One weekend back from the All-Star break and we’ve seen some surprises already in the second half, including the Indians four-game sweep of the Tigers, the A’s are suddenly on a five-game winning streak and sitting at .500, the Pirates followed up a 17-hit performance with 19 hits on Sunday and it may be time to start believing in the Padres in the NL West. Let’s head into the weekly recap with some unfortunate sad news…

Don’t give me this ole’ bullshit!
“How would you like to manage the Cleveland Indians?”
“Aaaah, I dunno.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? This is a chance to manage in the big leagues.”
“Lemme think it over, will ya Charlie? I got a guy on the other line about some whitewalls. I’ll talk to you later.”

I’m laughing while the typing that conversation from the movie Major League. James Gammon, who played Indians manager Lou Brown in that classic movie, died at the age of 70 on Friday. He was one of the characters that made Major League the cult classic it is today. It’s hard to go to the ballpark without hearing someone quote a line or two from Major League (especially my friends). This is definitely some sad news this week.

Rays/Yankees
This weekend featured a crucial AL East showdown between the Rays and Yankees in Yankee Stadium where the Yanks won two-of-three to increase their division lead to three games over Tampa. The Rays are going to have to step it up if they are planning on giving New York a run for their money in the second half. The defending champs look ready to roll their way to 100 plus wins. Thankfully the Rays have plenty of games to catch up with 10 games remaining against the Yankees—seven of them in September. Then again if their starting pitcher looks like what showed up this weekend, they may be wishing they didn’t face the Bronx Bombers so frequently in the second half. Speaking of the Rays, Rocco Baldelli is back after turning in his suit from the front office job for a minor league contract. The story says Baldelli is finally healthy. Sure he is….

Stupid injuries. He did what?!
Within one week, Padres pitcher Mat Latos sneezed and ended up on the disabled list, Mariners slugger Russell Branyan bruised his toe when a coffee table fell on it in his hotel room at 5 a.m. and Yankees pitcher AJ Burnett cut his palms after slamming open a pair of wooden doors on his way to the showers and lied about it in the process. Excellent. The sneezing one is still the best with shades of Sammy Sosa. Look, I’ve never played professional baseball, but I’ve sneezed a couple thousand times in my life and never was injured from it. Unreal.

Questionable managing
Apparently I wasn’t the only one who questioned Joe Girardi’s decisions in the ninth inning of the All-Star game last Tuesday as Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports discusses the terrible non-moves.

The Angels and “Ran Fan”
The Halos are 3-1 since Scott O’Leary randomly picked them as his new franchise to root for in Major League Baseball. Read how Scott’s adventure landed in Anaheim.

And last, but certainly not least, the National League finally broke the streak and won the All-Star game last week! Get ready for a ton of trade talk and rumors all around the game in the next two weeks.

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