It's not often I can be happy over a Won-Loss record this close to the All-Star Break.
24-8 at Wrigley. 22-12 when not playing at Wrigley.
At least allow the Cubs fans to enjoy the summer for a bit longer.
There is some other good baseball being played across the MLB.
Texas is 44-25. 24-10 at home and 20-15 on the road.
Washington is 43-26. 20-12 at home and 23-14 on the road.
San Francisco is also 43-26. 22-13 at home and 21-13 on the road.
The other two divisions, though the leading team has not yet cracked the 40-win mark, are already in tight races. The AL East finds the first place and third place teams separated by only 2 games and the difference between first place and last place in the division is only 7.5 games. The AL Central finds first place and fourth place separated by only 4.5 games.
I increasingly hear from Americans that baseball is boring, slow and dull (My opinion is that American culture is increasingly distracted, unable to focus and looking for reasons not to stop and take stock of itself). I also hear from pundits that they baseball season is too long and there is no urgency in it. As we have just seen by the current MLB standings, one or two games either way in some of these divisions and your team is in playoff contention or it is not - each game right now is important. Don't let a game slip away in June a team can't get back in September.
Baseball is having a great season this year.
It is drowned out by the NBA Finals (that have lasted 17 days) and even the NFL (not even in season).
Don't listen to the sports pundits and sports talk mouths - keep enjoying baseball and if you haven't begun yet it's never too late to start.
Just look at the numbers.
The discussion has come up and around again about initiating the Designated Hitter into the National League in Major League Baseball.
The rekindling of this debate has recently been spurred on due to National League player and perennial All-Star pitcher Adam Wainwright severely injuring his achilles tendon as he began his run out of the batter’s box after he had batted a pitched ball and put the ball in play.
Wainwright’s moment encapsulates the game of baseball very well: The pitcher pitches the ball; the batter hits the ball (if the ball then travels within the foul lines it remains in legal play); the fielding team then attempts to retrieve the ball in order to attempt to get the batter out; the batter, meanwhile, attempts to not get out by running as quickly as he can to first base in an effort to be safe.
This recent argument concerning the Designated Hitter revolves around removing the requirement for National League pitchers to bat, so if pitchers do manage to hit a pitched baseball and put it into legal play they would not have to run as quickly as they could to first base and if the pitchers did not have to do this they would not have any opportunity to injure themselves in the manner Mr. Wainwright has.
If we stay only with this argument we would then have to include every player on each team who ultimately does come up to bat within the course of a baseball game within the pool of potentially injured players over the consistent requirement of having to run to first base.
If the intent is to eliminate or reduce as much as we can injuries to players caused by running to first base, options for solutions are somewhat limited:
1) Designated Runners can be assigned to each batter in order to preserve the health of the batter while only risking the well-being and career of the Designated Runner.
2) Move the decision whether or not the batter who hit the ball into play will be safe at first base to the judgement of the umpire who is already positioned at first base, successfully eliminating the need for any player ever placing themselves at risk by running to first base.
3) Cease playing baseball altogether, evaporating any player running the base paths, chasing down fly balls, sprinting for ground balls, stealing second base or sprinting home on a single to center field, successfully keeping all baseball players healthy and able to enjoy their lives to the fullest extent in the manner they deserve earning the salaries they do from the careers as professional baseball players.
Everywhere I go, from down the hall in my office building toward the elevators, from out of my office building to my car, from my car into the grocery store, from my car into the restaurant, from inside my car driving down the street, from inside my car stopped at an intersection, I see people doing the same thing.
I see people in all these places with their faces down in their smartphone, tablet or phablet.
Walking down a sidewalk now includes having one’s face pointed down toward the gadget in hand. Walking to the bathroom while on break at work now involves having one’s face pointed down toward the gadget in hand. Walking from your car to the store and back again now involves having one’s face pointed down toward the gadget in hand. Driving in your car, truck or SUV now involves having your face pointed downward to the gadget in hand. Sitting in a room of someone’s home to spend time with the people who live in that home now involves having your face pointed downward to the gadget in hand.
When we all get to the end of our time here and our lives flash before our eyes I am sure we will miss even that because we will all have our faces pointed down to the gadget in our hand.
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