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And That Happened: All-Star Game Edition

Jul 14, 2010, 6:32 AM EDT

Charlie Manuel did his best to hamstring the NL's chances. It took an Atlanta Brave to restore order.

National League 3, American League 1: If you cared about the All-Star Game all that much you watched it, and if you didn’t watch it you probably don’t care, so there won’t be an in-depth recap from me (click the link in the score for the game story).  Suffice it to say that I’m pleased the National League won and I’m pleased that they won because Braves’ catcher Brian McCann hit a bases clearing double to plate all three NL runs. For the first time in several years I have a rooting interest in who has home field advantage in the World Series, so this outcome is a good one as far as I’m concerned.

Still, I can’t say the game itself was necessarily satisfying, for many of the reasons I cited earlier this week. I won’t go blow-by-blow on this, but any claim that the All-Star Game “counts” for anything is
negated when its participants make the free choice to do things like substitute in Matt Capps for Roy Halladay
when the latter has thrown only 17 pitches like Charlie Manuel did. Likewise such claims are forfeited when a manager is given a roster of approximately 147 players but can’t see fit to keep a pinch runner available to avoid things like David Ortiz getting forced out at second base on a single to the outfield.

Both of these moves — Manuel’s babying of the National League’s best pitcher, Roy Halladay, and Joe Girardi refusing to pinch run with his lone available player, Alex-Rodriguez — were likely borne of the manager wanted to preserve and protect the health of his everyday player at the expense of making the right tactical decisions in the All-Star Game. My view of things: If the managers tasked with winning the game don’t care enough about its outcome to make good baseball decisions, why should I as a fan be expected to care?

That reservation aside, yes, I watched the whole thing. And yes, I even enjoyed parts of it. Because I was screwing around on Twitter all night I wasn’t concentrating on the play-by-play that much, so there were only about five instances when Buck and McCarver made me want to commit bloody murder. Maybe a new low for them. Despite the overkill I think I want to see that new Leo DiCaprio movie. Overall, it could have been way worse.

Now all we have to do is get through one more real baseball-free day and then we’re back in business.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    ESPN was running an SI swimsuit special with Anna Chapman from the beach at Sevastopol last night, so I missed the game. The NL actually won? Hey, that’s even less boring than one of them backandforthandbackandforthandbackandforthball games that were all over the place for the past month or two! I hear those snoozefests “counted” too.

  2. schlegrun - Jul 14, 2010 at 8:24 AM

    Its amazing that Charlie cant pull Halladay like that when he’s thrown 130 pitches and losing the game in the regular season though…

  3. Old Gator - Jul 14, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    Coda: Craig, get with the latest round of anti-Boss vitriol from none other than that fat slobbering slimebag Rush Limbaugh. Displaying the singular lack of tact, taste and intelligence that mercifully ended his NFL announcing career in its marsupial pouch, Limbaugh went racial again last night in his commentary about Big George and drew the immediate ire of….Al Sharpton!
    Sharpton versus Limbaugh. Dane, get me the Schmateh on the phone. I gotta place a little bet.

  4. YankeesfanLen - Jul 14, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    At the relatively mild cost of a few horesemeat-and-velveetas (provolone) to Jonny, I learned my lesson. Too many Yankees=too many men left on base. The true chagrin is Phil Hughes charged with two runs that they didn’t at least let him be around for the score.
    Atlanta, or Philly, or wherever is nice in October so I guess we can stay another day, though probably won’t be necessary.

  5. Jason @ IIATMS - Jul 14, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    “My view of things: If the managers tasked with winning the game don’t care enough about its outcome to make good baseball decisions, why should I as a fan be expected to care?”
    Perfectly said, Craig, perfectly said.

  6. Jonny5 - Jul 14, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    Well, I was shocked when Halladay was pulled, at first. Then again if I was Charlie, i may have done the same. Roy has games to win after the break, and Charlie has 13 pitchers to spread out and use. Knowing Charlie he probably wanted to give everyone a shot but couldn’t. I was also shocked Kuo wasn’t pulled sooner. He was just not that good. I laughed a great big, deep belly laugh when Big Poopie got taken out at second. Then thought to myself, why was he even there??? Jimenez has some crazy movement btw, as a couple of guys found out. Wow, no wonder he’s so tough, guys fear for their pretty faces. Mcann coming in for Molina so soon shocked me too. But we see that turned ok, now didn’t it.

  7. MG19 - Jul 14, 2010 at 9:24 AM

    1 more day? what the hell am i gonna watch tonite?

  8. Simon DelMonte - Jul 14, 2010 at 9:43 AM

    There is baseball-related programming tonight.
    ABC presents “Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown!” Can Charlie find a taker for his worst player? Guest starring Dayton Moore.
    PBS offers a rebroadcast of the “The Capital of Baseball” segment of Ken Burns’ Baseball series. Seems timely given that at least this week NYC is the capital of baseball again.
    Or you could watch the ESPYs.

  9. Tony A - Jul 14, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Ain’t that the truth!

  10. Steve C - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:05 AM

    Sure A-Rod should have pinch run for Ortiz. After that mishap and there were 2 outs, why not have A-Rod pinch hit for Kinsler? Having one of the best hitters in the game sitting on the bench does you know good with three outs in the ninth.
    Did Girardi just want A-Rod on the bench to keep him company?

  11. YankeesfanLen - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    Really have a problem visualizing ARod pinch running. Ready for his close-up or not, pinch hitting might have been an option but it’s a game, regardless of the exceptional talent on both sides, that’s thrown-together Team A vs, thrown-together Team B.

  12. JBerardi - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Despite the overkill I think I want to see that new Leo DiCaprio movie.

    On George Takei’s TV, I assume.

  13. BC - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    They’d have been better off having Girardi pinch run than leave Fat Papi out there.

  14. APBA Guy - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    I DVR’d the Tour de France and watched that instead of the ASG last night. I did have a small wager that NL would win, despite my hardcore AL bias. I was horrified to read that Manuel had pulled Halladay. But that move was more than negated by Girardi using Hughes.
    I wish I’d seen the SI swimsuit show Gator was talking about. That sounds like entertainment.

  15. Md23Rewls - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Inception’s getting rave reviews, I’m there.
    I’m not quite sure which team screwed over the game more, Boston or New York. New York had the managerial gaffe, plus Hughes allowed the runners on (though Thornton giving up a hit to a lefty was pretty disgusting). However, Boston had a large hand in the ninth inning fail, as you had Beltre strike out and then Ortiz be fat. BTW, I can’t really blame Ortiz for being slow, and I guess when you’re slow, you can’t play more in-between on a pop fly like that, but that whole sequence pretty much sucked. Pretty crappy read on the ball by Ortiz. I guess he would have lost the State Farm Smart Baserunning comp. In the end, I have decided to assign slightly more blame to my Yanks, but don’t think you’re getting off the hook, Boston. You failed as well. That is all, lol.

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