The Stories You'd Be Reading If The First Half Didn't Exist

CHICAGO, IL - Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hits a single against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

If the first half of the season didn't exist, what sort of silly narratives would you be reading right now?

In April, all baseball writers can do is react to small samples. It's an ugly secret that no one really likes to talk about. We stare at the stat sheet, notice that Andy Marte or some such is hitting .350, absolutely know that it isn't sustainable, sigh, and write the stupid "Is Andy Marte For Real?" article anyway. No choice.

I took a look at this phenomenon back in May, and looked to see what the stupid stories would have been if April didn't exist. But we're well into the second half of the season now -- perfect for picking an easily identifiable endpoint and making too much of it.

So if the first half didn't exist, what would the early and stupid narratives be in baseball right now?

Star-divide

Sample headline from today if the first half didn't exist:

Bryce Harper: Just Not Ready

Sample text:

Most 19-year-old baseball players are living with a host family in the Appalachian League, or performing wacky stunts on a college campus, like "seeing how many kids can fit into a phone booth," or "swallowing goldfish," or "drinking Jagermeister until you throw a punch." Harper is dealing with the rigors of the major leagues. And as of right now … not very well.

Harper is hitting .176/.276/.265 in 105 at-bats to start the season. How long are the Nationals going to let this go on? Who benefits? Certainly not Harper, whose head must be spinning. Certainly not the Nationals, who have to deal with the equivalent of another pitcher in their lineup. It's probably about time to end the experiment and start anew.

Star-divide

Sample headline from today if the first half didn't exist:

Are the Padres for Real?

Sample text:

The Padres have started the season 15-11, and they're in a tie for the NL West lead. The five pitchers they were counting on to start the season were all injured in office-equipment mishaps, with Tim Stauffer having surgery to remove the three-hole punch on Friday, but the Padres have been getting some good work from, let's see, uh, Edinson Volquez has been good. Clayton Richard. Jason Marquis is on the team now, I guess.

Uh, Ross Ohlendorf is in the rotation.

Kip Wells.

Oh, come on.

Star-divide

Sample headline from today if the first half didn't exist:

Albert Pujols Is So Good, Everybody

Sample text:

Pujols is hitting .333/.395/.725 with 10 home runs in 102 at-bats to start the season. His walks are down, but his power is way, way up. Could this be Pujols's best season yet? Probably. Pujols is so good, everybody. Watching him play is like watching Jimmie Foxx with a robotic exoskeleton, and this is never going to end. Pujols is going to be good forever and ever, just like we expected. Appreciate him now.

You know the Cardinals have some serious regrets right now, as the ostensible replacement for Pujols in the middle of their lineup, Carlos Beltran, has a .265 on-base percentage and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 21 to 3. This could be the end for Beltran.

Pujols is so good, everybody.

Star-divide

Sample headline from today if the first half didn't exist:

Giants Need to Extend Lincecum, Forget Cain

Sample text:

The Giants have a big decision to make with their two aces. Can they afford both? Even if they could, it might not be a good idea to tie the payroll up with two pitchers, regardless of how good they are.

But if the Giants have to choose, they have to go with the pitcher with the hardware -- the Cy Youngs. It doesn't hurt that Lincecum is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA at the start of the season, while Cain is just 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA. It's possible that Cain will turn things around, but for now at least, the Giants have no question who their real ace is, and they need to pay him accordingly.

Star-divide

Sample headline from today if the first half didn't exist:

Goddammit, Astros, I'm Eating Here

Sample text:

Come on.

Star-divide

Sample headline from today if the first half didn't exist:

Can Adrian Gonzalez Hit .400 for a Full Season?

Sample text:

Probably not. But it's not crazy. It's not the wildest idea you've ever heard. His swing is so balanced right now, so fluid. Last year was him just getting used to Fenway. This year is about him taking the place over, learning the nooks and crannies of the outfield, figuring out how to hit them where they ain't.

He's hitting .406 right now. Sound familiar, Red Sox fans?

Considering the deal handed out to Prince Fielder in the offseason, the Red Sox know they got a steal with the Gonzalez extension. He's looking like the best pure hitter in the game -- Wade Boggs with power? Red Sox fans never dreamed of such a thing, but now they're totally appreciating it and just having a bunch of fun watching this season of baseball. Just a bunch of fun, everybody.

Star-divide

Sample headline from today if the first half didn't exist:

Important Article About Josh Hamilton

Sample text:

Josh Hamilton's statistics. Description of how bad he's looked. Quote from Ron Washington.

Allusion to Hamilton's relapse. Rhetorical question? Weaselly half-answer, while pretending not to insinuate exactly what that just insinuated. Acknowledgment that it's still early.

Open-ended conclusion with ominous overtones. Dire ramifications. Something about how hopefully I'm wrong or some crap.
***

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube

In This Article

Players
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.