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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wed July 16: A Mid-Summer Classic Marathon

Wow! What a really long game. I had to set my DVR three times to ensure the entire game was recorded. I'm pretty exhausted and to tell you the truth, I was going in and out of sleep in the late innings of that marathon. I'm glad I decided not to do that live blog on the game because I don't know if I would have made it.

But I have to admit, it was a great game. Very exciting and very close throughout. And I would have paid more attention if more was at stake (though I am thankful that home field advantage for the world series was at stake, better than nothing).

So let's look at the game itself. Again, this all-star game was very low scoring and no runs were made in the first four innings and that's mainly thanks to the outstanding pitching. The first three innings went by very quickly, thanks to starting pitchers Cliff Lee and Ben Sheets.

But then the game played out very slowly as the scoring started to come in and it gave the fans at Yankee Stadium and at home some bright moments. After Matt Holliday belted a home run into right field, J.D. Drew matched that home run and tied the game in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was one of the many shining moments for the young first-time all-stars.

The best part for Yankee fans at the stadium was to see Mariano Rivera pitch one and two-thirds scoreless innings, and his efforts paid off eventually, at approximately 1:40AM EDT on Wednesday morning, when Michael Young hit a sacrifice fly and Justin Morneau scored the winning run by beating Corey Hart's throw to the plate.
So the longest All-Star game ever played in terms of time (4:50) is in the books and has been written as another chapter in the great history of Yankee stadium. It also extends the winning streak of the American League (with the exception of the tie in 2002). Thoughts of 2002 were coming back as the game progressed later and later on into the night as both teams were running out of pitchers. Luckily, thanks to Michael Young and Justin Morneau, that situation didn't have to go any further.

Even more important was the significance of playing at Yankee Stadium, which has been the storyline of this entire All-Star break. The pregame show really showed that off as a collection of current and past all-stars were aligned together on the field in what looked like heaven to a baseball fanatic. Surely for the fans, this was a game that will never be forgotten. And for Yankee fans, it must be ironic that a Boston red Sox player, JD Drew, was the MVP of the game and potentially gave the Yankees home-field advantage in the world series (if they get there of course).

So a ridiculously awesome game and all-star break comes to a close and its time to look towards the race for October...

"WHAT UP?! Media": Brett Favre, FOX's All-Star Coverage and Olympic Announcers
So I have several things that I will say about the above topics and I'll be brief about each of them.

First Brett Favre, it's a topic that I haven't addressed only because there were bigger sports news stories out there. So obviously he wants to keep playing football and his retirement was a mistake. We should have known after all the tears he shed at his retirement announcement that he did not want to give up football. And if the Packers won't let him play (and there are many valid reasons why they won't let him play), then let him out of his contract and see if any other teams want him. That's all. I don't know why it has to get more complicated than that but I think it's safe to say that the media has been a big part of this drama. You can only wonder why Favre went to Fox News of all places to express his feelings. But I guess since there aren't many other sports stories going on until the Olympics, the media will remain obsessive with Brett Favre and his desire to play again. Very sad.


Next, Fox's coverage of the All-Star game. Overall, I liked it. Joe Buck knows how to handle things well and his simple phrases and short sentences allowed the game to flow freely and allowed the crowd, not the announcer, to set the emotions of the game. Fox made it clear that the star would be the stadium and the network and MLB went all out. From the red carpet parade up Sixth Avenue to the touching and memorable pre-game ceremonies, Yankee Stadium was the all-star and theme of the night. Until the game that is...

I have to say that the sponsors had too much of a role in this game. Chevy's icon was everywhere and it would have been great if they would have stayed with Mariano Rivera coming out of the bullpen instead of going to an Aquafina commercial or whatever. On the plus side, I liked Yogi Berra's visit to the booth and Joe Buck's comment on Sarah Jessica Parker was hilarious.

One of my favorite columnists, Richard Sandomir, has an interesting take on the broadcast:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/16/sports/baseball/16sandomir.html?_r=1&ref=sports&oref=slogin

Finally, NBC released its list of broadcasters for this year's Olympics, some new, some old and some changes within. Here they are, I haven't finished looking through them and I'll give some opinion next week. Click here.

Other notes...
Bob Papa will take over as play-by-play announcer on the NFL Network alongside Cris Collinsworth. Papa replaces Bryant Gumbel who was let go from the network earlier this year.

Doping has hit the Tour de France again.

It's official, the Chicago Blackhawks will play the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in the NHL Winter Classic.

Thanks for reading. Today is supposedly the worst day in a life of a sport's fan since no professional leagues are in action at all. If you opened your mind a bit like I do, then maybe you'll catch a little tour de france and some superliga football action. we had tons of baseball yesterday anyway so I guess a little rest day wouldn't hurt. see you tomorrow.

1 comment:

Zakhar said...

You forgot to mention how the AL won the game in the 10th when Dioner was safe at home.

Rivera would have gotten the win and I would have gotten some sleep.

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