Wednesday, July 14, 2004

posted by James - 12:27 PM

Uninteresting... very few words better describe last night's MLB All-Star game.

Not because I wasn't interested in the winner, because "this one counted", if you hadn't heard.

Not because Roger Clemens put the N.L. in the hole by giving up six runs in the first inning (that was actually kinda cool to see, even if it meant bad things for the Cubs down the road). With Pujols, Bonds, Rolen and Sosa coming up in the bottom half of the inning, who's worried about scoring runs? And I had no fear of the A.L. pitching staff sans Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez.

Not because it wasn't rife with Cubs success with both Alou and Sammy picking up base hits, while Zammer had a rough inning giving up a run on an A-Rod triple, though he did strikeout a batter.

The game just lost steam as it went on, with the only real excitement coming from Blalock vs. Gagne II and watching Chunk-a-Lunk David Ortiz run the bases.

And I think it had a lot to do with stopping the game for the ridiculous Roger Clemens ceremony. It was obvious to everybody he was coming out of the game after that inning. Did they postpone the "ceremony" because they didn't want to give him an award after giving up two home runs and costing his whole league home-field advantage.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with squeezing out another commercial break in the middle of such an anticipated and higly-rated event.

Either way, for me, it was just another great job of screwing up another All-Star game by Allen "Bud" Selig. Way to go!

Also, it's apparent that Jack McKeon, who coached this year's N.L squad and had a hand in selecting some of them, is as big a homer as our own Dusty Baker.

First off, he pinch hits Barry Larkin in the second inning while he only got Todd Helton one at-bat at the expense of a ninth-inning at-bat for Carlos Beltran.

His former shortstop from his short stint with the Cincinnati Reds had no business on the team much less getting an at-bat that early in the game.

Then he leaves Carl Pavano - a pitcher from McKeon's current team - in for two innings, you know one more than any other N.L. pitcher, while not getting Danny Graves, Armando Benitez, Livan Hernandez, or Jason Schmidt into the game (understandably so on Schmidt after he pitched and won his 11th game on Sunday).

Ortiz, who should have been MVP of the game with a hit, two walks, two runs scored and two batted in, predictably put the game out of the N.L.'s reach with a two-run homer off of Pavano, but what does McKeon care? Yes, this one counts, but McKeon's already got his, and he's old and misses his early-October fishing trips.

Maybe MLB should do it like the NFL Pro Bowl and make the loser of the championship game the manager for this game. Seems fair to me... the winner of a championship series gets to go to the World Series and the loser gets to coach their respective All-Star teams to improve their chance of winning it all later... if they're going to continue to ruin one of the greatest exhibition games with unnecessary stipulations that only Vince McMahon would love.

Elsewhere... thankfully, the NBA chose today to release the hounds and allow transactions to go through with Shaquille O'Neal and Carlos Boozer first on the interest heap.

Otherwise, the entire hemisphere would be enraptured with the fates of Nomar Garciaparra, Randy Johnson and the Cubs shortstop situation.

And, by golly, if all three might be entwined, if the latest rumors and ESPNews are believable.

Just to show I'm not above this kind of discussion, my next post will be in response to some sites doing some great work gearing up for the hysteria of the next two weeks.

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