Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Josh Hamilton: A Mid-Summer Classic

He now owns the record for most homers in a round of the HR Derby (28), second in total HR's hit in a derby (35), and owns three of the top eight longest HR's ever hit in the derby (516, 504, and 502).

The secret is out.

My bride's favorite Ranger, Josh Hamilton, is the best hitter in Major League baseball today.

ESPN's coverage of Josh's Monday night on the big stage in the Big Apple was replete with awe-struck references. For example,

Of Justin Morneau's time at the plate: "People are secretly rooting for him to get out so Josh Hamilton can get back in the box" (John Kruk).

Of A-Rod: "He has 3.9 Million reasons to be here but he couldn't match was Josh Hamilton has done" (Rick Reilly).

Of the HR Derby: "The magic ride of Josh Hamilton; this is what this night is all about" (Karl Ravech).

Of his faith: "It's a bad night to be an atheist" (Rick Reilly).

Of his second-place finish: "The winner's not going to be remembered because we're all going to remember Josh Hamilton" (John Kruk).
He hit HR's totaling 2.4 miles and hit 13 more HR's than Justin Morneau, yet because of the rules of the derby, Morneau walked away with the trophy.
Josh Hamilton walked away with what he wanted -- a new-found, national platform to share the story of how Jesus has changed his life.
Incidentally, Rex Hudler said this morning on SNR 1550 that the Angels greatest fear in the second half isn't the Athletics but the Rangers.
As Jamey Newberg noted on Monday, "Fifty wins at the Break, despite losing 16 of the first 23 games of the season. Despite its players spending over 700 games on the major league disabled list so far, which is responsible in part for suiting up a phenomenal 46 players, and counting. The Rangers have played 23 series since those first 23 games. Of those 23 series, they’ve lost only three."

Oh, for a little pitching.
Since baseball is at the unofficial half-way point, it's time for a quick checkup on my preseason picks:
AL EAST -- Red Sox (1st, +0.5)
AL CENTRAL -- Tigers (3rd, -7.0)
AL WEST -- Angels (1st, +6.0)
AL WILDCARD -- Mariners (don't ask)
NL EAST -- Mets (2nd, -0.5)
NL CENTRAL -- Brewers, (3rd, -5.0)
NL WEST -- Diamondbacks (1st, +1.0)
NL WILDCARD -- Cubs (currently leading the NL Central)
Not bad. The Tigers definitely have a run in them and the Brewers, with the addition of Vallejo's own CC Sabathia now on the bump, should have make waves. Look for the Cubs to hold forth in the Central, the Cardinals to fade, and the Brew-Crew to secure the Wildcard slot.
Kudos to the first person that can answer this little trivia question.
What do Cliff Lee (the starting pitcher for the American League All-Stars) and I have in common? First person to email (jim@wpcoc.com) wins a veritable storehouse of insignficant prizes!