In previewing Tuesday’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game, this here blog talked about a lack of excitement surrounding it.
The game ultimately undermined that point while reinforcing it as well.
As friendly correspondent Peter Monaghan wrote to me: “I thought it was fun to watch for an exhibition game. Especially the last three innings.”
Sure, there was a dramatic turn in the bottom of the ninth when the National League tied the game on a home run. And an exciting top of the 10th when the American League homered twice to go on and win 8-6.
Brief bursts of excitement, however, are all that we got. And as Mr. Monaghan noted, three innings were fun. Three out of 10. Of course, in baseball anyone going three for 10 winds up in the Hall of Fame.
And now, (no, Paul Harvey didn’t also write in), the rest of the story.
There were 10 home runs in the game. A record. There had never been more than six in an All-Star Game. Every run but one scored on a homer. Have we mentioned the 25 strikeouts yet?
“We’re going to homer and punch out as an industry,” said A.J. Hinch, the Houston Astros skipper and the American League’s manager Tuesday night.
Be careful what you wish for. Baseball should be more than that, and it’s not.
No hit and run. No steals. No manufacturing runs. No suicide squeezes. Just power pitchers throwing 98 miles an hour until they are relieved by a guy throwing 99. And guys who can hit the ball 400 feet while striking out nearly 200 times in a year.
Sorry, some of us like to see the ball in play. We like to see shortstops digging out one out in the hole and making a whirling throw while in the air, third basemen diving at smashes down the line. The only people catching the ball now are the catchers, the fans in the bleachers and the players in the bullpen, who shag home runs.
Baseball is on pace for its first season where strikeouts outnumbered hits. Some of us like hits – singles, doubles, triples. Perhaps we will get to see some again.
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