Wednesday, July 16, 2003

All-Star Recap

"At the end of the game, there was a little more intensity the way we were coming back. Guys were having good at-bats. It was definitely an advantage for us to win because we weren't supposed to get home field this year. And more guys stayed around to watch the end of the game.'' - Jason Giambi

""It went by so fast, I don't really remember running around. After something like that, you can't really feel your legs under you. You feel like you're floating around the bases. It was pretty cool." - Hank Blalock, who is 22 but looks about 12, on hitting the game winning homer


"I'm thinking that the second half of the game could be the most interesting thing we've seen in an all-star game. You're going to have lots of very good players out there actually trying to win this thing." - Eisenberg Sports


Not well written, but I got the sentiment right.

"I'll be thinking about it again in October. I know that. But there's nothing I can do about it now. There's nothing I could change. Hopefully, it will be our team that gets to go out there in the World Series and say, 'Now we get a chance to pick him up.' But I know this: Whoever makes the World Series will think about it more than I will." - Eric Gagne

"Two cities are going to look back on this game just before they enter the World Series, and realize that what happens tonight may have altered the history of their franchise." - Eisenberg Sports

Sometimes you look pretty smart. Of course, sometimes you're just full of Yogiisms:

"My wife told me that I can't invite a blog reader to the game between the Red Sox and Toronto on Sunday in Fenway. Even though I have an extra ticket that I can't give away. " - Eisenberg Sports

What?

That was some game. With a prediction of 6-3 National League, I felt like a certifiable genius at the end of 7, when the score was 6-3 National League. Gagne was coming in for the eighth, and John Smoltz was planned for the ninth. It wasn't to be, but man, what a great game.

You can still find some incredibly close-minded people who believe the outcome of the game wasn't affected at all by the "This Time It Counts" campaign. But we saw a lot of things we don't normally see in an all-star game, including:

- Six players from each team didn't play.
- A manager arguing a call on the field.
- An outfielder sliding across the warning track in to the wall in order to cut off a ball.
- A manager admitting he held a player out of the game longer so he could avoid having him hit against a lefthander.
- Six players getting more than half of the American League At Bats

This game was played with real baseball game intensity, regardless of how many Selig-Haters and purists stomp their feet and pout "It's an exhibition! It's an exhibition!". Actually, the game had more intensity than a lot of regular season games, like the Brewers vs.,well, most everyone. The All-Star game is now actually some kind of weird hybrid between an exhibition and a playoff, with managers still trying to play people, but everyone playing to win. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

My predictions went really well for all of this game except the last inning. I said Mike Williams, Armando Benitez, Lance Carter, and Mike MacDougal wouldn't pitch, and they didn't. I thought Eddie Guardado shouldn't pitch, but he did and got rocked. I thought Randy Wolf should have been saved for a lefty matchup, but Dusty gave him a full inning, and he gave up a run. What I wish I said, because I was thinking it but it didn't make my entry,was that I was worried about Woody Williams getting hit because he didn't do well in the lnterleague games, and I wondered if Dusty would use Dontrelle Willis, seeing that he waited so long to add him to the roster. Woody got hit, Dontrelle didn't play.

But hey, a good time was had by almost all. I'm sure in the off-season we will see some tinkering with the selection process, which is needed. And we have our All-Star game back, the best one out there. It's a good day.



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