Showing off his MVP trophy
1. Young talent: Michael Young wasn’t about to let the American League lose for the first time in a decade. The three-time All Star shortstop wasn’t in the best position–two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning against a future Hall of Fame closer. But Young rocked an 0-2 fastball from Trevor Hoffman into right center, scoring Jose Lopez and Troy Glaus and giving the lead to the American League. The National League, who had been leading for five innings and had been setting up the victory, suddenly found themselves trailing 3-2 and needed a desperation run off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the ninth. They didn’t get it, as Rivera was perfect in the inning and Young made the final out. The AL stunned the NL, and they are now 9-0-1 in the last 10 All Star games. That, by the way, is the second longest streak of dominance in the game’s history (the NL went 19-1 from `63 to `82).
The NL had certainly set themselves up to win, however. Starting pitcher Brad Penny came out throwing heat, striking out Ichiro, Jeter, and Ortiz in the first inning with 95+ mile-per-hour fastballs. But he did give up a run in the second inning, as Vladimir Guerrero swung at a high fastball and it ended up in the right-field bleachers. But the National League was quick to answer that. David Wright, who finished second in Monday’s Home Run Derby, showcased the same swing as he lined a Kenny Rogers pitch into the left field stands. Carlos Beltran scored a run in the third on a double, a steal, and a passed ball that gave the National League the lead for the next five innings.
The rocking atmosphere in PNC Park was about 90% NL fans, and they supported them all they could. Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez of the Pirates both made some plays, and the crowd was boisterous in their support. But it wasn’t enough, so the NL will look to win in San Francisco next year.
2. Giving him up: Despite numerous rumors for years, the Devil Rays had held onto slugger Aubrey Huff for years. But that changed in the first big-name deal before the trade deadline. The Rays sent Huff to the Astros, who desperately need bats, for two minor-league prospects. Huff has been injured the past few years but has made multiple All Star appearances in the past.
3. The 83-year-old slugger: The record for the oldest professional ballplayer in history was set yesterday. Jim Eriotes appeared for the Sioux Falls Canaries, striking out in his only plate appearance. Eriotes is actually taking this seriously. He said that he doesn’t care about the record, but just wants to get a hit. We still think it’s more of a publicity stunt.
4. Giles is an ostrich: Bill Giles, part owner of the Phillies, claims that the Randy Myers incident was blown out of proportion. Giles said in an interview, “I do know what really happened was a lot less than what the public thinks happened and that’s the sad part because some bystander saw something that really didn’t happen. Brett was trying to help his wife. One of our employees [marketing manager Debbie Nocito] saw the whole thing. She said, ‘He did not hit her at all, and he didn’t grab her hair or anything.’ So all the reports were untrue, from what I understand.” Meanwhile, Phillies President David Montgomery is running damage control and saying that he explained it poorly to Giles and that the incident did happen.
5. Separation of Church and Baseball?: The Tulsa Drillers recently gave away Moses bobbleheads to 1,500 fans as part of a faith and family night. The promotion was sponsored by Oklahoma Wesleyan University and a Christian radio station. There might not be crying in baseball but there certainly is praying.