Wednesday, July 13, 2005

All-Star Game

Just for the heck of it, I watched a couple of innings of the MLB All-Star game last night. I don't normally watch baseball, but this was in a bar, so I figured it was OK.

I used to be a huge baseball fan. That was due to my parents, who took me to my first Mets game when I was—I don't know, 5 or 6—and enabled my ensuing addiction with baseball cards and box scores. I knew the name of every Met by the time I was 7. The Mets were awful back then, in the mid-to-late '70s, but I stuck with them all the way through the 1986 World Series championship and through the death of the should-have-been dynasty. Around that time I got seriously into basketball, and when the strike/workstoppage/whatever killed the Series in, what, 1994?, I pretty much gave up on baseball for good.

Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa pulled me back in briefly, and I've been somewhat of a casual follower of the sport ever since. I don't really watch SportsCenter, so I don't see many highlights, but occasionally I'll flip on a game if it seems intriguing.

Which brings me back to the All-Star game. It's been long enough since I seriously paid attention that there are current All-Stars that I don't even know. And then there are guys like Roger Clemens, who will probably be pitching when he's old enough to start beaning his own K-named grandchildren. To be honest, I didn't pay all that much attention to the game, except for Clemens' 1-2-3 inning, and Dontrelle Willis getting shelled (which is too bad, because he's one of my favorite athletes). But there are a few things I don't get:

1) Giving the MVP a new Corvette: Back in the day, it made sense. Athletes weren't making as much money, and a new car was a pretty big thing. Now the guys are making tens of millions, and a new $50,000 Corvette (in eye-melting yellow, no less) is just a gift for the kids. Or a trade-in on a Hummer. Meanwhile, the big 3 are going bankrupt while still paying God-knows-how-much to sponsor the All-Star game. Oh well, at least it was in Detroit.

2) The whole "winning league gets home field advantage in the World Series" is just plain stupid. Seriously. I guess it's cool that it gives the game a little meaning, but essentially, one team gets rewarded in the end. Is there really a sense of League pride in who wins the Series? When the Red Sox won, were the Yankees happy for them because they're a fellow AL squad? Somehow I doubt it.


Nothin personal said...

Well, I know shit about baseball ( or the american "football", for that matter, since I am a Cyprus native studying in Greece,but I felt I had to say that I am so glad Lang put a link for your blog!!!
I really liked what you were doing at Slam, and I was kind of disapointed with the post-Russ era so far. I hope they get it right at Slam dome cause there aren't any good basketball related Greek magazines, not to mention that I got Inside stuff once and I hated it.
Anyway, Iwas thinking that I woukd miss your writing, (as I will miss Scoop, eventhough most of the time, what seemed right whenhe was writing the staff, became buuullshit soon after -the Bulls piece, or the Lebron for ROY conspiracy theory!!!- maybe he was the slam cover jinx!).
I'll keep reading, and I hope you get anew job soon, cause it's a dam shame not to be part of some publication, something like Ray Allen not getting any offers this summer and facing anemployment!
P.S.Could you give me your views on Rashard Lewis? Is he the (skinny version) of the complete package at the SF or is it Marv (even without 3pt range)?

Russ said...

I like Rashard Lewis a lot, despite the fact that my enduring image of him will always be his tears in the Green Room at the Draft. He's a great small forward, and I think he's probably quite happy that Ray Allen chose to stay in Seattle.

As for the complete package at small forward, I'm not sure if there's even been one since Scottie Pippen circa '97 or so. The closest you'd get would probably be Kobe, and he's technically a 2. Rashard is still young, though, and if I were a Sonics fan I'd be happy to have him.

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