Lets liven up the All Star Game events!

Before we get to the entertaining developments surrounding Baseball’s forthcoming All Star Game, which I had planned for tonight, lets get sadly serious first.

Over the weekend, very sadly, 50 brave people (at the last count) lost their lives in a club in Orlando. Well, actually, 1 of those dead was the lunatic who carried out the massacre, but anyway…Given he was a homophobic wife beater, maybe his death was for the best? The other 49 though, a very tragic loss. Just to say that all my thoughts, best wishes, and sympathies go out to the families, and friends of those whose lives were taken by this ghastly man.

I also briefly want to mention the thankful fact that before a white man, equally equipped with weapons was stopped, before he reached L.A Pride is only a blessing. Just proves, only too sadly, that the fight against homophobia is far from over.

Oh fine, now lets get to the, err, serious(?) stuff.

Given the baseball season is fast approaching halfway, it means that we are getting ever closer to the show, that is the All Star game. Like most of these games, its generally taken less than seriously, probably for the best, but its the only one that actually affects other events, in that the winning conference gets the extra home game in the World Series. But despite that, its not the most competitive game of the year, shall we say?

One of the side events at this, is the lunacy known as the Home Run Derby. This is where the best hitters of the conferences get fed soft pitches, and attempt to smash as many out of the park as possible. Well, thats what happens normally, this year might just give us something different. The AL pitchers only ever hit when they play in an NL park. So its fair to say that most of them have hitting skills, only slightly better than mine. Yes, that bad! In truth, most of the NL pitchers arent a lot better! But there are a few, who not only enjoy batting, they are quite decent at it too!

The best one, plays for the San Francisco Giants (the Dodgers fan in me turns away at this point), goes by the name of Madison Bumgarner, and this guy really can bat. Hey, he’s hit 2 home runs off my beloved Clayton Kershaw, and there’s not many that can say that! And, being a character, and a good bat, he wants to have a go at the Home Run Derby himself. The snag, it means one less top hitter from the NL having a go, but given events like this could always to with a shake up, it might not be that bad a thing? His team, understandably arent sure about the idea, mainly because of the injury issue, so whether it will happen?

The thing is, now a few other pitchers, who enjoy hitting the ball, also want to join in!


I must admit, if the clubs involved will agree to it, it would be fun. I admit it, adding another challenge to the Kershaw/Bumgarner/Greinke (among others) rivalry like this, would be a lot of fun. The snag of course, is that generally, its at least theoretically a contest between the 2 leagues, and the AL pitchers, well, they cant really play a part in this, because they dont bat. So I dont know, maybe the 3 divisions in the NL could do something?

I’m not sure if the new event could be fitted into the schedule this year, or not? I suspect if it was impossible, that MLB wouldnt discuss the matter, so I assume it can. Equally, I suspect Madison wants to go in the Home Run Derby proper, so we will see? Yes, I hope so!

Now all we need is to convince Vin Scully to commentate on the All Star Game festivities, and… 😀

Fine, video time. What a baseball might be saying to a pitcher, at the All Star Game, just maybe?

The Non All Star Game

For whatever reason, the concept of all star games have never caught on, over here in the UK. Possibly because building them into the relevant sports schedule isnt going to happen, mainly because of the vast demands of TV, and managers who would have hissy fits if their players got hurt in such games. The closest I can think of to it, is the intermittent cases of the odd Lancashire v Yorkshire rugby league games, but even they have pretty much died out since we entered the Super League era, because no one wants to play twice in a week, and Sky dont want a dead weekend with only 1 game being played.

But in the US, all 4 of the biggest sports have an all star game. The baseball one, pretty much everyone selected turns up, possibly because there isnt a great deal of physical contact in that game. Yes, they sometimes have a coming together off the bench, to discuss things, but generally, not much contact, even then, other than verbal. In a sense, its the most important one, as its the only one that decides where the final series will be played (who gets the extra home game), but even then, players dont seem to play it too hard, its for fun.

I’ll be honest, I have no idea if players turn up for the basketball one, or not, I really dont follow the sport all that much. But yes, this weekend, the other 2 sports have their big night, and its these which have caught my eye this week.

The NHL, it seems from what I’ve read, generally have pretty much all their non injured players turn up. But what caught my eye this week, was 2 players pulling out of the All Star series, through ‘injuries’. Now, they might genuinely have been injured in the last moments of their last club games, but seriously…? Even the clubs admitted it was more so their players were rested up for their club matches next week, but…surprise, surprise, the NHL fought back. Both players will miss their first club match after all star weekend, regardless of whether they were really injured or not. If they are, it doesnt matter. If they arent, then, quite rightly, the clubs are being punished.

But yes, the ‘are you serious?’ prize has to go to the NFL, and their Pro Bowl this Sunday. More than a third of the originally selected players, arent playing! Yes, a few are injured, and some are involved in the Super Bowl next weekend, but all the rest…?

For example, despite not going to the big match, no Patriot player is taking part in the game, despite 7 of them being selected. Numerous other players have conveniently got ‘injured’ since the end of the regular season too, quite something!

I’ll be honest, the people I feel most sorry for, are the fans who’ve bought tickets for the games, expecting to see the biggest names, and they wont! I do wonder if a few of these players, if they knew it would mean sitting out the first game of next season, would suddenly become available? Hmm?

To be fair, I see most of these sort of games as pretty meaningless, so maybe its time they were stopped? I’m sure they could find another way to decide who gets the extra home game in the Baseball world series, team that won the most games in regular season, maybe?

Anyway, rant over.

The video. What some might say when they hear that player X has pulled out of their respective all star game?