All-Star Recap

Posted by Jonathan @ RGB Cards | Posted in

I'm happy to report that the National League won the All-Star game for the second straight year. Might we be in for a return to the glory days of Pete Rose and the 1970s? There's no telling, but I had a good feeling about this year, much more so than last year's game.

A couple of things that stuck out for me:

The sheer number of NL Central players on the roster. Sure, the NL East is stocked with pitchers, both starters (Philadelphia) and relievers (Atlanta). And the NL West has some truly, truly great players. But the top four teams in the NL Central (including Pittsburgh!) had at least three players on the roster. And many of them made significant contributions, including All-Star Game MVP Prince Fielder.

Speaking of Fielder, his three-run blast was a joy to behold. I thought it completely stuffed up the lineup for the Home Run Derby (if he in fact "picked" it at all) - Rickie Weeks, whose claim to fame is the most homers by a lead-off hitter in the past two seasons, over Lance Berkman, leading the league in home runs? But let's face it - nobody really gives a toss. Robinson Cano won the HR Derby, and that was enough for Ron Washington to bat him...eighth. When it really mattered, Prince came through with the first home run in Brewers All-Star history, an absolute bomb that erased Adrian Gonzalez's blast, and then some.

By the way, can we go ahead and say that Jose Bautista is for real? He's no Brady Anderson, that's for sure. On the left is a Jose Bautista card that I got quite by accident - I picked it up in a pack of Upper Deck that I got from the bargain bin at Target about a year ago. I almost included it in a trade package before I had a good look at what it was. While I don't collect Bautista's cards, I respect his ability and will hang on to this for a while.

Now for the pitchers. As I said, I had a good feeling about this year's All-Star Game. The reason can be summed up in four words: Roy, Halladay, Cliff & Lee. I hate facing them in the regular season, but I'm glad they're on the National League's side now in the All-Star Game.

Sadly, for every Cliff Lee there's an Adrian Gonzalez who goes over to the other side. It killed be when he hit that home run of Lee. Why didn't he do that for the NL? Still, you have to had it to Gonzalez. He faced enormous pressure when he went over to Boston, and was expected to put up monster numbers in a Ballpark That Was Made For Him. By all accounts, he has not only met those expectations, he has exceeded them. Well done for him. I just wish he didn't do so well during the All-Star break. Or the World Series, if it were to come to that.

On the post-game show, Brandon Phillips was interviewed by Ken Rosenthal and talked about how big it was that the National League got the home-field advantage for the World Series. I like his optimism.

Finally, I can hear you now: "Jonathan, why are you so gung-ho about the National League when four of the teams you collect are AL teams?" The simple fact is, there is one that isn't. And that's the team that I have been following for my entire life. Like I said, the glory days were the Pete Rose 1970s. That's the time (and place) where I'm from.

NL forever, baby!

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