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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

All Star Shame

Sorry for the lame post title, but I'm sure bloggers and legitimate journalists alike are pulling out this hoary old chestnut this morning. I stayed up and watched the whole freaking thing and I just have to say the whole business leaves a bad taste in my mouth. When the opening ceremonies are more compelling than the entire 15 inning game, then we have problems. Just a few of my beefs:

1. The All-Star Game should not count. All because of a bunch of panty-waist whiners bitched and moaned about the tie game a few years ago, Bud Selig overreacted and decreed the All-Star Game would determine home field advantage in the World Series. Until then, home field was earned by the team with the best record. I still believe this is the way it should be. Having the best record should entitle you to something and what better than home field advantage in the most important series of the year? Basing home field advantage on the results of last night's game is just pathetic and wrong.

2. The All Star Game used to be fun. Gee, Bud, remember that? I don't want the game to count. What I want is for the guys to have a good time and not take it seriously. I want more moments like Big Z's lazy curveball in on Manny Ramirez. That was awesome and to me, the best point of the night, aside from Aaron Cook bailing out Dan Uggla. Nice moments, but I still had more fun watching the celebrity softball game the night before. Why can't the All Star Game be like that? Sure, it's cheesy, but it's fun. I think we seem to be missing the point of all of this. Can't we just have the best players in baseball goof around for 9 innings without trying to win so nobody gets hurt or overextended? Which brings me to point 3.

3. If a guy pitches the Sunday before the All-Star Game, then he has no business pitching in the All Star Game. I don't care about pitch counts or any of that other bullshit. He shouldn't even be warming up. I about shit myself when Ryan Dempster came into the game yesterday. I'm sure the Rays and Dbacks were real thrilled to see Kazmir and Webb enter the game as well. Francona and Hurdle both handled things very carefully and diplomatically, but the potential for disaster is simply to great to risk throwing these guys out there.

4. The whole thing is just silly and never lives up to the hype. Last night, the game went 15 innings. Both managers emptied their benches and the game mercifully ended on a sac fly. Blah. What if Lidge had managed to get out of the inning? Would Francona have allowed Kazmir to pitch? How would the game have been decided if he didn't? Would the AL have forfeited? All of this is unanswered, but again, completely silly. Just make it an exhibition game again. Please? If it has to be the MLB's version of the Pro Bowl, so be it.

My complaints aside, the opening ceremonies were very nice. I thought it was cool how they positioned the Hall of Famers at their respective positions to greet the All Stars. Very classy. (One question: Where was Joe Morgan? Not that I missed him, but he called the Home Run Derby Monday. Too good to rub shoulders with Sandberg et al?) I really do enjoy the hoopla of the event, but the game itself is always disappointing. Come on Bud, just make it fun again. I'll still watch, I promise. It's the only frigging game on until the break is over and I needs my baseball like some people need their crack.

Highlights for me:

Carlos Zambrano-Pure filth, plus a touch of humor. His lazy curve over Manny's head had me rolling. That's the kind of thing I want to see. Guys goofing on each other, having a good time. They should have let the El Toro Loco hit. Game would have been over in 9.

Aaron Cook: Cook pitched 3 strong, bailing out Uggla in his first frame by inducing three outs while the bases were loaded. No wonder the Rockies won't make this guy available, he's nails. Fuck J.D. Drew, here's your MVP bitches.

Ryan Dempster: Ryan Dempster came in in the 9th after pitching on Sunday. He struck out the side in a display of pure nastiness. If he pitches as effectively in the second half, the Cubs will be money. Demp is legit.

Russell Martin: Martin replaced The Soto-Rooter and was all kinds of good, blocking the plate and throwing out baserunners. He personally extended the game a couple innings by himself with his great D.

I would have liked to see our offensive guys contribute a bit more, but hell, no one really did much offensively last night. Soto allowed two steals, but I think those were mostly on the pitcher. Not much Geo could do.

Selig needs to sit down and rework this game. Go back to record determining home field advantage and make the game about fun again.

BallHype: hype it up!


Daft Funk said...

I think the funniest part is that the whole reason they went to the "This time it counts" is because they said that would ensure that there would never be another tie. We were about 1 more inning from that last night.

LoserPoet said...

Amen Daft. Supposedly, we would have seen David Wright pitch for the NL and Longoria for the AL. So theoretically, home field advantage in the World Series could have been decided by which position player pitched the best. Wha? I'm sorry, that's just retarded. The tie a few years ago didn't bother me the way it seemed to have incensed some people. Both teams emptied their bullpens, they played as long as was prudent, and the game ended. Big whup. I think they should put an inning limit on the game. No more than 11 innings. Position players can get worn out and hurt as well. It's just not worth it.

Besides, a team works all season to earn its record. Best record should get the spoils.

E-Claire said...

I agree that best record should get home field. The Mets have been on a tear, and the Rays are having their best season ever. Could you imagine the backlash if David Wright or Longoria had hurt themselves pitching in the All-Star game? Things need to change...

LoserPoet said...

Right on, e-claire. If Wright or Longoria had twisted an ankle falling off the mound, their organizations and fans would have a royal meltdown. I just don't think it's fair to make the game 'count' when teams have more important games to worry about down the stretch. Things do need to change, but as long as Selig is in charge, it'll continue to be a half-assed mess . . .