November 12, 2019

Questions for the Second Half

July 16, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The worst part about the All-Star break is that there’s no baseball.  An obvious point I know, but one worth mentioning.  Without baseball, my summer evenings are empty.  My mind wanders, and all my questions are left unanswered.  So, I figured I’d try to answer some of the questions about the second half of the 2009 season that have kept me up at night.

1.  Why was the Homerun Derby so long?

I have no rational explanation for the length of this year’s derby.  It lasted longer than the All-Star game itself.  Airing the movie “Gandhi” in its entirety would have taken less time than the Homerun Derby.  It would have been more entertaining too.  If it’s going to take four hours to run through a derby, maybe it should be revised.  Or just give the contestants aluminum bats.  That would be fun to watch.

2.  Milestone question: What’s more likely: Joe Mauer hitting over .400 or Albert Pujols winning the Triple Crown?

To answer the question directly, Pujols has a better chance of winning the Triple Crown simply because Mauer has the same chance of hitting .400 as “Orphan” has of winning an Oscar.  What Mauer’s doing is incredible.  However, for his career, Mauer’s a .302 second-half hitter.  Time for a little math:

The first half of 2009, Mauer hit .373, a 10.7% increase on his traditional .337 average prior to the All-Star break.  Even if we apply that 10.7% increase to Mauer’s .302, he winds up with a .334 batting average between now and the end of the year.  That means, he’ll hit approximately .354 for the year.

Remember, though numbers are helpful, they’re not always right.  Mauer could hit .400, but he’d have to battle his own career tendencies, the brutal beating he takes behind the plate, and pressure mounting exponentially with every day, should he make it to September a stone’s throw away from Ted Williams’ extraordinary accomplishment.

That being said, Pujols is in the running to be the first winner of the Triple Crown since Carl Yastrzemski did it in 1967.  At this time, Pujols is running away with the homerun and RBI categories, by 8 homers and 9 RBI, and his .332 batting average is in spitting distance of Hanley Ramirez’s .349.  A player winning the Triple Crown is something that has never happened in my lifetime.  I would love to see it.

3.  Will my fantasy team, The Tao of Dai Chi, compete for the playoffs?

No.  I don’t want to talk about it.

4.  Will Pedro Martinez win at least five games with the Phillies?

Also no.  Pedro was the best pitcher of his generation.  Hands down.  However, he just doesn’t have enough anymore to effectively pitch deep enough into games to record a win.  Despite receiving support of 4.55 runs per start in 2008, he went 5-6 in twenty games.  Unless the Phillies use him in long relief and he can swoop in and grab some wins when Rodrigo Lopez or Jamie Moyer blows up, Martinez will probably only back into a handful of wins.

5.  Now that our cable provider has given us the MLB Network, will my fiancée leave and cause me to be single by the end of September?

I sure hope not.  But between the new HDTV we received as an engagement present, the MLB Network, and the inception of the football season, September’s going to be the touchstone of our relationship.  Every evening, the MLB Network airs “MLB Tonight: Roundtripper,” which features “live look-ins, updates, highlights, reporting and analysis” from the likes of Al Leiter, Sean Casey, and Barry Larkin.

Basically, by leaving the TV on, I can watch every important moment of every game, and listen to experts analyze the situations and their results.  Add that to unending hours of football and baseball on the weekends, and who would blame her if Karen was gone by October 1?

Of course, I could just turn off the TV.

6.  Will Josh just turn off the TV?

Gosh, I sure hope so.

Tell Josh Deitch to turn off the TV by following him on Twitter.

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