Major League Baseball has watched the All Star Break come and go. The second half of the season is well under way. Everyone has about 60 games left and here are some of the story lines I will be watching.
The race between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees to stay out of the Wild Card Game will be entertaining to say the least. Boston has a five game lead in the AL East as I write this. Both will easily make the playoffs and both are likely to win over 100 games. It is a shame one of them could be eliminated in a one game wild card game after winning 100-plus games. The two teams close out the regular season in Fenway Park in September. In all, they will meet ten more times this season.
Manny Machado was just traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers by the Baltimore Orioles. By getting Machado, Los Angeles became the team to beat in the National League. Machado is one of the best players in the game and has the skills to get the Dodgers to their first World Series since 1988.
Mike Trout will continue to be great while playing on a bad team. I wrote a while back in these pages that Trout’s greatness gets lost on mediocre Angels’ teams. I found another stat that proves this. Did you know that Trout has batted more times with the bases empty this year (267) than anybody who doesn’t bat leadoff? Nothing more need be said.
We may see offensive history in Cleveland this summer. Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez are on pace for at least 94 extra base hits. Only one pair of teammates ever had 90 total bases in a season. You may have heard of the other teammates who pulled this off. Yes, none other than Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig of the famed 1927 Yankees.
Fedora Makes News
The football program at the University of North Carolina keeps finding itself in the news for things that happen off the field. This time, it was head coach Larry Fedora who made news with some controversial personal views. Fedora, at the Tar Heels media day, came out with some ‘say what” comments.
Fedora spoke of how the game of football is declining with so many trying to make the game safer. He said that the game is under attack and was quoted as saying that he fears the game will be unrecognizable 10 years from now. He then added that if football goes down, “our country will go down too.” Easy Larry. Slow down a bit. I like my football like most. But I do not think the demise of football will lead to the demise of our country.
Fedora also raised eyebrows when he stated that he does not think it has been proven that the game of football, with the increase of concussions in the game, causes CTE. He said that the game has collisions but that it is safer than it’s ever been. Really Larry?
Let me try to understand where Fedora is coming from. Because I just don’t see what he is saying as reality. I see concussions in every single college or pro game I watch. And I struggle to think our national security is at risk if the game of football is made safer.
Larry Fedora does not speak for Sid!