Thursday, July 17, 2008

Back to Reality; Impressions From The Mid-Summer Classic...

Folks, I'm alive. It's just been a busy week, and I didn't do much because I was pretty worn out from my whole All-Star experience and then commuting back home (which was all right), but considering I didn't get back into my hotel until nearly 4am after the game and had to check out by 11am, I didn't get much done.

It's not cool to have a game end at 1:4o in the morning, and then take a train back to Manhattan to pick up your car. Baseball needs to start the All-Star Game earlier, so actually a generation could be able to watch an event in it's entirety.

The pictures are coming - you just have to wait another day or two.

This year's rendition of the midsummer was nothing short of amazing, and was worth every penny I spent on this trip. Though it was a drag watching a game go fifteen innings and having adrenaline keep you up, it was a lot of fun to partake in especially with the conversations I had with various fans around me.

I will say that the event this year at Yankee Stadium was perhaps underwhelming in comparison to what I saw with the last few I saw in person, it exuded a lot of class. The tribute the fans give to Bobby Murcer before the game was extremely touching; as well, seeing the Hall of Famers on the field side by side joined by the starters at each position added a touch of nostalgia and respect.

Notes:

  • Seeing George Steinbrenner on the field during the pre-game stuff was very interesting. I sat in the upper deck, perhaps along the third base line and 6 rows up the railing, but you could clearly tell he was not in good shape. He looked extremely moved by the whole affair, and was just in awe. Personally, I have mixed feelings about him -- considering his ownership tenure, and being suspended from baseball twice; however, his philanthropy and assisting those in need (especially the Virginia Tech community after the shootings), doesn't make him a bad guy -- just an overly competitive man who can be uncompromising.
  • The game itself dragged at times, and I was kind of alarmed at the response the Sox players got. Yes, I am not a Yankee fan -- but could the differences between Yankee and Sox fan be put aside for one day? Even at the end of the game, J.D. Drew got booed without mercy. Even funnier, Scott Kazmir and Evan Longoria got booed too -- so perhaps, the Rays are now officially part of the American League East dance. However, for one night -- I wish Yankee fans would have put their hatred towards other teams and players aside.
  • Dan Uggla -- what can you say? Great bat, ok glove; however, when it rains it pours, and he just looked awful...
  • The contrast in reaction between A-Rod and Jeter was startling. While both men got cheers their way -- Jeter was cheered respectfully and with passion; A-Rod, um, not so much.
  • It was nice to see a competitive game, rather than a glorified exhibition. Say what you want about Bud Selig, but his addition of home field advantage for the World Series brought the best out of the reserves who got to play in the duration of the game. You saw a bit of everything and McLouth's throw in the latter part of the game to nail Navarro was amazing (of course he extended the game by a few more innings.)
  • Papelbon got serenaded with boos as bad as I have ever heard. While I think he made some stupid remarks out of ego concerning closing out the game, it was blown way, way out of proportion by the New York media. After the eighth inning, let's just say he got it from the New York faithful.
  • New Yorkers love Sheryl Crow -- um, Bud Selig, no; Sarah Jessica Parker who brought a ladies' view of New York onto the small screen, seemingly isn't well liked either.
  • We (the fans) were coming up with strategies what the teams would do if the game even went longer; however, no one of us thought that we could have seen David Wright or J.D. Drew pitch? What in the world. I am so glad it didn't happen, or else this game would have been turned into a complete joke.
  • There was a lot of good baseball -- and the ugly -- (i.e., Uggla, not scoring with runners in scoring position), but Francona managed the game brilliantly and Hurdle did well too (leaving his guy, Aaron Cook to pitch three innings) and being creative with using his players (Cristian Guzman at third??)
  • Needless to say, George Sherrill was impressive. He 2 1/3 innings on Tuesday, or should I say Wednesday morning -- especially after his horrible week prior -- awesome.

Finally, I wore my Oriole cap along with my Terps T-shirt, I got zero problems whatsoever from Yankee fans (then again, if I sat in the bleachers - I might be in jail or not around to tell my story). In fact, I saw a few Oriole fans there, including a lady who wore a "This is Birdland" T-shirt, as well, I had the extremely good fortune of sitting close to a O's fan, and in back of me was a Nationals fan with his son from Chevy Chase, Md. -- the next town over fom where I live.

Great game to see, and it's always nice to see history -- again.


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3 comments:

susan mullen said...

Could you please tell me who is on Orioles radio right now with Joe Angel? I heard Joe address him as Dave. He's doing what every new guy does on radio today. ie Raising his voice 2 octaves and keeping it there the whole time. And,he talks over Joe and says nothing. Thanks.

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

Hey Susan,

It's Dave Johnson -- former Orioles pitcher and current analyst for MASN/ESPN 1300/and I guess he's subbing for Fred Manfra.

Hope all is well...

susan mullen said...

Thanks very much, md. Things are well at the moment, hope the same for you.

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