Baseball took its annual summer break this week to give us the spectacle that is the MLB All-Star Game. To be honest, the game itself was not really that much of an extravaganza. Well, unless you consider a never-ending stream of pitchers a spectacle. There were only two home runs hit in the contest, which the American League won 4–3. It was the seventh straight year the AL has prevailed over the senior circuit, but who’s counting, right?
Ever since MLB did away with Bud Selig’s silly idea that the All-Star Game should decide who gets home field advantage in the World Series, the game has returned to its meaningless roots.
I would take this a step further and say that in 2019, the game is even more meaningless than it was when it started. Back in the old days, fans wanted to see the matchups between the best of the two leagues because they so rarely happened. These days, with inter-league play so commonplace on the regular schedule, there is no real reason to tune in just to see the best pitcher in the NL square off with Mike Trout.
So, we got a game that featured 18 pitchers, none of whom threw more than an inning, and plenty of strikeouts, which is to be expected in this the age of home runs and whiffs. The home runs, however, mostly came Monday during the Home Run Derby when rookies Pete Alonso and Vlad Guerrero, Jr. along with Los Angeles Dodger Joc Pederson, put on quite the display of their prodigious power. I was a little surprised Pederson did not somehow manage to strike out during the long-ball competition, as that seems to be the other side of his particular skill set.
Stepping away from the diamond, we shall take a quick trip to the pitch where the United States Women’s National soccer team defeated the Netherlands to win yet another World Cup. There have now been eight Women’s World Cups and the U.S. has prevailed in four of them.
I have always said the reason the U.S. is not better at men’s soccer is because the best athletes don’t play the sport and I feel like the women’s domination of the world sort of proves this point. The USWNT is stocked with a lot of the best athletes the country has to offer and look how well they do. I am convinced if the men’s team was made up of all those guys in the NFL, they would have multiple World Cups as well.
Finally, Kawhi Leonard is coming to Los Angeles! But … with the Clippers? The MVP of the NBA finals spurned LeBron James and the Lakers so he could join a team that has not ever won anything and, honestly, did not look like they were on their way to changing that before they brought in Leonard and Paul George.
A lot of people are saying the Clippers are now the best team in Los Angeles, but I’m not buying it. I have followed the Clippers since they played in the San Diego Sports Arena and this is not a franchise that has good things happen to it. They certainly have more talent now, but I would have put my money on the Lakers, even before they signed DeMarcus Cousins, simply because the Clippers have never been any good.
Ultimately time (and a couple showdowns at the Staples Center) will tell who has the better team, but my money will stay on the purple and gold, at least until the red and blue proves me wrong.