Well, July 4 has come and gone, and this date signals two specific facts for me. The first and most important to our readers is that half of the baseball season is gone.
The second is the fireworks display put on annually by my good friend Gene Lawson, who recently handed down the responsibilities to his two wonderful sons.
As a note of interest, Gene invited us in the early 1990s to come over for fireworks, and we’ve been going to his house on 7-4 ever since. Actually, he stopped inviting us years ago, but he never told us NOT to come.
So, we show up religiously each year and always have a great time. Gene’s retired now, but he used to be in charge of the Engineering Departments of Circus Circus and the Excalibur. A nicer man nobody will ever meet!
Now down to business, which will include sticking the proverbial fork in a number of teams that had high hopes after somewhat of a fast start.
Toronto, which led their division for a while, gets the first fork. Even having the best pitcher in baseball will not be enough for them, even as a wild card, as their division is the strongest in baseball, with the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees, who will surely finish ahead of them.
The Rangers and Mariners, who both led the AL West, will soon wilt to the hard charging Angels. The L.A. team not only has the best players, but also the best manager to guide them into the playoffs.
The AL Central is somewhat unpredictable, with the Tigers, White Sox and Twins being inseparable; and whichever team can stay healthy in the second half will take it.
In the NL League no one will be able to catch Joe Torre’s Dodgers in the West. He’s got the pitching, defense and hitting to make a joke out of his division.
In the Central division, somehow Tony La Russa will get his club into the playoffs, although the Cubs have the better personnel, but have been underachieving all season so far.
In the East I like the Marlins, if they go and get another big hitter, to go along with Hanley Ramirez, who is a super short stop and hitter. The Mets can’t overcome their injuries, as they’ve got nothing from their two superstars, who figured to help them. David Wright, an outstanding third baseman, can’t carry this team, as the Phillies and Marlins are somewhat injury free at this point.
As for sticking the fork a la "they’re done," if I didn’t mention your team above, they get the dreaded fork at the mid term report card.
We all mourn the loss of Steve McNair, a man’s man who came within inches of being a Superbowl winning quarterback. Those few inches may have changed his life forever. What a shame!
Congratulations go out to Roger Federer on title No. 15 as he stamps his name as one of the true greats of the tennis world.
Keep buying American.
Have a great week.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Sid Diamond