Ahh, the MLB All-Star Game. It’s the contest that the players and managers don’t take seriously, even though home field advantage in the World Series is on the line because Bud Selig is stupid. It’s a glorious time.
And the week is off to a good start with Nick Castellanos winning the MVP of the Futures Game and Prince Fielder taking home the Home Run Derby title. With Prince and Miguel Cabrera playing tonight and our own Justin Verlander as the AL’s starting pitcher, the Tigers are well represented this week. And just think…Austin Jackson, Joaquin Benoit, and Brayan Villarreal all had numbers worthy of the ASG, too. Not bad for a team that played like crap most of the first half.
I thought I’d kick back and do a Keeping Score of the mid-summer classic this year. As always when I do this, I warn you that this could turn out really good or really bad. There’s little in between with these.
I’ll do my best.
We’re live on Fox as Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will be handling the play-by-play tonight because Fox hates us. No one I know likes these two, especially the senile McCarver. It’s the same with Chris Berman’s fat head ruining the Derby last night on ESPN. Why do the networks torture baseball fans with such garbage? You have Terry Francona…use him. Fox has dozens of baseball announcers. Put a bullet in Ancient Tim’s head and let us enjoy the game for a change.
Seriously though, who in the name of Ty Cobb’s rotting corpse actually enjoys Berman or McCarver anymore? Someone must. I assume these folks also:
-Buy Nickelback and Maroon 5 music.
-Think Jay Leno is hilarious.
-Post on Facebook how their significant other is the BEST because they did something dumb that all significant others do. OOH, FLOWERS. NO ONE IS AS ORIGINAL AS MY SWEETIE TODD IS. Todd cheated on you last night, honey. With a tranny hooker. Thus, the flowers.
-Vote for Derek Jeter every year.
-Feel the world cannot have enough “Medea” movies.
Sorry. I will try to avoid tangents like this the rest of the way. Let’s play ball.
TOP OF THE FIRST
-Yeah, right. There’s lots of pregame crap to go through first. It is Fox.
-Erin Andrews is on the field to interview Chipper Jones and Mike Trout. Leave it to Fox to hire her five years after it would have been worth it. Ten bucks says Trout still tries to nail her.
-Now a Negro Leagues tribute. I understand and appreciate the Negro Leagues. I own a couple books on the subject. But is this necessary? We’re not breaking any new ground here. There are better uses for Kansas City. Have someone reenact the Brett pine tar incident. Fly Farnsworth in to challenge all of the Royals to a fight. Have a ribs eating contest between Prince and Pablo Sandoval. Entertain me for a change.
-Buck makes his serious face as we honor people that had their houses destroyed by that whore Mother Nature. This leads in to some clown from American Idol singing a sappy song. None of this has anything to do with baseball.
-At least it’s not Nickelback or Maroon 5.
-We now go to the MLB Network guys to jabber on about stories we can watch for tonight. Heaven forbid we just watch the game. At least Harold Reynolds is giving props to Prince.
-Eric Karros picks Chipper to win the MVP tonight because Karros is a twat.
-Back to the Negro Leagues stuff. Oh well, better this than twenty minutes of old white guys verbally blowing Derek Jeter.
-We can play “All-Star Bingo” tonight online, they tell us. I hope I get “Jeter plays the right way” in my center square. That or “R.A. Dickey sure is a great story”.
-We’re 22 minutes in and they haven’t even gotten to the introductions yet. I’m gonna be doing this until after midnight, aren’t I? No wonder kids don’t watch baseball anymore.
-Here we go. NL stars are being introduced. Wade Miley? Never heard of him. Chipper gets a big cheer. So does Dickey. The Cardinals guys all get big cheers since they’re from down the road.
-Now to the AL. Ned Yost gets a big cheer from the home crowd. Cano wouldn’t have brought him to the game. Chris Perez gets booed. Ha. MIGGY! Big cheesy smile. Place goes nuts for Billy Butler. He looks choked up at the response. Some ugly chick is on the team…oh, that’s Jered Weaver. CC Sabathia gets booed. Fernando Rodney has his hat on crooked. Dickhead.
-Time for the NL starters. Tony LaRussa gets a nice welcome. The KC fans remember Melky Cabrera and give him a big cheer. And they give an even bigger one to Carlos Beltran. Who says they aren’t classy in KC? Screw Cano last night.
-AL starters time. Big cheer for Jeter. Never mind…KC sucks. Haha…huge boos for Cano. I changed my mind again. Go KC! Nice ovation for Prince! Silence for Adrian Beltre. Good. He shouldn’t be starting anyway. Granderson’s hitting ninth? Wow. Ron Washington’s a dick. JV gets a good reaction and looks like he was up all night. Not a good sign. Plus, he’s probably bummed to have a lesser center fielder playing defense behind him tonight. AJAX GOT ROBBED.
-Commercial break and coming next, the national anthem. It’s 8:05. I’m hoping they start this by 9:00.
-Luke Bryan is here to sing. I have no idea who that is.
-And he’s singing the super-slow, drawn out version. Poorly. And it looked like he had to check his wristband for the lyrics. Classy.
-Now Fox plays us out to commercial with some Paul McCartney. Because that’s new and hip. The kids love it.
-Somebody shoot me.
-We’re back with Buck and McCarver to kill some more time. They seem amazed that young players are All-Stars. I hate them both. So much. Then they kiss Chipper’s ass some more.
-Time for another commercial. Fuck you, Fox.
-Brad Penny thinks this is tedious.
-We’re back again from commercials and JV took the field before everyone else because he wants to play before 10pm. The rest of the AL eventually follows. Does this mean we’re starting?
TOP OF THE FIRST (for realzies)
-Buck and McCarver call JV the best pitcher in the game. This is the first time I’ve ever agreed with them.
-Carlos Gonzalez leads off for the NL at 8:18pm. Verlander’s first pitch is a strike at 97 mph. Then 98. Justin’s not messing around. On the third pitch, CarGo pulls a Josh Hamilton and loses his bat while swinging. Then he K’s on the next pitch. JV rules.
-Up next is Melky Cabrera who singles to left on the first pitch. There goes the no-hitter for Verlander.
-Ryan Braun is batting third and he shoots one to right for an RBI double because Jose Bautista sucks at defense. RABURN WOULD HAVE CAUGHT IT. Well, probably not…
NL: 1, AL: 0
-Joey Votto is next. A 99 mph fastball brings the count full before JV drops the curve in to get him looking. Two down.
-That brings up Beltran. McCarver tells us that Tony LaRussa isn’t currently an active manager because none of us apparently watch baseball. Sigh. Full count to Carlos and a 100 mph fastball is fouled off as JV is over 20 pitches. Beltran walks on a 101 mph pitch. Justin is NOT pitching his game tonight. He’s doing his “throw as hard as I can” crap that never turns out well for him.
-Fox cuts to a pregame speech by Chipper Jones to his NL teammates. We get it. He's old.
-Buster Posey comes up and JV throws two balls to him before Mike Maddux comes out to calm JV down. I blame Napoli because I’m biased. Posey walks.
-George Brett apparently threw out the first pitch earlier. Fox showed us all that dumb shit and didn’t show us Brett coming out to the KC crowd? My gawd, I hate this network.
-Sandoval puts down the entire pig he was eating in the dugout to come up now. He hits one to right that Bautista misplays AGAIN and it’s a triple.
NL: 4, AL: 0
-Dan Uggla hits one in the hole at short. Jeter does his bullshit showoff jump throw and it gets away from Fielder. They give Uggla a single because Jeter does NOT make errors. Or else scorekeepers die.
NL: 5, AL: 0
-Rafael Furcal grounds out to second. Yikes. 35 pitches for JV. Inning over.
BOTTOM OF THE FIRST
-Lord Jeter leads off against Matt Cain of the Giants. And he gets an infield single. WHAT HUSTLE ‘N’ GRIT ‘N’ CAPTAINLEADERSHIPSLURP!
-Cano comes up to boos. Then they chant “Billy Butler” during the at bat. On a full count, McCarver starts talking about Robbie’s “tension free” swing. Rod Allen…take notes. Cano pops out to third as the crowd cheers.
-Josh Hamilton comes up as the fans down the first base line fear for their lives. McCarver speculates that Hamilton might get the largest contract in baseball history this offseason. Yeah. Right. With his history? McCarver’s dumber than a dead squirrel. 3-1 pitch hit to the wall, but caught by Braun. Two out.
-That brings up Jose Bautista, fresh off making Brennan Boesch look like Ken Griffey Jr in the outfield. He strikes out. It’s 8:49pm. This game is going to be longer than a Yanks/Sawx classic.
TOP OF THE SECOND
-Joe Nathan is in to pitch for the AL. Carlos Gonzalez leads off and bounces out to Prince at first.
-David Price and Chris Perez are up in the AL bullpen for some reason. Melky’s next and he grounds out to Cano. Maybe Nathan should have started this game.
-Braun pops to right…DIVING catch by Bautista. Sure. Now you play defense, you putz.
BOTTOM OF THE SECOND
-Prince leads off for the AL as Cain’s still in for the NL. He quickly flies out to deep center. One down.
-The fraud that is Adrian Beltre is next as Buck and McCarver talk about R.A. Dickey. Save it for when he comes in, guys. Beltre pops out.
-David Ortiz is up with two down. McCarver can’t believe that Papi’s the only Boston player in the All-Star Game. McCarver obviously hasn’t watched a Sawx game this year. Ortiz flies out.
TOP OF THE THIRD
-Robinson Cano spot as he says he’s the ambassador of the smile and leads the league in smiles every year. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
-David Price is the new AL pitcher as Votto leads off by grounding out to third.
-A little person dressed in a bow tie talks to Cain in the dugout. Wait…that’s Ken Rosenthal. He makes Will Rhymes look like Tony Clark.
-Beltran flies out as the Fox announcers completely ignore it.
-Buster Posey is up with two down and quickly fouls out to the catcher. Gio Gonzalez is coming into pitch for the NL. Billy Beane laughs. And laughs alone.
BOTTOM OF THE THIRD
-Mike Napoli leads off against Gio. Jered Weaver and Matt Harrison are up in the AL bullpen. Did Washington bring 30 pitchers to this? Anyway, Napoli strikes out. He has no business in this game anyway.
-Curtis Granderson is next in his ugly pinstripes. Still reminds me of dressing a saint up as Hitler. McCarver immediately starts comparing Curtis to AJax. Granderson flies out to left. Another guy that shouldn’t have started. THANKS, FANS.
-Back to Jeter at the top of the lineup. The Captain hits a gritty groundout to second. This game is flying along without that bum Verlander in there.
TOP OF THE FOURTH
-Harrison is in to pitch to Sandoval. Fly out to center.
-Dan Uggla’s turn. Ditto.
-Two outs for Furcal. He slaps one down the line that Bautista slowly Boesches after and he ends up on third with a triple.
-Matt Holliday bats for CarGo. He singles to right and brings in Furcal.
NL: 6, AL: 0
-Next is Melky again. C’mon…put in McCutchen, Tony. Or not as Melky hits a two run homer to left.
NL: 8, AL: 0
-Ryan Braun is up as Buck and McCarver rattle off names we haven’t seen as they sense everyone changing the channel. Another one slapped to right. Bautista then Delmons after it and now Braun has a triple. Is there a mercy rule?
-Votto grounds out to Cano. Don’t you know. You schmo. Doh.
BOTTOM OF THE FOURTH
-Steven Strasburg is the new NL pitcher as Robbie Cano leads off. Base hit to center. Booooooo!
-Hamilton’s up as some of the AL players are shown laughing and putting on rally hats. Yeah. This is serious. Home field. Oh, Hamilton hits into a double play. Two down.
-Matt Kemp is tweeting during the game. McCarver says he went to Vanderbilt, thus his typing skills. Sigh. Does anyone think Tim knows what Twitter is?
-Time for Prince again. He drives one to left…LEAPING catch by Braun! PED taking sonofabitch! Inning over.
TOP OF THE FIFTH
-This isn’t going well. I apologize. I’m probably quitting this site soon, anyway. Maybe join the circus.
-Cheesy spot with Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. They’re young. That’s the joke.
-Jered Weaver’s in to face Harper, leading off for the NL. For the first time ever, I’m rooting for Bryce Harper. Harper has ugly gold shoes on that McCarver loves. Of course. Buck calls Weaver “Jeff Weaver” because he’s awful. Ball four.
-Posey takes one to the warning track…out. Harper tags from first and makes it to second.
-David Wright is in to hit for the NL. He hits it back to Weaver and Jered/Jeff catches Harper in a rundown…two out. Wright on first.
-Uggla flies out to Hamilton.
BOTTOM OF THE FIFTH
-Ha! Love the Kerry Wood/Andre Dawson State Farm commercial. Brilliant. “What year is it?”
-The Joe Mauer Head & Shoulders commercial? Not so much.
-David Freese is the new 1B. Altuve in at 2B. Harper to LF. Clayton Kershaw is the new pitcher. Beltre grounds out. (Pant, pant, pant…)
-McCutchen is in along with another outfielder. I can’t type that fast. I DIDN’T GO TO VANDERBILT. Oh, it’s Jay Bruce.
-Big Papi is up. McCarver is comparing catcher’s mitts to pizzas. I swear. Ortiz singles to left. PINCH RUN, Washington! You’re only down eight!
-Napoli is up to probably hit into a double play. Nope. He flies to left…HARPER DROPS IT. He pulled a Don Kelly in the Metrodome! First and second, one out. RALLY TIME.
-Granderson is next for the AL. Tapped back to the mound on what Buck calls a “clunker”. Runners advance, two down.
-Asdrubal Cabrera hits for Jeter. He should have started, even though he’s a whiny bitch. Is Miguel really going to be the third Cabrera to play in this game? Sad. Asdrab walks. Bases loaded.
-And now Ian Kinsler is hitting for Cano. Kershaw is sweating like a Porcello girlfriend in church. Pit stains aren’t flattering, Clayton. Mike Trout is on deck. Did you know he’s only 20? DID YOU? Fox has told us 138 times tonight. Kinsler swings at ball four and flies out to Harper. Buck yells “Does he see it?” What a comedian. That’s a clown joke, bro.
TOP OF THE SIXTH
-Konerko’s in at first as Furcal flies out to Adam Jones, the new CF. Chris Sale is pitching.
-Chipper Jones is up as the KC crowd gives him a standing ovation. He taps a weak grounder that Kinsler is WAY out of position for. Twins hit single for Chipper.
-Andrew McCutchen comes up next and lines a single to left. Trout bobbles it, but Jones is too old to advance. Trout and Harper look to have some jitters out there.
-Jay Bruce flies to center. Ooh, hey! Miggy’s in at third base!
-David Freese is up as they tell us that Matt Wieters is catching now. Better late than never. Sale strikes him out.
BOTTOM OF THE SIXTH
-R.A. Dickey and Carlos Ruiz are your new NL battery. Mike Trout leads off for the AL and singles to center. McCarver asks “Is there anything Mike Trout can’t do?” Fuck you, McCarver.
-Mark Trumbo follows his LA teammate and Trout steals second. McCarver asks his “anything” question again and laughs at how clever he is. I hate this game. Then McCarver says Trout stole on the first pitch when it was actually the second. So clever. Trumbo strikes out.
-More hype videos for Trout.
-Konerko is next and Dickey beans him. I approve.
-IT’S MIGGY’S TURN. They ignore him and keep talking about Trout. DIEDIEDIE. Shit. Cabrera does what Tiggers do best and bounces into a double play. The crowd boos because Billy Butler had moved into the on deck circle. Bad night for Tigers players, I guess.
TOP OF THE SEVENTH
-Ryan Cook of the A’s is the new pitcher. Who? I dunno. Bryce Harper leads off as Joe Buck drools over him. Cook gets him looking. Hahahaha…
-Erin Andrews interviews Jeter in the dugout. I need a noose.
-Carlos Ruiz is next. He’s quickly retired.
-David Wright is up as Cole Hamels warms up for the NL. Strike three. Ryan Cook looked damn good.
BOTTOM OF THE SEVENTH
-Time for “God Bless America”. Another American Idol reject? I hate Fox.
-I’ve been at this for three hours. You can thank writer’s block for this post.
-Billy Butler FINALLY gets to bat for the AL with Cole Hamels taking over as pitcher. Shot to third, Wright throws him out as the crowd cheers Butler anyway.
-Wieters is next as his teammate Jim Johnson throws in the pen. Matt takes it to the warning track, but Harper has it. Two down.
-Yet another Oriole, Adam Jones, comes up and grounds out to first. Hey, it’s Bryan LaHair of the Cubs at first. Almost positive Fox didn’t inform us of that. Jerks.
TOP OF THE EIGHTH
-Joe Mauer’s in at first as Jim Johnson’s the new pitcher. Jose Altuve is the hitter. He’s tiny and this amuses the hell out of Buck and McCarver. High chopper to Kinsler and Altuve is called out on a close play.
-Starlin Castro is next for the NL and flies out to center.
-Michael Bourn hits for Chipper Jones now. He strikes out.
BOTTOM OF THE EIGHTH
-Craig Kimbrel of the Braves is in to face Asdrubal. He strikes out looking.
-Another interview with Chipper. Dude, you're 40. Go back to "Larry".
-Kinsler's up again and he K's, too. LaRussa comes out and calls for Aroldis Chapman to face Trout. I hope he does a somersault so old people freak out again.
-Chapman comes out throwing 100 mph. Then 101. Trout walks.
-Up comes Trumbo and Trout steals second without a throw. Buck tells us that the team with home field in the World Series wins it all more than the other team. No shit. That's why it shouldn't be determined by the All-Star Game. Trumbo strikes out.
TOP OF THE NINTH
-Elvis Andrus is the new third baseman as Fernando Rodney is the new pitcher. McCutchen leads off while McCarver notices Rodney wears his hat crooked and speculates that it somehow confuses the hitter. Ooookay. Grounder to third...out on a close play.
-Jay Bruce is next and he bounces out to Kinsler.
-Two down for Bryan LaHair, who is a great story, Joe tells us. True. Too bad you ignored him when he came in. LaHair grounds out. Almost done.
BOTTOM OF THE NINTH
-Wade Miley of the D-Backs will face Joe Mauer. Base hit up the middle.
-Elvis Andrus comes up as Adam Dunn is the only position player to not get in tonight. Had to get all those Rangers in instead of the biggest comeback story of the AL, right? Elvis hits into a fielder's choice.
-Butler's up to loud cheers as the NL's gonna change pitchers. Joel Hanrahan is coming in. Wild pitch almost hits Billy in the nuts and Elvis takes third. ANOTHER wild pitch, but it bounces back to Ruiz. No run for the AL. McCarver says Hanrahan has "electric stuff" and says that's a new term. Jeebus. Butler strikes out.
-ANOTHER pitching change. Fox needs ad money! Papelbon's coming in.
-Wieters flies out to right to end it.
FINAL SCORE- NL: 8, AL: 0
Well, that was kind of a nightmare. Sorry. I didn't have much to work with outside of the Fox guys.
Enjoy the next few days off. The second half approaches...