All Star Game Notes

Just a few observations from the All Star festivities

  • Starting about 8:45 EST is completely unnecessary. It was a fast moving game until the late innings, and it still wasn’t going to end until close to midnight, even without the extra innings.
  • Guzman made a few really nice plays. Joe Morgan actually echoed my thought by saying “Cristian Guzman made a few plays with two outs and the winning run at third, and they were not easy plays.” Sooo, does anyone want to trade for him? I like the guy, but he could help out a team, and I feel like he’s played well enough over the last few years that the Nats could get something in return. Either way, he should be the national spokesman for laser eye surgery.
  • There were a few noticeable missed calls – Tejada didn’t tag Kinsler on the stolen base to name one. If the throw beat you last night, you were out, no matter what.
  • You gotta read the article about Ichiro’s pre-game speech.
  • Whatever Papelbon said was completely overblown by the media. Then again, so is his performance this year. He has, at best, the 4th best numbers for a closer in the AL right now behind Mariano, Soria, and Nathan. Also he has 4 blown saves. Yet everyone thinks he’s unhittable. Not that he’s bad, either.
  • Yankees fans should boo every Red Sox player, but the threats to Papelbon’s wife are unacceptable. HOWEVA, if anyone thinks the same exact thing wouldn’t happen the same way in Boston to a Yankee player, they are kidding themselves.
  • Josh Hamilton is probably going to get more votes for MVP than he deserves. He is great, and a super story. But he’s hitting .310/.367/.552 with 21 HRs and 7 SBs right now (no complaints there).
  • The interesting thing about being a Yankees for, or a Red Sox fan, for that matter, is when they see someone like Josh Hamilton, they can say “how can we get THAT guy?” For Nats fans, and most other teams, it’s more like “I wish we had someone similar to that guy.”
  • Comparatively, his teammate Milton Bradley is hitting .316/.440/.610 with 19 HRs and 4 SBs. And how about Ian Kinsler – .337/.397/.548 with 14 HRs and 23 SBs. Of all of them, I’d vote for Kinsler. Most people still underestimate the value of a quality middle infielder who hits like a very good outfielder.
  • Will the three errors and the terrible plate performance allow the Nats trade for Dan Uggla? He would immediately become the best healthy player on the team, and with Zimmerman healthy, he’s probably second best player on the roster (although I really that Dukes will eventually hit better than both of them).
  • Speaking of trades, the Nats have about a dozen pitching prospects and their hitting prospects consist of Chris Marrero, Michael Burgess, and Justin Maxwell. Maxwell is a Mike Cameron type, but he is a longshot for real success in the majors. Marrero and Burgess are showing potential. Maybe trading a pitching prospect or two for a hitting prospect or two is a good idea.
  • Back to the All Star weekend – will anyone remember that whats his name won the HR derby?
  • I am done with the derby needing to be All Stars or defending champions, the league just needs to pick people. Besides what Rick Reilly pointed out – that every participant was white, there were some glaring omissions. Forget about ARod, how about Giambi (who has 19 HRs so far this year) in Yankee Stadium with the short porch? If I could have picked the group, off the top of my head, I would have liked to see Giambi, Adam Dunn, Grady Sizemore, Jermaine Dye, Ryan Howard, Josh Hamilton, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Braun, and Adrian Gonzalez. I reserve the right to modify that, I probably should have included Justin Morneau in that list…
  • If you want to see a real life demonstration of “regressing to the mean” watch Dioner Navarro for the rest of the year.
  • Michael Young should get a lifetime invitation to the All Star game, because he loves hitting the game winning RBI.
  • George Sherrill has a legitimate claim to an MVP of the game vote. Maybe he wasn’t the most valuable player in the game, but he was probably top 5. Who would have guessed that?
  • Lidge warmed up, according to Jayson Stark, SIX times over the course of two hours. No wonder he didn’t look sharp. At least he didn’t have to face Pujols.
  • I would have loved to see a position player have to come in and pitch. I’m not sure that would have made the game higher quality , but it would have made it more of a spectacle.
  • Everyone knows the least deserving All Star was Veritek, a total reputation pick. But how about Fukudome? Since hitting .348/.443/.500 as of May 3rd, he’s hit .243/.352/.360 over the last 61 games. Also Joe Crede, hitting .248/.322/.433 since April 29. Fukudome was voted in, but did Crede need to be there over Miguel Cabrera, Mike Lowell, Jason Giambi, or Jermaine Dye? (Answer: No)
  • I’m usually pretty good at making mid-game calls (Home Run, right now!) but my definitive “there is NO WAY the AL wins after loading the bases with no outs in the 10th, then getting 2 on with 1 out in the 11th and not scoring” was apparently, off the mark.
  • One more thing – as someone who lived in New York for a period of time – Bobby Murcer will be greatly missed. Great commentator, by all accounts a great guy, and a great player. He was the one player between the early 60s and late 70s that was actually really good for the Yankees. His numbers may not be very impressive, but I’ve heard interviews with Bill James saying his numbers are much better than they look in context thanks to the era, the stadium and the league. James also said that in 1971 Murcer was, in his opinion, the best player in the game. As bad as his splits look, his career OPS+ of 124 should tell you how he performed.

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