MLB assessment at the mid-season stage

Michael Kim
JoseReyes1 247x300 MLB assessment at the mid season stage

Jose Reyes has been the compelling story of the season so far

In the words of Doug Glanville, “a center fielder is at once a player, a strategist, an observer, a thinker – good preparation for writing a book” – which he did.  The nine-year, major league veteran is the author of “The Game From Where I Stand” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2010), a personal, thoughtful and entertaining examination of baseball from his unique perspective.  Doug brings these same insights and intelligence to his work as an analyst on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight.  With the first half of the 2011 major league season over, I had a chance to get Doug’s take on several questions and get him to share with us his midseason awards in this edition of “Kimmer & Answers.

MK: What’s been the most intriguing or compelling storyline for you in the first half of the season?

DG: Jose Reyes and his dominance. So exciting to watch!

MK: Who or what has been the biggest surprise?

DG: The Pirates pitching!  Their starters’ ERA has dropped by over 1.50 per game from 2010.  They have matured in a short period of a year.  It’s been a huge change having a bonafide closer (Joel Hanrahan) this season.  Their leads get held this season.

MK: Who or what has been this season’s biggest disappointment?

DG: The Chicago White Sox made a huge acquisition by getting Adam Dunn, who has had an abysmal season.  They were counting on him to anchor their offense – but they have been inconsistent offensively.

MK: Who are the MVP, Cy Young, Rookies and Managers of the Year award winners for the first half of the season?

DG: The MVPs are Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox and Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder.  The Cy Young winners are Justin Verlander of Detroit and Philadelphia’s Roy Halladay.  The rookies of the year are Seattle’s Michael Pineda and Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel.  The managers of the year are Charlie Manuel of Philadelphia and Joe Maddon  of  Tampa Bay.

MK: As a systems engineering major at Penn, which stadium design is your favorite – and why?

DG: Wrigley is my favorite. The intimacy, the neighborhood but from a science standpoint, I like Chase Field in Arizona. Dark seats allow for good contrast for white ball.  Great hitter’s backdrop.  Nice clubhouse.  Cool retractable roof system with window panels that open.  Brilliant.

MK: What feature would be a must for any stadium you design?

DG: I love the circular design at Citizens Bank Park. Fans can circle the entire stadium and still have a great view. Along the way they get history, local culture, and good food.

MK: What’s the favorite story or most memorable reaction you received in response to something you wrote in your book?

DG: It was from an article I wrote that led to the book. I heard from a son of a “night rider” who transported civil rights workers in Alabama during difficult racial tensions in our country. It was a moving letter sharing how much my writing meant to him because he wrote that he “called my dad and we talked like we had not in a long time.” Powerful.

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