MidSummer (Not So) Classic Revisted

Well now, that didn’t take long, did it?

Justin Verlander posited a far from glossy ERA of 45.oo as the starter in last night’s All-Star Game. He lasted an inning on the mound. Which, frankly, was about an out and a half too long.

Down 5 nil, the AL was toast before its first AB.

Proving, at least for last year’s Cy Young/ MVP the veracity of this adage: Meet this season, not the same as last season. As if we didn’t already know that.

And, reinforcing this skewed homily: Most pitchers can find the plate some of the time. And some pitchers can find the plate most of the time. But this pitcher, er, well . . . ask that guy W who used to be a part owner of the Rangers, he knows what I’m trying to say.

Anyhow, last night in KC, Verlander was suffering from BBQ toxicity or something. He rarely found the plate, unless it was loaded with pulled pork. And when he came close, there was a SF Giant ready to go McCovey on him.

If Verlander was no Sidd Finch on the mound, neither was there a Roy Hobbs to be found on the Junior Circuit’s lineup card to grab the game and pull it back within reach.

Down 0-5 before Tim McCarver had a chance to remind us yet again he’s old and in the way, the AL went meekly into the night, looking to all like they couldn’t wait to get back in the clubhouse for another round of Arthur Bryant’s. They filled the sacks one time early on, but Ian Kinser flied so meekly for the 3d out to wunderkind Bryce Harper that the Nat actually caught the horsehide, instead of losing track of it as he did earlier in the inning when he suddenly realized he was playing in the MLB All-Star game and not in Williamsport.

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I ended up coming home early from our gathering. Then surfing away to some show about 72 hour kitchen makeovers.

Truth.

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That the league that wins this game gets the extra home game in the World Series is fine with me.

It beats a tie.

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Baseball’s gathering of it glitterati is generally worth watching, unlike similar encounters in the NFL, NBA and NHL, which are, for various and sundry reasons, devoid of competitiveness and worth viewing only if one is plagued with sever insomnia.

That said, I’ve lost interest in recent years. For which disinterest I can blame that tie Selig declared about a decade ago, the late starting time, the aforementioned impossible to listen to “expertise” of Tim McCarver, my age and the fact that my one pal who always gathered the guys for the game has moved to Masters Country.

His return to town this week for business and a dinner friends had for him last night, All-Star game night, brought back some of the ol’ anticipation for the affair. There was sure to be plenty of banter, even if Immy and Bricking, the main bench jockeys from yesteryear, wouldn’t be in the house.

I anticipated there would be at least one retelling, probably several, of an infamous All-Star game moment from ’88. Since we were supping at David’s house, and he was the one left out a quarter century ago when Bill got tickets to the Classic in Cincy and asked me to go instead of David, even though the latter had worked to make it work to get us all tickets to the game through his brother in law in Queen City. Who, by the by, was stiffed by an unscrupulous “ticket broker.”

Hopefully that running “feud” shall be put to rest. Doubt it.

By the by, our tickets were about ten rows from the top in straight away left field. Had no sense whatsoever we were even in the same ballyard as the game. Except for the hike up to the seats from the hot dog stand. 2-1 AL W. B OR I N G.

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Tony LaRussa is retired. He managed the NL anyway.

Was this an Old Timer’s Game?

He and Dusty Baker are still feuding over some on field skirmish from a few year’s back. Nice.

And, LaRussa, whom I’ve never liked since I found out he’s close pals with Bobby Knight, insinuated his will when choosing his starting hurler. He started SF’s Matt Cain, instead of more deserving R A Dickey (12-1 on the year).

Of course, Barrister LaRussa was right . . . in hindsight. “His staff” tossed a shutout. Doesn’t matter. Not only has Dickey had a better season, but it’s a better story. He shoulda tossed that first NL pitch.

Oh well, we won’t have the insufferable former manager to kick around anymore.

Nor another All-Star game until winter. It’s a good thing.

– Seedy K

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