SPORTS NEWS AND COMMENTARY
The American League defeated the National League 4-3 in what was one of the quickest played games in baseball history Tuesday night once the first pitch of the 80th All Star Game was actually thrown.
The opening ceremonies, including President Barack Obama and all the living former Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush honoring the "unsung" heroes amongst us was interesting. A more careful analysis of the taped portions with the former heads of state revealed that both Republicans decided to color their hair to some extent (compared to how they looked upon leaving office) and the Democrats decided to go au natural.
While the American League has once again won home field advantage for the World Series this fall (the sixth year in a row since this has become a prize for winning the game), I do question some of Joe Maddon's coaching decisions, for most of his starters stayed in the game well past the traditional three innings, thus a lot of players sitting on the sidelines never made it onto the field.
In the past the All Star Game was basically the ultimate pick up game, where the best from both sides were supposed to play each other in a friendly competition and give fans a chance to see players in action that otherwise would not be available in regular season play. Yet with the advent of regular Inter League play (an event that I am not against, but would like to see a little more care and logic go into the scheduling an match ups) the All Star Game is fast becoming nothing but a huge popularity contest, where fans (if those are the people actually casting ballots) are able to vote up to 25 times per person! There are dictators in foreign countries that would love to have that opportunity at a ballot box. One ballot per person, filling out the starting roster for each team would be perfect. It worked in the past, and there is absolutely no reason I see to have changed this to the current option.
The Fox Network's Sports coverage was hit or miss at times. On one hand, Joe Buck and Tim McCarver certainly are knowledgeable about baseball, and one cannot blame them when they spent most of one inning talking with ceremonial first pitch thrower President Obama more than concentrating upon covering the actual game.
But what was it with the camera personnel? There were a couple of moments where the commercials ended AFTER play had already resumed and some segments of the game had to be shown from cameras other than the main feed in the replay to present it from the best angle.
And just how many reaction shots of Derek Jeter does a baseball fan need during any game? It seemed like EVERY time something spectacular happened, there always had to be a reaction shot of what Derek Jeter thought of the moment, even long after he was not an active player on the field. Was one of the camera personnel one of Jeter's relatives?
In any event, the second half of the 2009 Major League Baseball season begins today in earnest. May the better teams make it to the playoffs this October for an interesting World Series.