Wednesday, July 12, 2006

All-Star Recap

Last night marked the 77th annual Major League All Star Game, so I decided that I would do something very special and keep a running diary to commemorate the event. Then, I actually gave this idea some thought, and I realized it would require me to watch the entire game. Was I willing to make that kind of commitment and sacrifice? Of course not. I mean, no man should be forced to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver for more than three hours unless we are deep into October. In fact, I’m pretty sure that if the government piped McCarver’s voice non-stop into the cells at Guantanamo Bay, we would know the details of every terrorist plot under the sun in a matter of a few hours. The guy is unbearable, and yet, he continues to be the #1 guy on Fox year after year. That’s more inexplicable than Ashlee Simpson’s career. At any rate, I do have a few random thoughts to share about last night’s festivities in Pittsburgh:

1) Pittsburgh? Really? Could you imagine being one of the young guys like Brian McCann, and you get the great news that you’ve made your first All Star Game…in Pittsburgh! It’s even worse when you consider the game was in Detroit last year, Houston the year before, and Milwaukee back in 2002. Can you think of three worse major cities to spend three days? (No offense to loyal WAD reader and Detroit native and now resident, Huge). Seriously though, way to reward your stars Bud. And you wonder why the players hate you?

2) Did anybody else catch the creepy look David Wright shot to Carrie Underwood right after the National Anthem? If you missed it, let’s just say that not even Turtle has ever made a creepier turn.

3) Speaking of David Wright, I didn’t realize that FOX clearly has an ownership interest in the Mets. I mean, I know the kid has had a great first half, he was the star of the HR Derby, and he hit a bomb last night, but was it really necessary for us to have to watch the goofy bit with him wearing the Hawaiian shirt, the interview with his Dad, the interview with him in the dugout, and Buck and McCarver performing unspeakable acts on him between innings. Okay, so to the best of my knowledge, that last one isn’t true, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. Suffice it to say, however, I’ve seen enough of this kid’s goofy smile to last a lifetime. In fact, he’s now my least favorite player in baseball. Well, except A-Job, but that should go without saying.

4) The highlight of the night was definitely the replay in the bottom of the 6th inning of Gary Matthews Jr.’s catch a few weekends ago in Houston. I could watch that 1,000 times and not get tired of it. And yes, it’s a bad thing when the best part of your All Star game is a highlight from weeks ago.

5) Speaking of highlights, did anybody else catch the woman that FOX focused on for 20 seconds as they went to break in the middle of the 8th inning? Wow! You remember the story of how Courtney Cox got her start by being pulled on stage to dance with the Boss as he sang “Dancing in the Dark.” Well, I’m pretty certain that one day we will be hearing the story about how this woman got her start thanks to some horn dog FOX camera man at the 2006 All Star Game. Oh, and by the way, I do realize it’s sad that I notice these things.

6) Did somebody forget to tell the fans in Pittsburgh that they should be excited to be at the All Star Game? Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the great World Cup crowds, but I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a worse crowd at a major sporting event. Just further proof that this is a year where Pittsburgh fans keep getting things they don’t deserve. First, the Steelers steal the Super Bowl, and now this. Well, at least they still have Dave Wannstedt as the head coach at Pitt to keep them humble.

7) Here’s an idea Trevor Hoffman: when the potential last out of the game and one of the best hitters in baseball just misses two changeups, how about not throwing a third one in the same exact spot? I know it sounds crazy, but give it a shot sometime. Maybe you won’t screw your entire league next time?

8) I think John Legend is very talented, so this is not a shot at him, but can we pass some legislation mandating that the only person allowed to sing “God Bless America” in a nationally televised game is the guy from Yankee Stadium, Ronin Tynan? Is it possible to hear him sing “God Bless America” and not get goose bumps? Honestly, does anybody compare to this guy? Everybody else just leaves you wishing for Ronin. So, yes, I am admitting that there is at least one good thing about Yankee Stadium.

9) A.J. Pierzynski was the only American League position player to not get in the game last night. So, I guess it’s true that not even his manager likes him.

10) So, here are my thoughts on this year’s All Star Game in a nutshell: No Andruw or Nomar, no memorable highlights, the team I’m rooting for blows a lead with two outs in the 9th inning, the crowd was awful, waaaayyy too much David Wright, and one more year of home field advantage for the AL in the World Series. All told, a complete and utter disaster. On the bright side, the game was only 2 hrs. 33 mins long, so the Buck/McCarver torture was kept to a minimum. Oh, and I almost forgot about the hot chick in the middle of the 8th! Who says I can’t find the bright side of all situations?