As I am traveling, and I miss watching copious hours of baseball every night because of that, I made a point to watch Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game from a relatively comfortable chair in my parents’ house Tuesday night. I usually tune in for a little bit of the Midsummer Classic, but this was the first year in a long time where I’ve actually watched the entire thing. Here are just a few of the things that jumped in and out of my head during the reasonably short contest.
I am not sure who decided the teams needed to have actual all-star uniforms. I always liked the fact they wore their own uniforms, either in home white or road colors. It made it easier to identify the guys who played for your team, and it also looked kind of cool to see them all standing out there together - like an all-star team!
I am sure MLB decided to break out the uniforms in a bid to sell them to fans and I suppose that is their prerogative. I would, however, suggest the designs they came up with were pretty ugly. If they must continue down this path, I certainly hope they get better looking uniforms for next year.
The thing that makes the MLB all-star game work is the fact baseball is basically an individual sport, played by a team. By this I mean the focus of the game is on the interaction between the hitter and the pitcher and, since every hitter always wants to get a hit, while every pitcher always wants to get the opposing hitter out, I think you really see guys giving it their best effort.
This is not always the case with the games played by the NFL, NBA, or NHL. Those sports rely too heavily on cohesive units and, more specifically, on defense to be played at their highest level. Due to the fact no all-star seems to want to play defense, the games end up having much more of an exhibition feel than what we get from baseball.
Did Craig Kimbrel bleach his hair? Because it looked awfully blonde! Seriously, that guy was a red head when he pitched for San Diego and Boston.
I do not know who thought it would be a good idea to put a live microphone on a closer while he was trying to get a save, but that person got what they deserved. In case you missed it, Chicago White Sox ace reliever Liam Hendricks was mic’d up when he came in to save the game for the American League in the bottom of the ninth. At some point, as he was focusing on pitching, Joe Buck actually tried to talk to him, but Hendricks did not respond.
Then, a little while later, Hendricks dropped a few choice expletives for everyone watching at home to hear. Seriously, talking to the players during the game can be kind of fun, but thinking you’re going to get good television out of a guy who is actually focused on winning a game is pretty dumb.
Finally, all the under-25 talent — Fernando Tatis, Jr., Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Bo Bichette — leads me to believe the game is in seriously good hands. In addition, if Tuesday’s game was any indication, then we’ve got an exciting second half in front of us. Much like the All-Star game was a good time, the remainder of the baseball season should provide us all with plenty of entertaining baseball to watch.