Most of you watched the All Star Game, right? As far as the major American sports go, nobody does it better than Major League Baseball. The NFL Pro Bowl is a joke that should be cast off forever, the NBA All Star game features a lot of hotdogging until the fourth quarter, and the NHL’s skills competition is better than the actual game. Baseball is one of those sports where the stars can go all out without too much fear of injury (more on that in a minute).
The game itself turned out to be incredible boring, but a lot of the fun was provided in the pregame ceremonies. The MLB opened it up with some lengthy player introductions, including the very American one-two punch of Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner (/tips invisible cap) back-to-back and the always cheery Sergio Romo. Two players really stole the show, though.
First it was Cliff Lee, who was really enjoying himself. Very excited. You know, taking in the moment. It was an enormous occasion for him and he showed it:
Marco Scutaro was slightly happier. First, he couldn’t wait for some camera time, so he photobombed Everth Cabrera:
Then, when he was finally introduced, he really let himself have it:
The introductions were followed by an interminable National Anthem and one of those signature Tim McCarver rants — the kind that meanders into some dark terrifying woods, takes you through a blackberry bush and some poison oak before finally emerging from the wilderness right back where you started.
Seriously. He was discussing Mariano Rivera’s final All Star Game and said something to the effect of “it’s a big moment for him, but he has to be worried that it’s not one of those situations where the other pitchers pitch and Mariano might not get a chance to pitch as opposed to the other pitchers pitching well and then he actually ends up going into this game.”
There were several more of those rants, but maybe we should save them for a special edition of “Inside the LOL”.
Here’s a quick run down of what happened in the game:
— Matt Harvey plunked Robinson Cano in the knee less than five pitches into the game. The injury sent Cano to the X-ray room and gave Joe Buck and McCarver plenty to talk about while Harvey eventually got out of a two-on-no-out jam and the NL hitters got one-hit through five innings of Max Scherzer, Chris Sale, Felix Hernandez and Matt Moore.
— The AL scored twice on productive outs. Fundamentals, people, FUNDAMENTALS.
— Posey finally made an appearance in the sixth inning to catch Jose Fernandez, but nobody got to see their inning of work because Fox spent the whole half-inning on a close-up interview of Jason Grilli.
— Grant Balfour pitched (completely out of place) in the sixth inning. Balfour struggled at first, allowing a leadoff walk to Michael Cuddyer, but he dialed in and retired the side after that.
— Posey’s next assignment: catching Aroldis Chapman’s wild-but-effective high-90s missiles to retire the side in the seventh.
— Marc Anthony sang “God Bless America”. The Internet made fun of Marc Anthony.
— Steve Delabar struck out Posey.
— Craig Kimbrel gifted the AL an insurance run by allowing a RBI double to Jason Kipnis.
— Neil Diamond sang “Sweet Caroline”.
— Rivera came out of the bullpen to “Enter Sandman” and pitched the eighth inning. They probably could’ve forgone “Sweet Caroline” and gone straight to that.
— McCarver recited the lyrics to Sandman’s chorus. It was awful.
— The NL only mustered one more hit — a double by Paul Goldschmidt — but never touched home.
Scutaro, Bumgarner and Romo never saw the field. The NL fell to the AL 3-0, and with that, the NL’s streak of three-straight All Star victories ends. This means the American League will now hold home field advantage in the World Series, which is bad news for Giants fans but great news for fans of the Oakland A’s (who honestly appear to have a much better chance of making it to the World Series anyway).