The day after the major league baseball All-Star Game is the only day of the calendar year in which there are NO major league sporting events scheduled (Christmas Eve used to be another such day, but the NFL now plays some games on that day if it happens to fall on a Saturday or Sunday), and thus we are in an interregnum before the MLB season begins again today... for less than half of the teams.
Why is this? There are only seven games scheduled today. The Thursday-after used to be a grand sort of Re-Opening Day; now those of us who follow a team, like the Cubs, who is off today, are forced to wade through yet another day of talk, of waiting; and especially this year when we're not really waiting for anything exciting, this indeed becomes a BORING day.
So let's spice it up a bit, shall we?
In the Triple-A All-Star Game last night, Iowa's Rich Hill started and threw two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.
This is pretty much what he's done all year for Iowa, and from what I saw on the telecast, his performance matched up well with what I think is the reason Hill won't make it in the majors. His curveball was quite effective, and the Triple-A hitters couldn't hit it -- nor could they hit his high fastball, which is the thing that major league hitters pound into submission.
I have no doubt that Rich Hill will be in the major leagues again this year -- in September, certainly, if not before. If Mark Prior must go on the DL due to the oblique muscle strain he suffered last weekend, Hill is the logical guy to call up. At that point, he'll start a few times, probably start walking tons of hitters again, laying a few high fastballs that are crushed, and be out of baseball in a year or so.
The other thing I wanted to mention this morning is... well, some of the testiness I've seen on this site in the last few days, much of it in relation to the status of Dusty Baker, as well as the performance of the team in general.
I will refer all of you again to the BCB Community Guidelines. We all have our own opinions on the state of this ballclub and where the fault for this disaster of a season lies, and what can and should be done to improve for the future.
All of this can be debated reasonably and intelligently, and for the most part, it has been.
Without singling out anyone, and without naming any names, there has been name-calling and commentary of what I might term the "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" sort, and none of that has any place here.
Please. Respect other posters here even if you vehemently disagree with them. As you make your posts, think of how YOU will want to be treated in response. All of your opinions are valid and valuable, and this community is not a monolith; it is what it is, in fact, because of the multiplicity of opinions expressed here.
Thanks. I hope the Cubs have a better second half, because at the very least it is more enjoyable to watch GOOD baseball than BAD baseball. Some of you will disagree with this, thinking that if the Cubs have a disaster of a second half, setting all sorts of negative records, that that will result in the changes you want to see.
It is your right to hold such an opinion. It is your right to express that opinion here. It is anyone else's right to disagree with that opinion. There's a famous quote from history...
... which sums up the philosophy here quite well. History lesson for the day, incidentally: that quote has long been attributed to the French philosopher Voltaire, but it is almost certainly not his -- it was, as that link states, "invented by a later author as an epitome of his attitude".
In any case, it's the right attitude. Let us discuss, debate, be passionate.
But let's be nice about it.
Enjoy the off-day.