I took in my first full baseball game of the season tonight. The 2017 All-Star Game. It's not uncommon for me to really pickup baseball until around the ASG. The other seasons are over, it's the summer and it's the only sport worth a damn in season. This is also a good time to see who is who, where teams are in the standings and gear up for the most exciting time for baseball, the run to the playoffs. Sadly because baseball's season is too long it is overshadowed by the NBA and NHL when it starts and by the NFL when it ends. They really should shorten that season so teams in the north don't play key playoff games in the snow and much many other reasons... But... I digress.
As the game started out I was THRILLED to see so many Washington Nationals in the starting lineup, including my favorite player Ryan ZImmerman. I expected to see several Cubs (last year's defending champs) and plenty of Brewers too, who lead the NL Central. While the Nats were on the display the Cubs and Brewers were non-existent for the first 9 innings. Yet for some reason there were several Diamondbacks, and way too many Dodgers who are apparently also good.
I learned a lot about who some of the these new young players are. Why Houston is good and why the Indians were in the World Series, I guess, last year. Side note: I didn't see a second of the World Series last year. I was busy with the new job and just didn't care enough to look back at it or on and off day. Therefore because I didn't see it I feel like it didn't happen. I heard the Cubs were good. They have a Rizzo and a big first baseman. Also a solid pitching staff... so I heard... but where are they all? Oh... in the 10th inning a "Davis" comes in wearing a Cub uniform for the first time all game except for Manager Joe Maddon. Then as I took a video claiming that I found a Cub finally he gave up a home-run to Robinson Cano ultimately being the deciding run in the American League's win. Thanks for the contribution Cubs. This is why I'll continue to go about my life with the feeling like you didn't win last year. At least the Indians sent All-Stars this season. It reinforces the point that your team is legit. Kris Bryant! Kris Bryant is the Cub first baseman I was thinking of. Where is he at?
Anyway no Brewer in the game is vicious oversight for a team leading the NL Central. I also just noticed that if the playoffs started today the first round would feature the Brewers vs. the Nationals. Hot damn... (I'm a Nationals and Brewers fan for those not in the know) The Red Sox (My neighbors) and the Yankees are both at the top of the AL East so it should be a fun 2nd half. The Astros and the Dodgers are the leaders in each league by quite a bit. And honestly based on tonight's knowledge and the way the second half is shaking down... I'm buying the MLB package for the rest of the season. Heck yeah... why not!
Here's hoping the Nats and the Brew Crew meet in the NLCS! And hell.. lets have a Yanks/Sox ALCS on the other side so people I know will be paying attention when Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Max Scherzer, and a whole pile of Natitude run wild on you! WHATCHA GONNA DO?
Amendment: I discovered and forgot things and added this about 12 hours after posting.
Rizzo is the first baseman for the Cubs and Bryant is in fact the third baseman. Injuries are killing some teams which is why we didn't see Mike Trout, Starlin Castro, Ryan Braun, Mad Bum, Joe Mauer, and maybe a few others who could have been notable names in the AS Game. Some pitchers also had to sit out due to pitching recently such as Chris Archer, Yu Darvish, Corey Kluber, and Clayton Kershaw. Michael Fulmer of the TIgers was also in this boat but I feel the game didn't miss him since I've never heard of him.
The game has a lot of younger stars right now. There aren't a lot of household names across baseball that stay consistent. This would be know as a rebuilding year for the AS Game. That said it was good to see to established stars go yard in the game in form of Yadier Molina and Robinson Cano. There were some times in the later innings that you looked at that lineup and were like "Who are these guys?" Part of the reason I think that pitching dominated in the 2-1 AL win. There were way too many Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Dodgers in the game that I'd never heard of. At least the Dodgers record reflects some of the new guys. I guess the other squads are in the mix for the wild card? But still the NL West seemed to be well repped while it felt like the NL Central just had Molina (STL), Harrison (PIT), and whatever a Zack Cozart (CIN) is... until the 10th when the Cub blew it. Aside from the Brewers not having their guy make it in (a closer named Corey Knebel) I also didn't see a Ranger, or a White Sox...White Sock? What is the singular there?
Speaking of uniform parts I had to get in on the look the players wore. I've always loved that during the ASG teams rep their teams jerseys. I loved the tweeks of adding the AS logo and the star indicating how many times guys had been All-Stars (there were a lot of 1's and 2's out there). The hats were also very cool with the teams color featured on the base of the hat and the logos appearing in gold. Very sharp all the way around.
The game moved really fast. too fast for my liking. I wish there had been more time to learn about the players but guys went up swinging and the pitchers were throwing good stuff. Plus an All-Star defense behind ya doesn't hurt either. I miss when these games had a little more scoring and I feel like most fans would echo that sentiment.
Next year's game will be even better as it comes to you from our Nation's Capital and home of the Washington Nationals!