From all accounts, Kansas City was a wonderful host for the 2012 MLB All-Star game. Well, everything but the fans booing Robinson Cano and his family (we’ll discuss later). In case you missed the big game, where the National League thumped the American League 8-0, below are some key highlights to get you up-to-speed:
Chipper’s Curtain Call
Is anyone else amazed that by the fact that forty-year-old Chipper Jones is still playing baseball? After all, I was in high school when he broke into the major leagues on September 11, 1993. Where do you even start with a guy who has been a consummate professional, teammate and leader for nearly 19 years? I don’t know, but I do know this – as hard as it is to believe Chipper is still playing and it’s going to be even more difficult to imagine him not playing after this year.
A career .304 hitter with 460 homeruns and 2,670 hits (and counting), it’s fitting that Chipper got a hit in his only at bat Tuesday after fans rose to their feat in appreciation for his illustrious career as he walked up to home plate. Oh yeah – he also stood up in the National League locker room prior to the game and gave his teammates a rousing speech about how everyone deserved to be there and that there was no way he was going out a loser in his final All-Star game.
I will remember Chipper for a lot of things, but mostly for being a fierce competitor, who was one of the most feared switch-hitters of all time, and someone who delivered when it mattered most. The only thing left for Chipper is the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown where he will unquestionably be a first ballot inductee in 2017.
Giants Fans Had it Right
After more than a week of complaining from fans and the media that Giants Nation stuffed the ballot box, that David Wright was more deserving to start at third base for the National League over Pablo Sandoval, that Carlos Ruiz should have gotten the nod at catcher over Buster Posey and finally that R.A. Dickey should have started the game over Matt Cain – the Giants’ All-Stars (Sandoval, Posey, Cain & Cabrera) silenced their critics by essentially stealing the show. Below is a brief recap of their stat lines:
- Cain pitched two scoreless innings, striking out one while giving up only one hit.
- Posey caught five innings, drew a walk and scored a run.
- Sandoval went 1-2 that included a key 3-run triple of Justin Verlander in the top of the first to give the National League a 3-0 lead – he also scored.
- Melky Cabrera, the only one thought deserving to be a starter, won the All-Star MVP Award, going 2-3 with a home run, two runs batted in and two runs scored.
In the end, Giants fans got it right. Kudos to National League Manager Tony LaRussa who gave Cain the ball over Dickey acknowledging Cain’s years of work and improvement over Dickey’s amazing year. I love Dickey just as much as anyone, but in the case, LaRussa made the right decision.
Cano Booed…and Booed Some More
I think everyone was surprised when Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (as well as his family in attendance) was booed repeatedly by Royals fans over All-Star week. The reason for fans’ displeasure with Cano was simple – he didn’t select Billy Butler, the Royals only All-Star, for the homerun derby. Certainly Royals fans have a right to be upset – Butler is having a career year batting .296 with 16 HRs, 31 runs and 52 RBIs and it would have been a classy gesture to select Butler – but booing Cano and his family was pretty low.
Look, Cano was put in a difficult position of selecting three other players from the American League to participate. Are you going to tell me Butler should have been selected over Prince Fielder (15 HRs), Jose Bautista (27 HRs) or Mark Trumbo (22 HRs)? The worst part about it is Cano, who was the reigning Home Run Derby Champion, didn’t hit a single homerun during the exhibition. Clearly the boos affected him, and at the end of the day, fans were the ones who lost. The Cano debacle was the only blip in what was a great week.
Wil Myers Shines in All-Star Futures and Triple-A Games
Most people probably missed the All-Star Futures Game last Sunday, where the U.S. beat the World Team 17-5, but for those that did watch, they were thoroughly entertained by the best, young baseball prospects from around the world. While Nick Castellanos (Detroit Tigers prospect) impressed, (running away with the MVP Award after posting three hits, three RBIs and three runs) Royals prospect Wil Myers was the one everyone was talking about after collecting a couple hits and driving in three runs. A few days later, Myers collected another two hits, while driving in a run and scoring a run at the Triple-A All-Star game, leading the Pacific Coast League to a 3-0 victory over the International League.
Myers, who is currently in Triple-A Omaha, has been patiently waiting his call up to the majors, while hitting .315 with 14 homeruns so far this season. However, until the Royals can move Jeff Francoeur (who has been in trade rumors), there is really no room for him in the outfield Myers. So while Royals fans may have to wait a little longer for this top prospect to make his appearance in the “Bigs,” they should have plenty to cheer about when Myers is finally called up.
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