While on his All Star Game furlong, Boston Red Sox slugger Jason Bay kept a blog for the WEEI Sports Radio station, and during his All Star wrap-up, Bay discussed his affection for the snipers that were guarding President Obama and his opening pitch “conspiracy.” (Wow, reaching much?) Quoth Bay:
Apparently, Yankee Stadium wasn’t ready for anyone to leave after nine innings. So much so, it allowed a Boston Red Sox player — J.D. Drew — to tie the game in with a two-run blast in the bottom of the seventh inning. From there, the teams played eight more innings of exhibition baseball until Justin Morneau scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the 15 off of a Michael Young sacrifice fly.
The final score: AL – 4, NL – 3.
For the National League, it was their 12th straight loss to the American League, a glowing distinction to be sure. Everything looked like it was going the NL’s way after Matt Holliday opened the scoring with a solo home run in the fifth. The score was pushed to 2-0 when Lance Berkman sacrificed Hanley Ramirez home. From there, it looked like the National League had the pitching in place to hold the lead; that is, until Drew faced Edison Volquez in the bottom of the seventh.
One Drew two-run homer later, it was extra-innings time (after the next two were completed, of course). Both teams had chances to win during the extra stanzas but it was the American League — again — doing just enough to prolong their All-Star game winning streak and give the American League representative home-field advantage in the World Series, which makes absolute perfect sense considering the All-Star game is indeed an exhibition.
While much is being said about the decisions that had to be made by the managers as they began to use up their allotment of players, the All-Star celebration should also be remembered for Justin Morneau’s heroics as well. While winning the Home Run Derby, he was overshadowed by Josh Hamilton’s ridiculous first round and last night, his 2-4 effort resulted in two runs scored; the difference in the ball game.
Maybe Drew should have shared the MVP award with Morneau. Just a thought.
Even eventual winner Justin Morneau knew he was witnessing something special. So much so, he even admitted he was “kind of cheering” for Hamilton following his first round explosion of 28 home run bombs. Because the Home Run Derby doesn’t accumulate these bombs after the second round, both Morneau and Hamilton started the final round with a clean slate where Morneau out homered Hamilton, five to three, to win the event.
But, even Morneau knows he couldn’t overshadow Hamilton’s first round magic. Hamilton’s round of 28 was so enthralling, the attendees at Yankees Stadium adopted him as their own. This is a great way to let management know who you’d like to root for when the player becomes a free agent, something the Yankees are great at doing — free agent signings, that is.
Although this probably won’t make it through the day, on205th did find a video of Hamilton’s first round performance:
At one point, Hamilton hit 13 bombs in a row and the massively approving crowd wasn’t shy about sharing their feelings, chanting his last name in that ever-so familiar clap-during-the-syllables cheer. Hamilton’s first round performance broke the previous single-round record of 24 held by Bobby Abreu.
One last thing, does the presence of Edinson Volquez reduce the sting of trading Hamilton for Cincinnati Reds fans? It should, but it’s probably tough to see a former Red up there blasting all those shots last night.
… is like Cornflakes without the milk. Thanks to the inspirational words of Oran “Juice” Jones, I now have an appropriate way to frame tonight’s MLB Home Run Derby, which takes place tonight at Yankees Stadium, of course (with no Yankees participating). Now, before you label me as a baseball buffoon (rightfully so, but still), I understand why Howard’s not participating.
He’s not an All-Star — another story, but we can debate that at a different time.
But the fact the Major League leader in home runs (second in RBI) isn’t participating is silly. If Craig Hodges, player who wasn’t even on an active roster at the time, can defend his three-point shot championship in the NBA, Howard — a previous champion to boot — should be allowed to participate in the Home Run derby, too; All Star or no.
Didn’t the MLB let Pete Rose on the field for that All-Century thing they did during the World Series a few years ago? Maybe an exception should have been made for the Major League leader in home runs, you know, since this thing is called the — *gasp* — Home Run Derby. Possibly for Adam Dunn, as well.
Anyway, the Ryan Howard-less fun begins at 7/6 Central. If you are lacking ideas to help you enjoy all the home run fun, the guys at Home Run Derby have an awesome drinking game you can try — provided you value your liver.