To celebrate the second anniversary of Mike's Baseball Rants, I am going to keep a running log of the All-Star Game. (That's right, my first entry was on Bud Selig's most embarrassing moment. I'm proud of that.):
8:14: I, All-Star? Was that an ad for "I, Robot" or part of the pre-game? Or does it even matter?
8:18: AL All-Stars: First boos for Yankees all but Rivera and Matsui. Carl Crawford and the Rangers get a good hand.
8:20: Jimy Williams gets a mixture of boos and cheers. Randy Johnson big cheers. Alou, lots of boos--c'mon he had two great years there. So he left as a free agent? Big deal. Not much noise until Beltran announced. LoDuca boos, Gagne cheers. Glavine some cheers. Thome—lots of cheers, Abreu, gets some too.
8:22 starting lineups: Ichiro comes from top of dugout, huh? Pudge is warming up pitcher—must be serious. Jeter—big hand. Soriano (Ranger) almost as big as Jeter. Bonds—nice hand. Sosa—bigger one. Lance Berkman—biggest hand so far. Kent—even bigger. Clemens—biggest of the night (Mulder was completely ignored).
8:31: National Anthem—By American Idol winner Fantasia. What, is she so famous all of a sudden that she can drop her last name?
8:33; I know I'm supposed to think otherwise, but Muhammed Ali looks horrible. This guy was the most charismatic figure in sports when I was a kid. It's sad. They should outlaw boxing. Ali doesn't even throw the ball. Some kids do. Sad. Ali boxing with Jeter. Both teams are there. After Ted Williams, they feel the need to produce these photo ops.
Commercials—is every show on Fox now a reality show?
8:39: Joe Buck—here we go. Oh boy, he has to mention Ted Williams appearance.
McCarver—what the hell is he wearing, a monochrome chess board?
Footage of Clemens in 1986. They've been showing it a lot but it's always nice to see.
"Blues Brothers" commercial—very cute. The end it with the players driving to the stadium. I liked it.
Ugh, more commercials? Hey, that's the fat guy from Mr. Show. Trading spouses?—it all reminds me of that game show in Time Bandits where the people ostensibly die if they lose while the crowd/laugh track yucks it up.
8:45—Oh, there's a game. Why lead off the AL team with the worst hitter in the lineup. I'd bat him ninth and pinch-hit for the pitcher if he came up.
Here we go Piazza and Clemens. "The history going back to 2000"? That was the history. Happy ending??? Boy, they are getting chummy!
Ichiro doubles. I guess I was wrong.
McCarver—Ichiro only player in lineup not to bat cleanup. Who cares?
Diamond-Cam—is it stupider than Leterman's Monkey-cam?
Pudge—To same spot. Triple. Pudge batting second?
Vlad—right back to Clemens.
Ramirez—I guess McCarver feels the need to introduce every player, like we've never heard of them. Homer on a flat 0-2 possible curve right over plate. 3-0.
A-Rod—strikes out on rising heater on 3-2. Thank god for Diamond cam, what did we do without it?
Giambi—still looks bad at the plate. Works it full. Foul. Again. Tip. If this guy is ever healthy for a full season again, he's going to have a monster season. Hard ball to Kent's right. He nonchalants it. They gave him an error and he deserved it.
Dolts—"First time a double, triple, and HR in one inning. Would have had the cycle if not ruled an error."
Jeter—singles over Pujols. Buck has to mention cycle.
Soriano—First-pitch monster homer to left on flat slider. Jeter pats him on the head, nice. Drove in two ex-mates. Don't they have to get him soon.
Mulder up. Kolb in pen. Mulder doesn't even bother. K. I guess that didn't really go according to plan.
Mulder up. Kolb in pen. Mulder doesn't even bother. K. I guess that didn't really go according to plan. Six-zip.
9:03—Renteria—grounds out on first pitch.
Pujols—nice automatic double to right.
Bonds—popup. The Minute Maid faithful think it's a homer.
Sosa—broken-bat one-hopper to Vlad. 6-1.
Piazza—Bush Sr. and Barbara are behind the plate. 3-0 to Piazza. Mulder, throw strikes stupid. Piazza goes after pitch in dirt inside. K on slider.
9:13—Top of 2nd: Kolb in, really? Did Bud make that call to get a Brewer in?
Ichiro—unassisted by Pujols.
Buck—Pepsi ad posing as game commentary.
Pudge—single to shallow right. Ugh, Buck and the Yanni comments again.
Vlad—Gets a ball way up and in while the schmucks at Fox are playing Yanni. McCarver likens Pudge's hit to Yanni. Buck—Pat Morita reference. Uncle already. Deep fly to left. Two out.
Ramirez—I guess he's not coming out after one BA like McCarver said. Johnson and Loiaza up in pens. To Renteria. Force. More f'ing Yanni.
More I, Robot. Oh, forgot to mention that Halle Berry looks good in Catwoman. Who cares how bad it sucks?
"Red Sox World Series tickets"—Mastercard commercial. The Red Sox fans are the Shemp of the baseball world.
9:23: Bottom of 2nd—Buck starts with a Mastercard commercial.
Berkman—one hopper to Giambi.
Kent—lines out right to Soriano. Hard but out.
Larkin—PH for Kolb.
McCarver—feels need to introduce world to Mulder. Brother!
Larkin—grounder. Nice play by A-Rod going to his left.
9:28—Top of 3rd—Johnson in. A-Rod up. Buck—foregoes calling balls and strikes and speculates on Johnson being traded.
A-Rod—eviscerates bat. Grounder to second.
Scooter—what the frig was that? Was that a joke. McCarver thanks Scooter for describing Scooter. I guess he beats Steve Lyons or Jeanie Zelasko.
Dolts—still talking Johnson trade ignore single to right by Giambi. Oh, Buck remembers there's a game. Worse that Phil Rizzuto.
Jeter—single over second. Third straight to almost the same spot.
Soriano—Piazza to mound. For some reason McCarver is talking about the Braves and how Johnson and Sheets shut them out. Now, the Mets, and the cameraman searches for one in the dugout. Get back to the game. They're already bored. Just past Renteria. Giambi stops at third. Fox loses feed. Two seconds of a blank screen, nice.
Ken Harvey—PH for Mulder. 2-0. Foul. Called strike, may have been low. K on slider.
Torre—on mike, asking Mulder if he wants to hit off "The Unit".
Ichiro—Fox lists him as just "Ichiro". Mention Fred Lynn and his grand slam in ASG. Lynn is a nice comparison to Ichiro, if he could hit with power. Does McCarver think Ichiro a lefty will hit one out on Johnson?!? Grounder to Pujols, nice cover by Johnson. 3 LOB.
9:44—Bottom of 3rd—Loaiza in. Renteria in.
McKeon—interview during Renteria AB. Nice throw on short-hop to A-Rod.
Pujols—back to pitcher. Buck—mentions taking McKeon's focus away from game jokingly.
Bonds—3-1. Bonds shift. Ball four a foot outside. Even at the ASG!
Rolen—misses great late breaker. Dolts—busy taking about Barry's career IBB record. They've only recorded them since 1955, for crissake.
Rolen—2-2, a couple of fouls. Works it full. Another foul. Another Pepsi ad. Rolen singles to left. Nice AB.
Sosa—again with the Diamond cam. Weak one-hopper to left of Soriano who plays it perfectly.
9:52: Top of 4th—Carlos Zambrano in to pitch to Pudge.
Bushes looking very Republican.
Rolen—nice play on grounder.
Giambi and Bonds—pronounce love for each other in replay with open mike.
Ortiz—to pinch-hit for Ramirez.
Tony Pena? Why is he a coach? Because of the job he's done with the Royals this year.
Ortiz walks. Buck is showing off his scant knowledge of Spanish to mimic coversation at first. I bet he loved Jose Jimenez (not the pitcher).
Jeter—hits a slicing lining just foul in right.
A-Rod—triple to deep right-center. 7-1. Oops I said Jeter initially.
Carl Crawford—in for Giambi. From Houston, that explains big hand. K on high heat to end inning.
10:05: Bottom of 4th—Ortiz at first, Crawford in left. Sabathia pitching. I always want to straighten his cap. Buck—why have to know that he's out of the booth for a ceremony coming up.
Berkman—nice play by Crawford on a liner to left-center.
Kent—singles past Renteria.
Beltran—PH for pitcher. Why is Williams there, too? Single to left.
Renteria—why not put Wilson in? Pavano up in pen. Pudge nice block. Bounces one just fair past A-Rod. Double. I missed the end but was that a Ground-rule double? It was off A-Rod's glove.
Pujols pounds a double off the wall in left, 7-4.
Bonds—pops out to Jeter to end it.
Video Tribute to Clemens—Opens with Journey. Buck on field with Clemens, his family, and Selig. Let's see how Bud embarrasses himself. Calls him a HoFer. Isn't that premature? Gets Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award. It's the 8th award ever given out. I have no idea who has the other seven. It's very special. Buck—has too rub it in re. Clemens bad performance tonight and then brings up his retirement. Not quite Jim Gray harassing Pete Rose but completely unnecessary.
10:20—Top of 5th—lots of changes. Pavano, Estrada, Alou, Cabrera, and Beltran in field. Jeter up. Grounder to second. Pujols goes to far to his right. Safe as Pujols is too deep to get the ball quickly to Pavano. Replay shows Jeter was out by half a step but Dolts make no mention.
Soriano—K's and we get a shot up Pavano's nostrils from Diamon cam imbedded in mound.
Young—Ugly exchange on DP ball to second.
Burger King question—What manager has won the most All-Star games? Wasn't Connie Mack the designated manager for a while? Also, they used to play two games a year. Maybe Stengel?
Ichiro—grounds out to Rolen.
Mastercard—"Cubs World Series tickets…priceless" commercial. I wish these fans would try following the Phils for a while and still talk about curses.
10:30—Bottom of 5th—Vazquez in. Glavine up in pen. Lowell PH for Rolen. K, looks ugly.
Scooter on sweeping curveball.
Young—nice play deep to left on Cabrera.
Estrada—Lilly up in pen. Why? Johnny and Erik comparison--oh my. K's.
Dontrelle Willis—commercial teaching kids bad pitching mechanics.
Another Pepsi commecial.
10:37—Wilson, Thome, and Lowell in. Pudge flies out.
Kevin Kennedy sighting, annoys Jeter in dugout.
Vlad—nice liner to left. Opens early but keeps his hands back on curve (?).
Otiz—Sheets up in pen. Walter Alston is the answer to the trivia question, Monster blast to deep right-center. Thank god we got a diamond cam replay of it.
Crawford—weak grounder to Kent ends inning. 9-4.
10:47—Bottom of 7th--Lilly, Martinez, Belliard, Blalock in. By the way, Buck said that Torre was doing a double-switch when he pulled Sabathia, but Young PH and then played field. That's not a double-switch.
Alou bloop single down right-field line.
Mo Rivera—looks silly using some rubber band thing to warm up arm.
Wilson—flies out to straightaway left. Buck and fans get overly excited.
Thome—Nathan up in pen. Belliard is playing 10 ft deep in right. K.
10:56—Top of 7th—Glavine and Loretta in. McCarver feels need to introduce 38-year-old Glavine.
Sheffield—PH, DP—Wilson-Loretta to Thome.
Ruben Studdard from American Idol to sing "God Bless America". Jeez, Fox has no soul, do they?
11:06—Bottom of 7th—Tejada and Nathan in. Buck—"Nathan came out of nowhere". No he pitched for the Giants.
Abreu—PH, but they are busy with an Eric Gagne interview in the pen. F' the game.
Dolts—comparison of "Famous Streaks",interrupts interview to watch Abreu K on high heat. Gagne seems like a down to earth guy, complimentary of Rivera.
Buck—surprised that the M's faded this season. Does he even pay attention to what's going on in the sport.
Lowell—fly out almost squirts out of Sheffield's glove.
Cabrera—Buck says Dodgers one hitter away from running away with it. Of course that hitter is Babe Ruth. Lauds Dreifort who has like a 3.76 ERA and pitches in Dodgers Stadium. He makes McCarver look good. I think Timmy's been in the John for the last couple of innings, very quiet.
11:16—Top of 8th—Sheets in. Belliard up. McCarver's back and Leon's getting laaaarger.
Gordon and F-Rod up in pen. Buck calls Rodriguez a setup man even though he was closing all last month. Pathetic.
11:23—Bottom of 8th—Gordon in.
Gordon—out, Rodriguez in—I guess Fox needed to get a few more commercials in.
Gagne up in pen.
Loretta pops up to deep short.
Bourne Supremacy commercial—Am I the only person in America looking forward to this sequel? I love Joan Allen.
11:31—Top of 9th—Gagne is in, Fox plays "Welcome to the Jungle" Rivera is up in pen.
Ortiz—he's still in. Is Torre trying to wear him out? Walks.
Blalock—ironic in the Alanis Morrisette sense. Pops up on first pitch.
Matsui—for Crawford. He shall be Livan in the pen. Misses fast ball. K.
Lawton—Ks on a change.
The Next Champ—when reality shows feature boxing haven't they run their course?
11:40—Rivera in—Bottom of the 9th.
Helton—last position player on NL, PH for Beltran. Pops out in foul territory to Ortiz.
Finally the winning Pepsi # is EZH9Y, why because we like you?
Thome—Flyout to Tejada. The fat lady has sung.
The AL gets homefield in the World Series. And Smell-a-Vision replaces television…And there was much rejoicing.
Billy Squire—Rock Me Tonight
Taco Bell Postgame. Jeanie "Don't Look at my thighs" Zelasko—who dresses her? Introduces Bud Selig. MVP to Soriano.