I’m sorry guys, but I just don’t care much about this year’s all-star game. It’s like a guilty pleasure I’m scared to admit, my apathy towards this season’s mid-summer classic. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved the all-star game. The all-star break was always fun. I can remember watching the home run derbys of year’s past between Ken Griffey Jr., and Barry Bonds, and I can remember Cal Ripken Jr., one year winning it. I remember Fred Mcgriff’s two run game tying home run in the 1994 mid-summer classic, and Moises Alou’s double that scored Tony Gwynn Sr., to win the game for the National League. I remember the 1996 game, where my childhood Dodger hero Mike Piazza slammed a monster home run, and took home the MVP honors in Philadelphia’s Veteran Stadium. I even remember the tie a few years back.
There are so many memories, because the all-star game is a deep rooted part of our national pastime, that goes back over 80 years. The National League has a slight lead on the American League all time 42-38. But if you remember, the National League had a dominance for many years throughout the 80’s and 90’s. That changed when we saw the American League roll off like 8 wins in a row or something. We saw the National League rebound and win the last two.
The all-star break has always been about fun. The all-star game is fun, it’s nothing but an exhibition game designed for the fans to be able to watch, the best hitters in the game, trying to hit the best pitchers in the game. That’s it. The fans vote on the starting eight/nine, and the managers, and coaches vote for the pitchers, and reserves. This year the all-star game is in Kansas City, at Kauffman Stadium (home of the Royals). Which is even farther removed from us over here in Southern California.
That is one reason why I just don’t care much this year. This year’s all-star festivities reek of meh…this year to me. Here are more reasons why I don’t care about this year’s all-star game…..
- The game is being played like 5,000 miles away from me in Kansas City. I feel disconnected from the game I mean, I have heard that authentic KC red eye BBQ is amazing, but that is neither here nor there. I’m happy for the KC fans to have something of interest this late in the season, since they haven’t had much to celebrate over the last 30 years or so. Good for them.
- Only two Dodgers are all-stars this year, and only one has a chance of playing. This isn’t like last year, where three Dodgers all played in the all-star game, and contributed towards a National League win. If you remember Andre Ethier started in center field, both him, and Matt Kemp both got hits, and Clayton Kershaw pitched a scoreless frame. This season, Ethier didn’t make it, and only Matt Kemp, and Clayton Kershaw were selected to the all-star game. Kemp won’t play in the all-star game, but will participate in the home run derby, as he is the captain. Currently Kemp is rehabbing with the Quakes in Rancho Cucamonga, but will do the home run derby on Monday, and return to the Dodger’s lineup on July 13, when the second half of the regular season begins. I can understand why Kemp isn’t playing in the all-star game. It’s not worth risking injury. Since there is only one Dodger going to play in the game I don’t care. Even if Kershaw gets in the game, the most he would pitch is one inning. Sure I’ll watch the home run derby, and yeah that’s always fun, but seriously….meh (There is also another myth that the home run derby can screw up a hitter’s swing, another reason I’m not too stoked on Kemp doing the home run derby)
- The all-star game is still meaningless, no matter what Bud Selig tells you. This year’s game follows the American League rules since it’s being held in Kansas City, so there will be a DH used. Another reason I don’t care this year. Of course I’m a National League Baseball fan. I always root for the National League to win. The winner of the all-star game now determines home field for the World Series, which I think is stupid, and I never liked that rule change in the first place. Looking back on it, how much does that extra home game really mean anyways? The all-star game is still an exhibition game, and no rule changes will ever change that fact.
- The home run derby can screw up a hitter’s swing. I don’t have any specific facts to back this up, but this is something I hear every year.
- We have more important things to worry about.
We have more important stuff to think about for the Dodgers second half of the season. Like for example, when will third base stop being such a black hole? Will Loney go on another late season hot streak? How long will Dee Gordon’s dislocated thumb keep him out? Will Ted Lilly ever pitch again this year? Will the Dodgers get that big bat they have been searching for?
Those are the questions that go through my mind as the Dodgers prepare to begin a four game series in Arizona, which is the final series before the all-star break. The typical complaints about the all-star game’s flawed voting process continue every season. This guy should be an all-star, no this guy should, or what about this guy? Etc..etc..etc… who cares.
All I can think about is Matt Kemp’s return to the lineup on July 13. I can’t stop thinking about returns of Andre Ethier, and Mark Ellis. I can’t stop thinking of the second half. For everyone else not participating in this year’s all-star game, the all-star break is a time to rest, and reflect, on a half a season of exciting Dodger Baseball. This first half has been a mix of dizzying highs, and lows. The amazing come from behind wins, the ohfers, the injuries, the trade rumors, everything. It’s been one wild ride, and the second half is sure to be even crazier, as the Dodgers battle for the division title. We’ll be here at Lasorda’s Lair to document it all. Hopefully it will end with a Dodger Blue Championship. The Dodgers are in a pennant race, and I don’t want to miss a second of it.
If you are one of the lucky people who is attending the all-star game hullaballoo in KC, check out the guys over at Kings of Kauffman who have a nice little ASG guide for first time visitors. http://kingsofkauffman.com/2012/07/04/kansas-city-here-i-come-what-to-see-along-with-the-all-star-game/ If you can tell me how that KC BBQ is.