Mike Bauman has been a national columnist for MLB.com since 2001 and has covered Major League Baseball for more than three decades.
|Even with the setbacks and questions the first half brought, St. Louis still has the makeup to provide answers for another postseason run.
More»Waino, triple play highlight Cardinals' first half|
|There are only a few players who are transcendent figures, even if they might be too modest to admit it. Derek Jeter has been in that category for some time; not only for the quality of his play, not only for the five World Series he has helped the Yankees win, but for the way he has carried himself.
More» Jeter exits final ASG to standing ovation|
|As baseball returns to its natural state -- a game in which pitching is once again dominant -- you take the home runs where you find them.
The 2014 Gillette Home Run Derby on Monday would be a logical place to look. And, yes indeed, home runs could be found here.
More»Statcast tracks Cespedes as he defends Derby title|
|The days of the Oakland Athletics being under-recognized, underappreciated or even undervalued seem to have departed. Good. You could tell those days were gone Monday by counting on the fingers of two hands how many Oakland players were on the American League All-Star team. Leading the All-Star parade for the A's is the one Oakland player elected to the starting AL team, third baseman Josh Donaldson.
More»Donaldson, Kazmir discuss being selected All-Stars|
|In the midst of all the conjecture, speculation and, yes, even the promise of the Chicago Cubs' future, here comes the one part of that future closest to Major league fruition. It is Kris Bryant. Sunday afternoon he started at third base and hit cleanup for the U.S. Team in the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game at Target Field.
More» Bryant on journey through Minors|
|Baseball has represented the best possibilities of American society, as it did when Jackie Robinson smashed a racial barrier. The notion that soccer represents some sort of superior culture residing in Europe is historically blind. Our ancestors left Europe by the millions. They left Europe to escape grinding poverty and political, religious and social persecution. They came to America to find something better. Eventually, something better included baseball.
More» Trout lays out to make a great catch|
|For reasons that show up in the standings, and one reason that doesn't, the first half National League Manager of the Year is Ron Roenicke of the Brewers.
More» Roenicke on Peralta's struggles|
|This may be parity's finest hour. The A's, in the Major League Baseball scheme of things a low-revenue, low-salary operation, are now favored to win it all in the American League.
More» Samardzija fans five, gets win in A's debut|
|"Don't trade David Price." That is what the recent play of the Tampa Bay Rays says. Loudly, repeatedly, over four weeks, this is the message the Rays are sending to their own management, along with the equally topical, "We're still in this thing."
More» Price strikes out six over 8 2/3 solid frames|
|Saturday's game aside -- way aside, out of even peripheral vision -- the Detroit Tigers amply demonstrated during the first half of the season that they are the best team in the AL Central. You assumed that going into the season. But now you know it.
More» Duane Mclean on Tigers and New Amsterdam|
|If you're the Tampa Bay Rays, go ahead and hope. Hope because you have played better over the past 24 days. And hope because this is parity's payoff. Nobody else in the American League East is going to romp off into the sunset with this division race.
More» Longoria talks Rays' win, his performance|
|The first seven spots in the Tampa Bay lineup and their corresponding position numbers matched the 867-5309.
More» Rays' lineup card resembles famous 80's song|
|Last October, the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. This weekend, however, it was Los Angeles which claimed a series victory, and the biggest difference was that three of the Dodgers' starting pitchers were working at a nearly unhittable level.
More» Mattingly talks about Kershaw's dominance|
|The Dodgers' recipe is standard, time-tested and entirely feasible. They will pitch well enough to win most of the time. They will be solid defensively. They will put together enough offense to win.
More» Mattingly on Greinke's day, injuries in win|
|The Cardinals have 60 percent of their projected starting rotation on the disabled list. But once again, this organization appears capable of finding replacements that are not only suitable, but have the potential to be exceedingly good.
More» Martinez pitches well, collects two hits|
|Wednesday night, Josh Beckett was one-half of a compelling pitchers' duel, opposite Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright. Beckett pitched seven shutout innings as he kept up his recent superb pitching.
More» Beckett tosses seven scoreless vs. Cardinals|
|Wednesday's defeat could have appeared to be a calamity for the Brewers. In truth, it was a difficult night and early morning at Miller Park, but chances are that both the season and the ballclub will be able to come back.
More» Roenicke on missed opportunities, bullpens|
|At the end of the night, both the bottom line and the trend line were extremely positive for the Washington Nationals. After defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, 3-0, on Monday night, the Nats left Miller Park holding a two-game lead over their closest pursuers in the National League East, the Atlanta Braves. They are headed in the right direction, which is upward.
More» Clippard's whiff preserves the shutout|
|The Arizona Diamondbacks may well believe that they have reasons to throw at Ryan Braun, right fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers. Some of these reasons are three-year-old reasons. But Tuesday night at Chase Field, when the D-backs apparently chose to take a couple of shots at Braun, their timing was less than exquisite.
More» Lucroy makes D-backs pay with a slam|
|The most recent casualty among the Oakland Athletics' starting pitchers is lefty Drew Pomeranz. Some teams might look upon this sort of thing as a catastrophe. But for the A's, dire circumstances somehow translate mostly into opportunity.
More» Pomeranz limits Angels to one run over seven|