A Meaningless, Meaningful Game

The All Star Game – which you probably did not watch last night – is a meaningless, meaningful game.

(You didn’t miss anything.)

(Well, you did miss this …)

Puig Triple

(Nick Markakis would have made that play … had he been named to the All-Star Team …)

(… and mistakenly been playing for the National League.)

The All Star Game is an exhibition game that determines home-field advantage for the World Series.

(So, it is a very meaningful game if you are the Baltimore Orioles.)

al standings

(Vin Scully doesn’t like this home-field thing. Not one bit.)

The game seems quite meaningful to the players. (Some 10 percent of all major leaguers were there last night.)

And, it was especially meaningful to Yankees Shortstop Derek Jeter who will retire at the end of this year and got a bit teary eyed during the game.

(See, there is crying in baseball.)

The St. Louis Cardinals Adam Wainwright, the NL’s starting pitcher, couldn’t decide if the game was meaningless or meaningful either.

He gave up a lead-off double to Jeter.

jeter1

(If you are an Orioles fan, you rolled with it. Our starting pitchers give up lead off doubles and walks to start games all the time. We kind of thought that was what you were supposed to do. )

Before the game, Wainwright thought the game was meaningless and said he might give Jeter “a couple he could hit.” After the inning, he said he gave Jeter one “down the pipe.”

Upon further reflection, and perhaps an interesting public relations crisis meeting in the NL clubhouse, he decided the game was meaningful after all

Wainwright

“When I said ‘down the pipe,’ I should have said I tried to execute a strike,” he clarified.

Mike Trout’s triple (man, he can motor!) and Miguel Cabrera’s home run in the first were pitches down the pipe as well, although I don’t think Wainwright meant to give up those hits either.

Or, he did. I don’t know.

(Clayton Kershaw should have started.)

My friend Jay hates the All-Star break.

There should be no breaks in baseball, he will insist. He’s also not crazy about rain delays.

I rather like a break in my summer. A few days without baseball allow me to catch up with shows on my DVR.

(I sure hope Ross and Rachel get together!)

The All-Star Game used to make me shrug. Most of the time, just a bunch of not-Orioles playing a game that didn’t mean much of anything to me.

It’s still a meaningless game.

Except that it means something.

I’ve been told home-field advantage in the World Series is very important. (I’ll let you know in October.)

The American League won 5-3 last night, by the way.

I think I just buried the lead again. I don’t know.

_______

A Special Note From Editor/Husband:  “I’ll tell you what you missed last night – even if you were watching  – seeing Hall of Famer Rod Carew throw out the first pitch, which Fox couldn’t be bothered to air live. Hey Fox, how about spending a few minutes talking about him and his amazing career, instead of making us listen to Ida Lupino, or whatever- her-name-is, caterwauling her way through an endless Bob Dylan song.  What was THAT all about?”

 

12 thoughts on “A Meaningless, Meaningful Game

  1. I actually watched the game from around the sixth-inning to the end. From what I could see, it was a well-played contest. Have to admit that I don’t like that the outcome of the game determines home-field advantage for the World Series, though.

  2. Gotta agree with the Editor/Husband there. I turned on the TV just in time to be assaulted by “Forever Young”, and my immediate reaction was “What the hell does this have to do with baseball?”

    Then, when they finally got around to showing the first pitch–along about the second inning, if memory serves–I half expected someone in the booth to say “Who’s Rod Carew?” Talk about a lack of respect for the game and the players!

    On the other hand, it wasn’t all a Jeter love-fest. If they really had been trying to make it all about him, the call on McCutchen’s lead-off single in the first would have been “out”.

    • Clearly, the umpire didn’t get the “Jeter-Fest” memo.

      I don’t mind a meaningless All-Star game … it’s much better than that horrible home-run derby. I can’t imagine why anyone would actually go and sit in the stands to watch hours and hours of the slowest batting practice ever.

      • As I’ve said before, to me the appeal of the Home Run Derby is watching the kids in the outfield chasing the balls that don’t go out. There’s the drama in wondering if someone will get hit in the head, the comedy of a ball scooting through multiple kids’ legs, and the thrill when one of the younger kids actually catches the ball.

        Well worth watching–as long as you mute the sound so you don’t have to listen to the god-awful commentary.

  3. Had the Dodgers spent more time focusing on baseball and less time being jackasses, maybe they’d have made it to the WS and their manager could have started Kershaw. I’d pick my own guy in a close call too. Using the All Star game to decide home field advantage in the WS is pretty dumb. There should be a convoluted formula that involves winning percentages and strength of schedule and run differential, etc. involved. Oh, and Puig is a doofus. His immaturity will forever keep him from being what he could maybe be otherwise. That is all.

    • Exactly right. And, I don’t fault Matheny at all for his choice. Farrell took Koji Uehara in his bullpen instead of Darren O’Day or Zach Britton. Fine. It’s unfair, but it’s the way this thing works.

      So, the teams are chosen in a meaningless, arbitrary way. The “starting” AL catcher has been on the DL since the beginning of May, played in only 26 games, and won’t play again this season.

      Why in the world would a game that’s meaningless have to mean something?

      Maybe we should make the horrible Home Run Derby mean something, too. However many home runs the winner makes in the final championship round can be used as official runs at any time, in any regular season game through the end of this season. oooh. Let’s make everything meaningless meaningful!

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