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ASG, Soccer vs Baseball, What to Expect 2nd Half

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So the All Star game has come and gone, which also means the first half of baseball has come and gone, and most of us reading here get to see the Minnesota Twins 13 games under .500 11 games out of first in the AL Central. Since there aren't many sports going on right now, there are two things to talk about, the All Star Game, (what Twins should have got in), and of course the Wild signing Parise and Suter. I have to say I went back on a statement I made about Mauer not being our All Star. We talked about this after our softball game, saying Mauer shouldn't be the guy. My last blog I put 3 guys up there before Mauer. I have to take it back as I thought about it more, he is our "Baseball Fans All Star", not our MVP, even though that could be debatable as well.
We also talked quite a bit about how the All Star Game is run, and should the winner get home field advantage in the World Series. First off I like the idea of making into a contest that is up for grabs for something that really means something. I think that puts a little bit more pressure on the managers to win, rather than the players getting playing time. In the Star Tribune they had a column that Mike Schmidt wrote about Bud Selig's tenure, and that the ASG is the "black sheep" of his tenure. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports...HbW_story.html Yes I agree that the tie game ending of the All Star game was quite ridiculous, but I understand he was in a tough spot, but for all those people who watched the game, here is the reality, baseball doesn't end in ties! I like Schmidts take on the ASG about how excited the players were to be on national TV, and face the unknown quite often. Inter league play does have some hurt to it, but on the flip side we all have access to MLB Extra Innings + Nationally televised games + our own outlet to watch all the games that they didn't have before. And lets face it there is a lot more money involved for these players. The one main point that I would like to see though is that big time matchup between Verlander and Matt Kemp, or Matt Cain vs Bautista. Those would be really cool matchups if they have never seen each other before. I also think that the best players should play more. I want to see the best players out there, like Schmidt said Willie Mays often played 7 innings in games. I tell you what if Verlander was throwing no hits after 3 innings I would like to see him pitch until at least he gives up a hit. The All Star Game should mean something, I like the fact that they play for home field, the one big thing that was transparent, which I really think will get changed is having your home team that is holding the ASG be in the home run derby.

A couple weeks ago I went to the Twins/White Sox game, Nick Blackburn got smoked, giving up like 13 hits, during that time I was able to dabble into Surly's Cynic Ale, and if you haven't tried that it is really good. We were down 6-0 when Brian Dozier hits a solo home run to left field 4 rows up, right where I was sitting. http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/video...Brian%20Dozier My best friend ended up catching the ball, which was pretty cool, as I never thought that catching a home run ball would be that fun, but I have to say other than sending Danny Valencia back to the minors, was my highlight of the first half of the Twins 2012 season. The other reason I come to this is we stayed in the cities and met a friend who is really into soccer. In my life I have probably watched maybe a game and half, he wanted to watch I think was Germany vs Italy, not exactly sure, but the talk came up of how boring soccer is to watch, and yes it is boring. I did ask a lot of questions that I am sure he got sick of, but understanding a little bit more of why so many games end with a 1 goal win, it just seems lucky at some point when you play 90 plus minutes and a lot of games are decided by one goal. I tried to compare it to baseball, which a lot of people think is really boring to watch on T.V. But then it kind of clicked listening to Pete talk about the strategy, and the work that goes into it, and it really isn't that much different than "watching" baseball. Baseball is boring if you "watch" it, but if you understand the game, and learn all the nuances in the game it is soo much better to watch. Sometimes I have to take step back and listen and try to understand what I am "watching" and not make an opinion about how stupid/boring it really is. I have to admit I love Survivor, I absolutely love the show and I get heckled for it all the time. The thing is, people don't understand that it isn't people surviving on an island, it has soooo much strategy in every decision it is really intense to watch, and if people don't get that, they will never get the intrigue of watching a television show that I really love.

Everybody love projections, whether they mean **** or not, it is always fun to go back and look to see what you thought may happen, and what really happens and I want to take a stab at the rest of the baseball season, and unfortunately for the Twins we are probably looking more forward to the beginning of the Minnesota Wild season to start. But here we go for fun.

1. Who gets traded? Matt Capps and Carl Pavano. Even though we don't have starting pitching, we do have players that only help us out unloading contracts/getting a player or two. I would be very surprised if Glen Perkins wasn't our "closer" by the end of the year. The names of Span, Morneau, Willingham just don't make much sense to unload in my mind, the only other player that is really a 50/50 but I think will end up staying is Liriano.

2. Record at the end of the year. I say they play 6 games above .500 the rest of the year which would put them at 74-88. I have to pick that still because at the beginning of the year I had them over 73.5, and they have played much better baseball. I really think Blackburn is done, I think the rotation is going to be Liriano, Diamond, Hendriks, Walters, ? by the end of the year. And one more to add on beat the Royals by 1 game to not finish in last place.

3. Willingham and Plouffe will get to 30 HR's, which will really be fun to watch.

4. Mauer will flirt with the batting title and end up 2nd, but will keep everyone watching to see if he gets it. Will end up at .331

5. Morneau has a break out second half which helps lead the Twins to playing 6 games above .500. Morneau ends with 25 HR's and is our 2nd half MVP.

6. Dozier gets a reality check and continues to struggle the 2nd half on defense and offensively, Casilla takes his spot some time in August.

7. With the ultimate turnaround to Adam Dunn, along with aggressive trade deadline acts the White Sox win the Central. This goes against everything I thought at the beginning of the year.

8. The Rangers are the most talented team in the AL, and will continue with that and win the AL Pennant.

9 The Rangers win the World Series beating the Cincinatti Reds.

10. There are too many positives for the Twins again, and making me look like a huge Homer, but hey aren't we all.
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  1. drbob524's Avatar
    Great post. I had a few thoughts while I was reading it. I currently live in KC and this is the first time Ive been in a city during the ASG. Unfortunately I was unable to go to the game or the Derby (tickets prices were astronomical), but it was a ton of fun being here when the whole city (baseball fan or not) is talking baseball. Second, I am a recent convert to soccer. I had some friends in college and grad school that were huge soccer fans that got me interested. I couldn't agree more with your statement about "watching" soccer or baseball. To the untrained eye baseball is people throwing, hitting and running, and soccer is just people kicking a ball around. Obviously, to fans it is so much more. here in KC we have an MLS team, and Ive been to a few games, sitting (actually standing) in the supporters area. Being around 2000 other fans that are die-hard and chant and sing the entire game makes it so much easier to enjoy whether you understand the game or not.
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