Wednesday, July 12, 2006
All-Star Game was all Wright -- until Hoffman blew it!
Well, we can’t say the Mets are to blame for that All-Star Game loss.
Until Trevor Hoffman coughed up that ninth-inning triple to Michael Young, the game went from being a showcase for baseball’s best to the David Wright coming-out party.
And Carlos Beltran did the Mets proud, too. He probably would have been MVP for his exploits.
But until the top of the ninth, it was all Wright, all the time. Fox dwelled on Wright as if he was taking on the American League all by himself.
First, we had his line drive blast to tie the score in the bottom of the second. That led to that funny bio segment, and even a little highlight clip at the top of the seventh.
And of course, his dad exposed the sordid tale of his high school food fight and the one-day in-school suspension.
Heck, Wright was even part of the Pepcid Complete double play of the day, not that I ever want to hear that bit of corporate placement again.
How much buzz was there around our third-baseman? Albert Puljos -- the best player in the game -- made an awesome bare-handed play, and Tim McCarver used it to talk about Wright’s bare-handed, over-the-shoulder grab from last year.
Beltran had a great game, too. He played all nine innings, had a double, hit, stolen base and run scored, and might have had another hit, but Gary Matthews Jr. made a nifty grab. He then legged out a base after a bobble in the bottom of the ninth and got himself in scoring position. Too bad the non-Met slackers on the rest of the team couldn’t come through.
Our other starter, catcher Paul Lo Duca didn’t do much in the game, going 0 for 2 and hitting into a double play. But his real role in Pittsburgh was serving up meatballs to Wright in the Home Run Derby the night before.
Alas, the real most valuable player for the AL might be Mike Jacobs because he spiked Jose Reyes on Friday, knocking him out of the lineup. Had another Met been in there, who know what would have happened?
Brad Penny picked up popularity points a plenty with that up-and-in toss to Derek F. Jeter. A couple more inches and he’d have earned a shrine in the baseball room!
Speaking of Jeter, what a miserable night for him at the plate with two Ks, then grounding out to Wright.
And ARod might be better off that that offer of a career in the beverage distribution industry, doing nothing all night. I’m sure Ozzie Guillen couldn’t wait get both of those Yankee stiffs out of the game.
Freddy Sanchez got big air to snare Mark Loretta’s line drive to get out of the fifth inning. He must be trying to curry favor with Mets fans after we declared Bucs players and fans as enemies after their ballot-stuffing. All is forgiven.
It was nice to see blustery Guillen wiping away tears during the ceremony honoring his hero, Roberto Clemente.
Alfonso Soriano remembered somewhere between third and home that he used to be a Yankee and got himself nailed at the plate, depriving Beltran of an RBI.
What was that horrible “Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes” thing with Vlad Guerrero?
The introductions lacked some of the sparks of the previous years. No walking out with kids, no fireworks and dramatic entrances. Guess they had to save time so we could watch the contest winner hit balls off a tee. When did the All-Star Game go minor league? Is the Taco Bell dizzy bat race next?
Wouldn't it have been nice if Fox explained that the RCW monogram on the sweatbands all the players were wearing were for Clemente, whose full name is Roberto Clemente Walker?
Will Bumbling Bud Selig ever get one of those mid-game ceremonies right? I know he tries hard, but did you see him get caught in his microphone wire stepping up to the podium. And it was nice that Vera Clemente was on the field, but why did they leave his two sons in the stands?
And the saddest announcement of the night? Fox announced it locked up broadcasts of the World Series and All-Star Game for the next seven years. As Joe Buck, sitting with McCarver, said, “You’re stuck with us."
Stuck is right.
One more David Wright item:
This was posted on a Mets listserv I belong to. The poster didn’t list the source, so I can’t confirm, nor do I know to whom I give credit. My apologies there. But it's just too good to pass up.
MIA-Rod in Pittsburgh
The Mets beat the Yankees 1-0 Sunday, at least in the hearts of some disappointed fans.
The Amazins' David Wright and Yankee slugger Alex Rodriguez were scheduled to host an All-Star Game party in Pittsburgh for the Major League Baseball Web site, MLB.com.
Wright, starting at third tonight for the National League, made it despite a raft of obstacles, including his plane being grounded (oil leak) and his car breaking down (flat tire) a mile from the event. He ended up jogging the rest of the way, making it in time to celebrate with sportsmen like Freddy Sanchez, Ryan Howard, Goose Gossage and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.
But despite already being in town, A-Rod was a no-show. The Bronx Bomber dined at Morton's steakhouse with his wife, Cynthia, and opted to hit the town with fellow Yankee and American League starter Derek Jeter instead, partying at the nightclub Diesel.
Event organizers were livid. "He never even called to apologize," complained a source.
A-Rod's camp claims there was a miscommunication. "Maybe he had been invited. But they did not have permission to use his name on the invite. He didn't know that he was down to be the host of the party," a pal of the slugger insists.
I post this not so much to wail on A-Rod, tough that is always fun. I'm sure those guys get pulled in every direction by every sponsor.
But how about Wright running a mile to get to the event?