Hey there Dispatchers - this is the Brain, coming to you from Anaheim, California, home of the 2010 MLB All Star Game. In honor of the 13 year unbeaten streak that ended this year, here is an assortment are 13 random thoughts that I collected hanging out with the All-Stars during the Midsummer’s Classic.
1. I chatted with a man named Mr. Moynihan who has been working for the Angels since 1946. The guy was awesome. He let me hold his World Series ring, which he wears every day, and he told me that there were so many people on the field that the team had to lay special tarps down to keep everyone from damaging the grass.
2. While the players feasted on their usual pre-game eats before the game, a certain All-Star by the name of Ichiro Suzuki had something nicer in mind from the night before. He just happened to be dining at Osteria Mozza in L.A., right next to the pizzeria where yours truly had dinner. So, I am basically exactly like Ichiro.
3. There are a lot of big closers in the NL and sometimes it helps to see them in person to figure out who is the biggest. After taking a long time to compare Matt Capps, Heath Bell and Jonathan Broxton, I have concluded that Broxton is the biggest. He is the T. rex of National League closers.
4. Angels Stadium is nice. But having visited a lot of stadiums in California, it just doesn't compare to Dodger Stadium or AT&T Park. That being said, props to the Angels fans for turning out and cheering their rally monkeys off for their hometown All-Stars and even former Angel Vladimir Guerrero. That was a cool moment.
5. In the epic battle of national anthems, the U.S. totally brought it tonight while Canada fell pretty short. I mean, we brought out someone from Glee, and they bring out four tenors. Seriously Canada? Was Celine Dion not available? I expected better.
6. The highlight of my locker room exploration was seeing Tommy Lasorda in the National League locker room. That and watching the players watch 3-D television for the first time. Joking aside, it's always kind of a thrill to come face to face with a baseball legend. And Lasorda is one of the few who has shrunk enough to actually be sort of close to my face. (Sorry, couldn't resist that short joke.)
7. What was the coolest part of the game for me you ask? No doubt about it. Sitting next to Chili Davis in the press box. Don't know who that is? Only one of the best switch-hitting home run hitters ever. Also, his press pass said Chili on it.
8. Moving on to the game, it was fun to see Ichiro make a great play in center field. He's been given the rap of having lost a step. Guess not.
9. The Yankees had a rough time. Joe Girardi was the losing manager. Phil Hughes was the losing pitcher. A-Rod sat on the bench. All on the same day that the team owner George Steinbrenner passed away.
10. Matt Holliday has probably had it with big pressure nationally televised games. He makes a series changing error in last year's NLDS against the Dodgers, and then bumbles a fly ball in the outfield during the All-Star game. He should take lessons from Marlon Byrd, who made a great play in right field to help Broxton get the save.
11. We all know it's a pitcher's year, but does this game mean it's the NL's year as well? The NL pitchers were just dominant, striking out eight and allowing just one unearned run. The AL wasn't bad, but if good pitching beats good hitting, the NL certainly emerged as the better league this season.
12. At the break my World Series pick was either the Braves or the Reds. After this game I feel pretty good about those two teams.
13. I gotta say, I find it annoying that a bunch of OK baseball players get included on the All-Star teams and as a result I only get to see Cliff Lee throw six pitches. Isn't the point to actually get a fair idea of how the two leagues match up? I'd much rather see Torii Hunter get two at-bats against Adam Wainwright and try to figure out his off-speed stuff than watch batters swing and miss because they're facing new pitchers every inning. Bring back the All-Star game the way it was meant to be. No gimmes. Only All-Stars.
Alrighty. I'm off to the airport to head back to SI Kids central in New York. Hit the comments and let me know what you thought of the 2010 All-Star game.