By Marc Lawrence — Most years, baseball is a marathon. This year, it feels like a sprint – run by Usain Bolt – so says MLB.com. Somehow, we’re already at the halfway point of the season and we’re hurtling headfirst into what could be the craziest postseason race ever. And with it they’ve released their not-so-serious midseason awards, starting with this gem: Everyone’s 2nd favorite team: San Diego Padres. Each year, a new team manages to make good on the preseason hype and finds a way to wriggle their way into the collective hearts and MLB.TV schedules of baseball fans. Last year, it was the Twins and their Bomba Squad. With apologies to the White Sox and the surprisingly competitive Orioles and Marlins, there is only one answer for 2020. It begins with Tatis – how could it not – and ends with Machado. Tatis is less a baseball player these days and is more of a full-on pop culture phenomenon. He’s Ken Griffey Jr. for the generation of kids too young to have seen Junior in his prime and is making plays every night that demand you tune in. He’s erasing MLB’s unwritten rules on the fly. And then there is his portside partner, Machado, who is having a career while playing alongside Tatis at 3B, forming the most potent left side of an infield in the majors these days. To review the entire list of “not so serious” midseason awards click here.
And speaking of terrific shortstops, Cleveland Indians SS Francisco Lindor’s 130 home runs through his age-25 season rank third all-time among shortstops, behind Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken Jr.. That’s some pretty strong company.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the all-new 2020 PLAYBOOK NFL STARTER KIT publication: Since coming back as an expansion team 1999, the Cleveland Browns are 1-19-1 straight-up in season opening games. Sloth warning: their only win came against Baltimore in 2004, against whom they open the 2020 campaign this year.