Archive for All Star Game
Via Mark Feinsand, Robinson Cano has accepted an invitation to participate in the Homerun Derby next week. AL captain David Ortiz asked him to join after Mark Teixeira declined the invitation to spend the break with his family. Adrian Gonzalez and Jose Bautista will also take their hacks. Cano was originally named to the Derby last year, but withdrew because of a minor back injury that may or may not have been real.
Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Curtis Granderson will start the All-Star Game at their respective positions thanks to the fan voting. Alex Avila surged past Russell Martin in the voting last week, so he’ll (deservingly) start behind the plate. Adrian Gonzalez will start at first, David Ortiz at designated hitter, and Grandy will be flanked in the outfield by Josh Hamilton and Jose Bautista.
Update: Ortiz, captain of the AL Homerun Derby squad, has asked Mark Teixiera will join him on the team. Adrian and Bautista are confirmed as the other two participants, but Tex has yet to accept.
Update Part Deux: Mariano Rivera was named to the All-Star pitching staff but CC Sabathia was not. Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander made the team but are scheduled to start next Sunday, which would make them ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game. They’ll be replaced on the roster, though CC is scheduled to pitch that day as well.
Update Part Three: Martin makes it as a reserve. So six total Yankees are heading to the desert in a week. It’s A-Rod‘s 14th All-Star selection, Jeter’s 12th, Mo’s 12th, Cano’s third, Martin’s third, and Granderson’s second. Congrats to all.
MLB released the early results of the AL All-Star voting today, and Yankees claim the top spots in six of nine positions. The entire infield – Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, and Alex Rodriguez – lead at their respective positions, as does Russell Martin behind the plate. Curtis Granderson is second behind Jose Bautista in the outfield voting, which is enough to earn a starting spot. These aren’t small leads, either, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of votes between first and second place at most spots. Cano has more than twice the votes as the runner-up at second. You know what the cool thing is? Aside from Jeter, you can at least make a case that all those guys deserve to start.
All 30 big league teams are off today, with the Yankees even getting to enjoy one extra day off before returning to work on Friday. That doesn’t mean we’ll have to go without real live baseball though, because the Triple-A All Star Game is being played this evening in b-e-a-utiful Allentown, PA.
Three Yankee farmhands made the International League squad: Jesus Montero (right), Eduardo Nunez, and Jon Albaladejo. Nunez was voted in as a starter by the fans, Montero was selected as a reserve. The Yanks’ top prospect is hitting .312/.380/.550 in his last 30 games, helping erase any concerns about his slow start to the season. It just took the 20-year-old Montero a little time to adjust to Triple-A pitching, that’s all.
Albaladejo has been nothing short of fantastic this season, but I’m willing to bet he’ll handle the all important 8th inning tonight while Scott Mathieson of the hometown Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs gets the 9th inning glory. The game doesn’t mean anything, it’s just a matter of deferring to the hometown guy. I’m actually looking forward to seeing Albie again, just to see how much he’s changed since we last saw him. Supposedly he’s scrapped the sinker/slider approach and has gone with a four-seam fastball/curveball approach. Curious about how true that is.
Here is the rest of the roster, and here’s the team the Pacific Coast League is sending. The game starts at 7pm ET and can be seen on the MLB Network. You can talk about it here, or anything else you want in tonight’s open thread. You guys know what to do, so have at it.
Last night the All-Stars took mercy on us. After the folks at MLB tortured us with 50 minutes of pre-game dreck the game actually rolled along at a swift two hours and fifty-nine minutes, all the more impressive because of the extra-long Fox commercial breaks. A short All-Star game is a good All-Star game. The NL might have won, capturing home field advantage in the World Series for the first time since 2001, but it matters little. It was an exhibition, and if you’re a fan of watching hitters whiff it was a quality one.
A quarter of all batters in the game struck out against 12 different pitchers, three of them going down against Jose Valverde in the ninth. The pitching was so good that each team scored in only one instance. In the fifth Robinson Cano hit a sac fly to put the AL ahead 1-0, and then in the seventh Brian McCann hit a bases loaded double to capture the lead for good. Two of the baserunners were Phil Hughes‘s responsibility; he took the loss in the game.
The game itself was just as interesting as other All-Star games. The managers still manage it like an exhibition, and the players still play that way. It’s a spectacle for us to enjoy, and for the most part I enjoyed this one. That’s partly because I love watching strikeouts, but it’s also partly because Ben, Mike, and I got to watch Panasonic’s presentation of the All-Star game in 3D.
For the past few weeks YES has been running spots about the first ever HD game, so the details have been out for a while. The 3D broadcast only works on 3D TVs, and you need goggles to see it — but not the googles you get at the movie theater. These are battery powered and can focus on only one 3D image at a time. We could turn around the room and watch each TV, but it would take a few seconds for the image to come into focus.
Here are the googles:
And here’s me wearing the googles:
As you can see, they’re pretty dorky and I’m pretty sure I’d prefer to watch a baseball game without them, even if the image is pretty neat. Then again, we got to listen to a different commentating crew, so by wearing the glasses I didn’t have to listen to Buck and McCarver. So maybe the trade-off is worth it.
A few of observations on the 3D experience:
- It looks like they’re playing on a stage. The players do pop, almost like they’re inside a diorama, but the playing field and background are flat. I’m not complaining, because it’s kind of neat. You definitely see things in different proportions.
- The primary camera angle was behind the left-handed batter’s box. That took some getting used to, but once I did I loved it. You can pick up the pitcher’s delivery much better. It also takes a while to follow the ball after it comes off the bat. The cameras don’t maneuver well (or else they just don’t have enough of them to match the number of cameras we’re used to). I never did get a feel for the strike zone because of the off-center angle.
- There was a noticeable difference when viewing the screen from an angle and when viewing it from straight on. I was watching from an angle on the main TV, but found myself frequently turning to another because I had a better angle.
Two more days until real baseball.
It’s time once again for the Midsummer Classic, the game’s most important exhibition of stars. The AL should win it for home field advantage and win it for George. He was the biggest star of all.
Coverage starts at 8 p.m. on Fox, and Major League Baseball will offer a moment of silence in honor of the Boss prior to the start of the game. Here are Charlie Manuel’s and Joe Girardi‘s lineups:
Hanley Ramirez, SS
Martin Prado, 2B
Albert Pujols, 1B
Ryan Howard, DH
David Wright, 3B
Ryan Braun, LF
Andre Ethier, CF
Corey Hart, RF
Yadier Molina, C
Ubaldo Jimenez, SP
David Price, SP
Via Jack Curry, Nick Swisher narrowly beat out Kevin Youkilis for the final roster spot on the AL All Star Team. Curry says it was the closest vote ever, so go and pat yourselves on the back for all votes you cast. Congrats to Swish, great to see the Yankees well represented.
Just one hour left, folks! The voting for the AL All Star Team’s final roster spot ends at 4pm ET, so make sure you hit the ballot and vote a few hundred times for the very deserving Nick Swisher (.389 wOBA, 2.5 WAR).
Via Mark Feinsand, Yankees’ second baseman Robbie Cano has withdrawn from next week’s Home Run Derby citing a minor back injury. It’s unclear what the exact injury is, but if we’ve learning anything from Al Aceves’ plight, it’s that there’s no such thing as a minor back injury. The Yanks weren’t exactly in love with the idea of Robbie participating in the HR Derby, so I’m hopeful this is just a phantom injury designed to keep him out of the competition. Let’s see if he’s in the lineup tonight.
Prior to tonight’s game, Mariano Rivera told reporters that he is withdrawing from next week’s All Star Game because he’s been “pitching hurt.” Apparently Mo injured his knee shagging fly balls during batting practice during the Dodgers series, and he still feels it on every pitch. His nagging side/flank issue still isn’t 100% either. Mass panic will set in, but Mo has pitching through it over the last week and has been simply fantastic. He’ll rest up during the break, and hopefully be good to go in the second half.