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Open Thread: A's Half Season and Home Run Derby

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The A's first half is over and the team finishes at the same number of wins and losses. There were quite a few number of highlights and a number of lowlights.

The highlights included the three-run bomb that Scutaro hit off of Rivera, Jack Cust and his exploits, the improbable comeback off of Jonathan Papelbon and Eric Chavez proving that he can come up big. And the A's starting pitching has been a highlight nearly all year long, which was in part rewarded today with Danny Haren being named the American League All Star starter. Congratulations to Haren on a splendid accomplishment! I just hope Haren comes back healthy. That's my main concern.

Speaking of health, that was by far the lowlight of the year so far. And now, it appears like Rich Harden may be gone for quite a while, if not the entire season. So that ultimately means that Joe Kennedy and Lenny DiNardo will be a part of the A's rotation for quite a while longer depending on when Esteban Loaiza can make his way back.

Any way, I know a great many ANers are disappointed by the season thus far, but I do believe that this team has been successful by remaining near the .500 mark. Just think where they would've been had the starting pitching not been as remarkable as it is now.

This is also a thread where ANers can make their bold predictions about the home run derby tonight. Last season I thought it would come down to David Ortiz and Ryan Howard and my final prediction was Ryan Howard. I'm going to say that Cecil's son is going to take the crown tonight, but it also wouldn't surprise me to see a Howard repeat. Who is your pick?