The first half of the major league baseball season is over and it seemed to me like it flew by. The Giants are sitting right at 45-44, one game above .500, right where they've been all season. The Giants never fell anymore than 2 games below .500 at any point in the first half, but they also never got more than 5 games above .500 either and have yet to hold sole possesion of first place at any point. If you look at the first half as a whole, the Giants where very average, and their record does not lie. They really only had one guy who deserved to make the all-star team (Jason Schmidt) and although a few guys are having solid seasons, the team as a whole has been somewhat dissapointing. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the team's best player is hitting .249 with 12 hr's and 39 RBI. Everybody is banking on Barry Bonds turing on in the second half, and he needs to if the Giants are going to win the division and make any noise whatsoever in the playoffs. Here is a my quick take on the first half.
1ST HALF MVP: Pedro Feliz- He's played in every single game up to this point, and he is definetley on his way to a career year. He leads the team in home runs, RBI's, games and he is playing gold glove caliber defense at 3rd base. Only knock on him is his lack of patience, but that's improving, his OB% is improving, but still needs to improve another 10-15 points.
Runner Up: Omar Vizquel
SURPRISE OF THE HALF: Jonathen Sanchez- You really can't go wrong with either Sanchez or Elizier Alfonzo. I'm choosing Sanchez because you can't overlook 2-0 with a 0.69 era, especially out of a youngster in the pen. On top of that, the 23-year old lefty has taken the ball in tough situations, late in games and has always answered the bell.
Runner up: Elizier Alfonzo
DISSAPOINTMENT OF THE HALF: Barry Bonds- I know he's 42 and you can't expect him to keep putting up the numbers he has over the years, but I don't think anyone would have predicted Bonds' average to be as low as it has been all year. He's been stuck in the .240's all season, has yet to put together any kind of hot streak, and has become one of the worst outfielders in the league. I think he'll turn it around in the second half and I expect to see him around 25-30 home runs with his average up around .280 by seasons end. If not, expect the Giants to be at home in early October, and I'm not talking about SBC Park.
Runner up: Lance Niekro
OVERALL GRADE/SECOND HALF PREDICTION: If I where to grade the Giants on overall performance in the first half, I'd have to give them a C. It's tough to give a .500 team anything but that, and the Giants have been as average as anyone in the league. The offense is finally starting to hit a little bit and get healthy and the starting
pitching has been pretty good all season long. The bullpen continues to be a quesiton mark. For every power armed youngster that has come up and impressed the Giants (Kevin Corriea, Jeremy Accardo and Jonathen Sanchez) there have been injuries or sub-par performances by the veterans (Amrondo Benitez, Tim Worrell, Tyler Walker etc.). The bully has yet to get on the same page and get everyone throwing well as a whole. I think the Giants have been playing better ball as of late June and early July, and I expect to see them continuing to play well. The NL West is not as bad as it was last season, but everyone is hovering around .500 and there isn't a team that is out of it. Right now, I'd say the Giants and the Dodgers have to be the two favorites. Both teams have their holes, and it will probably be based on who makes the better deal at the trade deadline, but If I had to put money on somebody right now, I'd put it on LA. I think Ned Colletti has more resources than Brian Sabean does to strengthen the Dodgers come July 31'st, and I guarantee he will be makings some moves. He already added Mark Hendrickson and Toby Hall from Tampa Bay, which isn't huge, but it's shoring up weaknesses. Unitll Sabean shows he's ready to shore up the Giants' weaknesses (first base, relief pitching), as much as I hate 'em, I think the Dodgers have the better overall team. Hopefully things change by July 31st.
MESSAGE: I will be out for a week on vacation in South Lake Tahoe gambiling all my money away and I will not be posting untill next tuesday. Thanks.