Wooden's World of Baseball

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Road Warriors / The All Star Game

One of the oddities about the long Carolina League season is that it's very easy to ignore the team when they're on the road. It's not like my previous "love," where you stay laser-focused because the halves of 46 games are so short; two bad weeks is all it takes to lose a half - that's it.

So it is with the Potomac Nationals who continue to play uninspired at home – 17-19, and that's including a 3-1 homestand last week – and world-beaters on the road: 30-17. That's the best in "A" ball (low or high) and third-best in the minors, behind Connecticut (33-13, and also sub-.500 at home at 19-23) and Birmingham (30-15).

Unfortunately, I can't find a site that does splits by team but a look at the team's top hitters and virtually everyone has better numbers on the road. But a look at the most recent breakdown of park effects shows the shitz...er, Pfitzner Stadium as being fairly neutral — 1.02 for both runs and hits in '08, 0.99 and 1.01 from '06 to '08.

Obviously, what makes this so frustrating is that I do see most of their games at home and knowing that they're capable of much better than I've seen. Not to mention, my previous team was so good at home (well, at least until the playoffs - but that's a horse that's already been beaten).

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It's funny as we approach The All-Star Break how little I've come to care for this game. Or perhaps more accurately, how little I care compared to how much I used to. I think the last one I saw end-to-end was in 2001, and that's primarily because I had had back surgey the week before. Before that, it was probably the '99 contest where Pedro Martinez struck out five of six batters in the midst of one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time.

About the only thing I'm really hoping to see is Tim Wakefield pitch, especially if he were to follow Roy Halladay. It would be fun to watch the NL all-stars deal with the flutterball, many of whom have never seen it. Imagine Ryan Howard or Albert Pujols, guys who can launch any fastball into the Missouri, being made to look like Little Leaguers for the first time in their adult lives. That alone would be worth watching.


  • I remember feeling passionate about the All Star game as a fan but interleague play has taken away what made it so special-the rarity of seeing each leagues stars against each other....

    Now it is just another made for TV event...

    By Blogger Shawn, at 7/14/2009 2:46 PM  

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