It's that time of the year when the game's greats get together a play a
meaningless game for the pure enjoyment of the fans that has ridiculous and unnecessary implications for the World Series! But before we get to that, there's news to cover:
Yesterday's game: Indians 3, White Sox 2
The Indians took the series on the strength of an excellent start from Trevor Bauer and a late homer from Yan Gomes. Our Tribe is now siting at a cool .500, riding a bitchin' wave of mediocrity into the break.
Indians news & notes
Lindor's time is fast approaching | Cleveland.com - Francisco Lindor didn't make much noise in Sunday's Futures Game - in his third appearance for Team World - but he's on the verge of making some noise in the bigs. Asdrubal Cabrera is a virtual lock to leave in free agency after this season, and there's a chance he could be gone sooner depending on which way the team's luck breaks in the second half. Lindor is ready to step in a be the star.
Masterson's return to health, form key for second half | Indians.com - Justin Masterson has been bad and/or injured all season, but Tribe management is confident that he's making strides toward recovery on both fronts. His success (or failure) will be key in helping to anchor a rotation wherein Corey Kluber has been the only consistent presence.
REED THIZ about SHAPTONELLIS take on the first half | Cleveland.com - Chris Antonetti gives his take on what needs to be done to address the Tribe's issues in the second half, touching on Lindor/Cabrera, Masterson, the starting rotation, and the "defense."
Ranking the top Tribe ASG performances | Did The Tribe Win Last Night? - A trip down All-Star memory lane. Sandy Alomar as #1 was obvious to me, but I wasn't aware of a lot of these others. Neat stuff.
Tribe players looking forward to R&R during AS break | Cleveland.com - Since Kluber was snubbed and no one else on the team besides Michael Brantley is good enough to be an All-Star, everyone is looking forward to some time off. Carlos Carrasco, for instance, plans to go to the water park. Nick Swisher plans to hang out with his daughter. Reports at this time can neither confirm nor deny whether Swish will be joining Cookie at Kalahari.
Tidbits from around MLB
Grading the first half | CBS Sports - I know these kinds of columns are essentially useless fluff and clickbait, but I'll admit I'm a sucker for them. The A's are the only team that score an A+ due to their league-leading record. How does everyone else make out?
Can the ASG be saved from declining viewership? | Sports Illustrated - The MLB All-Star game has lower viewership than the joke that is the Pro Bowl, and though it beats out the NBA All-Star Game, its viewership is declining at a much more rapid rate. Can it be saved?
MLB should shift All-Star week schedule | NBC Sports - It's not just the game itself that suffers. The awkward timing of ancillary All-Star events, such as the Futures Game, all but ensures that they'll never gain a significant following. Why not start things off on a Monday instead of a Sunday?
Posey and Bumgarner first battery to hit grand slam in same game | McCovey Chronicles - This is one of those things that makes the game of baseball just beautiful. Buster Posey hit a grand slam early in the 5th and his battery mate, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, crushed a granny in the next inning. It was Bumgarner's second grand slam of the season!
The new last-place Red Sox | Sports On Earth - This year's Red Sox team is a dumpster fire, but Matthew Kory argues that this dumpster fire is far different than the 2012 version. Ironically, he says, these Sox are setting themselves up for long-term success.
White Sox bullpen an abysmal failed experiment | Beyond the Box Score - With low expectations and little to work with, the Sox took an experimental approach to bullpen construction in 2014. It has yielded predictably terrible results.