A quick look around the league at the All-Star break:
AL North - the Chicago and Vancouver are battling it out, tied atop the division. The Bartmans are slugging their way to the top, 542 runs, good for 5th in the AL, but will their shaky pitching staff hold up? And, wow, 5 games under leads the division?
AL East - The traditional power division in the AL stays true to form. All four teams have scored 500 runs. The 4th place New York would lead the North by 6, but they trail here by 8. Richmond Confederates leads and is gunning for a 9th straight playoff birth. Scranton and Baltimore will battle the South runner-up for the wild card spots.
AL South - Texas leads the division by 1 game and hopes to avoid being a bridesmaid by finishing 2nd for the 6th time in 7 years. Monterrey has started 11 different pitchers as off-the-wall pitching coach Ronald Lane continues to baffle the pundits.
AL West - San Francisco takes a 14 game lead into the break. They're 9-1 in the division and have the best pitching and defense in the AL.
NL North - Sioux Falls used red-hot streak down the stretch (including a 4-game sweep of Mexico City) to take the division lead by 3 games. Defending division champ Helena has led most of the way and continues to ride the pitching of phenom Rafael Aguilera (16-1, 1.07 ERA).
NL East - Burlington is leaving the field in the dust with a 13 game lead on the strength of a 16-8 record in 1-run games.
NL South - Mexico City holds the best record in the league and seems likely to take the #1 seed again despite losing 8 of 10 going into the break. San Juan, Memphis, and Nashville all appear likely to be in the wild card hunt all season in a brutally tough division.
NL West - The NL version of the AL North sees Las Vegas leading with a sub-.500 record. Their not-exactly-blistering pace, has kept mediocre Cheyenne and Arizona dreaming of a 2nd half run.
Other Story Lines:
The Dead Ball era? Only Antonio Chapman exceeds 30 hr's as the ball does not seem to fly like it once did. Still, the incomprable Chapman's 38 might be more impressive than his previous 80 HR outputs.
Cat Burgler? Has the league's taste for good hitting catchers started to hurt them? Bernard Lieber has stolen 74 of 76 bases. He may better his own record of 133 set in season 11.
Free AC? Benny Andrews has fanned 117 times. He's got a shot to break Carmine Barkley's record of 199 in season 11.
Stone hands Wayne Dickens is criminally playing SS. The commish may have to step in after 68 first half errors.
Cy Forever? The aforementioned Rafael Aguilera is out of his gord. He's probably already locked up the Cy Young award, but how many records might he break?
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