Gwyneth: Lance, darling, what are you doing with your computer?
Me: I thought I'd try to live-blog the All-Star game.
Gwyneth: Do you mean you're going to share all your brilliant, insightful, and witty observations about baseball with your readers?
Me: Could be fun.
Gwyneth: I think that's so wonderful. Here. let me set up my own laptop so that I can follow along while I'll sit here adoringly at your feet as I do every year.
Both our laptops booting up together: Ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa.
The blonde: WHAT are you doing NOW?
Me (wide-awake now): I thought I'd try to live-blog the All-Star Game.
The blonde: Why?
The blonde: Well, at least this way only your readers are going to have to deal with those meandering observations about baseball you think are so brilliant, insightful, and witty. Try to type quietly, ok?
Me: Yes, dear.
The blonde: Shhhh. They're about to introduce the starting line-ups.
And we're underway. The real Hall of Famers are the "honor guard" for the All-Stars. Seems like a way of encouraging Baby Boomers to feel prematurely disappointed in the game. How many future Hall of Famers are there in the line-ups tonight? Bruce Sheets really belong in the same company as Jim Palmer and Steve Carlton and Bob Gibson?
Dustin Pedroia was quoted in the Boston Globe as more or less saying that he didn't think he even belongs in the same All-Star infield with Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. Red Sox should trade him immediately for aiding and abetting but I wonder how he feels being "guarded" by Joe Morgan and Bill Mazeroski and Ryne Sandberg.
Really. This is kind of cool. But it's taking away from the moment for the actual players. Who's paying any attention to...to...to...whoever's the starting shortstop for the NL when Ozzie Smith's right there?
And do we need the bombastic background music? I don't even want Joe Buck doing the introductions. I want to hear the stadium announcer----
RALPH KINER'S STILL ALIVE?
I want to hear the stadium announcer just giving their last names and the names echoing around the park.
Willie Mays. Sorry, Teddy Baseball. He's the best there ever was, best there ever will be.
I'm already tired of Josh Hamilton. He wasn't a "hero" in the home run derby. He was the fan's favorite. You can't be the hero of a freak show.
Oliver Mannion says he likes the background music.
Not me. This is a baseball game not Band of Brothers.
Poor Earl Weaver had about ten people applauding him. Tommy Lasorda didn't seem to inspire a bigger crowd.
Think Terry Francona is heartbroken he's being booed by Yankee fans?
I love it that Gary Carter tipped both his Mets cap and his Expos cap. I wonder how Scott Lemieux feels about that?
Didn't about half these Hall of Famers play in the same All-Star Game together in the mid-60s?
In keeping with the theme of the night, I think they should have brought together as many members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to sing the National Anthem, or at least to provide Sheryl Crowe with her own honor guard.
I can't help noticing that Dave Winfield isn't on the mound with Berra, Ford, Reggie, and Goose Gossage.
Commercial. Bill Curtis has just discovered the Internet in a jungle. This is a sneaky campaign ad for Barack Obama reminding voters that John McCain still doesn't know how to use email.
Oh no! Tim McCarver's in the booth with Buck!
Buck himself just sounded like he's doubtful that the game can measure up to the opening ceremony.
Oliver just heard someone mention a perfect game. He wanted to know what's a perfect game. Who said television isn't educational? I've never seen or heard a perfect game being pitched. But I remember very well listening to an almost perfect game. Tom Seaver had one going against the Cubs going into the ninth with one out when Jimmy Qualls came up.
How many times are we going to have to hear about what a historical place Yankee Stadium is?
Down goes Hanley Ramierez, Joe Buck's evidence that the fans know what they're doing with their votes.
Down goes Utley.
Down goes Berkman.
Off to the ice cream parlor go the blonde, the fifteen year old, and Oliver.
Pinella must have loved doing that commercial.
Tim McCarver, trying to compliment Derek Jeter, just reminded Yankee fans that it's been eight years since the Yanks won a World Series. 2000. Jeter was the MVP of the All-Star Game and the World Series that year. Did he deserve either?
Why does Joe Buck think Josh Hamilton needed help brushing his teeth this morning?
McCarver wants to know the same thing.
I guess the point is that hitting 28 home runs in a home run derby will cause you to wake up with stiff arms and shoulders?
New York fans booed the Red Sox players and Francona with more noise and gusto than they've just cheered Jeter and Rodriquez.
A-Rod passed Mickey Mantle on the HR record list Saturday. I missed that. This is how it's gotten now. Passing Mantle's like passing Kiner was when I was a kid. Looks like all but a handful of the players on the list with more home runs than Kiner started their careers after Mantle retired!
Chipper Jones gets the NL's first hit.
In 75 years, the AL has scored only one more run than the National League. Somebody look it up and do the math. Does that mean that for the first 50 of those 75 the NL had scored many many more runs than the AL?
Sheets was "reverential" about pitching in Yankee Stadium, Joe? Shouldn't make fun of Buck's word choice here. The Yankees are a religion for some people. Same people for whom winning is a religion, I suspect. And money.
Apparently Milton Bradley's Superman. How did he come back from that injury so fast?
McCarver says he was surprised to hear the New York crowd give Kevin Youkilis a nice round of applause. What sounded like boos to me Buck and McCarver think was the crowd saying, "Yoooooooooo!" I'm guessing because a lot of a New York crowd's going to be Jewish. Youkilis is one of three Jewish players playing in this game.
Ian Kinsler and Ryan Braun are the other two.
Joe Mauer was the first AL catcher EVER to win a batting title? Hmmm. Impressive. But how many NL players have done it? It might be an even more impressive feat.
Mauer has a blog. I wonder how many AL catchers EVER have had blogs?
End of two. No score.
I like Yogi Berra and all, but I would like to watch the NL bat here.
Yogi likes Sarah Jessica Parker.
Hanley Ramierez likes being on first base.
Guys. Baseball game?
We're into commercials again. I guess the NL didn't do anything. Are we going to have some old timer yakking over the AL's half of the inning too?
Jeter bounces into a 6-4-3 double play. Gee. Never seen that before.
Top of the fourth: First time the All-Star Game's been scoreless through three innings since 1995.
That's one of those statistics that don't mean anything.
Aw nuts. Pujols out at second. McCarver says Ichiro is the best right fielder he's seen since Clemente. Not somebody you want to run on then. Play wasn't close. Ball trailed a little sign like an airplane pulling an advertising banner. "YOU'RE OUT!"
I ran up to the corner for a cup of coffee. Couple ahead of me had never been in a coffee shop before. Using money was apparently new to them too. What'd I miss? Bradley caught stealing?
Mets pick up the wrong Santana over the winter?
Holliday takes him deep. "Hammered to right field," says McCarver. One-nothing, NL.
41 players on the All Star roster who make more in a season than it cost to build Yankee Stadium in 1923. What's 2.5 million in today's dollars? (Linkmeister provides the answer.)
Kinsler steals second. Pedroia walks.
Ichiro up. Strikes out.
Bounces it to the pitcher. Strands two. Inning over.
Man on third.
Buck and McCarver are talking about how both managers will start bringing in their closers soon. This might be the last run scored as Ramierez comes home on Berkman's SF.
I like the way Francona pulled A Rod and Jeter from the field so they could leave the game with the fans applauding.
Chipper Jones strikes out.
Two on, two out.
Holliday to the plate. Flies out. We head to the bottom of the sixth.
Bottom of the sixth. Replacements everywhere. The real All-Star's are leaving the game.
Hamilton stays at third. Inning over. NL still ahead, 2-0.
Top of the 7th. Joe Nathan pitching for the AL. Buck calls him one of the most underrated closer in the AL. Who's more under-rated than him? Someone not on the roster, obviously.
Already two out?
Already three outs.
Seventh Inning America Feels Sorry for Itself Moment.
Buck is asking the crowd to rise and remove their caps for the singing of God Bless America. When are fans going to revolt against this sickening spectacle of enforced national self-pity?
Who is this American Idol reject singing? Josh who? Is he lip synching? The music's canned? Appropriate, since so is the "moment."
Buck says what all the announcers say. The song is about "honoring America." But we all know it's about honoring a sentimental Right Wing notion of America.
Bottom of the seventh. Ground ball to right gets past Hart. In a regular game that's an error. Man on second. Seems to me that the AL has won a lot of All Star games in the late innings. Their bench always that much better than the NL's?
JD Drew pounds one into the right field stands to tie it!
I'm ambivalent about that. I'm rooting for the NL but I'm a Red Sox fan and I like the idea of Drew getting the MVP award here in Yankee Stadium.
I'm not going to stick with this one into extra innings.
Top of the 8th.
Papelbon on the mound. Yankee fans chanting "Over-rated! Over-rated!" Don't they want the AL to win?
Tejada steals second! Ball into the outfield. Tejada goes to third. Gonzalez swings. Pop fly! Tejada tags...
NL back up on top, 3-2.
This is what I don't like about the every team represented, everybody plays if possible thing. David Wright's good, but he should never be put into a game to replace Albert Pujols.
Bottom of the 8th. Billy Wagner's getting loose for the NL? Billy Wagner's on the team? Billy Wagner's going to come in? Guess the AL will win it after all.
And with two out and nobody on, Wagner gives up a hit. He has to make it difficult for himself.
Longoria doubles. Surprise.
Tie. Thank you, Billy Wanger. Why does he have a job?
That's it, Wagner. Make up for another blown lead by beating the runner to the bag to make the now too late third out all by yourself.
Top of the 9th.
Marino Rivera's in. The anti-Wagner.
Strike 'em out, throw 'em out double-play. We go to the bottom of the ninth, secure in the knowledge that at least there are no Yankee hitters left in the game who can win this one for the AL.
I like the way Dempster twists his glove back and forth before he throws.
Drew coming up. Come on, JD, park one and let us all go to bed laughing at the sports desk of the New York Daily News.
No such luck. Dempster strikes out the side. Extra innings.
Oh oh. I don't like that bit of history. The last All Star game to go into extra innings was the one that ended in the infamous tie.
The Yankees have won 26 World Series and only 9 of them were won at home?
Bottom of the 10th and Dan Uggla is about to have played the ugliest inning of his life. Hits into a double play to kill a rally then commits back to back errors. Bases loaded, nobody out.
A little redemption. Uggla throws out the runner at the plate. No DP though.
Another out at the plate.
Tejada makes more of a claim on the MVP and erases Uggla's name from the history books, to Uggla's relief. Aaron Cook's name though is in there in boldface type. Three outs with bases loaded. Good job.
We go to the top of the 11th.
And we go to the bottom of the 11th.
Pitch out. Kinzler caught stealing. He thought he was safe. He was. Tejada missed the tag. But I think Kinzler just thought he beat the throw.
Michael Young has a .357 average with runners on since when? How come I haven't heard of this guy?
Young gets a hit!
OUT at the plate!!!!!!
Good throw from McCloud, great job of blocking the plate by Martin.
Three out of the last five outs the NL has racked up against the AL have been made at the plate.
End of the 11th.
Please, not another tie.
Wednesday morning: I didn't make it through the twelfth. Missed close to four full innings of play. Another All-Star Game played mostly by the subs. They're calling this the longest All-Star Game in history, but in 1967 the game went 15 too. Last night's took an hour longer to play. I don't think it's the case that players have gotten that much slower over the last 40 years.
At any rate, the AL won, again, the winning run scoring on another close play at the plate. Wonder if last night they set a record for most plays at the plate.
The Cape Cod League will be playing its All-Star Game right here in Chatham while we're here. I'll be there, but probably won't be live-blogging. Don't think there's wifi at the ballpark. Gwyneth can't make it. So I'll be taking Maggie. She needs a lift though. I'll have to fly out to California to pick her up. I'd better go check on my P-51 Mustang in the backyard, make sure the engine's running ok. Got pretty well shot up in my last dogfight.