June Swoon Is Over, Mid-Summer Classic On Horizon

The annual June Swoon has concluded (that’s true for both my Brewers and my HR Derby Team) which can mean only one thing… bring on the Mid-Summer Classic.

‘Classic’ doesn’t seem to be the right term anymore for the All-Star game. It seems that every year the High School popularity contest takes over and we (baseball fans) get stuck with All-Star starting rosters including several injured players (Tulo), several players barely old enough (Harper, Trout, Puig) to enter a bar (outside of Wisconsin of course), and several players who are rewarded for that great season they had years ago (Bautista, Hardy, McCutchen).

Why do the fans get a vote? Let me clarify, why do ‘fans’ get to vote? All it takes is a well placed Facebook or Twitter message to cause a stampede to the online voting booths where Joe Schmo in Southern Texas votes for all Astro players via dial-up. And they get to vote up to 10 times… on that email address. Or if you are smart, you ask Jeeves or Google or Siri how to vote unlimited times and they respond with this blog post.

The MLB needs to figure out something, and something soon. It’s starting to become a problem when almost an entire MLB team composes the starting lineup of an All-Star team (and the Braves organization agrees). One suggestion may be that they need to figure out how to poll true, non-biased MLB fanatics. Or, develop some sort of academy or group that gets to nominate players, similar to the Emmys (could you imagine if movie fans got to vote for Emmys… never mind, that exists already. Thanks MTV Movie Awards). That group should not be the same as the Hall of Fame committee. Otherwise, we would never see anyone in the All-Star game accused or suspected of ‘tampering’ with the game. Or how about letting the numbers do the talking. Say, the leader in RBI, HR, AVG, SB, Runs scored, Defensive Assists, Defensive Put-outs, etc, they each get a guaranteed place on the roster. They can even span the stats from the previous All-Star game to this season’s All-Star game. Maybe that way the season’s best get rewarded for their excellent play. Some may be opposed to this because some believe it’s about bringing in the fans and the money to the game. But I would argue it drives the most loyal fans away from the Mid Summer Classic (I can’t remember the last All-Star game I actually watched from start to finish).

Another suggestion… change the format, rules, prizes, or anything for the All-Star Home Run Derby. At least make it mandatory for the heavy hitters to play. Not having Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera, or Carlos Gonzalez in the derby this season would just be a travesty to the competition. They are the HR leaders after all for the first half of the season. This is the contest that fans want to see the entertaining names. Give them Manny, Sosa, McGwire, etc here, but leave the All-Star game to the statistically deserving players of the season.

Speaking of the HR Derby, there’s currently a season long HR Derby going on here. And it’s time to recap those teams and players who did not have a June Swoon.

  • Chris Davis continues to show off his raw power for a team not named the Rangers. He hit another 12 homers in June and now has a commanding lead in the overall home run total (Miggy is 5 behind, with a slew of players 9-10 back). He actually has the most homers through the first 83 games since Bonds had 39 in 2001. What usually comes with this power dominance… steroid talks.
  • One team originally picked Chris Davis in Group C for the Kings of Cork HR Derby. And because of that, Attention V-Mart Shoppers… has cracked the top-10 list. If only they had players not named Giancarlo or V-Mart, they could be sitting with a huge cushion in first place.
  • Not to be outdone, Ibanez, Bruce Almighty, and Vote for Pedro (Alvarez) all hit 10 long balls in the month of June. That’s more homers in one month than each of them hit in the first two months of the season combined.
  • Hosminators almost had that tri-fecta in June by pairing Bruce and Alvarez in Groups B and C respectively. Their team didn’t get hurt by the other 3 groups either which allowed them to own the Month of June Crown with 34 homers. This June surge also catapulted his team for 84th to 35th. A jump of 49 spots. By far, the largest leap in the standings in June.
  • Speaking of Jay Bruce, he also hit the longest home run in the month of June. A mammoth shot off the D-Backs scoreboard on June 22. Hit was recorded of having a true distance of 472 feet (only 2 homers have flown further this season, Rizzo and Trumbo have both hit homers at 475 feet).
  • Sneaky Pete is the definition of June Swoon. Their team managed to hit 12 homers the entire month of June (not the worst), but saw their ranking drop from 24th to 57th. A 33 spot jump in the wrong direction.
  • The overall standings had some familiar faces from May. Ready, Wilin, and Able and Mayer’s Mashers were tied at 85 homers which is enough for first place. However, both have hit a dry spell in early July with their only 3 homers coming from Miggy. That has opened the door for teams like Big Deihl’s Bombers (May’s leader) and Geezerhawk(May’s largest mover). They were sitting in 3rd and 4th respectively after June. And if Rios or Ibanez keep hitting, one of them will be leading at the end of July.
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