Tag Archives: all star game

The All Star Power Outage, Live on ESPN

Hello there, sports fans! Chris Berman here, aka Boomer, aka The Big Dog, aka Leatherman, aka The Back-Back-Back Guy, aka Sheila under the right circumstances. It’s certainly a thrill for all of you to view me again in my annual sojourn into America’s pasttime, The Home Run Derby. Unfortunately, a rash of injuries has caused many of the game’s biggest stars to bow out of this year’s All Star Game. Jose Reyes has a hamstring issue, Alex Rodriguez is getting knee surgery, Shane Victorino sprained his douche-bone, and Derek Jeter came down with a case of I-Dont-Wanna-Go-to-Arizona-in-July-itis. But this is still technically the Midsummer Classic, and it should still be a barburner, ain’t that right, Krukie?

I ATE MY OWN WEIGHT IN GRAVY YESTERDAY, BOOMER.

Great, so the diet’s working! As I mentioned, a good number of stars have bowed out, but we still want to honor those team players who decided to show up. That’s why we’ve organized this new event called the Scramblethon. The game’s grittiest, most pint sized players will compete against each other in a series of thrilling skills competitions. First, we’ll see who can beat out the most Baltimore chops and swinging bunts. Players will be penalized for any ball hit out of the infield. Then, we’ll see which players can make a throw from shortstop to first without bouncing it. And finally, each uniform will receive a special black-light scan to determine which one has the most accumulated caked-in dirt. The winner will receive the coveted Bronze Lunchpail and a $50 gift certificate to Lowe’s.

LOWE’S IS GOOD PEOPLE. THEY NEVER GIVE ME A HARD TIME WHEN I SNACK ON THE DRYWALL LIKE THOSE JERKS AT HOME DEPOT DO.

Special event captains David Eckstein and Joe McEwing have picked out a stellar lineup of tiny, tiny players for this event: Sam Fuld, Matt Young, Augie Ojeda, Aaron Miles, Jamey Carroll…the list goes on, but frankly, I see no point in continuing to read it. Dustin Pedroia lobbied to be included, but was disqualified for having hit more than 5 home runs in his career.

PEDROIA PLAYS THE GAME THE RIGHT WAY: HUNGRY. THIS IS THE PART WHERE I’M SUPPOSED TO MAKE A JOKE ABOUT HOW HUNGRY I AM BUT I WON’T BECAUSE I JUST ATE AN ENTIRE CAN OF PIE FILLING THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Now the players are being carted out onto the field and unpackaged. Remember, most of these guys are made of extremely delicate material and must be stored on dry ice in between games.

INTERESTING FACT, BOOMER: MOST OF THESE GUYS ARE ACTUALLY THE UNFORTUNATE RESULTS OF SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS, AND THE MOST OF THE OTHERS ARE PUPPETS WHO BECAME REAL LIVE BOYS.

The first up is Sam Fuld, who’s originally from Durham, New Hampshire but makes his winter home in a fur storage facility in Boca Raton. And here’s his first try, it’s a beautiful check-swing, and that one’s going backbackbackback, all the way past the pitcher’s mound, they’ll never throw him out! Oh, wait, he’s wheezing just shy of the first base bag. My best guess is he may have collapsed a lung; they are made of papier maché, after all.

THEY REALLY HAVE TO OUTLAW THOSE PAPIER MACHÉ LUNGS, BOOMER. THEY’RE WORSE THAN ASH BATS AND NOT NEARLY AS DELICIOUS.

Well, this is certainly a bleak turn of events, and I for one am at a loss to think of a quote from a dinosaur rock song to properly mark this occasion, so it looks like it’s time for an injury timeout. When we come back, we’ll have the Clap-Off. Participants stand on the top step of the dugout and cheer vociferously while a more talented teammate bats! We’ll be right backbackbackbackbackback…oh please Lord, take me now.

Charlie Manuel’s All-Star My Guys Lineup

charliemanuel.jpg1B–Ryan Howard: Another solid season from the big guy. I know some people wanted me to take Joey Votto instead, just because he’s having an MVP-caliber season. But Ryan’s my guy, and I need a team full of “my guys” if I want to win this totally meaningless exhibition that determines home field advantage in the World Series for some reason.

2B–Chase Utley: I know Chase is out for 2 months after surgery on his thumb, but he’s still my guy. I’ll just put up one a them cages we put on the infield during batting practice. Or maybe we’ll do a designated fielder. We can do that, right?

SS–Larry Bowa: I was tempted to go with Jimmy Rollins, but I decided to go old school with Larry. A Phillies legend, no doubt, and that old son of a bitch can still shotgun a can of Schlitz. Betcha Jose Reyes can’t do that. Pussy.

3B–Jorge Rodriguez: Owns the bodega ’round the corner from me. Always has my brand of chaw stocked. Good egg.

OF–Bill Kennedy, Fred Derwin, Johnny Finnerty: The bartenders down at Mulcahy’s. They make sure my friend Jim Beam never leaves me for too long.

Pitching Staff–My weekly poker game: Gotta have something to do while I’m out there in California. There’s not much else going on in Los Angeles.

Vote Republican or We’re Taking Our Ball and Going Home!

When I heard Barack Obama was going to throw out the first pitch at the All Star Game, I figured the right-wing blogosphere and radio world would find something wrong with it. Whether he threw a perfect strike over the plate or an eephus pitch into the first base stands, it would be judged as something evil because, well, why not?

Such an event marks one of the neocons’ few chances to attack a guy whose biggest crime is being treated like a rock star everywhere he goes. These are the same guys who rah-rah-ed for torture for eight years and helped send American troops to die in Iraq on a total lie. But a photogenic, popular president? That shall not stand!

Even by the low standards I hold them to, however, one ASG-related screed really stood out like an unhinged door. It was penned by Andy McCarthy (not the co-star of Weekend at Bernie’s) and featured at National Review‘s The Corner. The site is aptly named; it’s a lot like a corner near a bus station, overrun with raving lunatics.

You know The Crazy will be brought in abundance when this is the first line of the post:

Though it’s not a widely appreciated fact, we right-winger sports nuts
have long known that the sports press is among the media’s leftiest
precincts.

Yeah, I’m sick of Joe Buck all those pro-socialized medicine diatribes he throws into the Fox Game of the Week. I don’t think Sunday Night Football is an appropriate venue for John Madden to praise Hugo Chavez. And I won’t watch College Gameday anymore, not after Lee Corso turned it into a soapbox for his Tax the Churches movement!

In what universe is sports media a bastion of effete left-wing intellectuals? Can you name one Sports Guy other than Keith Olbermann who is even rumored to be a lefty? Sports news rarely intersects with political news, and when it does, sports networks like ESPN tend to stay centrist so they don’t alienate anyone. Because sports are seen by most people as an “escape” from the real world. Regardless of political affiliation, folks don’t like it when nasty things like partisan squabbling find their way onto SportsCenter.

And what of sports radio, Mr. McCarthy? The only difference between Rush Limbaugh’s audience and Mike Francesa’s audience is the frequency they tune into. You should’ve heard some of the people calling into Francesa in the weeks leading up to the presidential election. Listening to them, you would’ve thought 90 percent of the electorate was gonna vote for McCain.

And this is in the Tri-State Area, solid blue state territory if there is one. I can’t even imagine what sports radio is like in, say, St. Louis, where a shot of Dubya in the ASG pregame ceremony resulted in rapturous applause.

McCarthy’s biggest gripe is that ESPN “covered up” Obama being booed at the All Star Game. God help me for defending ESPN, but it’s not ESPN’s job to discuss the political ramifications of Obama’s appearance at the All Star Game. That’s for political analysts. And I guess paranoid hacks like you can throw their two cents in as well. Just remember to put your tinfoil hat on first, so the secret Illuminati satellites can’t beam pro-gay-rights messages into your brain!

I also don’t recall ESPN making a big deal of Dick Cheney getting the living shit booed out of him when he threw out the first pitch for the Nationals a few years ago. So at least ESPN is bipartisan in its cover-ups.

McCarthy insists his “six-year-old throws a baseball better (far better, in fact) than Obama.” Then get that kid to declare for the MLB draft, because Obama’s pitch wasn’t that bad. His lefty delivery didn’t draw any comparisons to Johan Santana, of course, but McCarthy’s lengthy descriptions of its failings are just flat-out lies (or self delusion), as MLB’s video of the event will attest.

He hates the fact that Obama threw the ball to Albert Pujols instead of Yadier Molina, because he only did it to keep the crowd from booing! There could be no other reason, except maybe honoring an amazing player who’s having a potentially historic season. And he only embraced Cardinal great Stan Musial to thwart a jeering crowd! Or maybe it’s because Stan Musial is a living legend and one of the best hitters ever.

No, it can’t be! It was all a ruse to keep the crowd on his side! Just like his decision to wear a White Sox jacket, because..wait, St. Louis fans hate Chicago! And despite his nefarious gambits, the crowd booed (mildly) anyway. Can you follow this train of thought? No? Me either.

Look at this screengrab. I don’t even see a baseball! He didn’t throw anything! And all you sheep are falling for it! We’re through the looking glass here, people.

McCarthy’s attempt to pull secret codes from benign actions should come at no surprise. Neocons always get hung up on the nonsense of stagecraft, at the expense of examining things that truly matter. You know, stuff that leaders actually do.

For example, neocons think one of the greatest things Dubya ever did was throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series. It represented a Display of Strength and Resolve after 9/11! It showed he would not be cowed by those nasty terrorists! It showed he would never stop! And he never stopped!

Except when it came to finding the man responsible for the World Trade Center attack. He stopped well short of accomplishing that mission. But hey, he threw a perfect strike to Derek Jeter! That’s almost like bringing Osama bin Laden to justice, right?

Ironic, then, that McCarthy denounces Obama’s appearance as “shrewdly orchestrated”, since McCarthy’s recently departed Dear Leader shrewdly orchestrated every appearance he ever made. At least Obama doesn’t shrewdly orchestrate his press conferences. Or the bullshit intelligence he feeds to the CIA. Or ways to keep Congress in the dark about secret CIA operations.

But hey, keep bitching about how The Media won’t talk about Obama’s weak two-seam fastball. That oughta win you guys some elections. Between complainers like this douche and Sarah Palin, the GOP has transformed itself into the Party of Whine. They should change their logo from an elephant to a three-year-old with his arms folded, holding his breath.

Stay Tuned: All Star Game Live Blog

buckmccarver.jpgI considered tweeting all about tonight’s exciting (yawn) All Star Game. Then I remembered that it will involve Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. And that, because the game is taking place in St. Louis, Mr. Buck will be at the height of his most cloyingly nostalgic and self righteous. (See how many times the phrase “greatest fans in baseball is used”, but please don’t turn it into a drinking game or you’ll go blind.) It was then I knew I couldn’t restrain my hatred to 140 characters at a time.

So this evening, I will live blog all the drama and stupidity that surely awaits us. Your comments are, as always, welcomed.