Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Mets magic, Yankee shame -- and other All-Star thoughts



The National League has not won an All-Star Game in my daughter’s lifetime. She’s going into fifth grade this fall.

My son, a high school sophomore, was 4 when the NL last won, back in 1996 in Philadelphia.

Sigh. We didn’t want home field advantage in the World Series anyway.

Nevertheless, I love the All-Star Game. It’s my favorite game of the year. And there were some pretty sweet moments during this year’s festivities in San Francisco.

Highlights:

The Jose Reyes coming out party! First he gets to catch the first pitch from Willie Mays. Then he goes 3 for 4 with a double and a run scored and a stolen base. I think he was the only player to stay in the entire game. Jose was denied his chance to play last year after getting spiked on the hand. I’d say he made up for lost time.

Carlos Beltran. Met-hater Tim McCarver was recounting Beltran’s unfortunate non-swing to end NLCS Game Seven just as our man Carlos launched a triple! Hush, Tim.

David Wright went one-for-three and had a great diving stop to send ARod weeping back to the dugout.

Note that the Mets wore their traditional – and beautiful – pinstripes and blue caps in the game for the first time in years.

Yankee suckage. The stench of Yankee shame was all over the game, from Jeter’s slapping into a double play to ARod’s fielding lapses.

ARod’s no Pete Rose. ARod can’t score from second on a single to deep right? Junior had him thrown out by about five feet. Now, Pete Rose has out by that much, too, but he wanted to win and slammed into Ray Fosse. But ARod’s no Charlie Hustle, stopping and nearly curling into the fetal position as Russ Martin tagged him. Oh, and you just know what was running through ARod’s mind: “Should I try to slap the ball out of his glove?” It’s not like dude doesn’t have a history of doing that.

Willie Mays tribute. It was obvious that MLB was looking to recreate the warm and fuzzy moment with Ted Williams at Fenway in 1999 by asking Willie to walk in from centerfield fence with much fanfare. It worked.

Lowlights:

Taco Bell competition. What the heck was that? The West Michigan Whitecaps offer better contests between innings.

Jeanne Zelasko. Seriously, how does she stay employed? She says stupid things, flubs her lines and is pretty much an embarrassment to all of humanity.

Billy Wagner, who pretended he was Aaron Heilman and coughed up a two-run blast to Victor Martinez, which ended up being the difference in the game.

Steroids discussion. Tim McCarver, Joe Buck and Ken Rosenthal spent a half inning rationalizing away the black cloud that hovers over the National Pastime.

Jeter interviewing Willie Mays. My wife has a theory that Fox assigned Jeter to “interview” Mays, and that Mays, a good former Met, knows the face of evil when he sees it and refused to participate unless Junior Griffey joined him.

Bonds’ cheap shot at Hank Aaron. Bonds went on about how if ARod breaks the home run record, he’ll show up to watch. Obviously that was a blast to Hank, who has told all that he has no interest being part of the Bonds circus as he approaches the Hammer’s mark.

Paula Cole singing “God Bless America.” Talk about drama. Coles is famous for not shaving her armpits. When she came out in that off-the-shoulder blue dress, I was wondering if Fox was going to force a furry view our way. Pits were in view for just one close-up, and apparently Paula now shaves.

McCovey Cove. The graphics for the game and AT&T Park were based around balls splashing into the Cove. Yet the only ball to get wet was the one Eric Byrne tossed in so his swimming dog could retrieve it. The dog, sensing the shame of it all, swam away in the other direction. And can you blame him.

Next year the spectacle heads to the Bronx where there will be no kayaks and swimming dogs.

4 comments:

G-Fafif said...

I usually vote the straight MGIM ticket for the All-Star Game but this year I couldn't quite bring myself to punch out for Alou based on his general unavailability so I made my third outfielder Eric Byrnes. I must have known instinctively that if he wasn't on the team his poor bulldog would be put up to public embarrassment. But he came through like a champ.

You've pretty much covered accurately the bases of what made this ASG tick. Seeing Paula Cole makes me wonder...where have all the N.L. wins gone?

Joe said...

THAT'S what the logo was!!! Ohhhhhh! I couldn't for the life of me figure out how that logo made sense until now. I can't believe I didn't peice that together.

That's stupid.

Although I loved that bit with Eric Byrnes and his dog.

I'd have to say, except for the national league losing, I loved this all star game. I usually never watch the entire game, but it kept me entertained.

SteveJRogers said...

The lack of splashdowns despite all the marketing of the ASG around it reminds me of Chris Russo taking a caller to task about PacSBCATT Bell when the caller mistakeningly called it a "band box" just because of the existence of McCovey Cove. All Russo said was to ask the caller exactly how many homers did he think landed in McCovey Cove.

Clearly it was much, much less than what the caller thought, and the majority have been hit by Barry Bonds. You'd have a better chance of hitting that glove out there than you do splashing a ball into the cove!

Can't wait for next year to see Jerome Ave. blocked off with fans, probably paid by FOX and ESPN at the HR Derby and the Game hoping to get a ball (assuming it doesn't land squarely on the subway tracks) despite the fact that only one person has blasted a homer that has left the confines in either of its forms, and that may just be an urban legend (Josh Gibson)

Mets Guy in Michigan said...

Steve, we should start a pool: How many chalk outlines will there be on the sidewalks on Jerome Ave. after all those people appear at the derby!