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A brief-but-eventful All-Star appearance for Clippard

Jul 16, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT

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MINNEAPOLIS — Tyler Clippard was minding his own business out in the visitors bullpen at Target Field, chatting with other pitchers on the NL All-Star squad, unsure if he would be appearing in this game at all. And then the call came, and the Nationals right-hander found himself warming up in a hurry, needed to come in and pitch his team out of a jam in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Clippard took the mound, told catcher Devin Mesoraco what pitches he throws, tossed his warm-ups and then actually bothered to look at who he was going to have to face: AL hit leader Jose Altuve.

“I was just happy to get in the game,” he said afterward. “A little different than I’m used to. I had to get ready pretty quick. But I’ll take it. I was happy to get in there. I didn’t really know who was coming up, and then they announced Altuve, and I thought, ‘Aw, man.'”

Thus began one of the more eventful, 11-pitch appearances of Clippard’s career. It included a curveball that hit the backstop on the fly, a rocket shot to left field for a sac fly, an 8-pitch battle with a 2-time MVP and ultimately two outs recorded.

“That’s kind of what my job is throughout the season,” he said. “To come into a spot like that, it was fun.”

The moment involving Clippard most will remember from this game was the one he’d like to forget: His 0-1 curveball to Altuve, which sailed way above the 5-foot-5 second baseman’s head and ricocheted off the backstop.

“I’ve done it before, I think you guys have seen it,” Clippard said. “It just slipped a little bit and went to the backstop. … It happens. It’s just part of what I do. I don’t try to do it, but it happens.”

With a runner on third at the time, Clippard feared the worst but then was amazed along with the sellout crowd of 41,048 when Mesoraco snared the ball with his bare hand and fired a perfect throw to third base that nearly caught Alexei Ramirez.

“That was super heads-up,” he said. “I thought it was going to get over his head, and I was ready to get it. But he just picked it out of the sky. And when he threw it, I was just like, ‘Wow, that was pretty impressive.’ I had a little laugh about it after the fact.”

Altuve wound up roping a line drive to deep left field, plenty deep enough to bring the run home, but still an out recorded. Then Clippard saw who was on-deck: Miguel Cabrera.

“I honestly did not know,” he said. “I was out there like, whoever steps into the box, steps into the box. And then I got [Altuve] out and I thought, ‘Oh sweet, Cabrera! Awesome!’ But you know what? In a game like this, in a spot like that, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.”

Clippard engaged in a legitimate, 8-pitch battle with the two-time AL MVP, then finally got Cabrera to loft a 2-2 changeup to center field for the final out of the inning.

“I’m mad at myself for not striking him out,” he said. “But I got him out, so I can’t complain too much.”

Thus concluded Clippard’s second career All-Star experience. His first one, in 2011 in Arizona, lasted all of three pitches, including a base hit surrendered to the only batter he faced but then an out at the plate and ultimately a win after his NL teammates rallied in the next inning.

This one lasted 11 pitches, eight of them strikes, and two outs recorded. He didn’t “vulture” the win this time, because the NL lineup couldn’t rally from a 5-3 deficit. But the 29-year-old was beaming nonetheless inside the visitors clubhouse afterward, having soaked in every moment of the past 48 hours.

“It’s such a whirlwind,” he said. “It goes by so fast. But both experiences were just unbelievable. Sitting out in the bullpen and talking to the guys about how they hold their pitches. Facing all these All-Stars and talking about the hitters and how good they are, and how they throw and what they want to pitch these guys. I could talk all day to these guys and try to pick their brain.

“I was watching [Clayton] Kershaw warm up in the bullpen, trying to just get something from him. Stuff like that, when you’re involved in these games, that’s what makes it special. You’re around the best in the world, and it makes you want to do better. Hopefully I can take something away from today that makes me better.”

  1. micksback1 - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    very happy for Tyler, glad Matheny got him in, I feel better

  2. scnatsfan - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    What would make me feel good today is signing our #1 and 2 picks even though we know it will go to the deadline

    • adcwonk - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:43 AM

      If I recall, both Harper and Strasburg went until *after* 11:59 pm . . .

  3. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    MCab’s K would look great on resume but an out is not bad either.

  4. Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:59 AM

    Maybe Wainwright did us a favor.

    The “now it counts!” rule was an over-reaction to the tie game at Milwaukee in 2002, which has left the ASG in a weird situation.

    Grooving a pitch to Jeter doesn’t make sense in a game that counts, but in an exhibition game, why not? (Tho you should still probably keep mum about it.)

    This at least shines more light on the ridiculousness of having an exhibition game that counts. I hope this will get overturned after Bud sails off into the sunset–another legacy of his that baseball will be better without.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Shorter version: it’s really Bud’s fault.

      • nats128 - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        One way to fix things further is that the Manager of the All Star team is the one with the best record in each league on July 1st and the bench coach is the World Series manager.

        The Red Sox manager put together a great roster and put the best pitcher to start the game (Felix Hernandez) and the irony is his team has no shot at the post-season. Matheny didnt start the best pitcher (Kershaw) and didnt put the best players on his roster. He inserted his own reliever Neshek at a time in the game that probaly wasnt best and thats when the winning runs scored.

        Its Matheny who should be roasted, not Bud.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        Matheny could have managed differently, no doubt. Of course, plenty of ASG managers get accused of favoring their own guys, so that’s hardly unique to him.

        Most of your criticisms are that he didn’t put together the best line-up, rotation, etc to get the win. But if the game didn’t matter in the first place, most of that goes by the board.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        You want to know a joke. Matt Wieters was named the starting catcher for the AL team. How does that happen and how is that allowed to happen.

        Wieters played this season 194 2/3 innings at Catcher which is the equivalent of 21 2/3 games which isn’t even close to a full month.

        The game doesn’t need to be fixed although Nats128’s suggestion is a good one. It’s the voting that has to be fixed. The voting is a joke. The Manager’s picks is a joke. People said Puig shouldn’t play in the 2013 All Star game and he didn’t because he only appeared in 38 games before the All Star break. At least Puig played more than a full month!

        Somewhere there has to be a qualification to play and be considered in the game just like you qualify for seasonal awards like the Batting Crown or ERA Crown etc which has minimum standards.

      • nats128 - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Hiram,

        those are your words that “if the game didn’t matter in the first place”. I think it does matter to the players like Kershaw and Puig and Clippard and any one else that thinks there team can be the NL Champion.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        Sure, the ASG matters under the current rules, because it determines home field advantage (and in that sense, of course, it matters to Matheny and Wainwright too, as they have a decent shot at the post-season).

        That was exactly my point. It *shouldn’t* determine home field advantage. It didn’t before 2003, and hopefully it won’t again. Bud pushed for this rule in the first place because he was embarrassed by the 2002 tie in his own home town. That’s why I blamed him.

        Get rid of that rule, and all these tweaks about who manager, how rosters are chosen, etc. don’t matter. Yes, folks will still argue over whether Kershaw or Wainwright “deserves” the start, but they can’t really argue it’s about more than bragging rights–that Matheny hurt the post-season prospects of another team by picking one pitcher over the other.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM

        HH, if you take away the home field advantage then the game goes back to “It doesn’t matter” unless you have a better idea. The fact that there’s a serious prize to be won makes it a real game.

        All the other All Star/Pro Bowl games are a joke. Baseball needs to clean up the voting to really make it better but in the mean time, what are your suggestions? It’s always easy to criticize.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        My suggestion is simple, and I’ve made it a couple of times now: go back to the way it was before 2003.

        I don’t buy the idea of binary choice: either the ASG is a “real” game or it’s a joke. Why can’t it just be an exhibition game, as it’s been for decades, without being a joke? The examples of the other sports mean much. The ASG specifically, and baseball generally, have traditions that the NFL and its Pro-Bowl can’t touch.

        Most of the problems that people are complaining about–you included–arise from the ASG’s hybrid nature (“it’s a dessert topping AND a floor wax”).

        Even tho it counts now, the ASG is still an exhibition game, which entails doing things that you wouldn’t do otherwise. If you were playing strictly to win, maybe Wainwright wouldn’t start, but at least he would be on the NL roster, which Derek Jeter probably wouldn’t be for the AL.

        I also don’t buy that the “now it counts” aspect matters to many of these players anyway. Their teams have little change of making the WS. What do they care who has home field advantage? But the Tulos and Altuves–and yes, Derek Jeters–still play hard.

  5. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    I thought Clip did fine given the situation even though the curveball got away. The pesty Altuve with 1 out and 2 men in scoring position is a tough situation and then you have Miguel Cabrera in the on-deck circle who already had a HR in the game. Clip got 2 outs and no earned runs and no hits. His statline looks good.

    The fact that 1 run scored is on Neshek and Matheny. The Loss is on Matheny. Most of baseball thought Kershaw should have been the starter.

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    This is a pitch chart from Wainwright’s start in May 2014 vs the Giants. How many grooved pitches do you see?

    http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/location.php-pitchSel=425794&game=gid_2014_05_30_sfnmlb_slnmlb_1&batterX=&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=&league=mlb&cache=1.gif

    • nats128 - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:25 AM

      “How many grooved pitches do you see?”

      I listened to that game on the raidio and knew right away that he grooved pitches in that game also> ;)

  7. Sonny G 10 - Jul 16, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Didn’t watch the All-Star game. Sorry I missed Clip’s performance.

  8. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Rock. All-Star Game. Hard Place.

  9. micksback1 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    I can not blame Bud Selig at all about the state of All Star game period. This has nothing to do with him or for that fact, any previous commissioner, this is a result of old school dying out and our society in general. I can not blame the players because they are a product of a new generation that has resulted in why All Star games, MLB, NFL and NBA just do not have the reverence they had before about 1980. There is NO solution to this in MLB at all, it really does not matter if the World Series home field gimmick is removed or not. I think it should be removed because a team that earns the best record deserves home field in the WS PERIOD.

    The problem began for a good reason, when players finally started earning the monies they deserved and as a pro union guy I am grateful for what Marvin Miller did back in the 1970’s. However, the slimy agents got involved and I believe this caused the mind set of the agent protecting his asset (the player) by influencing him to be careful and not risk injury by playing in a game that was deemed to be meaningless. I would love to see a fan graph from 1950-1980 and then from 1981 to present that may bare out my point. I bet the drop off of All star’s selected from 1950-1980 was less than 2% and I bet that drop off from 1981 to now is well over 20%.

    I also know that maybe allowing only the managers and maybe MLB writers to chose would actually result in the right players being selected rather than fans from markets that are larger influencing and corrupting the selection process. i am not saying the fans can not vote, but perhaps their vote should be weighted far less

    oh, well, those are my thoughts

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      That’s what I’m looking for–suggestions. Like I said, easy to criticize.

      Yes, I agree that there has to be a weighted system as you cannot allow a guy like Wieters who played his position for 21 games get voted in as a starter. That’s a joke and only a small handful of writers talked about it. What does that say about Salavdor Perez who plays for a poor fanbase in Kansas City but deserved to start or other deserving catchers? If the Manager’s and writer’s vote was included, I’m sure they would’ve gotten it right.

      The popular vote through creative methods encouraging big prizes for punching 1,000s of cards shouldn’t be encouraged and the online voting has become a big marketing ploy as is the “Final Vote”.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Theoretically simple solution: One vote per voter.
        Difficult (if not impossible) to implement solution: One vote per voter.
        Maybe a little more realistic:
        — Don’t decide candidates until at least May 15, maybe even June 1.
        — Every person who attends an MLB game after candidates are chosen is given one ballot as they enter the stadium. Ballot filled out and returned as they leave the stadium.
        — Anyone voting from an electronic device is allowed to vote once per (day/week/month) from any given device.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        That’s smart Eugene but will teams cheat? Can you imagine some missing cases of ballots?

        I think you collect the ballots at all stadiums the end of June for 1 game only and each stadium only gets to hand out 40,000 ballots which is about the average size of each stadium and must return the unused ballots if attendance is less.

        I think online voting has to be limited to an invitation to vote based on validation.

        Overall, I think Mick is right, you have to weigh the voting with writers and managers weighing in.

        There will always be snubs but somehow you have to get it close to right.

        MLB Network did the biggest All Star snubs of all time and they did it based on being politically correct. #1 snub was Hank Greenberg in 1935. He had over 100 RBIs at the All Star break and finished with 170 and won the MVP. You can probably guess why the fans didn’t vote Greenberg in. Greenberg had the last laugh, won the World Series and the MVP in 1935.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        I already fixed this. See my post from yesterday … or was it Saturday? Maybe both.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:07 PM

        Can you repost?

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:27 PM

        C’mon, Ghost – you may not like my suggestion, but don’t pretend I didn’t make one. It was in my first comment. See above.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        HH, I don’t pretend. I am computer illiterate and type on a cellphone. I am now reading your suggestions posted at 1:25pm. Thanks but the way it was before 2003 was taken as a joke by the players where they really did groove pitches.

        This game counts for something. I have complaints with this game like I do moat games. Matheny managed it like a joke and Waino pitched like crap.

      • Section 222 - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        Did the fans vote in 1935? That must have been an interesting process.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:12 PM

        On the show they said they were voted in but didn’t specify who voted in the All Stars.

      • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        Fair enough, Ghost.

        Some of this is obviously a difference of opinion, but I think there’s a factual question too. Was the ASG really a “joke” before 2003? 2002 was obviously a mess, but I’m talking about the years before that. I wonder what Matt Williams would say.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        HH, I think it was a total joke before 2003 and most would say Cal Ripken was grooved pitches in 2001.

        Lost were the days of Rose barreling into Fosse.

        I think the All Star game has it’s flaws and most of it is favortism by Managers inserting their own guys and the ridiculous fan vote. That has to be fixed.

        I’m fired up over this as you can tell.

    • nats128 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      ” I think it should be removed because a team that earns the best record deserves home field in the WS PERIOD.”

      Mick,

      Some would say the best record is more a result of poor divisional teams that you play 18 to 19 times a year. The homefield advantage had never been perfect and they cant adopt a neutral site like the NFL does for the Super Bowl because of logistics which makes it no easy solution.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        I’m with Mick on this one. Any solution has ‘fairness’ problems, so go with the least bad option that also has some advantages. In this case, giving the home field advantage to the team with the best record encourages all teams — regardless of which division they’re in, regardless of how far ahead they may be within their division — a strong incentive to keep playing hard right up until the last game of the season. Okay, there may occasionally be an exception (the single 100+ win team when everyone else is in the 90s), but those are not particularly common.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:56 PM

      Very good post. I have held those beliefs about players not risking an injury that can cost them millions.

  10. jd - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    The fact that the results of an exhibition game determine home advantage for the world series is an atrocity and that’s on Bud. Home advantage in the world series should be determined by the overall records in inter league play. I know it’s an imperfect solution especially if you have lousy teams like the Astros in the mix but at least it has some semblance of competitive common sense.

    The luster of the ASG was tarnished when inter league play was expanded and free agency caused constant player movement between leagues. Many years ago you saw players in the ASG which you didn’t normally see unless they were in the world series. It was interesting and different. Today’s game is not.

  11. Section 222 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Ghost, I don’t understand why you are so exercised about Wieters. So what if he was voted in. He was injured and couldn’t play, so the manager got to choose who started the game. What’s so terrible about that? Yes, there are jokes that occur because of fan voting. Jeter is not the best shortstop in the AL, for example. But fan voting is popular and usually the starting lineups end up being pretty good. I don’t think anything needs to be fixed there.

    I also don’t have a problem with making the ASG “count” the way it does now. It certainly increases fan interest (those of us who watched last night had an intense rooting interest in the outcome), and it might even lead to a better game. Enough of the players and managers have something to play for to make it worthwhile in that respect. Perhaps the fairest way to decide homefield advantage would be to give it to the team with the best regular season record. But if you’re not doing that, I prefer this way to just alternating, or flipping a coin.

    Of course, if you really, really wanted to win this game, you would have let Kershaw pitch longer, and maybe even sent up a right handed pinch hitter for the lefties who were overwhelmed by Doolittle and Perkins. But that’s another debate.

    • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      I can’t/won’t try to answer for Ghost, but to me the Matt Wieters issue is really just a proxy for the problem of naming the candidates too soon. GMs — if I understand correctly — have to submit their ‘nominees’ (really just their projected everyday line ups) at the end of Spring Training. In today’s world, I can’t believe that MLB can’t wait until at least May 15 to select those who deserve (a loaded term, I know) to be on the ballot. And that doesn’t mean everyone on every team who’s in the regular starting line up.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Eugene – Some good points but it still may not stop a GM from writing in a guy like Wieters on May 15th but waiting would also get names on the ballot for those end of April callups or players who step up to starting roles. Write-in candidates rarely have a chance to be starters.

        When Ramos got injured, what if Lobaton stepped in and was amazing? He wasn’t on the ballot.

      • Eugene in Oregon - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:31 PM

        And this is where you can get creative. Maybe, by May 15 or June 1, have some combination of the GMs/managers/players select five candidates (or more, or fewer) for each position, then let the fans vote. Or vice versa.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:06 PM

      Come on, it’s a mockery of the popular vote. It has nothing to do with Wieters personally, its the fact that any player could be voted a starter who hadn’t played a single game for over 2 full months before the All Star game was played tells you how poor the system is and that should be the last straw.

      I don’t know the last time a player was voted to start that was egregious as that one. The Orioles knew he needed the TJ surgery and put off the announcement for weeks in part because of the All Star vote. Wieters really hasn’t been great for at least 2+ seasons but he is a hyped Boras client and that is what it is. Gold Glove yes, but he hasn’t had a .800 OPS season in his career and that’s as an AL catcher where he can DH.

      Jeter shouldn’t have been the starter but glad he was on the team. If he wasn’t so be it. Rod Carew wasn’t an All Star in his last season in 1985. He was an All Star every other season of his career from 1967-1984.

      http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/year/2013/position/c/league/al/sort/OPS/minpa/300

  12. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    One other thing is that we are technologically advanced enough that we get to see Kershaw and trout more than just once a year.

  13. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:21 PM

    “It’s not the voting that’s democracy; it’s the counting.”
    -Tom Stoppard (Jumpers)

    “Это не важно, кто голосует, важно, кто считает.”
    (“It’s not important who votes, it’s important who counts.“)
    Russian proverb (much older than Stalin)

  14. Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    From yesterday, with emendations

    Do away with the must-have-every-team requirement. (One major source of “unqualified” picks, the commercial downsides notwithstanding)

    Expand the rosters to 40. (Gives a better chance teams can get a rep onto the roster. Players would go knowing they won’t all get in the game.

    Keep the fan vote, but for a guaranteed roster spot only, not the starting lineups. Let the manager pick who starts, that’s his job. (Fan voting is important, and should matter. If they want to stuff the box, let ‘em, but limit the “damage” to getting voted in.)

    Don’t let the manager pick rosters–get a committee; maybe include the manager, and a BBWAA member, a player rep, maybe a SABR member …. ooooh, whoever is in the MLB fan cave gets a vote on the roster too, that’s good! The committee members all have to be from different cities/markets (better representation that way).

    There! I fixed it.
    Sec 3 My Sofa – Jul 15, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    As for the game “counting”: well, it sorta does, but only a little. When they use it to determine immigration policy, or gun laws, then it will count. Until then, it’s still only as important as who gets cast as Batman next time.

    • jd - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      That’s true. It’s not as important as world peace but within the context of baseball home advantage in the world series is somewhat significant.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:42 PM

      That is equally important to those of us who don’t want to see Ben as Batman.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:57 PM

        Hey, a movie that needs to make $50 million just to break even is pretty significant outside its own context.

        And how can Ben Affleck be the Batman? He’s blind. The Batman isn’t blind.

      • Faraz Shaikh - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        Exactly! We don’t deserve or need a blind bat.

      • Sec 3 My Sofa - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:16 PM

        +1.
        See, it all ties together!

    • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      Thanks Sec3

  15. jd - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    There is no good way to pick the players/starters, there just isn’t. If you want to keep the process with the fans then you have to live with ballot stuffing. If you leave it to the managers they also have their own agendas and you won’t get unbiased selections.

    If you want to be completely objective just select the best players at each position by WAR at the end of June but you know that’s not happening so there’s no sense worrying about the process. The game also won’t regain the luster it used to have unless we eliminate or drastically reduce inter league play and restrict player movement and that’s not happening so for me I just ignore the whole exercise and take a few days off from baseball.

    222,

    Sorry, it’s patently unfair to have a game ‘count’ where players are brought in and out and that contains many players who are only all stars because other players can’t make it not to mention the fact that the selection process stinks and that every team has to be represented.

    I agree that there shouldn’t be a coin flip, it has to be based on some merit such as best record of teams involved, best record of league in inter league play. but the current system is no better than a coin flip.

    • Hiram Hover - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:50 PM

      +1.

    • Section 222 - Jul 16, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Fair points. I’m wouldn’t say that it’s patently unfair though. It’s just not optimal. In the end, I guess I’d let the team with the best record have the home field advantage, recognizing that’s not a perfect reflection of which team deserves it either. Let the ASG go back to being an exhibition game, even though I’ve enjoyed actually caring about the result for the least three years when the Nats had a shot at the post season.

      I just can’t get bent out of shape over the fans stuffing the vote. I’m not interested in spending hours and hours punching out little chads or voting repeatedly online, but if others are, that’s fine with me. And if it’s at root an exhibition game, then who really cares whether the best player starts or is the first sub?

  16. naptownnat - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:40 PM

    Hello I’ve been a Nats fan since they moved here and a reader of these comments for some time now but this is my first time weighing in. I’m sure this has been suggested before but as a fair way to determine home field advantage in the World Series why not do what they attempt to with in the all star game, alternate sites between the NL and AL?

    Better yet, if the all star game is played in an AL park in a given season, then the World Series home field should be the NL team. Then alternate each year.

    Fair?

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