have been alright. These two dropped balls definitely put a damper on the all-star festivities but for the game itself it was enjoyable to watch and I hope a lot of you enjoy it as well.
What a week to say the least to start the second half of the 2014 season. While the play at the plate has been top notch, MLB was a huge disappointment during the all-star break. But I’m still and always will be a fan of this game and I hope all of you feel the same.
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