Wednesday, July 18, 2018

And Now, Yer Really Big All-Star Shew

The great work is finished.

For the first time in my baseball-watching life—for the first time since a bright July day in 1964, in brand-new Shea Stadium, when Johnny Callison took the Sox's Dick "The Monster" Radatz deep for a three-run, walk-off home run...the American League has won more All-Star games than the National League, 44-43-2.

Read 'em an' weep, Senior Circuit!

Let the missiles fall out of the sky from North Korea, Iran, Russia, wherever.  I can now die a happy man.

As for the game...

Sure, I thought the Home Run Derby was last night, not tonight!  Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.

I know you kids like these listicles today, so here we go:

The Yankees fan's top three moments from the 2018 All-Star Game:

1.  Aaron Judge's monstrous home run.  Let's hope it's a sign of better to come in the second half.

2.  Luis Severino's superb inning of work, after giving up that frightening, lead-off double to Matt Kemp.  That was (somewhat) reassuring.

3.  J.A. Happ looking hapless as ever, as Joey Votto took him downtown in his one inning of work.  Mr. Cashman, you have been warned.

The Yankees fans' worst three moments from the 2018 All-Star Game:

1.  Chris Sale, as the starter, going all of one inning.  I would've pitched him three, and put him away wet.

2.  Craig Kimbrel, the most dominant AL reliever in the first half, NOT getting the call to close out the game in the ninth or tenth inning.  Mr. Hinch, you may come to rue your generosity.

3.  Seeing the frightening number of terrific young players from the Yanks' three main rivals, the Red Sox, Astros, and Indians.  Mr. Cashman, you have been warned.


Fox deciding it was a good idea to conduct interviews with players while they were actually in the field during a live game.

Yeah, that was just great.  Because we were all dying to hear nervous half-chuckles, noncommittal phrases, and mumbled cliches DURING the game, as well as before and after.

This got so bad I had to turn the sound off at several points.

Memo to Joe Buck and your fellow idiots over at Vulpine Sports:  What is beautiful about the athletes is what they do.

Yeah, every now and then you find a thoughtful and well-spoken one willing to give you some insight on the workings of the game (any game).  You get somebody to jot them down in a book, and you read them when there's no game to watch.  That's what the offseason is for.

The rest of the time?  Shut up already!

Interesting facts and statistics to know and pass on:

—Jacob deGrom's 1.68 ERA is the lowest of any Met at the the All-Star break since Dwight Gooden's in 1985.  Or did they say any pitcher, period?  In any case, the words were barely out of Buccaneering Joe Buck's mouth before Trout had put his next pitch into the seats.

But here's the rub:  Doc's final ERA for 1985 was 1.53.  Meaning he actually drove it DOWN through the rest of the year, mostly with a 0.34 ERA in September.  0.34.  I've never seen a starter have a year like that one, not even Guidry.

It was also the same year that Mattingly was the AL MVP, and Rickey Henderson scored 146 runs.  Oh, but had their been a Subway Series that year!  Which very nearly occurred (Psst:  I think they might have beaten us!).

—Judge became the youngest Yankee to hit an All-Star game home run since Mickey Mantle, in 1956.  Mantle was just 24 at the time, and in the midst of his magical, Triple Crown season.

—The starting AL catcher was Salvador Perez.  Yes, that Salvador Perez, the one currently hitting .231, with a .653 OPS, who started because Wilson Ramos couldn't go.

This once again demonstrates just how easy it would be for Gary Sanchez to dominate this position in this league, if he ever cares to put his mind to it.

—For all that the AL has once again taken the lead in Midsummer Classics, the NL may very well win interleague play for, I think, the first time since it started in 1997.

If my faltering math skills are right, the AL is only up by three games this year, thanks mainly to the world class tanking of Baltimore, KC, and the Pale Hose, with Texas close behind.  

Guy I don't want on my team:  Bryce Harper.  It will be really interesting to see what offers he gets.

Nice job by those Carmine Hose hitters:  2-7, I think, with a lousy pair of singles.  Pah!


—Who hit the very first All-Star Game home run?  (Hint:  he was a tad rotund by then.)

—Who holds the record for the most career All-Star Game wins?

—Who holds the record for the most career All-Star Game saves?

—True or false:  in his 9 innings of All-Star Game work, Mariano Rivera never allowed a single walk or run.

—Who is the only man ever to win the MVP Award in the All-Star Game and the World Series, in the same season?

Well, there you go, kiddies!  We'll be back tomorrow, with more grades for the pitchers and management.

In the meantime, here's hoping this enthralling piece of tripe helps get you through Thursday!


el duque said...

Great write-up, Hoss.

I have a few possible answers, and I'll guess that Mo's all-star slate is squeaky clean, but mostly I dunno.

JM said...

One of the best posts this season. Nicely done.

Put up the answers to the trivia questions! I'm way too lazy to look all of that up.

NAIRB said...

Who was both All-Star Game and WS MVP in the same season? That would be Derek Jeter. In 2000, right?

Alibi Ike said...

The answer to the first one is simple: William Howard Taft.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, guys!

Alibi Ike, you would be right...except that, in an early test of the video replay system, it was ruled that Taft's impressive smash, deep into the Comiskey Park bleachers off Lon Warneke was disqualified because, in fact, Taft was dead.

Due to the technology of the day, however, it took several days before the film could be developed and reviewed, and the first home run officially awarded to Babe Ruth. This sadly deprived Taft of the chance to become the first man ever to be president, chief justice, and hit a home run in the All-Star game.

Most wins? Left Gomez, with 3.

Duque, you are correct about The Great One. Rivera was named to 13 All-Star games, appeared in 9, finished 6, and saved 4. He faced 30 batters in all, struck out 5, walked 0, and allowed 5 singles and 1, unearned run (thanks to an error by Nomah, back in 2000).

And yes, NAIRB, it was Derek Jeter who was WS and AS MVP, in 2000.

Good work, guys!

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