Last night's All-Star game felt less like an All-Star game than any I can remember in a long time.
No Albert Pujols...no CC Sabathia...no Derek Jeter...no Alex Rodriguez...no Ryan Howard.
Instead some of the names were Gaby Sanchez...David Robertson...Miguel Montero...Alex Avila. I'm sure these are all up-and-coming players but they don't give me visions of the game's greatest.
Part of the reason is I grew up watching Mays, Aaron and Clemente in the National League outfield with Mantle, Kaline and Robinson in the American League outfield. It seemed like every player that played in an All-Star game went on to be in the Hall of Fame (I'm sure that's not true...it just seemed that way).
But Tyler Clippard, Joel Hanrahan and Jordan Walden don't make me think of Gibson, Koufax and Seaver (although Halladay, Verlander and Lincecum might...eventually).
Maybe I just get tired of all the glitz surrounding it...and the fact that 84 players were selected for the game because of injuries and pitching schedule problems. That number of 84 is around one-tenth of all the players on major league teams.
I guess the other thing is what made the baseball All-Star game special isn't there anymore. Besides interleague play, which pits the two leagues against each other, players change leagues far more often today.
My fondest recollections of the All-Star game were pre- free agency, when most players stayed in one league their whole career...Mays, Mantle, Aaron (except for the very end with an American League Brewers team), Clemente, Gibson, Banks. The only time they faced the other league is if they were fortunate enough to play in the World Series.
Now pundits spout off nonsense about how one league is superior to the other...how is that possible, when stars, and average players alike, are changing leagues constantly? The "purity" of the leagues is what made the All-Star game different than all the others.
Oh well...now its on to the second half of the season...let's hope the Phillies can find some consistent offense. If they do, the second half could be a runaway.
Posted at 9:48am on July 13, 2011 by Big Don Voltz
One of the problems was seeing players we normally see every day. Two of the Phillie starting pitchers. Many of our players nominated, whether they played or not.
But the caliber of players is def going down. When you have a player selected by the fans who is just too drained to play after reaching a milestone in his career, player quality is changing.
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