24 - The number of MLB All Star games that Willie Mays played in. Unreal ... I daresay most people wouldn't recognize Mays' face, but they would probably recognize his back. He is usually seen running towards the center field wall making the catch with his back to the infield.
Speaking of baseball, what would people like Mays, Ruth, DiMaggio, Aaron, and other greats from past eras be worth today? I am not sure there is a price that can be put on that. George Herman "Babe" Ruth was a career .342 hitter. That's a career season for many multi-million dollar players today. He reportedly said he could have hit .600 if he had been trying to hit singles instead of home runs. Somehow, I almost believe him.
And Ruth's drugs of choice were hot dogs and beer. Can you imagine if the guy had taken care of himself? No Balco scandals for the Babe.
Speaking of Balco scandals, the dreaded day is not far off. Bonds will break Aaron's home run record sometime in July. I would love to see Selig stay home with Aaron that night. But Selig hasn't done anything right for baseball yet and it is doubtful he will start now. My vote is for Bob Costas to be the commissioner. IMO, he is a guy with an appreciation for the game and its history. He is not a former owner, and most importantly, he is not Selig. It's a shame that Bart Giamatti died when he did. I think he would have been great. Of course a dead Giamatti is probably better than a live Selig.
Tonight, one of the commentators on Fox (either Joe Buck or McCarver) talked about the suspicions surrounding Bonds. Newsflash: The day of suspicions and Bonds are way past over. I don't think there is any doubt that he knowingly used steroids. But I guess when MLB is paying you big bucks, you probably stay away from that.
The second half of the season should be good. Look for the Tigers to make a move for the bullpen and Gas Can Jones (at least he makes you want to watch the 9th inning). They need to shore up the bullpen.
The Tigers should win the Central, the Red Sox in the East, and the Angels in the West.
I think the NL East race will be good. The Braves, Mets, and Phillies are all fairly close. The Braves were earlier, but went on a disastrous slide (9-24 I think). Now that Smoltz is hurt, it is hard to tell what might happen. But they could be around at the end. I lean towards the Mets winning the East. Elsewhere in the NL, I think the Cardinals win the Central from 7.5 back, and the Padres hold on out West.
The Wild cards will be the second place team in the AL Central (probably Indians) and the second place NL East (Braves is my guess).
I know I am not going out on a limb to pick the division leaders (except the NL Central), but I think those are the best teams in their divisions.
World Series: Tigers (if they fix the pen) and Padres.
Dark Horses: Braves and Mariners.
Good thing about midseason picks: If I am wrong, no one will remember. If I am right, I can post a link to myself.