The end of June also marks the halfway point of the year. We're officially in the seventh month of the season and our blogs continue to make 2015 a banner year for SB Nation and Vox Media. With the NBA and NHL drafts happening in June, you knew it was going to be a big month for those leagues. And obviously, baseball shines big time during the summer months so you're getting a couple of baseball sites this month.
The following are the best of the month for June 2015, so stand up, salute, tap your sticks, do an endzone dance and just generally celebrate this group.
Having the first pick in the NBA Draft comes with a lot of responsibility for both the NBA team and the SB Nation teamsite that covers it. Time will tell if the Minnesota Timberwolves made the right choice with Karl-Anthony Towns but we already know that Canis Hoopus hit a home run; their draft coverage was 100 percent spot on. Leading up to the big night they covered all the little twists and turns culminating in this fantastic analysis of Town's career potential.
Toronto Maple Leafs fans haven't had much to look forward to in recent years, but the tide seemed to finally turn for hockey's most popular team at this year's NHL Draft. At Pension Plan Puppets, the excitement was palpable as the team drafted steal after steal, following along with Scott Wheeler's unparalleled draft expertise. He followed up the draft with an excellent interview of Leafs' pick Jeremy Bracco.
Following the draft, Achariya Rezak chimed in with this great piece on rituals of manhood and changing lives. And away from the on-ice specifics, PPP has done amazing work shining a light on other issues involving sports and hockey fandom, as this piece from Katie Flynn show well. When you realize all of this great work can be found on one website, it's pretty clear that PPP is deserving as a featured blog this month.
Have you noticed the St. Louis Cardinals are really, really good (again)? They are -- and so is Viva El Birdos, our fantastic, insanely-smart blog that covers everything Cards.
Site manager Ben Humphrey and staff hit that intense Cardinals fandom with everything they might want, whether it's getting to know every single player in their farm system, analyzing the dead weight on the roster, or breaking down Yadier Molina's pitch framing.
VEB also isn't afraid to ask tough questions, like whether the Cardinals are ready for an openly gay player.
With the Washington Nationals as one of the best baseball teams in the league, we're proud to say Federal Baseball is one of the very best sites on the network. As site manager, Patrick Reddington does a splendid job covering the team from every angle, whether he's digging deep into the depth chart to see how the club is surviving injuries or talking to Ian Desmond moments after a 450+ blast, and he has truly earned his credentials he has with the club.
Federal Baseball also has excellent analysis, like trying to figure out the exact moment pitchers started respecting Bryce Harper, as well as a fantastic community which regularly creates some of the best fan posts anywhere.
And even with one of the best clubs in baseball winning like they're expected to, Patrick and his team at Federal Baseball know how to keep it light-hearted.
One other note. Mile High Report is a great community that has been featured here several times before so we were saddened to hear that a long-time contributor to Mile High Report passed away last weekend. Bronco Mike wrote as much about the Broncos over the last four years as anyone. MHR is remembering their colleague and friend here. Feel free to pop over and express your condolences or make a donation.
That's it for June. See you in the second half of 2015 with college football and pro football looming large in the coming months.