Posts Tagged ‘All Star Game’

All Star Games

July 11, 2017

Do you really care about the All Star Game? I used to; I really did. I looked forward to the annual clash of National League titans against American League titans. On the same field you could see (or hear when we only had a radio) Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Roy Campanella, Yogi Berra, Willie Mays, Ted Williams. In the 1960s you could watch Harmon Killebrew or Roger Maris or maybe Al Kaline stand in against Bob Gibson or Sandy Koufax or Juan Marichal. It was wonderful, but something changed.

It’s not like the players aren’t worth watching anymore. In the last dozen or so years I’ve gotten to turn on the television and watch Albert Pujols and Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw and a host of other worthies. And they are as good as the players I saw 50 years ago. But something has changed. Maybe I’ve just gotten older and no longer see the players as heroes. That at least is true; I no longer see them as heroes (that died sometime in the 1960s) and I’ve certainly gotten older and more jaded in my view of people and the world.

Part of what’s wrong is that the game has gotten lost in the “events” that precede it. I really don’t care to watch a bunch of guys stand around and take batting practice just to see who can hit how many balls how far. Another part is that with teams in the National League now regularly playing teams in the American League it’s no longer special to see the confrontations. Way back when Mantle only faced Koufax in either the World Series or the All Star game. Today Trout can face Kershaw with some frequency on a Thursday night in May.

And I don’t think the game is taken as seriously. I know it’s supposed to have┬ácounted for home field in the World Series, but that didn’t make for significant difference in Series winners (or else Cleveland would be celebrating and Chicago would be waiting one more year). But when I watch it doesn’t seem that either the players or the managers take the game seriously. Maybe that’s because of cross league play or maybe it’s just the new generation of players and managers. Look how many players opt to miss the game.

The rosters are bigger so a lot of people are “All Stars” who probably shouldn’t be anywhere near an All Star game. With every team being required to send one player you have to expand rosters but 30 teams worth of players is a lot of players who weren’t going to be facing the other league’s big guns when there were only 16 teams. As a quick aside, maybe only the home team should be required to furnish a player. I mean if the last place Numbnuts are going to lose 100 games, tell me again why they should have an “All Star”?

Anyway that’s my rant for the day. I’ll be skipping the All Star game again, as I have for several years. It just doesn’t seem to matter any more.

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Strasburg, All Star?

July 5, 2010

I’ve been following the arguments pro and con for putting new phenom Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals on the National League All Star team. Briefly, no way.

Here’s his stats for the season: 2 wins, 2 losses, a 2.45 ERA, 36.2 innings pitched over six games, 29 hits, 53 strikeouts, and 10 walks. Not bad, if he were a reliever. He’s a starter and 36.2 innings and six games doesn’t make you an all-star.

Stay home, Kid. Enjoy the time off. Do some newspaper and TV interviews, make a book deal, spend time with the family. You got plenty of time to make the mid-summer classic.