Needless to say, I am thrilled that the National League won the All-Star Game 5-1. I just finished reviewing some of the video from the game, and with my scorecard (yes, I actually keep track of the game by scoring it at home), I have a few things to comment about the game.
1. Loved the opening ceremonies again. Cheers were great for the Diamondbacks reps, and the boo birds were out for EVERYBODY wearing a Red Sox, Dodgers and Giants uniform (more for the Dodgers for some reason).
2. Way to go Buck. Must have mixed up the pages in his script when trying to introduce Miguel Cabrera (as Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez).
2½. Of the 84 players named as All-Stars, four Yankees and Chipper Jones didn't make the trip out west. I can understand Chipper not making the trip, and even ARod's absence is understandable. But if you're an All-Star that CAN make the trip to the ASG, even if you're not on the team...MAKE THE TRIP!!!
3. Did they say that Roy Halladay only threw nineteen pitches totaling two innings of work??? And why did Jered Weaver throw for one inning? He could have easily stayed out there longer, Skip.
4. It's one thing to get hurt before the All-Star Game, but Ron Washington is going to have to explain to the Boston fans why Josh Beckett got hurt (of course it's not his fault, but he's going to be blamed for something down the line). Miguel Cabrera (or was that King Felix...) also had to leave earlier than expected. Maybe he (Washington) is just trying to make it easy on his team come playoff time...(conspiracy theory time...)
5. Play of the night...Hunter Pence getting Jose Bautista out in that fourth inning. Any momentum that the AL could have had ended with that play.
6. And how about our Chicago reps. Starlin Castro (he even has the word Star in is name...he is destined for greatness) with two stolen bases (yeah he was thrown out at home...pitcher made he right decision based on where he was in relation to the plate even though he was LUCKY to have been able to field it bare handed). Two assists in the field, and one error (figures he'd do it against the White Sox). And yeah, he struck out in his only plate appearance, but what a night for a star-in-the-making.
7. Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko combined went 0-3, reached base on Castro's error (Quentin), and a walk (Konerko), and ended the game in the ninth (with Starlin redeeming himself on that final play). I get nervous in the ninth inning of All-Star Games, ever since the 2006 debacle when Konerko led that rally with two outs in the ninth. No such luck this time.
8. Did you see that home run by Adrian Gonzalez???
9. Reviewing the scorecard, there were 14 strikeouts. All were of the swinging variety.
10. How do you win a ballgame when you allow a hit to the only man you face? When the inning ends with a throw home to get the runner out (see note 5).
11. Daughter question #1? Why are they booing the Reds outfielder when he was at bat? A: They weren't booing. They were saying "BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!"
12. A passed ball? By Matt Wieters? That's what you get when you don't sign with Topps, Matt!!! (Kidding...)
13. Miguel Montero was the only person who didn't get to bat (he would have led off the bottom of the ninth, but I'm thinking he's happy that he didn't have to do so).
14. Congratulations to the NL All-Star Team. And congrats to Prince Fielder, the MVP for the 2011 showdown.
15. The broadcasters were talking about baseball is a "selfish game" and how Michael Young is the most unselfish, most team-oriented player in the majors today. Personally, I think if Craig Biggio gets into the Hall of Fame, Young should be inducted as well. You don't see many of these kinds of players nowadays who genuinely has a "team first" mentality in his approach to the Game.
16. Speaking of Young, he wound up being the third-string third baseman (behind Adrian Beltre and Kevin Youkilis). Is this the first time that two players from the same team wound up playing the same position (not counting pitchers) at an All-Star Game? Konerko ended up being the backup DH.
17. On the other side, the NL utilized three DH's. Carlos Beltran started, then Andre Ethier had a hit, and Gaby Sanchez of the Marlins was the third. I don't think I like the idea of the NL with a DH. But you have to admit, being a DH would have been the only way Sanchez would have gotten into the game.
Of the 68 active participants for the ASG, only eight did not appear in the game: Russell Martin, Josh Beckett (he was warming up for the second inning before he felt something wasn't right), Ricky Romero, Aaron Crow, and Jose Valverde from the AL; Kevin Correia, Tim Lincecum, and Ryan Vogelsong for the NL. The Royals were the only team to not have their rep appear in the game. To the AL manager for next year's game...better make sure your Royals rep gets in the game somehow, otherwise you won't be leaving Kansas City alive.
I enjoyed the game. I can't believe I'm still up writing this. The All-Star binder will stay intact until the end of the week (and you thought I was making that stuff up about having one).
It's time to go to bed. Good night all.