The 2016 All Star Game started off with a bang, but ended like most All Star Games do. Low-scoring and tight. The pitching was just a bit ahead of the hitting.
The early announcement was pretty cool – from now on the National League batting champion will be known as the Tony Gwynn Batting Champion. Rod Carew was on hand, because the American League batting title winner will be known as the Rod Carew hitting champion. I’m in favor of this, and a big Tony Gwynn fan.
From there, the moments you’ll remember were Kris Bryant homering off Chris Sale to put the National League up 1-0. Guys were really lining shots all over the place. Bryce Harper mixed in a double. Mike Trout of course got a hit. Xander Bogaerts doubled.
For me, my favorite All Star Games will always be 1992 in San Diego (the first one I watched closely when Ken Griffey Jr. won the MVP) and 1994 in Philadelphia when Tony Gwynn slid in heroically and scored the winning run.
I was 10 and 12 respectively in those years. And that’s the age when the All-Star Game is a really neat event. Now, it’s just something to do at night in between workdays. Yeah, it’s cool to see some of the power on power match-up’s you’ll never see again; but when I was a kid pal’ing around with all the other neighborhood kids, this game was the gem of our entire summer. It was practically a holiday.
The game has more remarkable talent, and more remarkable young talent then I ever remember. It should be showcased. But tonight’s game will likely be a 4-2 or 3-1 type sleeper with just a small vacuum of big moments. Teams aren’t going to light up either of these pens or collection of arms for a 14-12 donnybrook, which would really get me excited here in my middle age.
But it’s my favorite sport, and it’s the Midsummer Classic damnit! And I’m allowed to be excited for it.
And I really do remember this like it was yesterday, laying on the old yellow carpet that is long since removed at my parents. I couldn’t believe my eyes! The Kid did it!
Like a great shot in 18 holes of golf, that was what kept me coming back to the All Star Game. I was hooked.
It’s so hard to believe; but an entire half season has passed us by. It’s kind of sad.
The All Star Game brings about a time honored tradition we’ve always enjoyed though; even though we admitted to our wife today that it’s kind of painful and a bad game if we’re being honest. It’s really more than all that. We’ll get into why we love the All Star Game Tuesday like we always do on Tuesday.
For now, it’s just reflecting on the sad fact that the season is half over. It sucks! I haven’t even began to read about NFL football or think about training camp because I’m engrossed more than ever in baseball season.
So, in some ways get ready for the most boring four days in your life. The Home Run Derby and Midsummer Classic are more of a formality or a distraction than a contest. And when the teams come back on Friday it’s like sands in the hourglass. The leaves will be on the ground before you know it.
Alright, so this is definitely a combination of ‘my guys’ along with who I feel is truly most deserving. I’m not sure that casting votes for Carlos Correa over Xander Bogaerts is going to go over well with anyone objective who reads this; but I digress.
MLB has changed the voting a bit over the years – I miss the paper ballots at the park – and now you can vote just 35 total times online. This does away with the teams that would organize social media voting parting for their guys at the final hour.
It’s probably for the better, and every year I make sure to post my ballot on here and had not done so thus far this season. So here it is. My 2016 MLB All Stars.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
My buddy Johnny Quickfeet picked these off twitter at work today and shot them over to me. Since the Reds aren’t really worthy of much discussion, check out these soon to be available for purchase 2015 All Star Game hats.
Love the homage paid to the old Mr. Redlegs style caps back in the day.
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:
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.
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.
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. This is the famed rainbow that appeared during the home run derby before Todd Frazier starting taking his first round cuts. 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. Yasiel Puig during All-Star workout day. Here are the contestants of the Home Run Derby. The Captain taking some cuts during batting practice of All Star workout day. 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…. 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. Lots of respect for Miguel Cabrera, who admitted over the past few days that he isn’t fully healthy. Giancarlo Stanton rides alone. 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. Here’s another one of our favorites Jose Abreu, aka Big Cuban Stud. Jose Bautista in his salmon-colored sports coat. One of the most talked about arms in the game today, Clayton Kershaw. Up close and personal. Paul Goldschmidt 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.
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.