Blogs & Opinion


The All-Stars

MLB in good shape at half-way point

Alex Ferguson Posted 7th July 2011 view comments

While the NFL and NBA continue to lock their players out of their locker rooms, Major League Baseball does not have that sort of problem - and suddenly the league is flourishing.

Almost every division are three-horse races for the title, and I'm stunned to say former National League jokes Pittsburgh and Washington have winning records.

However, the best story of the year goes to the Cleveland Indians, who are currently winning the American League Central despite being widely tipped to end up being cellar dwellers.

Adrian Gonzalez: fan favourite with the Fenway Park hordes

Adrian Gonzalez: fan favourite with the Fenway Park hordes

Here are my American and National League All-Star teams for the first half of the season...

FIRST BASEMAN

AL: Adrian Gonzalez (Boston Red Sox) - .348 Batting Average, 16 Home Runs, 75 RBI

NL: Lance Berkman (St Louis Cardinals) - .294, 23 HR, 62 RBI.

Gonzalez's antics have already made him a firm fan favourite with the Fenway Park hordes, but Berkman has been an absolute revelation, coming off a 2010 backburner to put a certain Mr Pujols in the shadows while keeping the Cards in first place in a highly-competitive NL Central.

Jose Bautista is an absolute monster, polling tops in the All-Star votes - hammering 28 home runs and frightening every pitcher in baseball.

Alex Ferguson
Quotes of the week

SECOND BASEMAN

AL: Robinson Cano (New York Yankees) .295, 14 HR, 55 RBI

NL: Neil Walker (Pittsburgh Pirates) .258, 8 HR, 55 RBI

Cano's got the sweetest swing in baseball, and he's got the most RBIs amongst second basemen in the league. However, Walker has been key to the Pirates rejuvenation - including being fantastic on the road. He has 55 RBIs and 44 Runs to his name.

THIRD BASEMEN

AL: Jose Bautista (Toronto Blue Jays) .331, 28 HR, 58 RBI

NL: Aramis Ramirez (Chicago Cubs) .295, 13 HR, 46 RBI

Jose Bautista is an absolute monster, polling tops in the All-Star votes - hammering 28 home runs and frightening every pitcher in baseball. Chicago's Aramis Ramirez because he's about the only thing worth watching on yet another poor Cubbies side.

SHORTSTOP

AL: Jhonny Peralta (Detroit Tigers) .314, 14 HR, 49 RBI

NL: Jose Reyes (New York Mets) .354, 3 HR, 32 RBI, 30 Stolen Bases.

It would be nice to put Derek Jeter on this list, but he's been underperforming and injured during the first half of the year. However Reyes, his counterpart at the New York Mets, has been absolutely incredible all season long (he hits and steals bases for fun). Peralta has been excellent for the Tigers, who are continuing to look good in their battle for an American League baseball.

OUTFIELDERS

AL

Curtis Granderson (New York Yankees) (.278, 25 HR, 62 RBI)

Jacoby Ellsbury (Boston Red Sox) (.306, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 27 SB)

Brennan Boesch (Detroit Tigers) (.307, 12 HR, 40 RBI)

NL

Matt Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers) (.325, 22 HR, 64 RBI, 24 SB)

Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers) (.320, 16 HR, 62 RBI, 19 SB)

Hunter Pence (Houston Astros) (.327, 10 HR, 57 RBI, 109 Hits)

Ellsbury leads all AL outfielders in hits and he's also grabbed 27 bases, and he's useful defensively, while Boesch has been one of the Tigers' standout players. However, Granderson has been absolutely sensational - and is the main reason why the Yankees are winning the exceptionally competitive AL Central.

As for the National League, the Millwaukee Brewers are going to really miss Braun if his strained calf muscle is as bad as it looks, while Pence is one of the best batters in the league. If only his team was as good. And as for Matt Kemp? If only the Dodgers head office - which is an ongoing saga containing divorce and bankruptcy and is now controlled by Major League Baseball - was as strong.

back to top

Other Blogs:

Latest Posts in :

Alex Ferguson

Early assessments

Alex Ferguson says Cincy have shone and Oakland have been appalling in the NFL action so far....

Alex Ferguson

Start your engines!

Alex Ferguson predicts who will triumph in NASCAR's showpiece race, the Daytona 500....

comments

Peter Beagrie

Beagrie: Vardy deserves cap

An England call-up would be rich reward for all of Jamie Vardy's hard work, says Peter Beagrie....

Martin Tyler

Tyler's stats and facts

When did Arsenal and Liverpool last field all-British sides? Martin Tyler has the answer......

Ed Chamberlin

Van the man?

Ed Chamberlin explains why Tejay van Garderen is capable of plucking the Tour de France's Yellow Jersey....

comments

Guillem Balague

Balague: Contenders not ready

Athletic, Sevilla and Valencia haven't yet got what it takes to crack the top three, says Guillem Balague....

Dewi Morris

Morris: Toulon too strong

A Matt Giteau-inspired Toulon should win the Top 14 with some attractive rugby, says Dewi Morris....

Butch Harmon

McGinley beat Watson

Butch Harmon says Paul McGinley out-captained Tom Watson as Europe retained the Ryder Cup....

0 comments

Alex Hammond

Follow Rules

Alex Hammond has checked the formbook and found the first six home in the Cambridgeshire!...

Alex Hammond

Alex Hammond Blog

Alex Hammond looks ahead to another big weekend of racing...

Alex Hammond

Hear the Music!

Alex Hammond looks ahead to the weekend's racing including the feature Betfred Sprint Cup....

View from America

Thoroughbred field

Even without Tiger on top form, the PGA at Valhalla proved golf's elite can thrill, says Simon Veness....

comments

Neal Foulds

Selby steel

New world champion Mark Selby's the master of match play, says Neal Foulds - but what's next for Ronnie?...

comments

Neal Foulds

Trump tip

Ronnie O'Sullivan is favourite for the Worlds - but Judd Trump could spring a shock, says Neal Foulds....

comments

Neal Foulds

Night at the Circus

Neal Foulds is looking forward to another fun, raucous Snooker Shoot-Out - but can't pick a winner....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Back on track

Lakeside can make it two wins over Belle Vue Aces in four days, says Kelvin Tatum, but it'll be close!...

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Hit the road

Swindon are struggling this season but will fancy their chances at Birmingham, says Kelvin Tatum....

comments

Kelvin Tatum

Racing away

Belle Vue are unbeaten at home but Kelvin Tatum asks if they can transfer that form at Swindon....

comments

Richard Moore

The final curtain

Richard Moore reflects on Sunday's Closing Ceremony to an unforgettable Olympic Games......

comments

Richard Moore

A lasting golden glow

Richard Moore suggests all the British Olympians should visit schools and talk about their experiences....

comments

Richard Moore

Favourite Froome

Richard Moore reveals his predictions for the 100th Tour de France, which starts on Saturday....

comments

Wayne McCullough

Wonderful Davis

Wayne McCullough watched Antonio Rogerio Nogueria take on Phil Davis at UFC Fight Night 24. ...

0 comments

Wayne McCullough

Jones shines bright

Wayne McCullough was highly impressed as the talented Jon Jones made short work of Mauricio Rua....

2 comments

Wayne McCullough

A bloody marvel

Wayne McCullough salutes Diego Sanchez as he edges out Martin Kampmann in a UFC humdinger....

0 comments