Now that the All-Star festivities are fading fast in the rearview mirror, the lack of baseball has left many of us feeling castrated (or is it Castro-ated?). If you’re chilling in SoCal, or a fan of that trolley-dodging team from Chavez Ravine, you might be suffering through a bad case of Joc itch right now.
Actually, after the performance the prepossessing Pederson put on in the Home Run Derby, I’d venture to guess it’s more than just Dodgers fans who want to see him back in action. If there was a baseball-themed version of Tiger Beat, I’m pretty sure they could increase circulation by putting Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant on the cover.
But enough of my bromantic blathering, let’s get on to the unfulfilled titular promise.
It wasn’t long enough ago for you to have already forgotten, but Jake Arrieta’s performance in closing out the season’s first half was masterful. He had 9 K’s and his first career home run in a win over the White Sox that helped to allay fears over the Cubs’ poor performance.
What would the 4th of July be without fireworks? Well, for Jason Pierre-Paul it’d mean still being able to give high fives, but for the rest of us it’d be a bit dull. Last year, it was the front office lighting things up with a trade that sent Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oak-town for Addison Russell and Billy McKinney.
This year, it was Kris Bryant who put on a show for the home crowd as he blasted two homers into the left field bleachers.
Even the most serious narratives need a little comic relief, and while baseball is still a game at its core, it still needs jesters. Enter the New York Mets, who are always willing to replace the T with an S and allow us all to have a chuckle at their expense.
Not everyone can agree with my steadfast defense of the Cubs’ gray-bearded backup catcher, who has provided some steadfast defense of his own, but there’s no arguing with the game-ending snap throw he made a little while back.
And who could forget Anthony Rizzo pumping the brakes for the best slide in the history of sliding? It should come as no surprise that the Mets once again played an integral role in a highlight play at third base in which they were the victims.
But if short highlight montages are more your thing, we’ve got those too. Walk-offs, big plays, loud noises from Len Kasper; it’s all here in this recap of the season’s first half.
Whew, I think I need a cigarette.
I know it’s difficult to struggle through the remainder of the break, but take heart: your wait is almost over. Maybe the Cubs can open the second half with a few more highlights as they take on the Braves starting Friday.