Last night's All-Star Game was an interesting one. From the touching tribute to Christina Green and the other Arizona shooting victims during the pregame ceremonies to the slide into the pitchers' mound from reliever Heath Bell in the eighth inning; it was a fun game to watch (especially since the National League won by a final score of 5-1, thanks in part to a three-run home run by Prince Fielder). Here are some of my more shallow observations of the evening:
Seattle's Brandon League - I had no idea he was all tatted up. I'm not anti-tattoo or anything, but not everyone needs to look like Rob Dibble or Prince Fielder (or Dennis Rodman!). What would Marge Schott think of this fellow's appearance?
Diamondbacks' Manager, Kirk Gibson - Who knew that Gibson was so bald? (Along with Shane Victorino and Placido Polanco) When you see these guys always wearing ball caps, it's sometimes surprising to see what is (or isn't) underneath!
The Red Sox's David Ortiz - No matter what your opinion is of "Big Papi," Ortiz has the most infectious smile in the Majors. His son D'Angelo is quite a ham as well!
Milwaukee's Prince Fielder - Dude, put a little bend in the brim of your cap; you look like Tony Larussa (and that's not a good look!). Feel free to shave and get a haircut, too!
The Yankees' Robinson Canó - Only in an All-Star game will you ever see Canó batting eighth!
San Francisco's Tim Lincecum - When is he going to stop looking like a sixteen-year-old skateboarder? Someday he's going to look like a creepy old guy with stringy long hair. Don't get me wrong; I like the long hair on Lincecum because it looks healthy and he keeps it nice - it's just that when I was 27, I certainly didn't look that young. I guess I'm just jealous!
American Idol's Jordin Sparks - She sang a very nice rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." She looked nice, she sang well, and she didn't forget the words. Nice job, Jordin!
Joe Buck - Joe continues to be as annoying as ever. When the Nationals' Tyler Clippard came into the game to pitch to one batter, Buck spent the whole time talking about Adrián Beltre's scout's brother's neighbor or some tangent like that. Clippard came and went without anyone knowing who he was (since Buck never mentioned him) and ended up being the game's winning pitcher. Focus, Joe; focus! And why does his voice sound all different all of a sudden? It's like he swallowed a frog or something!
Tim McCarver - This guy needs to retire. He has been doing commentary for baseball games for about 30 years now, and he's starting to stammer and slow down. Let's hope he doesn't end up like Harry Caray in his later years.
Now for my not-so-shallow note regarding last night's game: Willie Mays was very critical of Derek Jeter for missing the game so he could rest his ailing calf (which didn't seem to bother him last Saturday when he went 5-5). Willie was elected to 24 All-Star teams, and he attended all 24 All-Star Games. He said that Jeter should have shown up, even if he wasn't put in the lineup. That's what José Reyes of the Mets did - he knew he wasn't going to play because of an injury, but he showed up and partook in all the festivities. And I bet if you asked Hank Aaron for his opinion on Jeter, he would have said the same thing. I wonder if Jeter even watched the game...
So now we're ready to start the second half of the season, with the Braves playing well, the Brewers and Cardinals tied for first place in their division, and the Orioles hoping to not lose their eighth game in a row. Let's hope the second half is just as action-packed as the first, except maybe the Phillies can lose a few more games!