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81st MLB All-Star Game

Jul 13, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT


Photo courtesy Los Angeles Angels
Angel Stadium, site of tonight's All-Star Game.

For all its flaws — and it has several — Major League Baseball's All-Star Game remains by far the best of the all-star competitions held in all the major sports. There's still something about the midsummer classic that makes it … well, a classic.

There should be a fair amount of intrigue to tonight's game in Anaheim. The National League, which is amazingly seeking its first victory since 1996, sends out a potent pitching staff that includes Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum, among others. The American League counters with one of the greatest lineups ever assembled (how about that 7-8-9 of Joe Mauer, Robinson Cano and Carl Crawford?).

Nationals fans can only hope Matt Capps works his way into the game and perhaps gets to play a key role in securing a late NL lead.

All baseball fans will be interested to see what kind of tribute is planned for George Steinbrenner, who died this morning at age 80. I can only imagine what this game will be like for Derek Jeter and his Yankees teammates.

Obviously, I'm not in Anaheim for the game. But I will be watching it on TV with the rest of you. So I figured it only makes sense to provide a forum for discussion. I'll have some thoughts along the way, and if there's anything you're interested in discussing, just drop that into the comments section and I'll see what I can do.

Hope everyone enjoys the game…

NATIONAL LEAGUE at AMERICAN LEAGUE
Where: Angel Stadium
Gametime: 8 p.m.
TV: Fox
Radio: 980-AM, 94.3-FM, 92.7-FM.
Weather: Sunny, 76 degrees, Wind 11 mph out to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
NATIONAL LEAGUE
SS Hanley Ramirez
2B Martin Prado
1B Albert Pujols
DH Ryan Howard

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  1. natsfan1a - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    Thanks, Mark.For those with MLB Network, they've been showing batting practice and workouts leading up to the All-Star game, and they will also have a red carpet show. (If you're into that type of thing – who am I kidding? I'll probably watch that, too. :-))MLB Network started running a Steinbrenner retrospective earlier today, with comments from some of their regulars, fwiw.

  2. Jim Kurtzke - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:16 PM

    Mark, what's your over/under on Dunn getting traded by the deadline?

  3. court - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    Howard shouldn't be in the game, much less starting. Had Manuel including Votto over Howard, Zimmerman may have been able to beat RH in the voting. But Votto was such an obvious choice RZ had no chance. Yet another reason to hate the Phillies.

  4. court - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:24 PM

    I think the Olney report from a "baseball source" (read "agent") is just posturing from the Dunn camp – much like Rizzo's stance of entertaining offers. There's no way Rizzo will be able to get what he wants for a rental player, so I think a deal gets done at some point. I hope it happens before the offseason to send a message to other potential free agents that this is a team on the rise, not a rebuild. I think Willingham is much better candidate to be moved since he's under team control for another year. Although I hope neither goes anywhere.

  5. TimDz - Jul 13, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    @ court:If Willingham gets moved, we better get something (or things) of significant value. I would prefer that the FO signs hammer for three to four years and Dunn for two to four (depending on what he is asking).I also think that Rizzo won't consider anything (contract wise) until after the trading deadline, to keep his options open.

  6. Bowdenball - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:04 PM

    court-Not only that, but Charlie Manuel is the manager, and he chose both Infante and Howard over, among others, Votto, Dunn and Zimm. And then when Heyward's injury gave him an opportunity to rectify his mistake, he instead chose another relief pitcher instead of Dunn, Zimm or Willigham (who could fill the gap in the OF). Like you said, another reason to hate the Phillies. Honestly, I'm gonna have a hard time rooting for the NL tonight because of Manuel and the screw job the Nats got

  7. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    @BowdenballYou know, that's a good point. I didn't realize it until you said it, but I think I'd like to see the NL lose, and I'd like it to be for a reason you can directly blame on Manuel. Perhaps Omar Infante can be the last man on the bench and ground into a game ending 6-4-3 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th.

  8. Anonymous - Jul 13, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    Ok, so… right… it's in an AL park, so top of the 9th. You get the point.

  9. Section 222 - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:10 PM

    How about Infante and Ryan Howard both strike out in key situations and Scott Rolen makes a late inning error that allows the AL to pull within 1, but Capps comes on to save the win?

  10. Traveler8 - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:19 PM

    Please, stop with the schadenfreude! I want all those NL pitchers to be the game story for tomorrow, and would be quite happy for Ryan Howard to blast one for a 1-0 score.

  11. Naturally Yours - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:39 PM

    Anybody else seen/heard this? "Phenom", all about our own you-know-who, from the excellent Baseball Project (Steve Wynn, Peter Buck, Scott McGaughey, Linda Pitmon)http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/thelife/music/news/story?id=5366159"And they say that I'm the most in The Washington Post…"

  12. natsfan1a - Jul 13, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    Phillies? Gag…gack…blechh…patooie…humph!Wouldn't mind seeing Capps or former Nat Marlon Byrd come up big, though…

  13. Harrison Goodman - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    Mark not having to write a gamer on deadline tonight: Priceless

  14. Jim Webster - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:51 AM

    Forty-nine minutes after eight and they're just ready for the first pitch. MLB and Fox sure do their darnedest to tick off baseball fans.

  15. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 14, 2010 at 12:53 AM

    Harrison: Come on, you know I miss that stuff. There's no greater rush in this profession than scrambling to get a game story from a big event like this turned in before deadline. (And then no worse letdown than finding out with two outs in the ninth that it's too late to make any papers.)

  16. Harrison Goodman - Jul 14, 2010 at 1:01 AM

    Yes and then the rush of realizing the game made like 2% of the papers the next day even though we were working till 1 a.m.

  17. Mrs. Z. - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:14 AM

    Having now reached our Kuo-ta, we ask not for whom the Bell tolls; it tolls for Heath.

  18. Michael J. Hayde - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:40 AM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Michael J. Hayde - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:42 AM

    And Big PopOut strikes (out) again. Way to go, Matt!

  20. LoveDaNats - Jul 14, 2010 at 2:53 AM

    So Manuel takes out Roy Halladay to put in Matt Capps to face David Ortiz. Matt, you did the Nats proud! Good job!

  21. A DC Wonk - Jul 14, 2010 at 3:55 AM

    Awesome play by Byrd, eh?

  22. Anonymous - Jul 14, 2010 at 4:24 AM

    LE'S GO CAPPS! N.L. wins! And he beat a stinkin' Yankee, to boot (Phil Hughes), so eat that Steinbrenner. Oh wait, you can't eat anything anymore! Bwahahahahaha! Thank you Matt Capps!

  23. Matt in DC - Jul 14, 2010 at 5:14 AM

    Hey Mark, here's a question for you: If McCann strikes out, and the rest of the game goes exactly the same, who's the MVP? Price with 2.0 IP? Cano who went 0-1 with 1 RBI? Are there even any other candidates?

  24. K.D. - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    Once started it was a fun game last night. Way to represent, Mr. Capps! So proud. Manuel out managed Girardi last night. Infante is a class act and had tons of fun just standing and cheering at the rail. Personally I don't think Zimm felt he was having an Allstar season.

  25. natsfan1a - Jul 14, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    Yep, that was a good game, after it *finally* started. NL takes one from AL (about time), and it was great to see my Capps/Byrd wish come true as well. Went to bed with a smile on my face, believe you me. :-)

  26. Mark Zuckerman - Jul 14, 2010 at 1:27 PM

    Matt in DC: That's a great question. The AL's lone run was unearned and it scored on a sac fly, so it would have been tough to give MVP to a position player. But how about Jose Valverde? He wound up striking out the side in the top of the ninth. In reality, he did that trailing by two runs. But suppose he did it to save a 1-0 victory. That would be worthy of an MVP, in my opinion.

  27. 320R2S15 - Jul 14, 2010 at 1:28 PM

    Pretty nice production, couple of observationsThe traditional home white and away greys were a nice touch. I hate the softball shirts they wear these days.The music was sub par, I now I'm showing my age, bur who were those people anyway?McArver needs to retire.Did Matt Capps represent or what?

  28. Doc - Jul 14, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    There is a God! A Nats wins the All-Star Game!!!!

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