For the fourth straight year, the American League has won the All-Star Game, defeating the National League, 4–2, at San Diego's Petco Park. The Royals' Eric Hosmer led the AL charge, picking up two hits and a two-run homer, to earn Midsummer Classic MVP honors. Below, revisit the night's action with commentary and inning-by-inning recaps from SI.com baseball experts Cliff Corcoran and Jay Jaffe.
JJ: It was a close game, but aside from the early fireworks—the homers by Bryant, Hosmer and Perez—it didn’t feel like a particularly gripping one. The AL did its work early, scoring its runs in the second and third and going hitless after the fourth amid myriad substitutions. The NL had its chances, outhitting the AL, 10–8, but going 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position. The biggest confrontation of the game was the Will Harris-Aledmys Diaz at-bat with the bases loaded in the eighth—two great stories for how they got here, but two guys just thrown into the fire right there for what wasn’t exactly a marquee matchup. The only swing of the six-pitch at-bat was fouled off, and the two called strikes were on the fringe of the zone.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch some Giancarlo Stanton Home Run Derby dingers again.
CC: Indeed, this won't really be one to remember for anyone other than Royals fans and the players involved. David Ortiz didn't do much in his two at-bats (a hard groundout and a walk). We didn't get to see any shenanigans with pitchers hitting. There were no runs scored after the third inning, and while the Diaz-Harris at-bat was certainly the key moment, it arguably turned on a questionable strike call (strike three was clearly a strike, however, so just one questionable call).
The result was rather pro forma, as well, as the AL has now won the last four All-Star games and is 22–6 in All-Star play since 1988. Whether or not home field advantage will be a significant factor in the World Series remains to be seen—it arguably hasn't been since 2011—but at least that's been decided.
Top of the Ninth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
JT: On to protect the AL's lead: Orioles closer Zach Britton.
And he does it: Despite a leadoff single by Daniel Murphy, Britton gets Goldschmidt to bounce into a force out and then Arenado to ground into a double play to end it. Final from San Diego: AL 4, NL 2. It's the Junior Circuit's fourth straight All-Star Game win, and the AL will get home field advantage in this year's World Series.
Your MVP of this year's All-Star Game: Eric Hosmer, who collected two hits, including a two-run homer in the second inning that proved to be the winning play for the AL. Corey Kluber gets the win, Johnny Cueto takes the loss and Britton picks up the save. Other notables: David Ortiz goes 0 for 1 with a walk in his final All-Star Game; Salvador Perez and Kris Bryant go deep; and Murphy joins Hosmer as the only other player in the game with two hits.
Top of the Eighth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
JT: Your new reliever for the AL in the eighth: lefty Andrew Miller, who is a million feet tall and throws a slider that moves about as much.
Terry Collins has emptied his bench here as he goes for the comeback: Aledmys Diaz of the Cardinals is the only NL reserve yet to appear in the game after Jonathan Lucroy and Starling Marte both come to the plate as pinch-hitters (and both single, too). And now Diaz comes up with the bases loaded and two outs, pinch-hitting for Seager, and that will be all for Miller. In will come the Astros' Will Harris to try to save the AL's bacon and snuff out the NL rally.
And Harris does the job, striking out Diaz on a 3–2 fastball. Not bad.
Half-inning summary: That may be as close as the NL gets against the AL's stellar relief corps. Facing Yankees setup man Andrew Miller, pinch-hitters Jonathan Lucroy and Starling Marte both singled, followed by Duvall drawing a walk to load the bases with two out. Out came Miller and in came Astros closer Will Harris, who faced the NL's final reserve, Aledmys Diaz, and went to 3–2 on the Cardinals' Cuban rookie before striking him out on a 93-mph fastball looking. A big missed opportunity for the Senior Circuit.—JT
Bottom of the Eighth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
JT: Shoot them arrows: Fernando Rodney takes over for the NL in the bottom of the inning.
Rodney gets two outs and leaves, making way for Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who strikes out Wieters—which means that, if the NL doesn't rally in the top of the ninth, the only NL All-Stars who won't appear in this game are two of Collins's own players, Bartolo Colon and Jeurys Familia. Bit odd on the skipper's part.
Half-inning summary: Rodney, who began this season with the Padres, came on to face former Tigers teammate Miguel Cabrera, staying out of the center of the strike zone with a fastball/changeup combo and ultimately catching the big slugger looking at a high 94-mph strike. He then got the Blue Jays' Michael Saunders to pop out to Arenado before yielding to Kenley Jansen. The Dodgers' closer needed just three pitches to dispatch Wieters, capped by a chin-high 93 mph cutter.—JJ
Top of the Seventh Inning: AL 4, NL 2
CC: The Tigers' Miguel Cabrera is in at first base, so all of the AL starters are now out, and only the Twins' Eduardo Nuñez, the Blue Jays' Michael Saunders and the Athletics' Stephen Vogt remain on the AL bench. Vogt, as third catcher, is unlikely to get in this game unless it goes at least 15 innings.
JJ: Joe Buck on Goldschmidt: “This is a guy who knows how to drive in runs.” #banalysis
CC: He sure knows how to have teammates get on base in front of him.
Dellin Betances threw 3 pitches 100 MPH+ including his 2nd hardest pitch of the year at 101.3 MPH. 🔥🔥🔥— Daren Willman (@darenw) July 13, 2016
Half-inning summary: Dellin Betances was straight dealing in the top of the seventh, pumping fastballs in the upper 90s and breaking off wicked curveballs that not only broke down but to the glove side. Despite that, Daniel Murphy managed to collect a one-out single on the first pitch he saw, a 98-mph heater that he served into leftfield. Murphy then moved to second on a wild 99-mph fastball, but Betances got Paul Goldschmidt to fly out to center and struck out Nolan Arenado to end the inning the same way he struck out Corey Seager to start it, by blowing a 100-mph pitch right past one of the NL’s best hitters.—CC
Bottom of the Seventh Inning: AL 4, NL 2
Jon Tayler: Hey everyone, SI MLB editor Jon Tayler here to take the ball from Cliff Corcoran for the rest of the night and partner up with Jay Jaffe to wrap up tonight's All-Star Game. And just as I come in, so too does the Cubs' Jon Lester, your new pitcher for the NL in the bottom of the seventh.
Nolan Arenado, meanwhile, reminds us that he's the best defensive third baseman in the entire world, snagging Ian Desmond's slow chopper for a force at second with scary ease. Let's have a skills competition next year that's just him making plays in the field for a couple of hours.
Lester and reliever Mark Melancon get into trouble by loading the bases with two outs, Daniel Murphy bails them out with his glove. Didn't see that coming.
Half-inning summary: Jon Lester came in for the NL and gave up a ground ball off the bat of Trumbo that just ate up Corey Seager, who bobbled it and then threw to first a bit late. Score that an E-6. Lester then was way off the plate against Cano, issuing a six-pitch walk, just the third of the night between the two teams. Desmond hit a tough chopper to third base that Arenado made a great play on just to force Cano at second. Josh Donaldson flied to Duvall in leftfield, and while Trumbo tagged, he couldn’t advance on Duvall’s throw home; Desmond took advantage of that and did take second.
At that, Collins gave Lester the hook in favor of Mark Melancon, the NL’s first true reliever of the night; he issued a five-pitch walk to Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases for Lindor, who hit a first-pitch chopper to Murphy at second base. While moving towards the bag, he spun and fired to first—an impressive play from a fielder who has justifiably drawn criticism for his defense, and an important one in keeping the NL within striking distance. It certainly wasn’t a pretty inning—21 pitches, 11 strikes and an error—but those plays by Arenado and Murphy bailed out the Senior Circuit hurlers.—JJ
Top of the Sixth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
JJ: Jeez, only eight substitutions for the AL. TRY HARDER, NED YOST.
“...And as the bullpen takes over for the Royals,” says Joe Buck.
CC: Pretty much.
Half-inning summary: The AL’s bullpen makes its 4–2 lead seem far larger. Kelvin Herrera is the first proper reliever out of the AL ‘pen—knuckleballer Steven Wright, who is likely being saved for extra innings, is the only starting pitcher not yet used. Herrera sets down the NL’s reserve outfield in order, striking out Jay Bruce on three pitches (fastball and two changeups), getting Odubel Herrera to fly to center on three more and getting Adam Duvall to hit a nubber in front of home that new catcher Matt Wieters pounces on and throws to lone remaining AL starter (and still leading MVP candidate) Eric Hosmer for the third out. Note: Ned Yost replaced most of his defense in that half inning. Now in the game in addition to Wieters: Robinson Cano at second, Francisco Lindor at shortstop, Josh Donaldson at third and Mark Trumbo, Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran from left to right in the outfield.—CC
Bottom of the Sixth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
Half-inning summary: While Yost went to his proper relievers, Collins countered with a heat-throwing Max Scherzer, who reached 99.1 mph—his hardest pitch of the year according to MLB Baseball Savant’s Daren Willman—against Hosmer but needed nine pitches to finish him off via a grounder to second base. He threw three pitches 96 or faster to Beltran, who flew out to center, and blew Wieters away with a 98-mph heater. That was some serious blowtorch work from Scherzer—the most impressive inning thus far tonight, for my money.—JJ
Top of the Fifth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
JJ: Daniel Murphy's ground ball to second that Altuve bobbles prompts the first replay challenge in All-Star Game history.
CC: To the umpires' credit, it was an extremely quick review that was necessary as the call on the field—Murphy out at first—was blown. A good showing for MLB replay.
JJ: Wow, slick play by Machado there, passing Bogaerts while fielding the grounder and then with that little flip to second base.
CC: Machado apparently determined to play shortstop in this game, as I had him on my 25-man AL roster.
Half-inning summary: Instant replay made its All-Star debut in the top of the fifth when Jose Altuve bobbled a grounder by pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy off new pitcher Jose Quintana. Murphy just barely beat the throw, but the call on the field was out. It was quickly and efficiently corrected, a good showing for MLB’s replay system.
Collins started the inning with three pinch-hitters, with Paul Goldschmidt flying out in Harper’s place and Nolan Arenado hitting into a fielder’s choice in place of Bryant. The play on Arenado was worth noting, as Manny Machado ranged over from third base to cut in front of shortstop Xander Bogaerts and made a back-handed flip to Altuve at second for the force. Apparently, Machado was determined to play shortstop in this game one way or another. Wil Myers’s Padres uniform earned him a third at-bat, and he delivered with an opposite-field double that pushed Arenado to third, but Wilson Ramos, who had come in defensively in the previous half inning, struck out on three pitches to strand both men in scoring position.—CC
Bottom of the Fifth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
JJ: Changes for the NL in the bottom of the fifth: Pretty much everyone. The Braves' Julio Teheran is on the mound, Goldschmidt takes over at first base, Murphy slots in at second, Arenado takes over at third, and the outfield is entirely new: Adam Duvall and Jay Bruce of the Reds in the corners and the Phillies' Odubel Herrera in center.
CC: Collins is already down to four hitters on his bench: Brandon Belt, Aledmys Diaz, Starling Marte and backup catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
Half-inning summary: Teheran, another player who could be on the move at the deadline, came in and fooled Machado on a slider before getting him to hit a warning track fly ball to left. He followed by getting Encarnacion to pop out foul to Ramos and inducing Lindor to hit a sky-high popup to Seager, the second 12-pitch inning in a row for NL hurlers.
Top of the Fourth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
JJ: Baseball’s top reporter with a breaking story:
Cole Hamels needed eight stitches in his chin after he tripped coming out of bathroom in his hotel room at 5 am. "Now I can sleep," he said.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 13, 2016
CC: That overnight might explain Hamels being a bit less sharp than the other AL pitchers thus far. I say that as Aaron Sanchez issues a five-pitch walk.
Half-inning summary: The NL got one back against the Blue Jays’ Aaron Sanchez in the top of the fourth. After getting Wil Myers to groundout and strike one on Buster Posey, Sanchez threw four straight balls to put Posey on via a walk, then gave up a blistering first-pitch single down the rightfield line by Anthony Rizzo. Rizzo’s hit, which had an exit velocity of 109 mph, just barely got past Eric Hosmer’s dive toward the line and put runners on the corners for Marcell Ozuna, who plated Posey with a hot-shot single up the middle that made the lanky Sanchez skip rope on the mound. Carlos Gonzalez followed with yet another hard-hit ball, a screaming 112-mph liner that Jose Altuve managed to snag without his glove bursting into flames or his left hand being ripped from body. Remarkably, all of that firepower resulted in just one run, as Addison Russell bounced meekly to short to strand Rizzo and Ozuna.—CC
Bottom of the Fourth Inning: AL 4, NL 2
CC: As expected, Dodgers rookie Corey Seager is one of the first position-player changes for the NL, going in for Russell at shortstop. The Nationals' Wilson Ramos goes in for Posey at catcher. Padres lefty Drew Pomeranz is pitching.
Pomeranz is 27, has two years of team control remaining at arbitration prices and is the Padres' best pitcher. I don't see why San Diego would trade him, as Joe Buck just suggested.
Half-inning summary: Pomeranz pounded the strike zone and worked a 12-pitch inning. He got Perez to ground to third, then gave up a single to Bradley, retired Altuve on a fly ball to centerfield and induced Trout to chop a one-hopper to Bryant, who threw to second for the force out. Move along, move along, nothing to see here, folks.—JJ
Top of the Third Inning: AL 3, NL 1
CC: If Collins leaves Fernandez in for the third inning, he'll get a chance to groove that pitch to Ortiz, who is due up second in that inning.
JJ: If he follows through, this is going to be the end of the All-Star Game counting for anything, which would be a fine legacy for David Ortiz to leave behind.
CC: The question is, does Ortiz get a second meatball if he fouls off the first one, or is it, here's your one shot, and game back on if he doesn't cash it in? After all, not every pitch in the Home Run Derby goes out; a grooved pitch does not guarantee a big hit.
Now pitching: Cole Hamels, who was delayed entering park for 30 minutes when he went to wrong entrance after Red Carpet Parade today.— Scott Miller (@ScottMillerBbl) July 13, 2016
Yes, Joe Buck, it is remarkable that Kris Bryant can play third base and three easier positions as well. I mean, BEN ZOBRIST IS JUST STANDING RIGHT THERE.
CC: The pretty ones always get all the attention.
Half-inning summary: Hamels pushed it to the limit in the third inning, giving up a first-pitch single to Carlos Gonzalez then leaving a fastball up to Addison Russell, who hit it to the warning track in center where Mike Trout caught it for the first out. After Ben Zobrist replaced Gonzalez at first base via a fielder’s choice (with Gonzalez fooling around with Jose Altuve at second base by going in spikes high and pretending to come up fighting), Bryce Harper went against the defense with a double into the leftfield gap that pushed Zobrist to third. During a seven-pitch confrontation with Kris Bryant, Hamels bounced a changeup in the dirt that Salvador Perez managed to pick to prevent Zobrist from scoring. Hamels then rallied to strike Bryant out, catching him way out in front on an 86-mph changeup to strand both runners and preserve the lead.—CC
Bottom of the Third Inning: AL 4, NL 1
CC: I didn't see any grooved pitches from Fernandez to Ortiz, did you?
JJ: He fouled or foul tipped both pitches in the zone, both fastballs.
CC: Bryant dodged Hosmer's RBI single rather than getting in front of it. That could easily have been ruled an error. Not that Hosmer didn't hit the snot out of that ball.
So much for Ortiz having a big moment in this game. He got a nice ovation that paused the game when he came out, but a walk and a hard groundout are all he managed in two at-bats, even if the walk later scored in the person of Edwin Encarnacion. No MVP for him. That's Hosmer's for now.
Half-inning summary: Back for more, Fernandez generated yet another first-pitch out as Manny Machado chopped one to third base. Ortiz stepped in and, contrary to Fernandez’s stated fastball plan, got an 80-mph changeup before bringing out the heat. Ortiz foul tipped and then fouled off the two fastballs that were in the strike zone before working a seven-pitch walk, then departed the game to a standing ovation from the fans and both benches—followed by a lengthy round of hugs—in favor of pinch-runner (and presumptive DH replacement) Edwin Encarnacion.
After that outpouring of emotion, Xander Bogaerts mashed a double into the leftfield corner, but the none-too-fleet Encarnacion had to hold at third, where a faster player might have scored. Hosmer brought him home anyway via a scorching single (110 mph exit velocity) past Bryant at third base, expanding the AL’s lead to 4–1. Mookie Betts hit a comebacker to Fernandez to start a 1-6-3 double play.
Interesting note from the broadcast: Bogaerts and Betts are the second pair of 23-or-younger teammates to start an All-Star Game. The first? Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr (1941), teammates on both the Red Sox and the Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres.—JJ
Top of the Second Inning: NL 1, AL 0
JJ: Sale worked his lone inning like he had the taxi meter running. I guess there’s truth to that pitch efficiency effort on his part.
CC: That was mostly the hitters being aggressive. It's absurd that the All-Star starter can't go two innings after a nine-pitch first.
JJ: Ned Yost has A Plan. And again, almost nothing says This Game Counts than pre-announcing the order in which you’ll bring in your pitchers.
Half-inning summary: Despite throwing just nine pitches in the first inning, Sale did not come back out for the second inning, unlike both of last year’s starters. Instead, it was Cleveland’s Corey Kluber, who got Buster Posey to ground out on his first pitch, then got into some deeper counts against Anthony Rizzo and Marcell Ozuna. Rizzo got a taste of his own medicine, grounding out to Hosmer at first base. Ozuna, meanwhile, just missed a home run down the leftfield line, his shot hitting above the wall in small space between the foul pole and stands. He ultimately worked Kluber for seven pitches but was called out on a back-door two-seamer that ran back over the outside corner.—CC
Bottom of the Second Inning: AL 3, NL 1
CC: Rangers starter Cole Hamels is warming up for the third inning. Mookie Betts should be fined for his socks. Salvador Perez fouled one off his left shin about a half inch above the shin guard, as is his lot in life.
Royals teammates Eric Hosmer and Perez homer to put the AL up, 3–1, in Cueto's second inning of work, undermining what I just wrote about Sale coming out after one as well as what I wrote earlier about Hosmer being an undeserving starter. #becausebaseball. Hosmer's home run was the first by a Royal in the All-Star Game since Bo Jackson's leadoff shot in 1989, per Ken Rosenthal. Two batters later, they had another via Perez.
Half-inning summary: Meanwhile, Cueto did return for the second inning and needed just two pitches to get Xander Bogaerts to ground out to third base, but then the Mr. Hyde to his first inning’s Dr. Jeckyl arrived. After fooling Eric Hosmer badly on an 83-mph changeup, he left a 90-mph cutter in the middle of the plate, and Hosmer mashed it for a solo homer to leftfield (389 feet according to Statcast). Mookie Betts followed with a single up the middle, just under the glove of Ben Zobrist as he roved to the shortstop side of second base. Sal Perez, after hobbling himself with a foul ball off his shin, launched a towering two-run homer to left—373 feet—on a high two-seamer that missed its target. Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a swinging bunt down the third base line that Buster Posey expected to roll foul; instead, it died on the baseline.
With Jose Fernandez warming up, Cueto recovered to strike out Jose Altuve, then got the hook from manager Terry Collins. Fernandez came in and battled Trout for six pitches, striking him out with a killer curveball and setting himself up to put the NL in a deeper hole when he faces David Ortiz in the next inning.—JJ
Top of the First Inning: NL 1, AL 0
CC: Much is made about the fact that the AL is the first All-Star team to have their entire infield be 26 or younger, but they should have a player in their 30s at first base (Miguel Cabrera) and arguably one in their 30s at third as well (defending AL MVP Josh Donaldson).
JJ: All of their position players in the starting lineup are 26 or under. Everybody but Ortiz and Chris Sale.
CC: And AL starter Chris Sale is 27.
JJ: Kris Bryant takes Sale deep. Wow, why wasn’t he in the Derby last night?
CC: He declined. That was a 96-mph–first-pitch fastball and the fourth pitch of the game for Sale. The NL is being very aggressive here.
Half-inning summary: The NL came out swinging against Sale, who came out firing fastballs. Ben Zobrist flied out to Jackie Bradley Jr. in left on Sale’s second pitch, Bryce Harper grounded out to Jose Altuve on his third, and Kris Bryant deposited his fourth, a 96-mph heater, into the leftfield stands to give the NL an early 1–0 lead. Sale then broke out his breaking stuff to Wil Myers, who struck out on a slider to end the inning. Sale needed just nine pitches in that frame. I sure hope we see him again in the second, but I’m not counting on it.—CC
Bottom of the First Inning: NL 1, AL 0
CC: Not surprising being that it's San Diego and all, but it is absolutely beautiful out there. This game is just popping off the screen. Makes me wish they played this on a Sunday afternoon.
Great play by Anthony Rizzo snaring that screaming short-hop off David Ortiz's bat and stepping on the bag in one motion to end the inning. Would have doubled off Mike Trout if there were fewer than two outs. Meanwhile, Trout added to the best OPS of any player with 10 or more plate appearances in All-Star play with his one-out single.
Trout has hit safely in 5 straight ASG. Only streaks longer: Winfield (7), Morgan (7), Mantle (7), Bench (6), Fox (6), Mays (6), Musial (6)— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) July 13, 2016
Half-inning summary: Johnny Cueto showed off his variety of deliveries in the first inning, including his quick pitch and his “rocking chair.” He got Jose Altuve to pop up his first pitch, then surrendered a sharp single up the middle to two-time All-Star Game MVP Mike Trout. Manny Machado swung at a first pitch as well and flied out to shallow leftfield to bring up Ortiz. With Cueto trying to hold Trout close, he got ahead of Ortiz, 0–2, but couldn’t finish him off. Finally, on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Ortiz scorched a one-hopper down the first base line that Anthony Rizzo speared with a backhand, taking just a single step to touch the bag. A 16-pitch inning for Cueto, but I’m guessing that’s it for him tonight.—JJ
Jay Jaffe: As I noted earlier today, this is the third All-Star Game that’s been held in San Diego. The first was in 1978, won by the NL, 7–3, thanks in part to Steve Garvey’s eighth-inning leadoff triple off Goose Gossage to spark a four-run rally; both would later join forces on the '84 Padres, the first pennant winners in franchise history. The second was in 1992, won by the AL, 13–6. In that one, both lineups were laden with players connected to the Padres, with Tony Gwynn, Fred McGriff and Benito Santiago all starting for the NL and ex-Padres Ozzie Smith and the Alomar brothers (Roberto and Sandy Jr.) among the other starters. Fourteen Hall of Famers were on the two rosters, not to mention half a dozen current candidates, and Bryce Harper wasn’t even born yet when that one took place.
Tonight, the AL and NL squads have a tough act to follow, given Giancarlo Stanton’s awe-inspiring Home Run Derby performance on Monday night. But with so many young stars on display—all of the AL's starting lineup is 26 or under, save for David Ortiz—I’m sure we’ll get our money’s worth.
Cliff Corcoran: Ortiz could very well give us a good return on investment, as well. The All-Star Game has some history in showcasing stars in their final seasons: Cal Ripken Jr. and Mariano Rivera were both All-Star Game MVPs in their final seasons, and Derek Jeter, who went 2 for 2 in his last Midsummer Classic in 2014, leap to mind. Ortiz has a flair for the dramatic, and while he likely won't get a chance at any late-inning magic, I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a big hit early on.
Just eyeballing the rosters, I think the AL has the better overall collection of position players and the better—and certainly deeper—collection of relievers, but the NL has the better collection of starting pitchers: the Giants' Johnny Cueto, who will start, and the rest, who will be working in relief, if at all, today. That is, unless manager Terry Collins decides to pinch-hit Bartolo Colon, which I suspect is the only reason he added him to the roster.
JJ: Oh, we’re going to get an Ortiz moment, especially given that the Marlins' Jose Fernandez went on record to say he’d like to groove a fastball for him, just as Adam Wainwright claimed to have done for Jeter in 2014. Also, kids: There is no Santa Claus, it’s just your parents wrapping presents.
CC: And Chan-ho Park supposedly did that for Ripken. That tells you a little something about how much the players are really playing to win.
JJ: Yup, which goes back to this being an exhibition despite MLB’s attempt to attach greater importance to it. Meh.
CC: I have no problem with tying the result to World Series home field advantage. The way I see it, it's just another way to randomize it. It hasn't impacted the way the All-Star Game is played in any way that I can see, however.
So here's a question I have. FOX just showed David Ortiz's pre-game speech in the AL clubhouse. Does he make that speech if FOX doesn't tell him to? And if he does, does he make a far better one if the cameras are off and he can speak freely?
Big boos for the Dodgers in the pre-game introductions in San Diego; Clayton Kershaw is eating it up. Big cheer for Fernando Rodney, who is here largely because of what he did with the Padres earlier this year. He aims an arrow at the sky in response. And hello, All-Star Game caps; you can see yourselves out.
JJ: Seeing Kershaw wearing the Padres throwback-style BP jersey earlier today, I nearly drowned in a cup of coffee.
CC: I was unaware there was that much heat between Los Angeles and San Diego, but then again, southern California is the other side of the word to me, I must admit.
Big boos for the Yankees ... that's still a thing? Are the Padres' fans still upset about 1998?
JJ: When they were founded in 1969, the Padres were almost a subsidiary of the Dodgers: Longtime Los Angeles GM Buzzie Bavasi became San Diego's president, and the team's first manager, Preston Gomez, was a former Dodgers coach. And now of course, Peter O’Malley is involved in the ownership group.
CC: While we have a moment here, kudos to FOX and MLB for fixing their blackout situation so that MLB.tv and At-Bat users can watch national broadcasts—including Sunday games, last night's Home Run Derby and tonight's All-Star Game—on their computers. Yes, you still need a cable package to watch, but it's a huge improvement nonetheless to be able to watch on the device and in the location of your choosing.
Speaking of all-time greats on farewell tours: Dick Enberg! Do not miss his last season just because it's also Vin Scully's.
JJ: I was in the room at the San Diego winter meetings when Enberg won the Frick award, and that was very cool, having listened to him plenty growing up.
CC: So they're naming the AL and NL batting titles after Rod Carew and Tony Gwynn. That's appropriate, and a very nice thing for Carew, who is still around to enjoy it, but I'd be surprised to see anyone use those new names outside of an official ceremony.
JJ: Yeah, it’s a nice gesture, but with more than a century of batting titles, a bit late for that one.
CC: Especially given the degree to which nerds like us have contributed to the marginalization of that accomplishment.