Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I love the All-Star Game. I never miss it. I once traveled halfway across the country to see one in person. But who are we kidding that the outcome really means something? Talk about schmuck bait. The winning league gets home field advantage for the World Series. I’m sure the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs players played extra hard.
Clayton Kershaw should have started the game for the National League, not Adam Wainwright. Cardinal manager Mike Matheny clearly picked his own guy. But if the game really “meant” something he would have started the best pitcher in baseball.
Besides, wouldn’t it have been great to have the first American League batter – Derek Jeter – face Clayton Kershaw?
To me baseball has the only All-Star Game where the defense plays as hard as the offense. Compare that to the NBA All-Star Game where the final score is usually 189-174 and the NFL Pro Bowl Game where… do they still even have the NFL Pro Bowl Game?
Target Field in Minnesota is one of the most magnificent ballparks I’ve ever seen. Bring snow plows most of the year, but if you’re a baseball fan it’s worth a trip.
Nice to see Rod Carew throw out the first pitch. Who says there aren’t great Jews in baseball?
Shame on Fox for not once mentioning Tony Gwynn. Nor Don Zimmer. Nor Bob Welch. Nor Jerry Coleman.
But they took time out to show Terry Crews sitting in the stands and smiling like a Cheshire cat. Note to Fox: When you feature one of your “stars” and have to identify who he is and what show he’s on, he’s not a “star.”
The home run hitting contest is boring. Three hours of batting practice and rules that seem like they’re making them up as they go along. Here’s how you fix it: Put ESPN’s Chris Berman in a booth just beyond the centerfield fence. First home run to hit him wins.
The Derek Jeter tributes were lovely because the affection and admiration everyone has for him is genuine and earned. Compare that to any Hollywood function honoring Harvey Weinstein.
It was a great moment when Jeter left the game and received a huge standing ovation. However, I feel he deserved a bigger gesture. I would have had Jesus Christ rise and present him with a Chevy Tahoe.
Very cool having the late Bob Shepherd deliver the PA announcement for Derek Jeter.
And Jeter does have a flair for the dramatic. Two more hits last night. Those may be the only two hits on Fox this summer.
Note to field reporters: Don't ask players what "emotions" they're feeling right now. It's a stupid question. What do you think their emotions are? No ballplayer has ever answered that question without seven cliches -- even the ones who can't speak English.
Tom Verducci is a welcome addition to the Fox broadcast crew. And Harold Reynolds is… a nice guy. Still, it was just a pleasure not hearing Tim McCarver confuse Barry Bonds with Barry Manilow.
Let the hate begin but I'm a Joe Buck fan.
God, I’m getting tired of Idina Menzel just belting the shit out of every song. It’s not the home run hitting contest for singers.
Glad Mike Trout won the MVP award. Attention Dodger fans: the best, most exciting outfielder in Southern California is not Yasiel Puig.
Spiffy beards, guys. Half the players looked like the French prisoners chained to walls in THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK. Tell me girls, does that look do it for you?
Late in the game when there were substitutions in the field, Fox never bothered to show them. For many of these guys it was their one moment in the sun. Instead, Joe Buck would have to say “ground ball to Starlin Castro, who’s the new shortstop…”
David Price didn’t get into the game. I was hoping he’d come in with a big “For Sale” sign on the back of his Rays uniform.
Nice that commissioner Bud Selig said his legacy is that baseball is now making way more money. Of course only 30% of Dodger fans can watch the games now, playoffs last until Christmas, and cheater Alex Rodriguez is practically a billionaire, but yeah, owners can all give you change for a ten.
The last time Minnesota had the All-Star Game was 1985, the first year Bud Selig wore that suit. Considering he's worn it every day since, it still looks pretty good.
Not shown on TV: A protester jumped from a parking ramp, scaled a ladder, and hung a banner on the Diamondvision Board that said LOVE WATER, NOT OIL. Instead we saw Derek Jeter's parents for the millionth time.
Has an umpire ever thrown anyone out of an All-Star Game?
I marvel at how great these athletes are.
Seriously, I can’t get over them not once mentioning Tony Gwynn. Truly disgraceful.
Since each team must have at least one representative there were a couple of All-Stars that wouldn’t even make some of the other team’s major league rosters. All-Star Tyson Ross of San Diego has 10 losses and only 2 wins in his last 10 starts.
Meanwhile, Garrett Richards of the Angels is 10-2 and didn’t make the All-Star cut.
It pissed me off that ballplayers negotiate bonuses in their contracts for making the All-Star team. For the multi-millions they’re being paid they’re SUPPOSED to make the All-Star team. They should give back half their salary if they DON'T make the All-Star tam.
Once you get down to the end of the game the All-Stars are people most casual fans have never heard of. Charlie Blackmon? Devin Mesoraco? Terry Crews? Oh wait. One of those is the Fox star.
Congratulations to the American League for winning. We’ll see you back at Target Field in November when the Twins get in the World Series and have the home field advantage. Bring a sweater.
And now that there have been a gazillion tributes to Derek Jeter, if you want to use Idina Menzel, let her sing "Let It Go."
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM