The Squirrel Queen (in case you didn’t know) is a huge baseball fan.
In honor of America’s pastime, but not necessarily Barry Bonds, I’ve taken a jaunt over to the Bay Area to catch the MLB All-Star game, in spirit at least.
It’s been an interesting game so far. In the pregame festivities, “Say Hey” Willie Mays was the honored guest, throwing out the game’s first pitch with all the all-stars gathered behind him and then cruising around the field in a pink Cadillac tossing baseballs into the stands from his perch on the back of the auto.
Then the game starts. There have been some fireworks. Mets shortstop Jose Reyes has been one of the highlights for the National League, singling, stealing second and scoring on a Ken Griffey, Jr. single. Griffey was a big part of the action through the early innings.
The American League threatened when A-Rod singled and stole second. Pudge Rodriguez singled to right but Jr. threw A-Rod out at the plate to keep the NL in front 1-0.
The lead didn’t last forever thanks to a bit of All-Star game history off the bat of Ichiro. With Brian Roberts on first, the Japanese sensation lined a shot off the right field fence, which took an odd carom away from Griffey, allowing Ichiro to motor all the way around the bases for the first inside the park homer in All-Star game history. Woo Hoo. I was watching it happen. AL on top 2-1 now.
Carl Crawford lined a shot over the right field wall in the top of the sixth for a 3-1 AL edge.
The NL got a run back when Carlos Beltran tripled off that same wall and scored on a sac fly by Griffey.
Mike Lowell singled in the eighth for the Junior Circuit and Indians catcher Victor Martinez smoked a homer over the left field fence to bump the AL lead to 5-2.
I still hate listening to Tim McCarver on Fox broadcasts. I can handle Joe Buck. One thing I did enjoy about the broadcast was the footage of Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Eric Byrnes out in McCovey Cove in a kayak with his dog Bruin, an English bulldog. I think it’s fun and funky that a younger player would spend his rare off day messing around in the Bay. He apparently resides in the Bay area, as he was formerly a member of the Oakland A’s before joining Arizona. Seeing Bruin swimming away from Byrnes in one shot was pretty hysterical. You may have caught a glimpse of me kayaking in the background of one of those shots. Or maybe you didn’t. Wet dogs and baseball. All we’re missing is some apple pie.
The game is going by pretty quickly. Barring a big NL comeback, it looks like the American League will cruise to their 10th straight All-Star win (not counting the controversial tie a few years ago).
As a fan, I hate the fact that the game decides home field advantage in the World Series. It shouldn’t have that much weight. If you don’t want to alternate home field advantage, then give the extra home game to the World Series team with the better overall won-loss record during the season. That’s the Squirrel Queen’s opinion.
I’m going to wrap this up with Derek Lee stranded on third base at the end of the eighth inning so I can just enjoy the final inning.
Hey, did anybody notice this was basically a Barry Bonds-free post until this sentence. I managed to blog about the whole All-Star game in his home park without mentioning the giant-headed one.
I love me some baseball. Mmmhmm.
UPDATE: The NL nearly pulled off that magical comeback thanks to a soaring Soriano homer and the big case of the nerves by the AL bullpen giving up three consecutive walks to load the bases with two outs. Finally, the third out came on a deep fly to right by Aaron Rowand. Game over. AL wins 5-4.
Ichiro and his historic homer earn the All-Star MVP award and accepts it in a suit and tie, having already showered. He used an interpreter during the interview, but seemed to react when the interviewer used the words “free agent” to close out their chat.
I still love me some baseball. Mmhmm.