Monday, July 9, 2012

Bring me the head of Tony LaRussa

                                      Back in the 1970 All Star game, Pete Rose decked catcher Ray Fosse to score the game winning run in a meaningless exhibition game, and although it was kind of a dick move ( Fosse's career was never the same), I actually miss that kind of passion.  These days, the mid-summer classic actually means something, with the winning league having home field advantage for the World series.  So with all the Wild cards and close races, that means there's a chance for almost every team  (except maybe The Royals, who ironically are hosting the game this year)  to play in the series.  Problem is, no one cares.  All Star games in any sport are all kinds of ho-hum, but at least baseball seemed to give a shit.  Not any more.  Half the players either are "hurt" or don't bother showing up.  Last year, when Derek Jeter, Mr. good guy himself, refused to appear in the game, it really said something.

                           It's getting to the point to where even the home run hitting contest garners more attention.  Sure, the announcement of the players is still cool, especially for first timers, but you can just look at the expression of players like Carlos Beltran, and almost hear them thinking, "Damn, I almost had 3 days off"...And to top it off, the best story of the year, R.A. Dickey, isn't even starting the game.  What a headline that would have been; late bloomer makes good.  Instead, Matt Cain gets the nod.  A fine pitcher, but c'mon.  I know LaRussa said he wants to bring Dickey in later in the game to throw hitters off, and Posey isn't used to a knuckleball (ummm, neither is anybody but Josh Thole, numbnuts), but please...why does LaRussa even care anyway?  He's retired.

                Of course, there's also the argument on whether or not fans should be allowed to vote for the starting line ups.  I think they should. However, and this may sound completely unethical, but maybe what they should do is try and pull off what that show "Last comic standing" did a few years ago...let the fans vote, but have their votes be utterly meaningless, only pretend that they actually do matter.  Scummy, yes, but who really gets hurt, besides the players pretending to be.  Don't get me wrong, I'll still watch the game.  It's a thousand times more entertaining than the Pro Bowl, which I don't think exists anymore (having an all star game after the season is over is pretty stupid anyway), not to mention the Basketball (no defense) and Hockey (ditto) ones.  It's just...damn, I miss crazy people like Pete Rose.  Never thought I'd say that.  The man was a borderline sociopath, who'd run over his own mother to win a game, but at least he CARED.  Not to say that someone like Adrian Beltre doesn't, but it's more controlled.

          They always show the great All-Star moments, with Ted Williams walk off home run in 1941, and then his trek onto the field in 1999 in Fenway.  Reggie Jackson of the A's hitting a mammoth home run off of Doc Ellis in the 1971 game in Detroit. Dave Parker of the Pirates throwing a bullet home to nail The Angel's Brian Downing (with help from Expos catcher Gary Carter, of course) in the 1979 classic.  Tori Hunter robbing Barry Bonds of a home run, and so on...but I'll always remember that 1970 game, even though I was only 1 when it happened, for sheer chutzbah.  Maybe Robinson Cano should do the same to Buster Posey that Rose did to Fosse, as a form of AL revenge.  Hey, Posey's used to getting into season ending collisions (too soon?).

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