We'll keep this short and sweet because it's late, I'm on deadline, and the game was a week ago, but let's face it, the All-Star Game was a little boring. Derek Jeter played in his final game, got the adoring ovation of the fans in Minneapolis, and even National League starting pitcher Adam Wainwright, then got a double. The American League won 5-3, and will have home-field advantage in the World Series.
I used to love the All-Star Game. I still do, but it's not the 'Mid-Summer Classic' that it used to be. For people who agree with me on that, many might say that it's interleague play that has watered it down. I don't think that's the reason. Jeter came out of the game in the third inning. Many others followed. Everyone, or almost everyone, gets to play, which in itself isn't so bad, but there are only nine innings in a game. The guys that everyone voted to see are gone an hour after the game starts, and even though the replacements are good, it's just not the same.
We'll never see a play like Pete Rose colliding with Ray Fosse at the plate to try to win an exhibition game, and that's okay. But even late in a close game, with hosting the World Series on the line, there was no drama. As soon as the game was over, you waited to see who was going to MVP, and then you moved on. No baseball until Friday, but no real lasting memories either.
Angels phenom Mike Trout was the Most Valuable Player, and he deserved it more than Jeter. Both had two hits, but at least Trout lasted until the fifth inning. There was a little bit of a controversy over who the National League starting pitcher should be. NL Manager Mike Matheny went with his own guy Adam Wainwright over Clayton Kershaw, but each would only pitch one inning, so what difference does it make? Have the starter go three innings, or at least two, then bring out a pitcher an inning.
There are also 70 all-stars!! I know you need at least one representative from each team (which I still believe is a good thing), but you don't need 35 guys on each team. Also, if someone can't play, they replace him on the roster. Why? You have too many guys anyway? Just take the starting nine, a couple of extra infielders and outfielders, a bevey of pitchers, and let's go. The All-Star game is an exhibition, and we all understand that, just don't make it into glorified spring training.
Short memories: Jeter, in his 20th and final season, said that anyone who was selected to an All-Star game would be foolish not to attend. Shortly before the 2011 All-Star game, Jeter announced he would skip the game in Phoenix because of sore calves. He went out the next day and homered for his 3000th hit... I know no one but me cares about the steroid saga and its consequences, and that was evident on Tuesday. Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles, suspended 50 games last year, was cheered when he was introduced. That sickens me.
Vin-tastic: It was a short piece, but ESPN's Hannah Storm did a feature on Vin Scully that aired on SportsCenter last night. For a baseball play-by-play guy, getting to see his scorebook and how he arranges some of his notes was a big highlight. He also admits that he looks at the monitor and not on the field most of the time, until the ball is in play.