Ryan Braun made his fifth straight All-Star Game with another monster first half, hitting .306 with an NL-leading 24 home runs. Overall, his numbers are pretty similar to his 2011 MVP season: .306/.391/.599 in 2012 versus .332/.397/.597. Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker addresses the complicated question of whether this vindicates Braun following his offseason "positive" drug test.
Other links to check out from the SweetSpot network:
Diane at Value Over Replacement Grit has a fun list of the players with the most games played at each position who never made an All-Star Game.
Chris Quick of Bay City Ball has some second-half questions for the Giants. The No. 1 question, of course: Will Tim Lincecum get things turned around?
Redleg Nation has a midseason review of the Reds lineup, comparing preseason projections with current production.
Joe Aiello of The View from the Bleachers has four simple ideas to improve the All-Star festitivies.
Dillon Gee of the Mets has been hospitalized with a blood clot. Mets Today looks at what this means for the second-half rotation.
Susan Petrone with some great -- and not-so-great -- Indians moments at the All-Star Game.
Bill Baer found a few first-half positives for the Phillies.
With apologies to John Denver: It's a Rocky Mountain low for the Rockies after a dismal first half.
Braves catching prospect Christian Bethancourt played in the Futures Game despite an anemic batting line in Double-A. Ethan Purser has a good review of Bethancourt's season and his performance in the Futures Game.