I wish I was better at headlines…
I watched most of the All Star Game with some friends at a nearby pub the other day. The game itself didn’t turn out to be as big a deal as some of the events contained within or around it, and while I would love to be able to write about some of those events as vehemently as others, the wind has by now gone out of my sails; the Mariners have bigger fish to fry. I do have a few words on it, though, just like everyone else who watched…
Starting pitcher that night for the National League (and pitcher for the Cardinals) Adam Wainwright apparently made some comment about soft-tossing one to Derek Jeter (a pitch some analysts believe turned into a double for the Yankee during the early stages of the game). I didn’t personally hear the remark or see it or understand how it was transmitted to become public knowledge, but the FOX broadcast sent Erin Andrews down to the dugout to Gallahad for Jeter, because suddenly she was down there with a microphone in Wainwright’s face, demanding Wainwright explain himself. This was clearly FOX making a much larger deal of something than they should have, and the spectacle of Andrews practically shaking with barely contained fury was a much larger distraction than Wainwright’s joke. But FOX wanted to make the evening all about Jeter, and they (very annoyingly) succeeded. That’s fine, whatever, it’s over.*
The other furor over the game seems to be regarding the attention given to a not-yet-retired Jeter, vs the lack of attention given to Tony Gwynn, who passed away earlier this year, and then someone also pointed out later that evening that nary a word was said about Don Zimmer as well. I know that there are a lot of accusations from fans that there is media favoritism given to the New York Yankees, and there are just as many denials that it happens; but when something like this occurs, can you really blame people for thinking that? I don’t want to get nasty here, but by the way they were behaving, you would think the FOX broadcasters were all in line for Jeter baskets at the end of the game. And lest anyone get crabby at anything I have said here, look; I’m an outsider to all things Yankee. I know how well Derek Jeter is revered, I know he’ll go into the Hall of Fame, I know he’s been with the team all his career, and that is fine. But with what I don’t have any sort of inside scoop on, I have to call as I see; and my comments here are nothing compared to some of the things I was seeing on Twitter during the game. Fans, bloggers, and even some reporters were not happy about the way FOX handled this game. You can take that or leave it, but it’s true.
As for Felix Hernandez, Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano and Fernando Rodney? They were just fine. Cano and Seager both went 0-2, and while you’d like to see your boys get a hit at least in the ASG, I have no objections to the fact that they didn’t. Felix did a good job in the only inning he pitched, and Rodney let the arrow fly not once off the mound in the 8th inning, but also during his introduction, too. Kyle Seager was very pleased with his outing, just to be there for his first time. I think the next time this happens, I’m just going to host a viewing party at the house. The bar we were at somehow didn’t think we needed sound, even though the people who showed up at 5 were clearly there to watch the game. It would have been more fun at home, though I can say that The Bridge in West Seattle has some pretty good food, and is a nice place to chill at.
And that is all I really have to say on the matter. Like I said, we here in Seattle have other things to worry about. The second half of the season is coming up, and we have a lot of work to do over the next two and a half months. I’m not expecting anything huge, but I do have my .500 tattoo drawn up now (like I actually took pains to complete the design, rather than just have it in my head), so they have to at least maintain that edge, right?
Jeff Sullivan at USS Mariner has a post up grading the players on the first half of their season. At first glance, I didn’t agree with the grades, but after reading them again, I think I find them pretty dead on. I might raise James Jones to a straight C or C+, but I think that is all based on how likeable he is, and maybe not as much on performance. In any event, with the A’s evening out the D’s, we are just about average. The last time we were average was in 2009, and if I remember correctly, the Mariners were mentioned – at least once – in conjunction with the words “wild card” back then. Well, these are the wild card standings right now. Pretty neat, huh?
One more day off tonight, during which I am going to attempt to get some fishing done if the weather holds (I have heard reports of rain in the upcoming days), and then we get back into it tomorrow in Anaheim, battling our wild card foes at the top of the pile. There is still a lot of baseball to be played, and I am looking forward to all of it.
*Except that it isn’t, really. Wow. I thought she appeared far more upset than she should be, for a professional reporter doing a job, but name calling is unacceptable. Incredible, WEEI.