Without treading on Parkes TSTOAF territory too much, it is time to put a big wet stamp on the rest of my week and send a listicle of my own down the pipe. Start your weekend right with the handy guide to baseballing good times, the feature formerly known as Five to Watch!
Before the bullet points come fast and furious I will indulge in another Friday tradition: the social media dumping ground. Make sure to follow Parkes, myself, Travis Reitsma, Sam Miller, The Common Man, Bill TPA, and even Stoeten on Twitter. Like the Getting Blanked facebook page for, uhh, good times and subscribe to the Podcast feed (iTunes/RSS).
- The Battle of Who Could Care Less – Cleveland and Detroit hook up to fight for the soul of the American League Central. The Tribe catch a break as they avoid Justin Verlander for the series, sending their “ace” Josh Tomlin against Tigers strikeout artist Max Scherzer. This whole situations figures to follow the movie “Major League” in that the screen goes black as soon as somebody clinches the division title.
- They Might Be Giants – We write about and talk about the Giants a lot here on Getting Blanked. They won the World Series and are embroiled in one of baseball’s only real close races. Despite that, we get a fair amount of stick for expressing our collective enjoyment of the Giants brand of torture.
To know the Giants is to love them. Consider what I wrote about the team before last year’s playoffs: “With easy charm they will quickly worm their way into the hearts of baseball purists and casual fans all the same.” And charm us they did. It is strikingly similar to something I wrote about them in 2009 – there is a lot to love about the Giants.
This is a big weekend for the champs as they draw the longest possible straw – a weekend set with the Astros. While the Giants must guard against taking their weekend in Houston lightly, the division-leading Diamondbacks are in tough on the road in Atlanta. Don’t be surprised if the race is that much tighter on Monday morning.
- Guys who are good at their jobs – Do you really need an excuse to watch Troy Tulowitzki? With Jose Reyes succumbing to his annual injury, Tulo is the undisputed best shortstop in the NL right now. His crappy teammates are sure to keep him out of the MVP race but he currently sits second in NL WAR.
The NL MVP race is tight with Reyes, Justin Upton, Shane Victorino and Matt Kemp bunched around 6 WAR. Who is going to win it? Roy Halladay if the world were a just and fair place. But it ain’t.
- Chad Mottola needs your love and affection – Something discussed on this week’s live stream, making a hero out of Mottola and a villain out of Dwayne Murphy is a little too convenient. How much affect could a hitting coach really have? Isn’t most of it mental anyway?
If that is the case, Mottola is a shoe-in. Because the players just seem to love him, for what that is worth. Since it’s Friday, here’s a video representation from our friends at Sportsnet. What, we’re cool, right?
- Vernon Wells is hurt – Even if he isn’t, there is a good chance he might come down with an ailment real soon. Mike Trout’s brother took to twitter to inform the world that the phenom in his family is on his way back to the Bigs. As our very own Sam Miller reports, does this mean the Angels are giving up on the year or is this their attempt at going all in?
Trout hardly set the world ablaze in his first big league cameo but back in Double A he carried right along doing his thing: posting a .333/.400/.590 slash line with 2 home runs and 7 stolen bases. Can he help the Angels? The biggest question: does it matter at this point?
That’s it for another week. If you feel the need to watch the Little League World Series, you should. It’s slightly terrifying but a lot of fun at the same time. Just don’t think about it too much. You’ll end up sick.