NL shuts out AL in 2012 All-Star Game

Refsnyder debuts in Charleston loss
Examining the RISPFAIL at the break

The National League wrecked the American League on Tuesday night, winning the 2012 All-Star Game by the score of 8-0. Starter Justin Verlander gets most of the blame after allowing five runs before his teammates even got to hit in the first inning. Former Yankee Melky Cabrera took home the MVP Award thanks to his 2-for-3 showing. He hit a two-run homer off Matt Harrison. It was the NL’s third straight All-Star Game win.

As for the Yankees, captain Derek Jeter went 1-for-2 with an infield single off Matt Cain. Robinson Cano went 1-for-2 with a ground ball single up the middle (off Stephen Strasburg) and Curtis Granderson went 0-for-2 with a fly out and a ground out. All three started the game at their regular positions and played five innings in the field. CC Sabathia was selected to the game but did not pitch due to his groin strain. Cano left his good friend Melky hanging on the above high-five attempt following his homer, so that was pretty funny.

More importantly, the National League has clinched home field advantage in the World Series. That’s pretty unfortunate. The Yankees are legitimate contenders and should they make it to the Fall Classic, it would have been nice to both open the series as well as play a potential Game Seven at home in the Bronx. Oh well, they’ll just have to do it the hard way.

[box score] [WPA graph] [.gif via  @bubbaprog]

Refsnyder debuts in Charleston loss
Examining the RISPFAIL at the break
  • aRX

    Eh, take one or two on the road, then snuff ’em out in the Bronx. The only “hard” part will be making sure our eventual victims don’t luck into two wins and force us to finish them off on the road.

  • Cuso

    And Melky wins the MVP. Wish you found P90X while you were in NY, Melkman!

    Congratulations, though! That earned you a few more mill per year wherever you sign this offseason!

    • RetroRob

      Always happy to see former and future Yankees do well.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    What tonight should mean: “Wow, the AL got their asses whipped. I think I’ll go watch Jon Stewart now.”

    What tonight shouldn’t mean: “We now actually don’t have homefield advantage if we make the WS becaue of this game.”

    It’s just such a load of crap. Sorry to repeat myself with this.

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

      Wait there’s a new Daily Show tonight? I put on Comedy Central last night and it was South Park reruns!!!

      • goterpsgo

        Nope sorry – Stewart/Colbert are back next week. Slackers.

  • art vandelay

    guess they can a win the first two on the road and win it all in the bronx

  • The Scheister of Doom

    That image, LMFAO! Oh Melky!

  • Drew

    If we learned anything this weekend is that Kanas City has some of the classless fans in sports. Yeah booing Cano during the HR durby was a little much, but going after the guys family went totally over the line.

  • Typical MIT Nerd

    Wow, where are the Melky haters now? Heh.

    I have no real hope it would happen, but Melky would look sweet in RF. He’ll be cheaper than Swisher too.

    • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

      “He’ll be cheaper than Swisher too.”

      not sure that’s true anymore…

    • Will The Thrill

      I don’t understand the Melky hate. I personally loved him when he was a Yankee. He was never a star when he was in NY but his young age and potential made you believe that perhaps he would break out. I miss him and wouldn’t be against bringing him back.

      • Claudell

        I couldn’t agree more. Seemed like every week Melky had a walk-off, game-winning hit. Good thing we shipped him off for Javy Vazquez Part II. :-\

        • whozat

          …to the braves, who cut him because he was literally the worst player in baseball that season. So he hooked on with the Royals, who traded him for a guy with control problems that got hurt.

          It took Melky a couple more years and getting cut by the Braves to realize that he had to get his act together. Let’s not act like the Yanks traded the player Melky is _now_.

      • jim p

        There seems to be an assumption that if you are under 25 and you’ve not become a top ranked player, you’ll never ever improve from there. You will never come to a deeper dedication, you’ll never figure out how to hit certain pitches, or throw them…. The only thing I don’t like about this site is how young talent is written off so often, so easily (and that’s the only thing).

        • eephus_pitch

          I’ve noticed this mentality a lot on various baseball blogs. A lot of fans and writers seem to think that if you’re not an all-star caliber player, then you don’t even belong on a big league roster. As if there’s no in-between.

          • .zip file

            Agreed. Very few players come up and are immediate superstars. Most have to learn how to adjust to the MLB game. There are few guys like Dwight Gooden, Mark Fidrych, Fernando Valenzuela or Fred Lynn who are immediate impact players. And the four above did not go on to have the careers you would expect after their initial splash.

          • Preston

            Melky wasn’t just not an all-star, he wasn’t a starter anymore. I like the guy, I root for the guy, but if he hadn’t been traded and later cut, this transformation wouldn’t have happened.

        • whozat

          Are we talking almost entirely about Eduardo Nunez and Melky circa 2009? I actually don’t think that RAB writes off young talent at all. This is one of the places that writes the most about young players and prospects (without being entirely minors-focused) that I’ve seen.

          • jim p

            Nunez, Melky, Kennedy, Hughes, Gardiner (although he was older) … at first thought.

            • .zip file

              Nova as well.

            • Steve

              Austin Jackson

        • CountryClub

          This isn’t really true though. Sure, avg or below avg players like Melky can improve over time (although it doesnt happen as often as you think), but great players are usually great from a very young age.

        • deadrody

          Dude. Melky was THE worst player in all of baseball in Atlanta. WORST. They cut him.

          There was nothing wrong with how the Yankees or yankee fans treated or felt towards Melky.

      • RetroRob

        Was Melky hated? I actually think most fans liked Melky. In fact, I’m sure of it. Sure, he would take some bashing on RAB because he was a below-average player while here, but he was fine as a 4th OFer.

        • gc

          Don’t spoil the narrative. He was HATED. By EVERYONE. Even by those who liked him. Get it right! :)

          • Dr Duh

            Actually there was quite a bit of Melk allergy back in the day. Personally I was fan, but there were plenty of detractors.

            Here’s a representative quote from Joe P
            “our collective position on Melky Cabrera, as if it needed restating. It is plainly clear that we don’t like Melky as the everyday center fielder. He has had his high points, but the lows are abominable.”

            Another from Axisa,
            “Alex Rodriguez “begged” the Yankees to sign Melky Cabrera this past offseason… Hey, Melky was a fun and energetic guy with a knack for big hits, but Alex should really stick to hitting baseballs.”

            or also from Axisa,
            “It’s no secret that the three of us at RAB weren’t Melky’s biggest backers, but that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate his four-plus years of service to our beloved Bombers.”

            Note, none of this constitutes hyperbolic ‘hate’. But trust me there was some of that in the comments, though not on the level of LoHud.

            The old adage, ‘you are what your record says you are’ could be improved with ‘until something changes.’ Melky went to the NL, got focused and eventually got better. (Correlation? Causality?) Too bad we weren’t patient enough to benefit from it.

            • Evan3457

              There’s no reason to believe that Melky ever would’ve gotten focused without the bottom dropping out in Atlanta in 2010, which happened after the Yanks traded him. Too bad for the Yanks, but nothing to kick themselves over.

            • Randi

              “Alex Rodriguez “begged” the Yankees to sign Melky Cabrera this past offseason… Hey, Melky was a fun and energetic guy with a knack for big hits, but Alex should really stick to hitting baseballs.”

              ^^I remember this one!

    • Rich in NJ

      It certainly made sense to bring him back a couple of years ago when A-Rod recommended the idea to the Yankees, citing Melky’s renewed commitment to the game, as evidence by his improved conditioning.

      As for signing him after the season, which I would support, there is no way that he would be cheaper than Swisher.

      • thenamestsam

        Eh, I have to question this. Did it really make sense to bring in a guy who was literally the worst player in baseball the season before because your 3rd baseman who has zero talent evaluation experience went for a few runs with him on the beach and said he looked good? Hyperbole to some extent, but you have talent evaluators and statistical analysis for a reason and both of those would have been saying “Holy shit, Melky is terrible.” I mean in retrospect it would have been an inspired move but I can’t blame Cashman at all for completely ignoring that advice.

    • Get Phelps Up

      I’d much rather spend the big money on Hamels than Melky. The downgrade in RF (assuming Swisher walks) is something I’d be able to live with.

      • Will The Thrill

        Umm. Sounds like Cole is getting locked down by Philly. I’d rather have cheap starters (Nova, Pineda, Banuelos, and Phelps) fill out the rotation after CC and give Swish a Willingham-esque contract (3yrs/$30MM) then spend $120MM on one pitcher when we already have a buttload of guys with $100MM contracts. Swisher might not be an MVP type player but he’s a solid RF who hits for power and takes walks. It’d be hard to replace Cano, Grandy or Swish but I think we have guys internally who can be serviceable starters on the cheap.

        • Get Phelps Up

          Pineda won’t be back until May and there is no way Banuelos starts the season in the rotation next year after losing so much time due to injury this year. Also, I haven’t heard anything really about Hamels other than his agent and the Phillies are discussing an extension which could mean anything, really. I’ll stop wanting the Yankees to sign him if/when an extension is officially announced.

        • Brian S.

          Except Swisher doesn’t take walks anymore.

        • Brian S.

          Also, since when is Cole getting locked down by Philly?

          • Get Phelps Up

            MLBTR has a post that says the Phils and Hamels “continue discussing” an extension but otherwise, I don’t know where that came from.

      • Rich in NJ

        Hamels will cost about $10m a year more, so I think it’s a false choice.

    • Cuso

      No, he won’t be cheaper than Swisher. He’ll be way more expensive, now. Back-to-back 200 hit seasons, one of which was in San Francisco, younger than Swisher, well-known for getting clutch game-winning base-hits and an All-Star Game MVP to boot?

      He’ll be getting higher AAV than Swisher by a long shot, you can count on that.

  • Will The Thrill

    Meh. All-Star games are becoming like Yankees-Red Sox games to me. I should be excitedly looking forward to it but I end up dreading it and counting down til it’s over. Also home field advantage is an illusion. Just play the damn game regardless of where you’re playing.

    • RetroRob

      I made no attempt to watch it, and in fact went out for the evening. I would have watched it if I was home, but then again I also found myself watching Australian baseball games over the winter, so I’m not sure that says much. There was a time years back I would have moved plans to another night, where now the ASG’s main attraction is it’s a baseball game and pretty much the only one I can watch until Friday. It would be great if YES would use the next couple of days to actually show some of the Yankees minor league teams in action.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Yankees will open the ’12 WS at Citi Field. Whatever.

    • Brian S.

      I really don’t want the Mets to make the playoffs. Their fans are so annoying.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Not a New Yorker, are you?

  • jim p

    Contemplating our interleague record, “no don’t throw me into that briar patch” comes to mind.

  • Nathan

    I wonder if either Cash or Melky call the other party this off-season and who hangs up first.

    • RetroRob

      I’m pretty sure it would not be Melky.

  • OMG! Bagels!

    We rake in NL parks. So bring it on WS.

    As for Melky, yeah I really liked him in the Bx and am glad he did well elsewhere. He was vyying for centerfield with Gardner and lost. Then Gardy was moved to left field when Granderson came(and then to a vaporized being somewhere in the ozone layer)…so I don’t know what would have become of Melky then.

    Glad Arod advocated for him and is probably glad to see him doing well but I think the Yankees made the right choice.

    Robbie and Melky were chumming the night before but why would Robbie high five a guy who just hit a home run for the opposing team? Melky was either screwing around or honestly expected the love to spill over onto the field and it didn’t. The bromance does not exist when you are on opposite teams. The NL got Melk and that’s probably good for all concerned. We are not going to get him cheaper than Swisher.

  • Will The Thrill

    A dark horse to sign Melky next year: Phillies.

  • OMG! Bagels!

    And the Yankees are going to be shoveling wheel barrels full of cash to Robbie and Grandy. I think they’re going to have to be very selective about who they acquire and I don’t think Melky makes that grade for what they would have to pay.

    • Rich in NJ

      Given that Melky is three years younger than Granderson, and that Granderson will be entering his age 33 season in 2014, it probably makes more sense to sign Melky and then trade Granderson for cost-controlled, younger players.

      • LiterallyFigurative


  • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

    Would you rather Melky at something like 5/75M (age 28-32 seasons) or Granderson at something like 5/85M (age 33-37 seasons)?

    I don’t know if those contracts are ballpark of what either would get, but I find it interesting that the discussion seems centered on just Melky v. Swish, when Melky might not be a horrible idea as Swish replacement for next year and then replace Granderson with a cheaper option in 2014 rather than a cheap replacement for Swish next season.

    • whozat

      In the last four years, Melky has one very good season (2011) and half of a great season, after a mediocre-at-best season and an absolutely horrendous season. His BABiP is out of line with career averages, and he’s putting the ball on the ground a lot, and relying on almost 11% of his flyballs going over the fence — compared to a career rate of about 7%.

      Be very careful of paying for a career year.

      • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

        I agree. I don’t believe he’s as good as he has been this year, but I think it’s entirely possible he’s as good as he was last season, which is roughly as good as Swisher overall. If he’s similar in cost (and years) to Swisher (if the Yankees are even willing to pay Swisher), I think it would make sense to consider Melky.

      • Evan3457

        Except that Melky’s “good” season in 2011 was worth (in marginal value) $19 million, that he’s 26 and now in the middle of his prime, that his LD% is a career high, and his flyball% is a career low.

        So yes, this is a career year, and as of now, it’s marginal value is about $29 million (pro-rated), but 1) he’s likely to decline somewhat in the 2nd half, and 2) the contact he gets will not be $29 million a year, or anything like $29 million a year.

        I’d go $4 years, 60 million for Melky, plus multiple team options with buyouts, and with Swisher’s contract out the door, that’s only $5 million more than they’re paying Swisher right now. By 2014, A-Rod’s salary drops to $26 million, or $4 million less than it is now. By 2015, to $22 million, etc.

        • Bunt Gardner

          But for luxurary tax purposes, the contract AAV is used. It doesn’t matter that Arod’s contract drops a few million.

    • El Maestro

      I would like to see if Melky keeps committed in the same way AFTER he signs a massive contract… Don’t get me wrong, I wish him well and always liked him, but it’s something that bothers me. Maybe he just grew up, and that’s great.

  • Darren

    regardless, having jeet, robby (sp?), grandy and cc is nicer than having scott sandrson or steve sax as our lone All Star representative.
    those years we really sucked.

    • Yankonymous

      In those years, we would’ve had the patience for Melky Cabrera.

      Though, he’d still be sharing time with Luis Polonia.

  • Mike HC

    hahah … great little replaying video there.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    “People hated Melky” hate, started by exactly the kind of commenters who would have led such sentiment in the past, is absolute self-parody.

    Loved Melky then. Loved him when he was sucking ass in Atlanta and KC. Love him now. No one could have told me he’d ever have this kind of year, though.

  • newguy

    It’s not an assumption that they’ll never become a better player, but the Yankees are a team that cannot necessarily wait around for a player to dedicate themselves. They have money and prospects and can fill an uncommitted players spot with someone who will produce.

  • Hall and Nokes

    It’s not like the Yankees dumped him. We got Javy for him!

  • Chris in Maine

    I have to believe that Cano does not return the high five because of Melky’s downright horrible shoes.

  • Eddard

    Justin Verlander may have single handidly cost the American League the World Series. The past two seasons the NL has had home field and won the WS. Selig needs to fix this because it makes no sense. He’s already got a 2-3 format for the 1st round so the Yankees will have to play on the ROAD to start the divisional series if they win the division and have best record. It’s a complete joke.

    • Kevin

      Last year IMO was the first time in nine years where homefield advantage made a difference in the World Series.
      2010 the Giants beat the Rangers in five games,which IMO was going to happen whether or not they started out in Arlington.
      As for the format…not like the alternating by year was any better.

      • Eddard

        What’s so hard with giving it to the team with the best record over 162 games? This should definitely happen when the Astros go to the AL and they have a more balanced schedule. There will be no excuse then because the schedules will be more balanced. If there’s a tie then have a list of tiebreakers – H2H, division record, etc. It’s not that hard.

      • TomH

        Of course it was better! It was an agreed-upon convention that permitted consistency of expectation. In 1955, the Yankees lose to Brooklyn in Ebbets Field, but in 1956 they win in the Stadium. It did not depend upon vagaries introduced by an exhibition game played with varying degrees of intensity, with accompanying hullabaloo, by people who, in many cases, might have wished for a 3-day breather with their families.

        If the ASG were still played as they so often were in those bygone days–when people like Musial, Williams, and Mays might stay in for 4 or 5 at-bats, hell, it might be OK. But this is a clownish game now, to which the small-town Commissioner has tried to give some seriousness by linking it to home field advantage in baseball’s most serious series.

    • Steve

      Justin Verlander didn’t pitch well, but unless he held the NL to -1 runs, he didn’t single-handidly do anything. The team scored ZERO runs

  • fed

    Melky trying to troll Cano.

  • http://aol amanda

    got milk ? yankee are best tean in bb right now relax

  • http://aol amanda

    i cried back when they traded milk

  • Cuso

    This picture makes me laugh and cry at the same time

  • Fernando

    Cano got enough shit from the KC fans. Can you imagine how much more crap he gets if he high fives Melky when the AL is losing there?

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