A Bon Jovi spin on MLB's first half
With Bon Jovi playing a concert in New York's Central Park as part of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game celebration, we look at some key first-half storylines through some of the band's most popular songs.
Lay Your Hands on Me: Boston Red Sox-Tampa Rays -- The fight of the first half goes to these two teams. We're still wondering what would've happened to Coco Crisp had James Shields connected on his haymaker.
Wanted Dead or Alive: Willie Randolph -- We still don't know for sure if it was the owners (The Wilpons) or the GM (Omar Minaya) who wanted Randolph out, but when you fire a guy who has won three of four and is on the first game of a West Coast trip at 3 a.m. Eastern time, you wanted blood however you could get it.
Keep the Faith: Detroit Tigers -- The Tigers started 0-7 and it took them until June 30 to have a winning record. They're still just one game over .500 and seven games behind the White Sox, but they've at least climbed out of a huge hole.
I'll Be There For You: Francisco Rodriguez -- K-Rod has 36 saves to lead the majors. The next highest total is 27.
Runaway: Evan Longoria -- No player has a postseason award locked up more than the Rays rookie third baseman.
Livin' On a Prayer: Chicago Cubs -- Is this the year the drought finally ends? We all know about the curse of the Billy Goat and Steve Bartman. Cubs fans are praying this is the year those things are put in the past. They're halfway there.
Blaze of Glory: Arizona Diamondbacks -- The club got off to a 20-8 start. They're now 46-46 and hold a one-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West. We'd say that was going down in a blaze of glory.
It's My Life: Josh Hamilton -- We all know about Hamilton's unbelievable comeback. He was consumed by drugs and was headed toward death. Now, he's an MVP candidate who has a whopping 91 RBIs. The opening to this song's chorus fits the Texas slugger perfectly: It's my life/ It's now or never/ I ain't gonna live forever/ I just want to live while I'm alive.
Bad Medicine: Ryan Church -- The Mets outfielder suffered a concussion on May 20 (his second of the season) has been sidelined by postconcussion syndrome on and off for almost two months. The Mets have been accused of not handling the injury properly and now the players' union is getting involved.
Never Say Goodbye: Barry Bonds -- As teams try to figure out how to make that second-half surge, whose name has come up a few times in recent weeks? Bonds. Barry Bonds.
Have a Nice Day: Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, Mariners skipper John McLaren and the aforementioned Randolph all got their walking papers within four days of each other.
Who Says You Can't Go Home: We couldn't think of a good one for this song so we want you to submit some choice via that form to your right and we'll post a couple later on.
Update: We had suggestions for teams that have horrible road records (the Giants, 17-28; Braves, 13-31) and great home records (Cubs, 35-11; Brewers, 30-15. We had a solid entry for Richie Sexson, who was recently waived. But the best e-mail we got was from Ray Bailey of Ottawa, Ill., who says Blue Jays skipper Cito Gaston should get this honor. We couldn't agree more. Nobody saw that hiring come.
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