Tuesday, July 11, 2006

My All-Star game review

It figured that Fox started the broadcast by showing girls in a hot tub. Nothing says “Play Ball” better than wet bikinis.

The best part of the “Mid Summer’s Classic” was being able to see a game at glorious PNC Stadium without the Pirates playing.

You have to feel sorry for the National League. This is now like kicking your dog.

Not to second guess NL skipper, Phil “I look like one of the inmates on PRISON BREAK” Garner, but he had the tying run on second with two outs and sent Carlos Lee, a .290 hitter to the plate while Normar Garciaparra, who has the league's leading average and after the 7th is batting over .400 is left sitting on the bench.

There’s a new nerd statistic called WPA (Winning Performance After) which measures how clutch each player’s performance is to his team. Nomar Garciaparra’s is through the roof. Guess who has one of the lowest in all of baseball. Yep. All-Star A-Rod.

Would anyone like to guess what color Tim McCarver’s hair is? He gave his usual performance of telling us nothing but the obvious in the most overstated way while mis-identifying or mispronouncing every player he named.

The American League team should have just been named “the Chicago White Sox and Friends”. I think every member of the Palehose made the All-Star squad except Jeff Nelson.

Why would anyone in their right mind keep score of an All-Star game? And that goes for the announcers.

I know we’re supposed to care who wins because of home field advantage in the World Series (yeah, those Tampa Ray Devil Rays and Kansas City Royals were really playing their hearts out for that prize) but truthfully, I couldn’t give a shit. Plus, I’m still so thrilled France lost the World Cup that nothing else matters.

It was fun seeing the two Yankees on the left side of the infield and two Red Sox on the right. And Big Papi played a damn good first base.

For the protection of the American public, Fox was allowed to televise the game in HD only because Randy Johnson wasn’t in it.

How come Los Angeles hasn’t hosted the All-Star game since 1980? Lasorda is no longer managing. It’s safe to come back!

Nice job by Brad Penny, throwing at 98 miles an hour. With the Dodgers he throws one pitch over 86, hurts his side and is out for the year.

Searing question by Jeannie Zelasko to David Wright’s father upon learning David was once in a food fight: “Was it colorful?” I'm sure they're grooming her for Fox News.

Just when you thought Fox coverage couldn’t get any more repugnant than that insipid animated baseball, they unveil the “Shoulders, knees, and toes” nursery rhyme. KIDS AREN’T WATCHING!! The game is on at 10 at night. Commercials are for FLOMAX to shrink enlarged prostates. Treat fans with at least a modicum of respect.

The Future’s Game is a great idea. It really gives you a preview of the big league stars of tomorrow. But why hold it on the Sunday before the All-Star game when no one is watching and it’s competing with a full slate of ML games? Wouldn’t it be better to play it on Wednesday when there is absolutely NO major sports going on?

If they wanted to make the Home Run Derby really count for something they should award the winner a year’s bye on steroid testing.

David Ortiz said the Home Run Derby would never mess up his swing because, in his own eloquent words, “I swing out of my butt all the time”.

Great not to see Barry Bonds although I always enjoy the hostile reception he receives. And he’s probably hated more in Pittsburgh than anywhere else.

Congratulations to AL skipper, Ozzie Guillan for going the entire All-Star week without calling anyone a fag. And kudos to Joe Buck for not asking what he thought of the Tony Awards.

On my best day I will never be as good a baseball announcer as Joe Buck on his worst day. Another excellent job. And his work in those Holiday Inn commercials proves he’s a better comic actor than anyone on a Fox comedy.

I love that there was a tribute to Roberto Clemente BUT NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FRIGGIN’ GAME!! And has commissioner Bud Selig EVER washed his hair? I especially enjoyed when he got his foot caught in the mic cord. Had he taken a header, THAT would have been the time to play “Shoulders, knees, and toes”.

The game was pretty boring until the 9th inning. Normally I love a pitching duel but not in an All-Star game.

Great clutch hit by the All-Star most people never heard of – Michael Young. Maybe that’s because he’s on the Texas Rangers and when was the last time a Texas Rangers’ game was on national television? I think when they were in the playoffs a few years ago but even then I can’t be sure.

The MVP Award looked like the crystals Lex Luthor stole out of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.

Now that the American League has home field advantage yet again, I think to make the World Series the least bit competitive the American League would have to win 4 of 7 to become champions and the National League would have to win 2.

See you next summer in…I dunno, I’m assuming any park but Dodger Stadium.


VP81955 said...

Next year's game is at PacBell/SBC/AT&T Park. You know, the one in the China Basin district of San Francisco. (Yes, it breaks the practice of alternating leagues, but the poor NL needs every break it can get.)

Also, for those who don't know, Fox has reupped with MLB for seven more years, through 2013, but all four Division series and one of the two LCS will go to Turner. (Fox will do the ALCS in odd-numbered years, the NLCS in evens.) Turner will also begin a Sunday afternoon MLB game of the week (separate from its Braves package) beginning in 2008. Finally, in '07 the World Series will begin on a Tuesday, as it did from '77-'84, instead of a Saturday.

Perhaps by the time the new contract ends, Fox will realize there is baseball beyond the obnoxious Yankees and the we're-so-yuppie-smart-we're-cool Red Sox. As a Nationals fan, I can only hope.

Anonymous said...

Chicago White Sox and Friends... yessir. After years, hell, decades, no, a century of having to endure NY Yankees, NY Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Boston Red Sox shoved down our throats...(and the Eastcoast Sports Programming Network still does it everday on SportsCenter and all their other shows) a nice and welcome change.

It speaks to a bigger issue, but I'll take my valium and just enjoy the AL victory....

CM said...

Last All-Star game in St. Louis-- 1966.

Anonymous said...

Missed the actual game but saw a few minutes of the post-game and thought it was hilarious when McCarver and Buck were giggling like little girls as Buck said, "You're stuck with us for seven more years!" I think that's pretty good announcing - every baseball fan I know hates at least one of those two.

Mary Stella said...

I groaned and wanted to throw popcorn at the television for years when McGarver was a Phillies commentator. If you chugged every time he says something stupid or incorrect, your blood alcohol level would be 25%. I still remember him theorizing that Gary "Sarge" Matthews might have misplayed a ball because he got dizzy running in from deep center.

Mike Barer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mike Barer said...

The tide will turn. The NFC won every Super Bowl for 15 straight years and now the AFC is stronger.
The interesting thing is that the only National League world series victories in the last few years have been by upstarts Florida and Arizona.
It used to take forever to build a winner out of an expansion team.

VP81955 said...

Mary Stella said...
I groaned and wanted to throw popcorn at the television for years when McCarver was a Phillies commentator. If you chugged every time he says something stupid or incorrect, your blood alcohol level would be 25%. I still remember him theorizing that Gary "Sarge" Matthews might have misplayed a ball because he got dizzy running in from deep center.

You'd have thought working with the great Harry Kalas in the Phillies booth might have helped Tim, but no.

And to think last night, Gary Matthews Jr. of Texas played for the American League. My oh my, we are getting old...

The Curmudgeon said...

benson's comment is on the money. We refer to the national telecasts in our house as the "New York Game of the Week." The Dodgers and Giants are grandfathered in. Because they won the 2005 World Series, our White Sox are now considered worthy of frequent regional consideration on Fox.

Or maybe they're hoping for a total Ozzie meltdown. (I don't think it's ever gonna happen -- he's smarter than the New York -- I mean -- the national media give him credit for.)

But the story in Chicago this morning is that the Cubs' lone All-Star representative, pitcher and regular meltdown-ee Carlos Zambrano, was knocked out of the game before it started -- hit on the elbow by a fungo bat as he was giving an interview on Venezuelan TV. White Sox Coach Joey Cora, who was hitting infield for the AL Stars, was the perpetrator.

The few remaining serious Cub fans (although business is still brisk at the Wrigley Saloon, and likely to remain so) can only shrug and say, "It figures. What else can happen to us?"

What does a professional comedy writer and one-time baseball announcer do with these facts?

Anonymous said...

I still remember him theorizing that Gary "Sarge" Matthews might have misplayed a ball because he got dizzy running in from deep center.

Mary, this reminds me of the classic story about Padres' announcer Jerry Coleman's call...Flyball to deep center...the centerfielder is going back to the wall, his head hits the wall...it's rolling back to second base....

Rays profile said...

Sadly, Ken, you won't see another all-star game in LA until:
1. There's a new Dodger Stadium. MLB is giving out all-star games as a reward to cities that spend tax bucks on new ballparks (yes, I know SF's owner financed it himself; that's beside the point).
2. All the new ballparks have had their turns.
Here's a post that sums it up from a baseball message board:
You're right that the San Francisco Giants will host the 2007 game but nothing is definite after that yet. I found this article in Wikipedia about the topic:

Among the cities in the running for 2008's All-Star Game are Anaheim (whose stadium was so completely transformed in the late 1990s and early 2000s that some people almost consider it a whole new entity), Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Toronto. Commissioner Selig said during the 2005 All-Star Break that the 2008 game will definitely go to an American League city. His statement would put the cities of Phoenix, Washington, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and San Diego in position for a run at the 2009 All-Star Game.

Recently (March 2006), it has been rumored that the New York Yankees would get the game, as a way to send the historic stadium off before the new Yankee Stadium opens next door in 2009.

Commissioner Bud Selig recently announced that Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City will likely host an All-Star game sometime between 2010 and 2014. He also said that the earliest an All-Star Game likely could be held at Chase Field would be 2011, when the ballpark will be 13 years old. This is because St. Louis with its new Busch Stadium and adjacent Ballpark Village is the favorite to host in 2009.

(And I'd add DC getting 2011)

Mike Barer said...

So what you'r saying is that Bud will be the commision forever practically. Pete Rozzelle had a long run in the NFL, but Bud is the anti-pete. About the only thing positive Bud has done is bring money into the sport.

VP81955 said...

Ken, you might get a kick out of this hilarious marketing blunder involving one of your old teams:

From the Baltimore Sun's Orioles message board:

Oops - bobblehead promotion

If anyone is planning to attend Saturday's game and pick up the Brian Roberts bobblehead doll that has been promoted about 25 times per game on TV, you will not be receiving the doll that day. Rather, you will receive a voucher that will allow you to claim your bobblehead at a later date.

The manufacturer apparently did not realize that Brian Roberts is a white guy and no one noticed the mistake until the shipment of the much darker skin tone dolls arrived.

Somehow, this seems appropriate for this franchise.

Ironically, earlier this month Baltimore's AA Bowie affiliate gave away some Brian Roberts bobbleheads; as far as I know, that doll was Caucasian.

Cuban Pete can't be happy with this embarrassment...or 15-1 losses to Texas, either. But as a Nationals fan (Jim Bowden, you made a great deal with Cincinnati), that's not my problem, is it?

Mike Barer said...

The owner of the Orioles should get an award for turning a Yankees calibre team into a Royals calabre team.

Anonymous said...

But that just tells you that Ripken was the glue that held that team together.