Catching up at the All-Star break

Ken Morse
Ken Morse

Major League baseball took a break from the action this week to play the 86th Midsummer Classic at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. The All-Star Game took on an old-time theme Tuesday with players wearing the 19th century Pillbox caps.

I’m sure Pete Rose laid a bet on the hometown fans to put pressure on MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to lift the lifetime ban imposed on Rose since 1989.

Wait a minute betting is was caused this whole scenario in the first place.

Gambling is a lot like making sports predictions. It takes a little bit of skill, some knowledge, consistency and a whole lot of luck. Over the years I have nailed the consistency end of it being a sports writer.

Every time I pick the Red Sox to win the World Series they finish in last place, and when I pick them to finish last they win the World Series. How’s that for consistency?

Based on my early season predictions on our three local Major League teams I’m right on target. I predicted that the Red Sox would rule the A.L. East, and there they are sitting in last place at the All-Star break.

I predicted the Yankees would endure their first losing season since 1992 and completely miss the playoffs for the third year in a row. The early results shows that my consistency is simply impeccable as the Yanks are entrenched in first place with a 3 ½ game lead to boot.

I might have been a little closer to home on the Mets, actually my second favorite team, once I forgave them for beating my Red Sox in 1986. The Mets are right on the doorstep of the N.L. East two games behind Washington living up to my expectations of returning to the playoffs.

So why is it so hard to predict success and failure even for a sports writer? Variables and the simple fact of what looks good on paper has to be played on dirt and grass.

There are three keys to watch out for in the second half of the season.

It’s no secret that the Mets have the most solid core of young pitchers in the game of baseball, but what separates them is they finally have a guy who can kick the door closed in Jeurys Famillia, who has converted 27 of 29 save opportunities.

If Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez continue to have one-last-hurrah seasons, the Yankees are going to be tough to catch down the stretch.

It should also be noted that every time the Red Sox hit the waiver wire and pick up a bunch of low-priced players that no one wants they win a World Series. But when they open the bank vault and pour of millions of dollars on high-priced hot shots they fall flat on their face. The only real shot the Sox have in the second half is if I predict they lose every game, then maybe my consistency will rise to the top.

Ken Morse is a contributing writer to the Citizen’s News