Published On: Tue, Jul 13th, 2021

Paul Sullivan: The All-Star Break Is Upon Us. It’s Time to Assess the News and Nonsense of the First Half—and Where Baseball Goes From Here.

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By Paul Sullivan From Chicago Tribune CHICAGO—If you fell asleep during baseball’s All-Star break in 2019 and woke up today, you’d be scratching your head at all the changes that have taken place. Seven-inning games in doubleheaders. Ghost runners in extra innings. Pitchers checked for illegal substances coming off the mound. Your favorite players on the injured list with a hamstring, calf or oblique injury. Well, maybe that last one isn’t true, though “abundance of caution” is the M.O. when it comes to any sort of physical pain or mental anguish. Either way, baseball finds itself in an altered state at the midway mark of a pivotal season that could affect its short- and long-term future. Halfway through the 2021 season, which will be more than twice as long as the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, we’re seeing more injuries, lower batting averages, fewer starters lasting six innings, increased strikeouts and a record …

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