Greatest. Exhibition Game. Ever
Posted by Mac10 on July 16, 2008
I don’t know if anyone else stayed up to watch every inning of the All-Star Game, but, believe me, it was completely worth it. The game had everything you want in a baseball game: terrific defense, clutch hits, plays at the plate, and one guy making an ass of himself.
-The players cared about winning. Whether it was the whole AL team stealing bases, NL players laying down sacrifices in an All-Star Game, or Carlos Quentin’s take-out slide on a catcher, it was pretty clear that the players actually gave a shit.
-The NL defense (excluding Uggla). Ryan Ludwick’s diving catch, Nate McLouth’s throw home, Miguel Tejada’s game-saving play on Morneau’s apparent infield single, Christian Guzman making several great plays at 3rd (where he has never played before), and Russell Martin making every single play humanly possible behind the plate. There is no way that game would have gone 15 innings with the NL pitching and Dan Uggla performing so poorly but for the defense of everyone else.
-Carlos Quentin’s audible “Fuck!” after striking out to end the 14th.
-Carlos Marmol not blowing the game. This is what I was most worried about once the game went into extras. Marmol, though, pitched like the pitcher we saw for the first 2 months of the season, not the one from June and July.
-Everyone played. Not to sound like a commie, but I hate it when a guy gets picked for the team, and doesn’t get to play.
-The game ended perfectly. With no pitchers left on either side, we were staring at a possible tie or JD Drew pitching, so the final run came at the right time. Plus, the game ended with an incredible play at the plate. In a game with so many dramatic plays, this was a fitting end.
-The possibility of a tie. I don’t know if they would have eventually called a tie or had position players pitch until we had a conclusion, but I was definitely worried there would be an unsatisfying conclusion to one of the greatest games ever. I don’t know how they could address this problem, maybe not bring starters who pitched on Sunday, but they need to have enough pitchers to make it through the whole game.
-The AL won again. If the Cubs make the World Series this year, this ASG could haunt them. For a team that is 37-12 at home and 20-26 on the road, home-field advantage is crucial.
-The format of the ASG is set up so the best players aren’t playing in the later innings. This means that people like Corey Hart of Dioner Navarro are deciding the game in extras. Not that these guys aren’t good, but I would rather see Pujols and A-Rod out there in the 14th inning.
-Wow. Just wow. Maybe the worst collapse I have seen from a player on the big stage since Rick Ankiel. For those of you who didn’t watch, Dan Uggla had 3 errors (including 2 in a row), GIDP with 1st and 3rd and 1 out, and struck out with the bases loaded and 1 out. And the strike out included one of the worst swings I have ever seen by a major league player. I hope Uggla doesn’t lose his mind completely and turn into Chuck Knoblauch Jr., but that was just an awful display for an alleged All-Star.