Angels Limp Their Way to the All-Star Game
This has been as odd a season of Major League Baseball as there has ever been. That's really saying something for an organized sport that has been played for more than 100 years.
Consider the four no-hit games pitched before the break, how two of those no-hitters were perfect games, and how one guy, Armando Galarraga, pitched what will likely go down as the most memorable one-hitter in the history of the sport.
Add to all that the debut of a phenom, Stephen Strasburg, the resurgence of the Big Red Machine in Cincinnati and the retirement of a legend in Seattle, and you have a pretty odd, quirky but very exciting MLB season.
Why then does it feel almost as if the sport's midsummer classic has been relegated to back-burner news status?
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Tough break for baseball that its All-Star game comes on the heals of an exciting soccer World Cup and the riveting but overly hyped LeBron James "Decision" television special. As amazing and enthralling as the World Cup has been, the James fiasco has a markedly "train-wrecky" feel to it.
We don't want to watch, but we will.
In the midst of all that comes baseball's showcase. With the James decision coming tonight and the World Cup final being played Sunday, the dust should have settled on those two events before the first pitch is thrown in Anaheim on Tuesday.
Let's hope so because there is a lot to celebrate in baseball this year. Even close to home, our Halos are doing what they always seem to do, win. How Mike Scioscia has been able to pull this off this year is more than a bit surprising.
The Angels lost their best set-up pitcher in Darren Oliver, their most reliable starter in John Lackey and their best power hitter in Vladimir Guerrero. Yet, they are in the hunt for yet another Western Division title.
When you add their ridiculously bad start and the injury to Kendry Morales, Scioscia seems to be channeling Harry Houdini. If this keeps up, the guy who came out on top of ESPN's ultimate coach ranking might just be in line for another Manager of the Year Award.
Sure, the team is limping into the All Star game. Sure, they have little representation in the game. Sure, the guy who got away, Vlady Guerrero, is terrorizing AL pitching yet again.
But the Angels are winning. If they can stay close to the Rangers, who notoriously wilt in the summer sun, they should be fine.
For now, its time to enjoy MLB's 2010 season half time show in our very own backyard.
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