The Cardinals are tied for first place in the NL Central at the All-Star break, which seems to bode well for them given the number of injuries they've had, and how poorly they've played at times compared to career norms. Pujols had a terrible start and was on the 15-day DL; David Freese, our best third baseman, was out for six weeks; Holliday was on the DL; Schumaker, Punto, Craig have all been on the DL; Colby Rasmus, who I thought would have a breakout year, has gone into a deep slump and may get benched soon; the bullpen has been horrible and half of our relievers have been released or sent down; our starting pitching has been poor over the last month, etc. And yet: there we are in first place. If Pujols becomes Pujols again (at least for the last three months he may be a Cardinal), and Berkman and Holliday can continue their fine seasons; and if the Cardinals' starters can hold up decently and LaRussa lets the new young bullpen arms do their thing (Salas, Sanchez, Boggs, Motte, Lynn, all of whom are young, power pitchers), I think the Cardinals pull away in the second half.
For now, it's the All-Star break, with the attendant festivities, including the celebrity softball game. Apparently SI swimsuit model Kate Upton was playing. That's wise marketing by MLB: