|President Obama in the booth with Buck and McCarver was the highlight of the game for me. Photo taken by Jeff Roberson/AP
So, ultimately, what did it matter that Wake (and Beckett) didn’t get into the All Star Game? Maybe not much but I’m still extremely disappointed for him. Wake seemed to have a fabulous time and still said all the right things before and after the game. If I have to be honest, there wasn’t a spot to slip Wake in last night that even I could find with the game so close (and “important”). So as disappointed as I was (am) for him I have to be happy that he got the experience he probably (by this point) didn’t expect he’d ever get and leave it at that.
The American League won – again – and that gives them home field advantage in the World Series. I don’t know that I put much into have HFA. Sure, it helped the Sox in the 2007 ALCS but I’m not sure it had any impact in the 2004 or 2007 World Series games except to insure that the Sox didn’t get to celebrate their wins on their home field. 😉 It sure as heck didn’t help the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. So Bud Selig still hasn’t won me over with his new All Star Game. He can keep telling me it counts but I really don’t hear him. (And I still think Joe Maddon is a bit asshatty just in general!)
NOT Asshatty? Haverhill’s Carlos Pena. Regardless of whether I thought he should even be there, guy has an attitude you can’t beat. He was clearly thrilled to be at the Home Run Derby as well as the ASG and he even knows all the right things to say:
Upon seeing a reporter from Boston, he asked about Dustin Pedroiaâ€™s wife, Kelli, concerned about her condition. He knows that Pedroiaâ€™s decision to skip the game to be with his pregnant wife is the reason he got that middle-of-the-night call.
When Twins reliever Joe Nathan came up to Pena and asked for a ball autographed solely by the Rays first baseman, Pena seemed shocked. â€œIâ€™m flattered,â€™â€™ he said, and he meant it.
Not so incidentally, in an effort to be totally fair to Joe Maddon, I should point out that Carlos Pena didn’t get into the game last night either. My ire about Wake not getting in should probably be directed more at Mr. Selig for, say it with me, making it count.
Seven out of the available 33 players didn’t get into the game for the American League last night: Pena (TB), Wakefield (BOS), Beckett (BOS), Andrew Bailey (OAK), Brian Fuentes (LAA), Justin Verlander (DET), and Chone Figgins (LAA). Five out of the seven are pitchers. So Wake wasn’t the only one who got the shaft. (I suppose with pitchers there is a lot more to consider. Not with Wake, in this case, but the others, including Beckett. Do you want them to pitch on short rest? Would their managers rather they just sat in the bullpen and soaked everything in?) As a comparison, 26 was also the magic number for the National League. Seven of their players didn’t see action in the game either.
If I’m going to be totally fair, there are other American League fans who should probably be more upset about their players not getting in than I am about Wake. Bailey was the only player representing Oakland and Fuentes and Figgins were the only Angels available to play (Torii Hunter was chosen by the fans but is presently on the DL and had to sit out the game). So things could always be worse in Red Sox Nation, right?
So now what? Well, tonight at 10pm EST, ESPN2 is airing the Triple-A All Star Game (Which is being held at PGE Park in Oregon). Clay Buchholz was selected for the game but won’t be there as pitched on Sunday for the PawSox and will be pitching for the Red Sox in Toronto on Friday. Two interesting things about voting for the AAA team. The vote of the fan counts for 1/3 of the voting (which, I suppose is similar to the fans voting the starters, players choosing some of the players and the manager picking the rest that MLB does) and they get to vote for pitchers! Clay led all International League voters in most votes received. PawSox pitchers Fernando Cabrera and Jose Vaquedano also made the team. If you can stay up late enough to watch it all, it promises to be very entertaining.
No MLB until tomorrow and no Red Sox baseball until Friday. Geez, I’m going to have to go out and get some fresh air and sunshine, I guess!