Just a few random notes – in no particular order – about this year’s All-Star Game.
Determining that one league dominates the other based on one single game – where the managers seem to place more importance on getting every player in the game instead of, you know, winning – is ludicrous. Especially in an era when players switch leagues so easily. Aside from the significant role of chance in any individual contest, taking that logic to its extreme means that Don Larsen is the greatest pitcher of all time. And how can you say one team “dominated” the other when the final score was 4-3?
I understand that MLB wants to both showcase its young talent and broaden its fan base. I’m not sure they’ve got the balance right, though. Having every player get in the game is great for reaching out to local markets and pointing out to casual fans who they ought to be looking at, but for getting non-fans interested in the game, maybe keep your starting pitchers / veteran players in a bit longer? Perhaps those viewers would be more interested in seeing future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander facing young stud Ronald Acuna Jr. than Brad Hand pitching to David Dahl…..
There’s a thing being touted in the baseball press called an “Immaculate inning”. That’s where a pitcher strikes out the side on the minimum of nine pitches. In his one inning of work this year, Jacob deGrom needed only seven pitches to retire the side. Isn’t that better than “immaculate”?
This year was the first time I can recall where an active player threw out the ceremonial First Pitch (of course, FOX didn’t show it live…again). CC Sabathia is a fine player who is at least going to wind up in the Hall of Very Good when he retires at the end of the season. But where was Jim Thome? He spent more seasons in Cleveland – they even retired his number! – and is already IN the Hall of Fame. Did he have a prior commitment? Was he under the weather?
A moment of silence for Tyler Skaggs was appropriate – but plenty of other members of baseball’s family passed on since last year’s ASG, including some all-time greats. I understand there was a tribute to Frank Robinson (who managed the Indians for a while) prior to the game. Would have been nice to have some mention of that during the broadcast.
Wiring players was fun:
“They’re gonna tell me what’s coming”
…but quickly grew stale once the game got rolling.
At least we had a crisp, clean game, with more balls in play and action – including a double steal! – than last year.
By the way, do they “strongly suggest” to the official scorer that unless it’s really blatant, nothing’s going to be scored an error?