This week marks the halfway mark of our abbreviated 2020 season. It feels like just yesterday I was writing posts skewering Rob Manfred’s inability to make the season come to life, and now the Pumpkin Spice Latte has returned to Starbucks, and we’re all abuzz about the postseason.
For a short season that has been brimming with drama and shocking moments, this week (knock on wood) has felt light on the drama and tension. In Houston they’re rescheduling games to prepare for Hurricane Laura, and it’s still bonkers that sports are happening at all this year, but given the high bar for bonkers nonsense in 2020, the week thus far has felt almost relaxing.
The two biggest stories around the baseball writing universe are the upcoming trade deadline, of course, and the previously mention halfway point of the season.
- David Schoenfield breaks down everything you need to know about the first half of the season.
- SI collects all the buzz and rumors surrounding the trade deadline.
- And MLB experts make predictions about what’s going to go down by the end of this week.
- Trevor Bauer said “Hold my beer” and went on to set a record, now Budweiser wants to gift him some brew, reports Dan Mullen.
- Matt Monagan takes a fascinating deep dive into the history of the eephus pitch.
- Willy Adames is pretty good as this baseball thing.
The amazing Willy Adames! pic.twitter.com/2pkTBoLw4C— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) August 25, 2020
- Speaking of the Rays being excellent this year, Craig Edwards looks at the impressive rise of MVP-candidate Brandon Lowe.
- Joe Posnanski is pretty torn up about the postponement of the Eras Committee selections for the Baseball Hall of Fame. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- He’s not the only one. Jay Jaffe (who I may have mentioned before literally wrote a book about player cases for getting into Cooperstown), bemoans the postponement as well.
- Will Laws asks a tough question Anaheim fans might not want to hear: have the Angels failed Mike Trout?
- And if we’re on the topic of Trout, Bill Shea asks: are professional athletes paid too much money? (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Well then.
- Fan fave Daniel Vogelbach has a new home, and sadly it’s not with the Cubs. Story by Ben Nicholson-Smith.
- Torey Lovullo salutes the groundskeepers who make Chase Field feel like home even without fans, writes Chierstin Susel.
- David Laurila has the first part of a feature story on Fred Lynn reflecting on his time with the Tigers.
- Are the Dodgers unbeatable? No, says Tom Verducci, but they are something of a superteam this season.
- And some former Cub cuteness to finish off the post today.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.