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All-Star Game Notes That Count Randomly
2003-07-16 01:31
by Mike Carminati

- "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"? That's how they really are opening the show? What a venal, pointless, and ordinary promotion

- It's good to see Gary Carter and Luis Aparicio in uniform. It's interesting to see Carter in an Expos uni. Did he pick it?

- Posada let his kid run out as him when they were announcing the lineups. Cute, but now everyone will be lugging their kids onto the field before, during, and after the game.

- Nice tribute to Larry Doby, But what's the deal with the reverb? "Now batting for Pedro Borbon, Manny Mota...Mota...Mota."

- Vanessa Carlton lip-synched (lipsank?) the National Anthem-pathetic? Besides she is trying desperately to look like a Fast Times-era Phoebe Cates.

- First inning: It looks like A-Rod is wearing a mike at short.

- Baker calls Renteria, "The smartest player in the NL." High praise indeed.

- There's no first base coach for the NL until the second batter. But remember, it counts!

- Bonds jut misses one. Had to shorten up his swing on an apparent ball, inside and high. Odd for him.

- Second: Nice play by Delgado going into the stands to get a Sheffield pop-up.

- Martinez is hit in the head and we have to view the play with the stupid catcher cam, a remnant of NBC-era Letterman's Late Night show. He's OK, but his helmet is cracked.

- Third: I still don't buy Clemens is retiring (he's interviewed by Kevin Kennedy). MJ retired too and it didn't take. If you were his wife, would you want Rocket hanging around the house?

- Delgado RBI on a curve ball that flattened out after a he missed a big loopy one.

- Fourth: Official sponsors are Bad Boys and SWAT. Enough with the movie promos!

- Ichiro: Nice catch, nice jump, nice run, nice leap. Very nice.

- Wood throws an unhittable rising fastball past Glaus for the second strike.

- Fifth: Helton hits what looks like a high, hanging change out.

- Hasegawa: half his runs were scored directly by the long ball this year (2 HR and 4 runs allowed).

- Andruw Jones hits what's ruled a ground rule double on fan interference. Furcal, runner at first, awarded home even though not yet at third when ball is interfered with.

Joe Buck disagrees with the call, but isn't it just a judgment call by the umps? I hope those bums get thrown out of the game. It's reassuring to see the managers argue the call-it does "count".

[By the way, Buck was wrong. Here are the rules/definitions regarding fan interference. As for me, I think that it would have taken a very good throw/relay to get Furcal at home. It's something that Anderson is more than capable of delivering, but I would have to agree with the ump's judgment-if it takes a very good throw to get the runner especially when it's the "away" team's runner, I would give him home on a fan interference call. Maybe if Anderson hadn't dogged it to get to the ball, the ump would have given him the benefit of the doubt:


(d) Spectator interference occurs when a spectator reaches out of the stands, or goes on the playing field, and touches a live ball. On any interference the ball is dead.

When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference...There is a difference between a ball which has been thrown or batted into the stands, touching a spectator thereby being out of play even though it rebounds onto the field and a spectator going onto the field or reaching over, under or through a barrier and touching a ball in play or touching or otherwise interfering with a player. In the latter case it is clearly intentional and shall be dealt with as intentional interference as in Rule 3.15.

...In case of unintentional interference with play by any person herein authorized to be on the playing field (except members of the offensive team participating in the game, or a coach in the coach's box, or an umpire) the ball is alive and in play. If the interference is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference.


- The interference call is academic after Pujols' hit.

- Sixth: Furcal almost hits teammate Marcus Giles with errant throw. Should have eaten it.

- McCarver and Buck are assessing Anderson's "cool" factor. He's Mojo Jojo in their book.

- Seventh: Jones hits a little poke homer on outside curve. Actually, on the replay it is low and over the middle of the plate. McCarver was fooled, too.

- Stretch: Amy Grant still is cute after all these years but has man hands and was drowned out by what sounded like my daughter's toy keyboard on "synth" mode. Also, does a good Nigel Tufnel imitation with her finger in her ear to harmonize apparently with herself.

- Giambi clocks a high fastball off of Wagner.

- Buck says that Wagner has the highest strikeout-per-innings-pitched ratio all time-is that true?

[It is true for any player with more than a handful of innings. Here are the men ahead of Wagner (through 2002):

Mark Whiten27.001.0
Ricky Pickett27.000.7
Chuck Nieson22.502.0
George Wright21.605.0
Francisco Rodriguez20.655.7
Larry Biittner20.251.3
Dick Wantz18.001.0
Don Leshnock18.001.0
Jim Garry18.001.0
Joe Bernard18.001.0
Mark Loretta18.001.0
Mike Anderson18.001.0
Dick Bates16.201.7
Greg Gross16.201.7
Jason Pearson16.201.7
Ed Kelly15.432.3
Neil Weber15.432.3
Harry Kirsch15.003.0
Dan Collins14.7311.0
Eric Eckenstahler14.638.0
John Hatfield14.638.0
Benito Baez13.509.3
Carl Schutz13.503.3
Fernando Hernandez13.501.3
Jerry McCormick13.502.0
Jesse Hudson13.502.0
John Leroy13.502.0
John Papa13.502.0
Loyd Colson13.502.0
Mal Mallette13.501.3
Marshall Renfroe13.502.0
Matt Franco13.501.3
Matty Alou13.502.0
Mike Bovee13.503.3
Stu Tate13.502.7
Bruce Egloff12.715.7
Billy Wagner12.67418.3

- Eighth: So much for Wagner-to-Gagne-to-Smoltz being "lights out" after the sixth.

- Blalock hits a flat change, which McCarver called. Monster shot.

- Ninth: Game ends with Furcal drive to the wall, which is caught (appropriately) by Magglio Ordonez.

- Great end. Good game. Then again I liked last year's.

- Anderson gets the MVP. The Tedy Ballgame award finally goes to someone. It should have gone to Blalock though. It must be all those online voters voting in the third inning.

- In the post-game interview, Scioscia calls Smoltz, "Schmolz". Was that a veiled "chicken" reference?

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