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A look back at the first half of the 2011 MLB season

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MLB Baseball Stadium

With Major League Baseball recently wrapping up its 2011 All-Star Game festivities, teams are now getting back from the break and gearing up for the second half of the season. There are currently 17 teams either leading their division or within six games of the leader, meaning more than half of the league is within shouting distance of making the playoffs. That's good news for fans as more competition yields more exciting games.

Before moving onto the second half of the MLB season, let's take a quick look back at how the season has shaped up thus far (all standings are as of the MLB All-Star break).

AL East

  W L GB
Boston Red Sox 55 35
New York Yankees 53 35 1
Tampa Bay Rays 49 41 6
Toronto Blue Jays 45 47 10.5
Baltimore Orioles 36 52 18

The American League East is once again considered the strongest division in baseball, boasting arguably three of the top four teams in all of baseball. After an awful 2-10 start to the season, the Boston Red Sox sit atop the division, holding a narrow lead over their rival, the New York Yankees, at the All-Star break. Both teams will undoubtedly continue to fight for the division, while the Tampa Bay Rays hope to quietly sneak up on the two baseball powerhouses.

Best Moment: Yankees legend Derek Jeter hit a solo home run during the Yankees July 9th game vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, reaching the historic milestone of 3,000 hits for his career. Nearly 50,000 fans piled into Yankee Stadium for the big moment. Fittingly, the Yankees won the game 5 to 4.


2011 Stanley Cup Recap: Bruins take down the Canucks

After two months and 89 playoff games, the National Hockey League has finally crowned its 2011 Stanley Cup champion as the Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals last night.

It was definitely not an easy road for the Bruins this postseason, having to win three Game 7's in four rounds, but it made the win that much sweeter for their fans (as evidenced by the video below). The championship is the first for Boston in nearly 40 years, and it solidified Boston as the city of champions in the last decade, with all four pro teams winning at least one title.B's goalie Tim Thomas stopped a NHL playoff record 798 shots over the course of the postseason and won the Conn Smythe Award as the playoffs’ most valuable player. The Stanley Cup will make its way through the streets of Boston as the Bruins celebrate with fans during the team's victory parade this Saturday.

In Vancouver, the Stanley Cup Finals did not end as fans had hoped and, well, they acted a little crazy. Scratch that, A LOT crazy. Downtown Vancouver was filled with angry fans flooding the streets, flipping cars, starting fires and harassing the local police. The city at least is living up to its reputation; they did the same thing in 1994 after they lost in the Stanley Cup Finals to the New York Rangers.


Liz in the City

One of the perks of being based in central Connecticut is that New York City is only a few hours away by car or train. What follows is a “typical” day of playing hooky in the city.

8:17 a.m.: Awake (sort of) after snoozing my alarm several times. I don’t really like having to wake up at a decent time on my day off.

Liz and the Home Run Apple

9:12 a.m.: My boyfriend, Andrew, and I are driving to the New Haven train station to catch a 10:10 train, but we get stuck in traffic near Hartford. Hope we still make it on time, otherwise lunch plans are kaput.

9:52 a.m.: We get to the station in plenty of time, but the parking garage next to the train station is full, so Andrew drops me off to go get tickets and snacks while he finds a new place to park. He makes me promise not to leave without him. I guess, if I must.

10:02 a.m.: Andrew arrives, and we board the train with tix and water in hand.

10:10 a.m.: On our way to The City!

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