Lou Pickney's Online Commentary
July 3, 2005
Major League Baseball released its lineups for the upcoming All-Star Game. You know, the exhibition to show off the game's best and brightest... and the game which, inexplicably, decides who gets home field advantage in the World Series. I still can't get over that rule change. Bud Selig was embarrassed in his home market of Milwaukee (in the infamous tie game in 2002 when both teams ran dry on pitchers), so instead of doing something smart, like making All-Star games that end deadlocked after nine innings go to a home run contest or something, he makes it decide something as important as home field advantage in the World Series. That really burns me up.
The funniest sub-plot might be that Kenny Rogers, the pitcher for the Texas Rangers who received a 20 game suspension for shoving a photographer, made the AL team. On the NL side, I wonder if Roger Clemens has told Tony LaRussa (the NL Manager) that he refused to pitch if Mike Piazza is catching? Piazza, you might recall, was the catcher last year when Clemens started in Houston, and he's been accused of tipping off batters about what pitches were coming from Clemens (who was hit hard in that game). Clemens and Piazza had a long-running feud when Clemens was with the Yankees and Piazza was with the Mets (well, he's still with the Mets), and so that drew out the conspiracy theorists in droves. These are the things that are remembered about modern day All-Star games... not like Bo Jackson going deep in the 1989 All-Star Game with a mammoth home run to center (with the late Ronald Reagan in the announcers' booth, no less), or Reggie Jackson hitting the ball into the light tower above the roof at Tiger Stadium in the 1971 All-Star Game. *Sigh*
I've never been much of an auto racing fan. I tried to get into it, but it's just not my thing. However, since Bubba is friends with Tony Stewart, I have someone to actually cheer for in the races beyond picking some random driver. I used to pull for Dick Trickle to win, only because of the incredible unintentional comedy of his name; I mean, the Dodgers' Milton Bradley has NOTHING on Trickle as far as funny names go. But last night, since the race was delayed for a long time, I had it on in the front room while I worked on my entry for The Tennessean's 2005 Summer Fiction Contest. Yes, I was boring and stayed in last night, but I was on a roll with my writing, and when you hit your stride with that, you have to go with it. Well, at least I have to do it that way. But I was actually interested since Stewart won last week and was on the pole this week, and he was in the lead going down the stretch. And what do you know, Stewart won it. Good for him; I like it when friends of the show are successful.