The All Star Break doens't seem long in theory. In theory. But by the time it ends it's like I've been through an NBA season, several hockey seasons, and the Pro Bowl. Can the Red Sox take the field, please? Lets light this candle, eh?
According to Fan Graphs, David Ortiz has been worth $12.6 million this season. Not bad for half a season's worth of work. When you factor in that he's making $12.5 million for the entire season, we can see that Ortiz's option was, in retrospect, a good deal. In the absence of all other contracts anyway. Still, Ortiz isn't getting any younger and he'll be a free agent after this season. This causes the indefatigable Alex Speier to wonder if there is life after David Ortiz for the Red Sox. I'm going to go ahead and give that the rhetorical question of the year award. Still, Ortiz's on field production will be tough to replace, whether they do it with Ortiz himself or someone else.
The Pinstriped Bible's Steven Goldman takes a position by position look at the three AL East teams that will likely factor into the post season race this year. It's an interesting look in that the Red Sox lead in almost all of the categories. One of the few they don't lead in is left field where they have the superior player who has been a) not himself for whatever reason(s) and, b) hurt. It's a comparison that should worry Rays fans most of all though, as they're far behind both divisional rivals almost across the board.
Our own Marc Normandin (they grow up so quickly!) discusses the disappearance of some stars from the productive landscape this season. The Red Sox Carl Crawford finds himself, shockingly, at the top of the list. One way the Sox could make up for losing the 2011 version of David Ortiz would be if the 2009 version of Carl Crawford shows up next season.
Over at Fire Brand of The American League, Chip Buck, no relation to Joe I hope, has some predictions for the second half of the Red Sox season. "Everyone gets hurt and I cry" isn't one of them. Baseball Prospectus's RJ Anderson has some mid-season heroes and goats to thrown on the pile as well.
Did you know the Houston Astros are fifty years old? Yes, as old as Molly Shannon's irritating mid-life woman character from SNL used to say, fifty years old. Writing at BP, Allen Barra discusses possibly the least written about and cared about major league baseball team in existence. It makes me want to run out and buy one of those hideous sunset Astros jerseys from the '80s. Like this one.