The most memorable moment of the entire all-star break was George Brett making bathroom jokes on-air while John Kruk laughed and Nomar started shuddering and having flashbacks to all the times Mia Hamm has clogged the toilet. That’s what I’ll remember about the 2012 Midsummer Classic.
What else was there?
At the Home Run Derby, nobody really went off like in years past. Prince Fielder hit some bombs, but there were no juice-monkey freak home runs at all. There was no Mark McGwire hitting 600-foot blasts, or even Josh Hamilton hitting 20-something in a round. Instead, there was Mark Trumbo going the other way with the ball while Chris Berman got aroused.
I enjoy a nice opposite field hit as much as the next guy, but when I’m watching the Home Run Derby I want to see freaking moonshots. I want the ball to be traveling so fast that fans get out of the way when it reaches the stands. Instead, I got a few of those and a bunch of other lazy fly balls that Berman tried to make exciting while screaming “BACK, BACK, BACK” as George Brett made fecal jokes.
And by the way, you know those kids in the outfield who shag the fly balls? Why do they all suck? Seriously, it was like somebody went around Kansas City and asked for the most unathletic 13-year-olds in the city, then he gave them oversized gloves and told them to jump for every ball even if it’s a routine pop up.
Stay on your feet you drama queens. Who have you ever seen that jumps for fly balls? Wow. Those kids made Simon Birch look athletic.
There’s also the fact that the derby started around 8 p.m. and didn’t end until 11. That’s three hours of mediocre home-run hitting, which ended up being about as much fun as starring in a scat film with George Brett. We really need three hours of that? Maybe we cut the rounds in half or something, so it doesn’t get so monotonous. Even David Ortiz and the rest of his happy-go-lucky Latino buddies sitting in the grass watching started to get bored. Usually, they’re constantly coming up and fanning the players and screaming in Spanish, but on Monday they all just laughed a few times and then went back to wondering how John Kruk hasn’t exploded yet from eating all those ribs. When the rest of the players stop paying attention, you know you have a problem.
But after three hours of watching home runs, I tuned into the MLB Celebrity All-Star softball game because…I don’t know, because I’m an idiot I guess. I needed something to erase the horrible images I had of George Brett playing with his own excrement, so I put it on.
Besides Jennie Finch just being so hot that it burned my eyes, Jon Hamm desperately trying to secure MVP honors with his intensity and the standing ovations the wounded warriors got every time they came to the plate, the game was a bust. I hadn’t even heard of some of these celebrities, the score wasn’t close and Joe Carter popped out in his first at bat. Plus, George Brett was there! That freaking guy was haunting me. If it wasn’t for the time he plugged EPT, I’d be even more freaked out by him.
One of the wounded warriors hit a home run, and George Brett ran the basepaths with him, only Brett was trotting along like he…well, like he soiled himself. I’ll never look at the guy the same way, I swear to God. And I may never travel to Kansas City.
Then there was this country singer, “David Nail,” who not only was awful at softball, but also sang during one of the cutaways. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I was starting to warm up to Bill Simmons and John Buccigross as the announcing team, and Rickie Henderson looked so old that I thought he was made of leather, but all of that was not enough to keep me there after watching David Nail serenade me. It was simply too much.
So whatever, I gave up on that game and went to bed. That still left the main attraction, the All-Star game itself, for Tuesday night. I was busy for the first half an hour, but I was excited to get back and really watch the game. Yet, to my horror, when I got home and settled in to watch the game, it was 5-0 in the second inning. That’s nobody’s fault but Justin Verlander’s I suppose, but what the hell? I want to watch a good game, or at the very least, watch the American League win. Who wants to watch a game where they are rapidly substituting players when it’s 8-0 and none of those subs matter?
The outcome was never really in doubt, nobody did anything spectacular, I had to listen to Joe Buck and Tim McCarver all game and the one Red Sox player (David Ortiz) went 1-for-2 with a single. That’s what I call drama. Plus, Ken Rosenthal got shorter for some reason, Bryce Harper lost a ball in the lights, R.A. Dickey made me uncomfortable with his niceness, Tony La Russa was drunk again, Ron Washington was coked up again, and the biggest highlight was Billy Butler getting cheered by the fans.
And, in the back of everyone’s minds was this whole deal that “Now it counts!” which is a system so clearly flawed that I think Bud Selig knows it, he’s just too stubborn to really change it. Or he and David Stern just like to drink cognac together and watch everybody get bent out of shape over their decisions.
The game decides home field advantage in the World Series, which is quite possibly the single dumbest thing that exists in professional sports today. What’s that? We’ll let the fans vote in the starters (Dan Uggla, anyone?), still try to play every player on the team and pick guys just because they’re popular (Bryce Harper), and then use that group to determine home field advantage? What about, say, home field goes to the team in the World Series with the best regular season record? No? Too easy?
To think, I started off by saying how much I enjoyed the MLB All-Star game. 2012 was not my favorite.
The only thing that could have made the game worse was if George Brett had thrown out the inaugural first pitch.