MLB 1st Half: The Good, the Bad, and the Cubs?

Those who say baseball is dead should start paying attention this season. With the All-Star game around the bend, I want to look back at a few of the storylines that baseball fans like myself haven’t been able to turn away from. Let’s start with…

…The Rookies

CC2015 has been the year of the rookie, unlike anything I’ve seen since I’ve been watching baseball. Aside from the enjoyment of watching old teammates and opponents get drafted, rookies are truly making an impact, which is unique to any other American sport.

Rookies are accountable for 11 percent of the leagues Home Run balls this year, which is a number that hasn’t even been approached since 1987.

Rookies seem to be entering the league more ready than ever, and playing at an All-Star level almost immediately. Emerging young players like Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Joc Pederson, and countless others are rapidly joining the young stars and beginning a new era of baseball right before our eyes behind the lead of Trout and Harper.

Even the rookie New York Mets pitching tandem of Matz and Syndergaard are a force to be reckoned with. Although the standout story of this season has been the young guns, it seems as if…

…The Vets

Aren’t just ready to pass the torch. Seeing comeback seasons from our most beloved and hated 35+ year olds in Pujols and A-Rod respectively. Even 42 year old couch-potato Bartolo Colon is having a career year! As we wait on A-Rod to retire to officially rid ourselves of the late 90’s early 2000’s home run heavy steroid era, it’s comforting to see this young talent waiting patiently (or impatiently) to take over. As good as they might be, no single moment this season may top…

…105 MPH.

Need I say more. Aroldis Chapman threw a ball faster than my Prius can drive. That is all.

The Head-scratchers.

Buster Olney doesn’t even have an explanation for how the Rays, Rangers, and Twins are all fighting for a playoff spot and the Astros are cruising to a first place seed. These teams had a combined record last year of 284-364 or a combined 80 games below .500. We have all season to watch them crash & burn, but for now it’s just another reason to watch. Kind of like the…

…Cubs.

KBI have never liked the Cubs, Wrigley Field, the coaches, the teams you name it, but this team is just flat out hard not to like, and for once they are doing well. If the season ended today they would be a playoff team, and regardless of who you root for, anybody from Chicago can only imagine the beautiful chaos that would unleash if they were to even make it to a World Series, let alone win one. Baseball fan-hood in Chicago flows around how the Cubs are doing, like it or not. With the long overdue renovations to Wrigley Field, and a winning ball-club, I’m prepared to watch this bandwagon grow almost to a Blackhawk level in the coming months. Could this be the year? Be prepared.

Looking forward

The next few weeks surrounding the All-Star game are interesting ones and telling ones for most ball clubs. Who is going to throw in the towel for the future and load up on draft picks, and who is going to land an ace like Jonny Cueto and gear up for a playoff run right now. Only time will tell, but until then, I’ll be watching.

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