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An All-Star Post

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Watching the All-Star game is always one of my favorite games of the year. I always enjoy watching all of the stars having fun and batting one right after the other against insanely good pitching. However, Fox' coverage has been absolutely brutal.

The Blues Brother's theme was dumb enough in the voting, but extending it to the pre-game show made even less sense. OK, lets all watch Roger Clemens and his family run out of their front door and into a car as quickly as possible (the over under is 11 takes to get it right). Next, Joe Torre and Jack McKeon get shuttled into Minute Maid in their cars and it just made me cringe.

The Pre-game commentators, Kevin Kennedy and Jeannie Zelasko made me jump when I first saw them. Ms. Zelasko has the worst looking hair mess I've seen on TV in a while, and Kennedy looks dumb with a bright yellow corsage in his suit pocket.

To make matters worse, Fox brings in Fantasia (winner of American Idol, a Fox program) to sing the star spangled banner... I'm still waiting for her to get finished.

Next, the lineups are announced, which is typically an exciting part of the game, but some Marketing weenie decided to have the players come out of the crowd, up a set of stairs onto the dugout roof, twenty feet down the dugout, down another set of stairs, and then out to the foul line. Its taking about 20 seconds to announce each player, and the crowd isn't cheering much, leading to lots of dead air time.

After Muhammad Ali gets tabbed to walk two baseballs out to the mound so some kids who won a drawing can throw the first pitches. We wait another 5 minutes while Derek Jeter and Ali have a phantom boxing match... can we play baseball now?

Yeah! after 46 minutes of pre-game festivities, we finally get underway.

1st: Ichiro and Pudge Rodriguez have started out the game by giving Sammy two chances to mkae nice plays, on neither of which he did. (He also missed the cut-off man trying to show off his arm). Oh Rocket! Manny sends a no-doubter into the right field seats, AL 3-0. Next, after an A-Rod punchout, Jeff Kent boots a baseball allowing Giambi to reach base followed by a Derek Jeter single and an Alfonso Soriano line drive that cleared the fence by 10 feet, but probably would have traveled 500 feet. AL 6, NL 0... but this one counts. (In case you forgot, its also written in 5 foot letters down 60 feet of the first baseline.)

With the top of the first finally in the books, we now get to laugh at the Astros players who have dug a 6 run deficit all by themselves... Mark Mulder doesn't look as bad as Clemens, but he isn't gonna throw a shutout. After getting Edgar Renteria to ground out, Albert Pujols nearly parks a pitch, but it is to deep center and bounces over the wall for a ground rule double. Mulder decides to pitch to Barry, and suprise, suprise he pops out. Sammy comes up to hit and he must be using a Todd Hollandsworth special because the bat absolutely disintegrates... which turns into a good thing as the ball falls three feet in front of Vlad Guerrero. Sammy picks up an All-Star RBI, and the inning ends with a 6-1 AL lead.

2nd: Danny Kolb comes on to relieve "the Rocket" and gets Ichiro (nice play by Pujols). Pudge Rodriguez singles to center, and Kolb puts the next ball at 95 MPH right under Vlad's chin. Vlad nearly backs his way into the dugout getting out of the way. Vlad flies out and Manny Ramirez grounds out to Renteria, keeping the AL within striking distance. 6-1 Junior Circuit.

Mark Mulder hits his spots in the second inning, setting down Lance Berkman, Jeff Kent, and Barry Larking in a row.6-1 American League leads

3rd: The Big Unit comes on to pitch in the third. Joe Buck can't resist the opportunity to talk about Randy's openness to a trade. Then, Fox debuts an animated baseball named Scooter who explains the difference between a fastball and a slider... COME ON!!! This is the all-star game, its not a game between the Devil Rays and Expos. There is enough star power in this game to sell the game on baseball, we don't need all of these stupid "special preset pieces." As I'm writing, we are being treated to a Randy Johnson music highlight reel... This TV coverage is awful.

In the meantime, while bellyaching about Fox, Jeter and Giambi have reached base, with Soriano up. He's got a chance to make it 6 RBI if he can get a hold of one. Soriano dribbles one between Renteria and Rolen, loading the bases for Ken Harvey, the Royals lone representative... the Big Unit racks up a strikeout against Harvey, but must now retire Ichiro with the bases juiced... and he's bailing out of the box. Ichiro grounds out to Pujols on a play that is almost identical to his firt at-bat. Johnson escapes without allowing a run, 6-1 AL

Esteban Loaiza takes over for Mulder, and I'm sensing the NL's opportunity to get back in the game. Loaiza's stats don't merit an All-Star selection this year, so maybe Albert, Barry, Sammy, and the boys will rack up some runs this inning... not going so well, Renteria and Pujols both ground out, but Loaiza can't bring himself to throw Bonds more than 1 strike. (Barry looks lighter than last year.) Rolen knocks one through the hole at short. Sammy comes up with two on and two out... Sammy! Sammy! Sammy! the crowd should be chatting... a ground ball to Soriano and the inning is over.

Expecting wholesale changes from now on out, I'll just update on runs for the rest of the game.

4th: Cy Zambrano takes the mound and makes quick work of Pudge Rodriguez and Vlad Guerrero. But David Ortiz draws a walk off Zambrano and Lance Berkman misplays a ball into an Alex Rodriguez triple. AL 7-1.

C.C. Sabathia comes in to pitch and retires Piazza and Berkman before Kent and Beltran reach on singles. Renteria hits a ground rule double because some fan reached over the wall by third base, scoring Kent. Albert Pujols takes the second pitch he sees and cranks it against the right field wall scoring two before Bonds pops up. AL leads 7-4

Bud Selig's annual All-Star Interuption Bud Selig gets on the field in the middle of the game and decides to present an award to Roger Clemens... although this presentation looks like it might only take 5 minutes... Can we play baseball now?

6th: David Ortiz sends a two run shot off of Carl Pavano deep into the right center field bleachers. No doubter. AL leads 9-4

Posted by Byron at July 13, 2004 7:48 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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