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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
And That Happened: All-Star Game EditionI didn't really live blog and didn't even really keep too accurate a running diary. I mostly drank wine (like, a lot of wine) and cracked wise, occasionally remembering to write down my observations. And here they are:
Karros: So, does the best player in the game get butterflies?
Pujols: I don't think I'm the best player in the game.
Karros: Albert, we are men of action. Lies do not become us.
OK, that's not really what Karros said, but he should have.
AL wins again, which is fairly depressing for an NL Fan like me. Still, when you see Mariano Rivera closing it out, you have to appreciate how the currents of history are flowing these days. In 50 years, people are going to think about the mid-90s to the late oughts as a time when giants named Rivera and Jeter roamed the Earth, and games like this one are going to form the chronicle. To have interlopers like Francisco Cordero and Brad Hawpe screw with that narrative simply won't do, and we as NL fans have to accept that.
All in all a good game. Brisk. No silliness about everyone getting in the game. It felt like real baseball and looked like real baseball. I don't have any complaints. Good show Messers Manuel and Maddon. Crawford wins the MVP. He's as good a choice as any.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go pass out somewhere.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 12:13am
I was really hoping that Obama was growing a mustache, but there didn’t seem to be any evidence of it when he was in the booth. American presidents have been sorely lacking in facial hair for nearly 100 years. If anyone can bring it back, it’s Obama.
Posted 07/15 at 09:14 AM
Isn’t it obvious that the umpire awarded Jeter first base as a way to make up for Marty Foster’s blown call at 3rd?? This wasn’t a case of an umpire making up his own rules, it was a case of an umpire striking out against injustice! It was a subversive act, a way of saying, “No, MLB, I will not stand for the awful, earth shaking, evil, terrible, horrible, awful, earth shaking (oh am I repeating myself? no, I couldn’t possibly be doing that) outrage that was perpetrated! I will, in my own way, take a stand against what is wrong with this world. By awarding Jeter this base I will simultaneously put right what once went wrong and bring to light the blatant misconduct that my fellow umpires have been engaging in. Misconduct that has wrought havoc upon the sanctity of the game of baseball and threatened to turn the earth into a barren, blasted hell.”
That’s what I think he was doing anyway.
On another note. Nick, I am a big fan of Tim Wakefield and would have liked to see him pitch, but I think there are a couple mitigating factors here. First off, as was astutely noted above, there’s the whole “knuckleball is hard to catch” issue. Second of all, as was also astutely noted, Wakefield is definitely the right guy to hold in reserve in a close game because of his ability to pitch multiple innings. And finally, much as I like him, Timmy wasn’t the best pitcher available to Joe Maddon, and Maddon owes it to himself and the other teams in the AL (Red Sox and Wakefield, himself, included) to do his best to win the game. I would suggest, even, that few teams have more to gain from home field advantage than the Red Sox, and as such, they have a particularly vested interest in seeing the AL win. Should he have faced at least one batter? Probably. Does it mean Maddon is worth of hatred? Probably not, I think.
P.S. when I was a kid, I always liked going to the zoo and poking the animals with a stick. (Well not really, that would be mean, but you see what I’m saying.)
Posted 07/15 at 09:25 AM
The scary bald guy! I was thinking the same thing!
Posted 07/15 at 09:26 AM
Take note, Selig & Co.:
You can fix games, you can order your umps to discard the rules, and you can have your announcers tell bald-faced lies. And what will be the reaction from your customers, Bud? Silence and bad jokes (and I mean really bad jokes).
Go on, Bud. Keep fixing them. You have nothing to fear from the media or your impotent American customers.
Posted 07/15 at 09:36 AM
I did a quick google search on the freaky bald guy—he might be on Fox’s show ‘Fringe’. I’ve never seen it, but it looks like him.
Posted 07/15 at 09:37 AM
There were three intentional walks in last year’s All Star Game alone. Overall, the IBB to Martinez last night was the 25th All Star Game IBB of all time. Before last year, though, it hadn’t happened since Rafael Palmiero was intentionally walked in 1991. There are some great names on the intentional walked list - Reggie, Kid Griffey, Boggs, Yount, Musial - but there are also a few not so great - Bob Cerv, Tim Wallach, Johnny Edwards.
You can see the full list here.
Posted 07/15 at 09:37 AM
Mike Lamone said...
Royal fans need to have someone to love and Greinke is a good one. Be thankful Greinke is a Royal or you would have to watch Billy Butler
Posted 07/15 at 09:42 AM
Howard has indeed lost weight this year, something like 20 lbs. Phillies fans were all abuzz in spring training about how he and Brett Myers had slimmed down.
Posted 07/15 at 09:45 AM
Joe Buck the pornstar - loved it.
Gashouse Gorillas reference - even better.
As for the parallels between Stan the Man and Teddy Ballgame, completely agree and hopefully Stan does not have a punk*** son that decapitates and freezes him.
Posted 07/15 at 09:54 AM
The bald guy was a marketing thing for the TV show Fringe. Fox did the same thing during the NFL playoffs IIRC, and it’s kind of cool in a viral marketing sort of way, but it won’t tie into an episode or anything. It’s just marketing, albeit without the actual marketing.
Posted 07/15 at 09:57 AM
Please contact the admins here at THT and have your post deleted. And then, never, ever, under any circumstances, repeat, re-type, rewrite, or even re-think what you just said about Ryan Howard “losing weight”.
A non-Caucasian slugger losing weight excites Lupica, Plaschke, Olney, and the rest of the “steroid” hysterics more than Jeff Gannon in a speedo excited the neo-cons in the Bush administration. Because of your irresponsible comment, we’ll soon find ourselves clicking on ESPN in hopes of catching highlights from the day’s baseball games and instead we’ll find only a loop of clips of Ryan Howard mashing homers with a banner beneath that reads, “REPORT: Inside sources at MLB call Ryan Howards bodily transformation ‘suspicious’.” They’ll then contact every groupie he ever nailed on road trips and coax them into discussing his “shriveling testicles”.
Then, Uncle Sam will step in, and the taxpayers will be out yet another $100m while a new lynch mob of federal prosecutors convenes a grand jury and conducts a year-long investigation.
....But, then, MLB’s attendance and TV ratings will suddenly spike, as will web traffic to MLB.com…. Perhaps Selig & Co. should run with this.
Posted 07/15 at 10:07 AM
The best thing about the zoo was that when you’d poke the monkeys they’d get all angry and bark and shout and throw feces at you. What they didn’t realize was that it’s not the poking that’s fun, it’s watching the ensuing reaction. Anyway I speak as someone with tongue firmly in cheek and a big, friendly, happy smile (which is pretty hard to do actually, lots of facial muscles involved), someone who enjoys gentle mockery (both dishing out and receiving) and mild mischief but has no desire to rile anyone up too much or to give offense. All comments are filled with a creamy layer of playfulness, smothered in a secret sauce of respect, amusement, and bemusement, and sprinkled with affection.
On a baseball related note. I think that All Star managers should be given more felixbility with lineups. They should be able to hold some of the putative starters back to play in later innings, rather than all of them playing in the first 2 innings. I mean really, Upton, Hawpe and Tejada to end the game? It would have been more exciting to have a Pujols or Utley or Hanley Ramirez up in a spot like that. Just saying.
Posted 07/15 at 10:08 AM
Connecticut Mike said...
Three reflections on the GI Joe cartoon:
1. I had no idea there were only two seasons of GI Joe, it seemed to be on forever when I was a kid.
2. They made 55 episodes the first year! That is damned impressive.
3. I’ve always been partial to the episode where they load apples in the guns and fire them into the giant blob in order to kill it with the tiny amount of arsenic contained in an apple seed.
Posted 07/15 at 10:12 AM
The creepy bald guy, as other have pointed out, is from Fringe. I’m not sure how well this is promoting the show as the only people who recognize him would be people who already watch it. It’s like they are counting on morons with names taken from Coen brothers masterpieces to go on popular blogs to explain who the guy was to those too intelligent to watch the show in the first place. I seriously doubt that would happen.
Fox pulled the same stunt during an episode of American Idol. (Yeah I watch it. Don’t judge me. It’s the only thing all year my wife wants to watch. I get to pick EVERYTHING else.)
Posted 07/15 at 10:25 AM
Speaking of Shipwreck…I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of the Fensler re-cuts of the old GI Joe PSAs but they’re utterly hilarious:
Posted 07/15 at 10:40 AM
Whoops…here’s a better link:
Posted 07/15 at 10:40 AM
Sara K said...
Did anyone else find it exceedingly odd that the Fox camera didn’t get Pujols into the frame for the First Pitch? I mean, really? We saw the throw, but not the catch? Very strange!
Posted 07/15 at 11:04 AM
Clearly, hiding the pitch is a common strategy now. George W. Bush threw out the first pitch at the Ranger’s home opener. The team website was ga-ga for this, featuring Bush - and not the players - as the lead graphic on their site. They had multiple news stories about it.
But when you clicked on the video, they always showed the pitch from a knee-high camera angle looking up at Bush. Then, the MLB Network did the exact same thing.
I guess they know that Americans are petty enough to believe that a ceremonial first pitch is worth analyzing and blabbing about incessantly. So, if that pitch is embarrassing to the government, they simply whitewash that embarrassing part. The irony is is that the media has encouraged and provoked the public’s retarded fixation on these meaningless tosses of a baseball by hyping them up and, for example, moronically claiming that Bush tossing out the first pitch at the 2001 W.S. somehow “saved” Americans and provided “hope” (those aren’t generic quotes, those are direct quotes taken from an ESPN retrospective!)
(Why do I bother? I’m certain that, at this moment, at least 200 TV and radio shows are dissecting Obama’s meaningless throw all to the attentive ears of moronic Americans.)
Posted 07/15 at 11:15 AM
Eric Stephen said...
Ryan: “Matt Kemp would not have struck out. He would not have gotten into the game either. The guy is an overrated scrub who feasts on the pitching of the Padres and Rockies.”
Matt Kemp 2009:
Posted 07/15 at 11:23 AM
I’m sorry, but those G.I. Joe spoofs have nothing going for them besides nostalgia triggers. I watched four of them and I think I found one that had anything remotely resembling a joke (your Shipwreck one). They’re just vacuums that people project humor into because they know that they’re supposed to laugh. But they’re still just vacuums.
But as long as we’re talking 1980’s pop culture, I hope that somebody mentions Star Wars so that I get a chance to plug my new and improved Star Wars mini documentary!!!
Posted 07/15 at 11:30 AM