Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thoughts and Musings on the All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium*

*From A Red Sox fan

Seeing Willie McCovey in a wheel chair is sad to me.
I'm not believing Wade Boggs wore a Yankee's cap!!!
He played for the Yanks for five years. He played for the Sox for ELEVEN!!! He's in Cooperstown with a Red Sox cap on. I'm floored, floored, floored!
Dave Winfield did it right. He brought, and waved a Yankee's cap but wore his Padre's one!
Boggs was the LONE Hall of Fame representative from the Red Sox, and he couldn't even wear the cap! That's just sad and quite disappointing. I can't wait to read what the papers in Boston have to say about it!
I wonder if the boos of Red Sos in the introductions were louder because there were more of them on the field than Yankees or because we won the world series last year and Tito was managing. Was the animosity greater because of our dominant presence? Or was it just typical Yankee hating?

Two of my favorite quotations from the coverage of the parade from earlier today:
"Listen to that, and you'd think my last name was Varitek, and my first name and middle name were, 'Bleepbleep,''" he [Varitek] said.
"I think they were waiting for the other guys.'' Said manager Terry Francona: "I learned two things: They want Rivera to close and I suck.''

I have to admit if there is anything that soothes a Red Sox fan through a festival week that celebrates ad nauseam the Yankee wins, history and greatness...it's sending seven Sox out to man the field in a game managed by the Sox skipper!

George Steinbrenner did NOT look good. When they first showed him he looked like a recovering stroke victim. Has he had a stroke? I know they are real hush hush about his health and all, but that's not good. Fox quickly panned out to a camera in left field which gave a more flattering shot of the devil...er, I mean the boss.
I loved how Yogi wanted to be about 3 feet from the plate, but the other men kept trying to save their own faces by trying to get him to stop moving up so much.
I'm willing to predict here in the first inning that the MVP of this game will either be Josh Hamilton or a Yankee. I'm also willing to put 20 bucks that it won't be one of the 7 Red Sox players on the roster.

Fox's broadcast is coming through so poorly that it looks like I'm watching it online in an area with bad internet reception.
It's funny to me seeing Varitek behind the plate in Yankee Stadium in home whites.
What I love about the All-Star game is the little league feel that the game possesses. It's the only time you see major league skippers working to make sure every player gets playing time. It's the only time you see a manager allow his team's rival players to have their moment in the spotlight by taking them out mid-inning to allow them to receive ovations from the crowd. I love the fact that these games now meaning something doesn't take this aspect out of a game that is, in the end, still an exhibition game. In fact, the thing that makes this unlike little league games are Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. And, I have to say as much as I love the game of baseball, if my son is playing little league and Joe and Tim are announcing...my son is changing sports!

I think it's interesting that in a game that celebrates (more so than usual) the history of baseball, and in this the 100th year of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” they choose to do “God Bless America” instead. And, when did standing and saluting become the norm for “God Bless America”? Does that not weaken the reverence of “The Star Spangled Banner”? Or do we now stand, remove our caps and salute all patriotic songs? I can imaging Toby Keith concerts could become quite a workout if this is so.

Ok, sidebar after the lead off double by Justin Morneau, I love that when he stood up for the first round of the home run derby last night, the announcers went on and on about how he didn’t really deserve to be there and was the last addition with no one else to do it. Ironic, since he went on to win it!
What does it say about his confidence in the Captain’s hitting when Tito pinch hits for Varitek? There is only one person left on the AL bench, and it’s the 7th! I hope Tito isn’t over shooting his aim.
It’s good to hear “The second place Rays” again. I was not liking the constant reminder that they were in first with the best record in the majors! It’s good to be back on top. Now, let’s keep it that way, and get back on top in this game so we can get home field advantage.
I would love love love for JD Drew to hit it out right now to tie the game. I wonder if he’d get booed then.
HOLY CRAP I CALLED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!! THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And it’s a new ballgame. Let’s go AL!
I love the fact that the Reds’ pitcher in the 7th inning wears his cap ghetto style. It’s a little skewed to off center. Maybe it adds cred.
Paps just got berated by the Yankee fans. I’m a huge Mariano fan, as hesitant as I am to admit that. I think he’s misguided, but I love him. However, Pap’s remarks were completely taken out of context, skewed and thrown out there to the masses. After all these years I can’t believe people in NY still believe the NY Daily News. Paps was not responsible for that run scoring; blame the error. Sox players thrive on the boos and yells in Yankee stadium, but that was even more brutal because tonight Paps was pitching for the same cause for which Mo will be pitching. I’m kinda surprised after the reaction of Paps after the parade that Tito even pitched him. I was fully expecting him to sit. I give Tito props for pitching him anyway…you know, cause screw them (in the words of Good Will Hunting).

Ok, as if Lou Gehrig’s speech wasn’t going to be the greatest highlight in Yankee Stadium history. Did that even require a vote? Even a Yankee hater can appreciate that moment!
However, I would have voted for the Sox beating the Yankees in the American League Pennant in 2004 on their way to the World Series win. I mean, how much better does it get than a champagne bath and field celebration in the middle of your rival’s field.

This is the first time I’ve ever hoped for a homerun by Evan Longoria. I hope it’s the last. I’ll take that double!!! And once again, it’s a new ballgame.

So, I know the two teams tied a few years ago, but was that before “this one matters”? Will we play however innings it takes or will this game be over after 9 or 10? *

WAIT! Derek Jeter is a phenom?!!! He’s with Tiger and Federer in the Gillette phenom commercial. If ever there is an ad for Josh Hamilton…that one is it. Jeter? Really? He’s a solid batter and defender. He’s had a great career…Hall of Fame one, but he’s not a phenomenon. He’s consistent and respectful and a good player, but he’s not a stand above all other kind of player.

K-Rod is pitching in the 9th. Surely Tito is going to bring in Mo. If he doesn’t, and the AL wins it in the bottom of the 9th he will NEVER hear the end of it. The media will crucify him!!!
What I love about this season is the constant referencing of Bobby Thigpen by announcers. Thiggy holds the record for number of saves before the All-Star break, and K-Rod was giving him a run for his money. But Thiggy just got another shout out here in this game. Bobby Thigpen played on the Mississippi State team with Will Clark and Raphy. My parents kept us out of school one day (which was unheard of in our house) for us to go see that team play. My parents (my dad especially) knew it was a special team, and that was the kind of experience he didn’t want us missing. I was young, and don’t remember much of it. What I remember more is following the members of that team through their major league careers. When I was in 7th grade, I saw Thiggy pitch in Chicago for the White Sox. It was very very cool.

Good…Tito has brought on Mo. Let’s just hope the NL can’t get to him the way the Sox have in the past few years. While Mo is pitching, let me explain what I, a to-the-core Yankee hater, love about Mo. Mo is probably the greatest closer the game has ever seen. And while I love Paps, he’s got about 10 more years of dominance to go before he’s up there with Mo. But more importantly, Mo plays because he enjoys it. He says he doesn’t matter the contract offer, he’ll quit once he is no longer having fun. He’s a Godly man with strong Christian values who backs it up with his behavior. And he’s vocal about his devout Christianity. And there are few people who have the professionalism and class that Mo exhibits. Like I said…he’s just misguided when it comes to the his loyalty to the Yanks.

This is the first time I’ve ever been hopeful at the beginning of the bottom of ninth at Yankee Stadium. It’s the first time I’ve wanted the game to end in the bottom of the ninth.
(and yes, Will Chandler if you are reading this, you will disappoint me if you cheer for the yanks when y’all go there this weekend.)

I want to see what all this talk about Kinsler is about. Callers into XM for the last few weeks have been shocked that Kinsler wasn’t voted in as a starter. They felt like his offense warranted his placement on the starting lineup more than Dustin Pedroia’s. I want to see him fit the buzz – that strike out didn’t do it.
I’m not cocky enough and too superstitious to try and call another big hit from Drew. You also know it’s an exhibition game when JD smiles and chuckles at the ump who made a horrific strike call. Speaking of strikes, that strike zone just decreased significantly in the 9th.

I love how Joe and Tim seem overly worried about players having to continue playing due to an empty bench. They’ve only played like 3 innings; they’re professionals! I think they can handle a few more innings. The pitchers…that’s another issue. Kaz is off the possible pitchers list because the Rays have requested he not pitch. I say Tito pitch him for as long as the guy will stay out there. We need the Rays to keep losing!

I love how Bank of America advertises that they are the only bank where you get official MLB checks and credit cards. Well, um, I’ve got official MLB Red Sox checks and I bank at Regions.

So, I wonder if they’ll keep saying Yankee stadium is the house that Ruth built when they move to the new stadium. I wouldn’t be surprised if it became the house that Steinbrenner built.

Here in the top of the 10th, Pedroia would have had that ball that Russell Martin hit, and Jeter would have had that ball that Tejada hit.
Um, so if the AL wins after those two errors…does Uggla get the MVP?! Nevermind…it’s a non-issue now. I can’t believe Tajada made that play. He’s not young anymore (especially since he aged three years this off season).
We’re trusting this game to the arm of a Royal. Hmmm….
12 innings in an exhibition game is ridiculous!!! I realize that it poses a problem with a tie, but the facts can not be ignored. This IS an exhibition game! These teams need their players back after the break! Both teams are out of pitchers and are having to rely on pitchers whose teams were told they wouldn’t be played. 11 should have been the cut off! This is ridiculous. Upon a tie, the home field advantage should then go to the team with the best regular season record. If you want to go and make the All-Star game mean something and use it for home-field advantage…whatever, but this is moving closer to beyond ok. If Bud doesn’t call this game at the end of 12, he’s going to have some FURIOUS owners!

It’s 12:30! Ok, and that brings me to another issue. This game should have started at 8. While the coverage of the game started at 8, the game didn’t get underway until 9. Coverage with introductions, and brouhaha should have started at 7 so that the game could begin at 8.

At the end of 12 they show Selig sitting there like he’s about to fall asleep but completely inactive. I guess there won’t be a draw with this. Who cares if this game screws up the arms of pitchers in contending teams (or even non-contending teams. With that NL West, God only knows who could win that one at this point).
David Wright just about got hit in his cute little head by the end of his bat. I don’t know why the players don’t take their own initiative and move back to ash bats. And how long is Selig going to sit on this Maple bat issue? Is somebody going to have to die? People have already been hurt; people have already been sent to the hospital. For the love of safety, make them change the bats!
Ok, seriously. We’re now in the 15th inning. Each bullpen has ONE pitcher left! Starting pitchers go on four days rest. Brandon Webb and Scott Kazmir have had ONE day of rest. This inning will be the last unless Scott gets two really quick outs with few pitches. There’s no way he can go two innings. Let’s just hope he can go one full one! Kazmir will pitch again on Saturday with three days rest. That’s bad for the Rays. Ooooo, David Wright just bout got hit. He just got knocked on his face!
I’m loving Jeter and Tito cracking jokes and laughing in the dugout. They are obviously talking about how bizarre this game has gotten. Well, Kaz got out of the 15th without too many pitches, but I still don’t see Tito sending him back out there. So, basically…we gotta score. Pronto!
Ok, Justin Morneau just about threw out his back there trying to win it in a swing.

I’ve never seen dugouts like these. The NL dugout has all of the bench actually sitting on the bench in a row. The AL rotates between all sitting and all standing. But it’s a one or all kinda thing in both dugouts!
Brian McCann is too good to just be coming into the game in the 15th. That Cardinal player shouldn’t have dove for that. Yes, he got the catch, but he could have EASILY hurt himself there. Alright…let’s go JD! A really solid base hit can win it, but a decent base hit wouldn’t hurt!
Bases loaded…one out! JD Drew has the best numbers out here tonight, but he won’t get the MVP. That will go to whoever ends this game….MICHAEL YOUNG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHEW! A 4 hour and 50 minute game is entirely too long for an exhibition game…I don’t care that we won. Selig ought to hear it big time from managers and owners. BUT I haven’t seen Tito that happy since Jon Lester’s no hitter. However, this time it was a mixture of happiness and relief. I love the Jim Leyland hug! And I realize this is a four page blog entry, but you need to realize it was a FIVE HOUR GAME!
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JD Drew did get the MVP! LOVES IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!! I’m talking LOVES IT! And, my 20 dollar bet came back to bite me in the rear. I love the boo birds and the fact that JD just laughed off the boos. For somebody who is notorious for being stoic and not showing any emotions, he was very personable in that interview. Well, personable for the four words he said (for those who thought he wasn’t…you should see his other interviews). How cool is it that a guy who deserves to be at the All-Star game and who deserved to be there several times before but is just now there for his first time wins the MVP. Well, it’s 2 am here. The AL won, the Sox represented, and Sox JD Drew continued to be on fire as he took home the MVP award at “The All-Star Game from Yankee Stadium.” I’m content, actually…pleased. But, I’m tired. I hope you guys enjoyed the game.

*will this be over in 9 or 10...yea, that question got answered!


Will Chandler said...

Well, after seeing how the Mets fans treated my fellow Giants fans last week at Shea, I have no choice but to cheer at least a little for the Yanks tomorrow. I'll at least cheer for my dad, who wants to be there more than anything. With just one Game of the Week in the 50's and 60's he, like many in the South, grew up fans of Yankees, mainly because of Mickey Mantle. Honestly, I just want to soak in the aura of the stadium. And in the end, yes, I want the Yankees to win, because I want to sing along with ole Blue Eyes to the Theme from New York, New York.

Elizabeth said...

I think I'll be able to forgive you since the Yanks are still several games out. If this were September...it could be friendship over. :)
I have to say I am a little sad that I'll not be able to visit the old Yankee Stadium. I've been to tons of major league parks across the US, but Yankee Stadium isn't one of them.