Category Archives: All-Star Game

2015 All Star Game in Cincinnati: Mike Trout MVP, AL Wins 6-3

Mike+Trout+86th+MLB+Star+Game+CSAwDjBAyObl
[Box Score]

[Deadspin] [ESPN]

It felt a little bit like the 2015 MLB All Star Game left a lot to be desired. Even I admitted to some friends that the lack of offense and fireworks was painful.

At the end of the day, the headline story was the same as the 2014 All Star Game: Mike Trout adds another luxury vehicle to his All Star Game Most Valuable Player garage. The guy is absolutely amazing, and not human. He is still the best player in the game today, and he shows it when he’s up against the best in the world and offense comes at a premium.

The Scripps Building in Downtown Cincinnati added a nice touch.
The Scripps Building in Downtown Cincinnati added a nice touch.

Here’s the best video we could find of Trout leading off the game with a home run against Zach Greinke. It was a lead the American League would not relinquish by the end of the night despite the NL tying the game 1-1 early. The closest the NL would come after that would be when Andrew McCutchen homered to left field.

Clayton Kershaw had a subpar showing, allowing the AL to hang several runs on him and put the game away.

Bryce Harper went 0 for 3 in his third All Star Game, facing three lefties.
Bryce Harper went 0 for 3 in his third All Star Game, facing three lefties.

Bryce Harper didn’t have a great showing in the game because the American League was able to trot out three left-handed pitchers against him.

All in all, the story was about Trout, Pete Rose being involved in the game, the five living legends who walked on the field before the game (really special moment), and the city of Cincinnati showing what a great baseball town it truly is; even if the Reds are about to hold a full-fledged firesale.

I regretted not being there for this game. I pictured myself there for years leading up to it since the day it was announced – but with the way the game unfolded – I was happy I didn’t spend the $700 or so for a subpar seat and cost my family all that money.

Seeing the Greatest Derby in Baseball History: The Night The ToddFather ruled the Home Run Derby World

CJ54tDaWwAApW9c

I saw the greatest Home Run Derby of all time last night live and in person at Great American Ballpark. Here are some notes, and you can click through for the photos.

  • That national anthem, sung by Marlana VanHoose was awesome. Should have known after hearing that it was going to be a special night.
  • And if the anthem wasn’t enough; in the first round when Sean Casey caught that random ball off the bat of Josh Donaldson; the Redlegs should have known it was going to be a night of good fortune.
  • Last night was the loudest I have ever heard Great American Ballpark in any capacity. The crowd was rabid, ferocious, and absolutely wore themselves out for Todd Frazier. I screamed at points until my throat felt like leather.
  • They’ll talk about what Todd Frazier did last night forever in Cincinnati. This will be one of those things that is replayed forever in Cincinnati sports lore and in Home Run Derby moments, and I was there to see it.
  • It was amazing how bad the weather was before – and after the derby – yet it was perfect for that several hour window to watch all the All Stars take batting practice and of course watch Todd Frazier create the signature moment of All Star week.
  • Bryce Harper hit about three moonshot home runs in batting practice in a row into the teeth of a pretty good crosswind blowing right to left in right field.
  • I almost got a foul ball from Todd Frazier’s nephew during batting practice. Yet, some guy using a glove slapped it out of my grasp. Opportunity gone forever.
  • I really liked the new Home Run Derby format. Without it, we weren’t given the dramatics and buzzer beaters.
  • Pretty sure I saw grown men crying in the crowd after Todd won the Derby and  Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ was blaring on the loudspeakers. A special moment. It is hard to get chills anymore at a sporting event, but I had them last night.
  • All Star Fanfest was really cool – probably the best collection of sports memorabilia I’ve ever seen as part of a charity auction in one room of Fanfest – but we were only able to stay for a short while because we wanted to get in to the stadium when the park opened.
  • The Reds are about to decapitate their team core; yet in this disappointing season of losing, Todd Frazier lifted the Reds and their franchise for a night at the center of the baseball world. As we left the park, we were yelling about being winners with other fans. I saw drunk people running down 5th & Vine street traffic giving high fives to cars. Cincinnati loves an All Star game.

Continue reading

The Home Run Derby is tomorrow in Cincinnati, and we’ll be there

Chris+Berman+State+Farm+Home+Run+Derby+W-9fCFiRRz1l

It’s so hard to believe it’s the All Star Break. Where the heck has this summer gone? I think having an eight month old makes the summer feel like it’s five minutes long.

That said, the festivities take place in our home state this year. Because our wife is lovely, she surprised us with tickets to the derby. This won’t be our first derby – we went in 1997 when it was at Jacobs Field when some guy named Nomar Garciaparra won the Rookie Home Run Derby and Tino Martinez won the real thing – but we are definitely excited since it’s been some 18 years since we’ve seen an event like this live.

Chris Berman will be there on the mic to drown out our conversations with friends and other fans. The derby is sponsored by Head and Shoulders. We just now realized that we just don’t watch ESPN anymore for baseball coverage. Back when we attended our last derby, Berman and company from the Worldwide Leader in sports were almost as famous to us as the players participating in it.

hr_derby_150x134

This year, the field leaves a little to be desired but there’s still a lot to like. We kind of hope Anthony Rizzo wins the thing, or the Toddfather in front of the home town crowd. It’s kind of cool that old Albert Pujols is doing the event again and still relevant in a home run hitting contest. It’s still a little bit of a bummer that Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, and Mike Trout can’t be part of the contest; but it’s a damn good time and we just want to see guys hit some Nintendo game shots in that bandbox down in the Queen City.

A full report of all we see and experience to come!

All Star Game Selection Sunday

1280x720_ASG_SelectionShow_tod_mon_ET_7rtt2ize_wggak3my

Baseball Tonight held the All Star selection show sponsored by eSurance live from Nationals Park in Washington before tonight’s ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecast between the Giants and Nationals. Here are a few notes from the show:

  • The first selection they announced was Bryce Harper. It’s clear ESPN has a good relationship with Harper and want to make him a star. I didn’t realize that he wasn’t baseball’s leading vote getter, he just led the NL. We voted one time. Harper had 13.9 million votes.
  • Josh Donaldson was the leading vote-getter in all of baseball and probably deservedly so with no one at his position to pull votes from him.
  • There were over six billion votes, destroying the previous high total in any year which was 3.2 billion. I miss the paper ballots, but it’s clear we have moved to an online world.
  • Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, Salvador Perez, and Lorenzo Cain were voted in as Royals starters.
  • The only other team to place multiple starters on either roster was the Miami Marlins with Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton getting enough of the vote to be elected.
  • Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, and Miguel Cabrera were voted in.
  • Matt Holliday who is a solid player; but has been injured for half of the year is probably the only guy you could label undeserving.

The remainder of the rosters get filled out tomorrow night. Baseball is making this a multiple night spectacle, as they should.

Voting for the All Star Game is underway (Online Only)

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 7.39.51 PM

MLB All Star Game voting is underway, and this is the time of the year that in the seventy years prior; you and your family or friends would get the great paper ballot at the game. Nothing that great lasts forever. Baseball has decided it wasn’t proper use of their resources to do that anymore.

Balloting is only online now. We took a stab at our first ballot for old times sake today. Spoiler alert: there are personal favorites in here. And why the hell not. Some fan base will send someone who is hitting .245 to the game, so I’m going to vote for my guys.

Here are the guys I want to see in Cincinnati in July:

Screen Shot 2015-05-03 at 4.12.41 PM

Report: Marlins Park to host 2017 All-Star Game

a-new-marlins-ballpark-2

With the 2015 All-Star Game being held in Cincinnati, and the 2016 going boring on all of us for a year to San Diego (who wants a Petco Home Run Derby, anyways); the game’s midsummer classic will return to a fun and deserved site in 2017 in South Beach.

This report comes via the Miami Herald today – and hopefully the Marlins’ brass can see the goodwill coming their way for you know; ponying up and spending some money to improve their franchise. Anyone who says that the Marlins will just blow it up again is clearly wrong, the Marlins are going to be forced to field a team that contends until at least the latter half of 2017 now; which we expected them to do anyways.

It’s worth pointing out that the Marlins were originally awarded the 2000 All-Star Game, only to have it stripped and given to the Braves. After opening their new stadium in 2012, they were originally expected to get this year’s All-Star Game, but it was given to Cincinnati instead – which has been a long-deserved All Star game site.

The Nationals can be expected to get the 2018 All Star game we think, just in time for Bryce Harper’s big departure to a larger market. It is likely that in the next four years we will have an All-Star game in an NL park that has never before hosted the game. Pretty exciting stuff, especially if you’re someone who still believes that baseball has the holiest of All-Star competitions like we clearly do. It’s the one exhibition of it’s type that has always remained competitive and sacred.

A Bucket List Item Sits in the distance

attachment

Here’s an image you’re likely to see repeated many times over between now and next July when the Cincinnati Reds host the 2015 All Star Game in the Queen City.

I’ve waited my entire life for this game to come to Cincinnati. I’m not exactly sure how I’ll pay for everything, but I have to be there in some form for all the festivities, game included.

As for reviewing the logo, they could have done a bit more with it; but it’s clean and I like it.

Now all I need is Jay Bruce to have an All-Star season and rebound from his 2014 campaign and be there to come full circle in his career. That Home Run Derby in that bandbox has his name written all over it.

Some Original Photos from the All Star Home Run Derby and Parade

We were fortunate to have a good friend in Minneapolis the last few days, Corey; who has written for the site before. Next year we figure to be part of the entire All-Star experience from start to finish in Cincinnati, or die trying. For now – enjoy the awesome camera work on these original photos you can’t see anywhere else. BstJ1jrIUAA5sdo This is the famed rainbow that appeared during the home run derby before Todd Frazier starting taking his first round cuts. BstJOf5IQAEIyJh So I just learned that these guys are known as ‘Minnie’ and ‘Paul’, and they’re exactly 500 feet from home plate. It was mentioned during the game that they have never been reached. BstJmznIIAAgBGV Yasiel Puig during All-Star workout day. BstJ352IIAA7l6r Here are the contestants of the Home Run Derby. BstJkVwCAAA4VB3 The Captain taking some cuts during batting practice of All Star workout day. BstKCz7IcAAVrrh A great shot of Jeter during the parade. When you think back to the 2014 All Star Game in the Twin Cities, you’ll think of two main things: Jeter…. BstKHeZIgAAXQCe And Mike Trout. Who looks like he’s signing a ball for a fan here in the middle of the parade. What a great dude. BstKJZWIUAA3_NE Lots of respect for Miguel Cabrera, who admitted over the past few days that he isn’t fully healthy. BstKNWkIgAArame Giancarlo Stanton rides alone. BstKO3_IQAAEh-v Andrew McCutchen didn’t go without accumulating some stats in this All-Star Game, he singled to lead off the game. You know, the play that Jeter almost made right off the bat. BstKEjjIAAAClud Here’s another one of our favorites Jose Abreu, aka Big Cuban Stud. BstKL5rIAAE05My Jose Bautista in his salmon-colored sports coat. BstKQ9gIIAA1ya_ One of the most talked about arms in the game today, Clayton Kershaw. Up close and personal. BstKP4uIYAEEXyk Paul Goldschmidt BstKR79IAAAEgdU Yasiel Puig had a ROUGH couple of days in Minneapolis. This is a great and symbolic shot, really. Puig is such a kid that you figure he was in awe of everything and having such a great time (kid in a candy store) the focus just wasn’t there. And that’s okay. He will have more All Star Games.

Mike Trout grabs MVP honors in an outstanding All Star Game

Mike+Trout+85th+MLB+Star+Game+RQ1Oii2LkKol

[Box Score]

[Hardball Talk] [ESPN] [Rob Neyer] [SweetSpot] [Deadspin] [NY Times]

The melody line – the take home message in this wonderful All Star Game of 2014 – was that Derek Jeter is passing the torch to the new face of baseball. It is absolutely fitting that Mike Trout won the MVP of this game and despite a great night from Jeter, and a home run from the man who has kept Trout from two MVP awards at a college age; it was Trout who shined the brightest in the game of stars and had the biggest hand in the American League’s victory.

I thought this was one of the best Midsummer Classics in recent memory from an entertainment standpoint. The hitters really did their job, putting a lot of hard balls in play and it seemed that the game featured about five or six well struck balls off the wall.

The game had a little bit of everything. It is absolutely amazing the kind of arms that each side was able to trot out to the mound one after the other. It’s also a credit to the great hitters in the game today that there were eight runs scored. The game also featured some great defensive plays, second to no one was Dee Gordon’s grab and throw to rob Michael Brantley of a hit.

It was just a well-played, outstanding ballgame. It represented our sport as well as any one thrill sport games could have. And how about that Corvette Stingray that Mike Trout took home? OMG.

Click through the jump to see five great moments from the 2014 All-Star Game.
Continue reading

The 2014 All-Star Game Awaits

2014-MLB-All-Star-Game-Logo

In about an hour, the 2014 All Star Game takes center stage as a celebration of the baseball season’s midway point. It’s actually kind of sad that the season is half over (and if we’re being honest with you and ourselves it’s more than halfway over). This year’s All Star emeritus is Derek Jeter, so the game will be centered around cameras nobbing him and rightfully so.

ESPN had a cool article the other day about some of the different personalities and their favorite All Star Game memories titled ‘Midsummer Memories’. It had us re-living some of our favorite moments of All Star’s past, and if asked to pick just one moment it’s really hard to do. Every midsummer classic from our youth is special in it’s own way.

We really loved that 1992 game when Ken Griffey Jr. homered and was named the MVP. It was special to see it live, as that was the moment that Junior really kind of announced his presence on the grand stage. That was the moment when he started to come into his own. He was pretty dominant for the next decade.

The All Star game is neat, and tonight will have it’s share of epic moments. There are a nice collection of the game’s best players that serve as a great snapshot for where the game is at today. That’s the best part about every All Star game; you look at the names that dot the roster and I think it says something about the game at that particular moment.

The last two games have featured shut-outs. Tonight, we’re fairly sure both teams will score and we’re fairly sure the starters (Felix Hernandez and Adam Wainwright) of the game will be going full-bore as their teams have a shot at the playoffs and they want the opportunity to host that extra game. I think it’s going to be a terrific display of the game’s greatest players tonight. I can’t wait. The only bad part is soon after this game the season will begin to melt away like sand through an hourglass. There’s nothing about that which is positive.

But it’s been a remarkable and fulfilling first half of baseball. If the second half is this much fun, we’re in line for one of our most entertaining finishes ever. Good for our favorite sport!

Our All Star Ballot

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 8.07.21 PM

In past years, we voted a lot and had a lot of homer picks. Guys like Jay Bruce and Bryce Harper would still be getting votes even though they’re among the least deserving players in baseball for this season. Hell, we would even give Jeter some sentimental votes.

This year – we don’t have time to vote several hundred times. One ballot of integrity is above. These are the guys we think are most deserving.

The 2013 All Star Game

84th MLB All-Star Game

[Box Score]

I have to be honest: I love the All Star Game, and I love baseball more than just about anything in life; but I wasn’t especially entertained last night. In fact, I think it was a display to the outsider of just how boring three hours of our product can be to the rest of the world.

That said, the arms are absolutely incredible in today’s game. The pitching seemingly gets better every year, and last night’s game was as much of a display of that as anything else. I would still have preferred to see a few more big hits (I see you Prince Fielder with your triple) and a little more action. The game’s lack of exciting moments had be chatting with my friend from work through much of the game.

Last night’s game was really about a legend’s last ride. And it was a special moment that you’ll never forget. Synonymous with the year, the city, the game itself; forever when you think of this game one of the first things you’ll have to think about is Enter Sandman and Rivera trotting out to the mound by himself. Props to Jim Leyland for making sure that the perfect moment went down the way it did – if you’re questioning why he threw the 8th just think about the possibilities that could have led to him not throwing in the game at all if things had fallen apart for the American League.

I didn’t even realize until I read this Deadspin post that Mariano Rivera’s first three hitters he set down in an All Star Game were as follows: Charles Johnson, Mark Grace, Moises Alou. The last three – a one, two, three inning – featured Jean Segura, Allen Craig, and Carlos Gomez. Look at those names for a minute and realize the greatness it takes to just span across the eras. That’s what makes baseball so special.

In a game of fathers and sons, Mariano Rivera has been so dominant that he’s had a chance to dominant a father’s era of hitters and now his son’s stars. It’s truly remarkable.

In an All Star game that featured only one defining moment, that moment belonged to the Most Valuable Player (like he needs a brand new Chevy vehicle).

While unspectacular, another All Star Game in my lifetime is in the books. It’s time to look towards what we know will be an action and drama-filled second half of baseball. And judging by how bored I am on this evening without baseball, we hope it gets here quickly.

allstar

This post was sponsored by The Sports Geek. If you like baseball, and you like to bet; we suggest you give them a click and check it out.

AL wins exhibition game and is rewarded with home field advantage in season’s most important series

I don’t really have to explain how it’s stupid to have an exhibition game between the two leagues determine for one team who gets home field advantage in the World Series, particularly given the way the rosters are put together….however.

For now I’ll enjoy the pitching show the AL put on tonight. They only gave up three hits to an all-star NL lineup.  Here is the pitching numbers from the night.

AL pitching 7.16

For the offensive side, Jose Bautista ended up with the game winning hit – a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning.  JJ Hardy and Jason Kipnis added the 2nd and 3rd RBIs.  The best offensive play on the night was clearly Prince Fielder legging out a triple.

Prince triple 7.16
Not the most graceful slide I’ve ever but kudos for the hustle

The NL didn’t fare well.  Never getting more than a hit in any inning and only advancing a man to 3rd base once.

It’s fun to see all these guys get together and play a game and mostly have a lot of fun doing it.  It was fun to see Mariano Rivera get the MVP in his last game (not sure why they didn’t use him for the save).

A few final thoughts:

  • Fantasy owners are pissed at Matt Harvey for knocking the knee of Robinson Cano.
  • Neil Diamond is old and its hard to get New York fans to sing a Boston song.  I’ve never seen more disinterested New York fans as I did during the first verse of “Sweet Caroline”.
  • Has there been a better player than Carlos Beltran who has played for 5 different teams and seemingly been written off several times.
  • I have no idea how Joe Mauer didn’t throw out Andrew McCutchen.  Perfect throw.
  • Manny Machado made another ridiculous play at 3rd.  When is this guy moving to shortstop?

Try to enjoy tomorrow.  It’s the only day in the year with out a game played by any major sport.  Maybe read a book or do something productive with your life.  You’ll only have one day to do it.