by Jordan Adams - 07/10/2006
The 2006 MLB season is officially at its half way point. This week focuses in on the All Star festivities in Pittsburgh. Both the Home Run Derby and Tuesday's All Star Game will bring the best players together as well as deciding home field advantage for this October's World Series. This week's review of the MLB breaks down the first half and hands out the mid-season awards.
Top Team - New York Mets
At first place in the league with a 53-36 record, the Mets are in a good spot to finally relieve the Braves of its first place AL East duties. With the second place Phillies trailing in the standings by 12 games, New York could be in for a second half breeze to division title.
Biggest Underachiever - Chicago Cubs
Despite being the Cubs and bringing most of this agony on themselves, the Cubbies should be doing much better than their 34-54 joke of a record. Yes, Prior and Wood have been injured and unable to play for the entire first half, however the offense has no excuses for its horribly inconsistent play. One could argue the season was over when Derrek Lee went down with a wrist injury, but the month beforehand the team was pitiful as well.
MVP - David Wright | New York Mets
A rock in the batting order and a wonderful young defender at the hot corner, David Wright is having a phenomenal 2006. The Mets' third baseman is hitting .316 with 20 home runs and 74 RBI. Those stats are just three of the five categories he ranks among the top ten in the league.
Cy Young - Tom Glavine | New York Mets
At age 40 could anyone have predicted this first half? Posting an 11-2 record with an ERA at 3.48, Glavine has been excellent alongside Pedro Martinez. If the veteran hurler continues to win at this pace, 300 career wins seems a likely scenario.
Top Team - Detroit Tigers
Say what you want and continue to suggest this team is going to fall off, but the Detroit Tigers are looking more and more like the team that will cause either the Red Sox or Yankees to miss out on the postseason. At the break the Tigers currently sit 30 games above .500 at 59-29. Despite only leading the White Sox by two games, they are well ahead of the second place Yankees and if Detroit falls to second in the AL Central, the wild card still seems like a good possibility.
Biggest Underachiever - Cleveland Indians
Thought by most to compete with the White Sox for the division crown after barely missing out a year ago, Cleveland has been a huge disappointment. Having one of the best offenses in all of baseball, scoring runs has not been an issue. At 40-47, the pitching has been a blunder and the biggest reason why the team has flopped. Their 4.74 team ERA is bad but having only 13 saves from the bullpen suggests this team is incapable of not only getting a lead but also holding on to it.
MVP - David Ortiz | Boston Red Sox
The most clutch and arguably the most feared hitter in all of baseball, Big Papi continues to lead the Boston offense. With 31 home runs and 87 RBI to his credit, he continues to make the claim that he is perhaps one of the best left-handed power hitters since Babe Ruth. Despite some claims that he doesn't play defense so he is not a complete player, Ortiz is humble and takes great pride in his abilities and his leadership skills on the field.
Cy Young - Francisco Liriano | Minnesota Twins
This wunderkid has seemingly bypassed the learning curve that most young pitchers need and jumped straight to the top of the league as the best young hurler in baseball. At the half way point he has posted a 10-1 record with remarkable ERA of 1.83 and WHIP of .97. Of course he is from the Dominican Republic, the best nation for breeding young ball players. His quick surge along with Johan Santana has brought the Twins back into the playoff hunt. Despite still trailing the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox by 11 games, the team sits at 47-39 and ready to continue its run after the break.