Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dull All-Star game leaves something to be desired

I’m just going to come out and say it: last night’s All-Star game was pretty dull.

I hate the Home Run Derby. I’m a pitching and defense kind of fan so watching guys compete solely on who can hit the most baseballs out of the ballpark is boring to me. I only watched the derby this year to support Robinson Cano. But I have to admit that the derby was more exciting and emotional than the actual game, thanks to Cano and his dad.

For me, the first few innings of the game were fun. I loved seeing Roy Halladay and Jared Weaver dominate the hitters. But once Prince Fielder hit that three-run home run, it was like the life was sucked out of the ballpark. I know a lot of those fans aren’t very happy with Fielder these days, but Phoenix is still a National League city. Couldn’t they have shown a little more enthusiasm for the guy?

From a New York Yankees perspective, the highlight was David Robertson acting like a kid in a candy store when he took the mound in relief, excitedly cheering a fantastic catch made on his behalf by Jose Bautista (who showed the baseball world he can be more than just a hot bat). I don’t think there was a player who was happier to be there than Robertson (or more deserving) and I hope he enjoyed every bit of his All-Star experience.

Some of the best game stories happen behind the scenes and that was exactly the case for Russell Martin. I was disappointed that he was the only Yankees player not to get into the game. But that disappointment quickly gave way to pride and admiration when I found out that Martin willingly gave up his spot in the game so that young Matt Wieters could play in his first All-Star game. It was a truly selfless gesture by Martin (who has quickly become a fan favorite in the Bronx). I hope young Mr. Wieters pays it forward.

But overall it was a pretty boring game, even though it gave the National League home field advantage in the World Series. I can only hope Major League Baseball finds a way to spice things up next year because “This time it counts” isn’t doing the trick anymore.

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