July 15, 2003

The AL wins the All-Star game: Blah blah blah. The AL won this exhibition. The teams that were picked were quite misrepresented in terms of "stars". Jayson Stark of ESPN wrote an article on the difference Internet voting makes. For example, Gary Sheffield got only 273,488 votes at the baseball parks, where he ended up with 1,259,790 votes total (a 986,302 difference, by far the largest vote difference) Individuals like Torii Hunter were not voted in because lack of Internet votes.

What's more important though is that this game represents (roughly) the mid-point of the baseball season. Jayson Stark has an amazing trivia article about the midseason. Did you know that the NY Yankees had a 6890 game hitting streak (as a team) until the Astros used 6 pitchers to break it? And that Torii Hunter was ejected on his own Bobblehead night? And that the Marlins lost by 20 runs and then won by 20 runs a few days later, but it's still no feat in comparison to the 1979 Chicago Cubs who on May 17, 1979 gave up 20 runs to the Phillies and then within an hour scored 20 runs to eventually lose 23-22 to the Phillies? Enough trivia. it's a great article.

Back to the business of baseball. Go cubs.

posted by meanie to baseball at 11:31 PM - 13 comments

Meanie is on a streak here folks... two for two, if I ain't mistaken. I thought it was a great game. Lotta fun and some cool people got highlighted. Good work, except for the fact it decided home field. Go Mets -- Trade Benitez. Please.

posted by 86 at 11:43 PM on July 15, 2003

Things I didn't like (in no particular order): Barry Bonds - I hate his pirate earring. I hate everything about him. Somebody, somebody pick him for random steroid testing, please. Make my year. Roger Clemens in/Barry Zito out - Could that have been handled any more awkwardly and ass backwards? The press tells Zito he's out of the game and has been replaced by Clemens in Chicago. Zito has been removed because he pitched just 2 days prior to the actual ASG. Zito pitched in the ASG for just 1 player last year. He couldn't do that again? I have a strange feeling that Steinbrenner was somehow involved and Selig is a wuss. Actually, I am sure of that last part. They didn't play Varitek - WHY? He was voted in on a special *play fanfare here* 32ND MAN BALLOT. Would it have killed them to put him in for the 9th? ARRRRRRRRRGH MY 75 VOTES. ''Would I have liked to play? Yes,'' Varitek said with a grin afterward. ''Am I mad? No. Am I going to take it out on Scioscia? Yes.''

posted by jerseygirl at 06:17 AM on July 16, 2003

On behalf of Dodger fans everywhere, our deepest apologies to whatever National League team makes the World Series and doesn't get home field advantage.

posted by jasonspaceman at 06:38 AM on July 16, 2003

And your point about Gary Sheffield is? I would say this is one place the fans on the Internet got it right. He definitely belonged in the outfield at the beginning of the game based on the year he is having. Of course, you could make a case about another Brave, Andruw Jones, but had the NL hung on and got the ball to Smoltz in the bottom of the ninth, Jones would likely have been the MVP. Oh, and Gagne should have been gone after the double. He looked shaky his whole time out there. Definitely not his usual dominating self.

posted by trox at 07:55 AM on July 16, 2003

The Mariner's reps pretty much mailed it in. Moyer had a perfect inning and Ichiro scored a run and made a great catch. Boonie, Shiggy, and Edgar were non-factors. Still...I hope the Mariner's end up being the big beneficiaries of the AL victory!

posted by vito90 at 09:27 AM on July 16, 2003

I love the fact that Keith Folke put up such a great ninth right in the face of the fans who were booing him last year! Boo ya, yerselves!

posted by billsaysthis at 11:00 AM on July 16, 2003

King Kaufman on Salon made the point about the internet improving the vote by letting voters have information at their fingertips rather than voters being at the stadium and just going for the names they recognize. You can read his column if you watch the advert for access. With another tight scoreline I have to wonder (without becoming analytical) why can't the other big all star matches have entertaining contests two years in a row?

posted by gspm at 01:31 PM on July 16, 2003

Will someone please explain why American sports feel the need for an All-Star game? Is it because of the lack of international club team opposition?

posted by salmacis at 06:12 PM on July 16, 2003

Thank god for the internet voting-- the internet voting was way better than the stadium ballot-stuffing, err voting, so I don't get the point of your post.

posted by chaz at 06:34 PM on July 16, 2003

Salmacis, possibly that's why. But back in the day when these things started, it was major league baseball and there were no professional leagues anywhere but the US. That was a big hit with the fans, so the others copied it. Now there's too much money on the table. And still no international club competitions in any sport besides footie.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:48 PM on July 16, 2003

billsaysthis - sure there is. NHL, NBA, MLB all have international competition. Unless Canada doesn't count.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:40 PM on July 17, 2003

Weedy, not international in the sense that soccer does, which is what we're comparing to here; Canada doesn't count in the context because those teams play in the 'American' league. What would be equivalent is if the NHL clubs played in tournaments against Finnish, Russian, Slovak, et al professional teams, and they don't. I forgive you because you're new to SpoFi (welcome, but be prepared to be slagged) and you should be warned that we have a very high proportion of footie postings and many hardcore EPL fans.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:24 PM on July 17, 2003

salmacis! Follow the money! It's a marketing scheme designed to sell tickets, hotel rooms, airline flights, etc. It's no different from playoffs, interleague play, exhibition games, wild cards, etc as far as the ultimate purpose. The more attractive games there are, the more money gets made by lots and lots of people, from TV executives on down to bartenders and hotel valets in the cities. Demand, meet supply.

posted by vito90 at 01:41 AM on July 18, 2003

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