Tuesday, July 14, 2009

All-Star Game: Night of 1,000 Stars

Or, since the league rosters are capped at 33, maybe it's Night of 66 Stars. But that's only if you believe that the likes of Zach Duke, Andrew Bailey, or Brad Hawpe are actually All-Stars. That isn't to say that those guys aren't having good seasons, just that they aren't the names that first come to mind when thinking of the Mid-Summer Classic.

I've kind of lost interest in the All-Star Game in recent years. I've thoroughly enjoyed watching the MLBN air ASGs from my youth the past several days. Perhaps not coincidentally, my interest has waned as Bud Selig has attempted to force meaning into what was never intended to be anything more than an exhibition game. Our pal Jason at IIATMS has detailed this quite well in recent weeks, pointing out the absurdity of the whole affair. I'll say this much: it was somewhat disappointing to see the 2002 game end in tie, but it didn't ruin my summer. It's a damn exhibition. I'd rather it end tied than have a pitcher from a pennant contending team throw 100 pitches in a meaningless game.

The pitching match-up tonight is a great one, as it usually is for the All-Star Game. On-the-block Roy Halladay will oppose emo-kid-extraordinaire Tim Lincecum. And because the All-Star Game is stupid, the pitchers will bat since the game is being held in an NL park. So Halladay may get some more practice at the plate before he winds up with the Phillies at the end of the month. I've gone back about 30 years and can't find the last time a pitcher that started the All-Star Game was traded mid-season. Halladay would be the first in a long time, if not the first overall.

In another line-up note, Mrs. Tony Parker is a late scratch from the AL line-up, with an infected ring finger. Michael Young replaces him at 3B in the AL line-up, Chone Figgins replaces him on the AL roster. I'm surprised the NL is allowing such a late substitution, because, as you know, this one counts!

For the Yankees, both Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira start, batting second and fourth respectively. Mo is out in the pen to close it out, and if recent history holds, he will. There was a time when the NL absolutley dominated All-Star play, winning all but one ASG from 1963-1982. In reent years however, it's been all AL. Since I began following the game in 1988, the AL has gone 17-3-1. They had a six game winning streak from 1988-93, and have won every ASG since 1997, save for the tie in 2002.

For his career, Jeter is .474/.474/.684 in 19 PA over 9 ASGs, including five starts. He was the 2000 ASG MVP.

Teix has made just one previous ASG appearance, starting at 1B in 2005, going 1 for 3 with a HR.

Mo has made 9 previous All-Star teams, appearing in seven games. He's gone seven innings, giving up just one unearned run and allowing only five hits and no walks. He's fanned four and finished five of those games, picking up saves in '97, '05, and '06.

Tonight's video comes from the Upper West Side's own Beacon Theater and features Phil Lesh and Friends. The video is nearly as long as last night's Home Run Derby, but it comes from a fairly historic performance, as this was filmed at the second to last concert given by the "classic" Phil Lesh and Friends line-up of Lesh, John Molo, Rob Baracco, Jimmy Herring, and Warren Haynes.

Midday Linkaround

Sorry Fackers, it's a slow day in terms of news and a busy one for both Matt and me. Here are a couple of items of interest to get you through the afternoon.


I hardly watched any of the Home Run Derby last night because in the process of drinking three beers at the bar, I saw a grand total of 11 home runs hit, thanks mostly to Brandon Inge's impressive display. How's that for action?!?! Didn't exactly entice me to turn it on when I got home, you know? Craig from Shysterball didn't watch much more, but he did jot more of his thoughts down.

Joel Sherman has three suggestions to improve the Derby. I like the first two, and even though third sounds like a good idea, it feels really dirty.

Sherman also posted three things he thinks about the Yanks at this point in the season. One of the items is a positive look at A-Rod. He's got 17HRs and 50RBIs despite missing the first 5 weeks of the season. Not too shabby, all things considered.

Looking at this post from Jason made me realize that A-Rod is still on pace to exceed Nate Silver's infamous projection, which I offered an alternative to back in February. Nate said 33, I said 42 and if A-Rod holds his pace of homering every 3.41 games he plays in, he'll end up with 39.

Mike from River Ave. Blues takes an in-depth look at the development of Austin Jackson. It's something we've attempted to do here in the past but Mike really knocks this one out of the park (even if Jackson has struggled to do so).

Josh has something in common with Andrew Bailey, but I have something in common with Mariano Rivera.

Remember when fan clubs were just for the Backstreet Boys and the Red Sox? Not anymore...

/hangs head in shame

And last but not least, allow me to offer a friendly travel tip: If you are going to smuggle cocaine in your golfing equipment, you might want to brush up on the basics of the game.