This year’s All-Star Game only seemed to add to my thesis that 2008 may end up being the greatest year in sports history.
The performance of Dan Uggla notwithstanding, everything about it was a fitting finale for the grand cathedral that is Yankee Stadium (seeing that the Yankees have already added Sidney Ponson and are on the brink of getting Richie Sexson, postseason baseball seems unlikely). Another part of the fitting finale included seeing Yankees fans at their classiest, from threatening Jonathan Papelbon’s pregnant wife to this distinguished gentleman cursing Nate McLouth for having the audacity to “play in Mickey Mantle’s outfield.”
There was no lack of heroics from unlikely sources, from Aaron Cook and George Sherrill both escaping seemingly fatal bases-loaded jams (Cook’s jam caused by Uggla’s glove, Sherrill’s escaped thanks to Uggla’s bat) to Nate McLouth and Russell Martin teaming up for one of the best plays at the plate you’ll ever see. You had Mr. July, Michael Young, picking up another ASG-winning RBI the night after teammate Josh Hamilton stole the show at the Home Run Derby. (Certainly, this cements their status as the most potent duo of Texas Rangers since Cordell Walker and James Trivette).
But according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman (I’m I the only who wishes he and Buster Olney would switch first names?) we were thisclose to a comedy of epic proportions.
Had the game gone beyond 16 innings, J.D. Drew and David Wright would have been pressed into service as the pitchers for their respective leagues. Now, unless his name is Doug Dascenzo, it is generally a poor idea to put a fielder into service as a pitcher. Could you imagine the uproar that would have occurred if a shelling of David Wright determined who holds home field advantage in the World Series?
The fact it even could have happened points out the patent absurdity of awarding something so meaningful to the winner of an exhibition game, especially when the players making the most important plays typically have zero chance of being on the field in October. And yet at the same time, the fact it could have happened made the end result that much more exciting.
It’s a fine line between stupid and clever, Bud, and you always manage to walk it so well.