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Roundtable: 2008 All-Star Game

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Welcome to Baseball Prospectus' Tuesday July 15, 2008 8:00 PM ET 2008 All-Star Game roundtable.

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Dave Pease (10:13:31 AM PT): Please join Joe Sheehan, Kevin Goldstein and company on Tuesday, July 15, at around 8:00PM ET for running commentary on the 2008 All-Star Game.

If you'd like to submit a question to be answered during the roundtable you can do so here.

In the meantime, check out our continuing All-Star break coverage here:

Kevin Goldstein (5:15:16 PM PT): Here we go! National League getting intoduced. I hope Chase Utley drops another F-bomb as that was pretty much the highlight of the Home Run Derby for me.

Kevin Goldstein (5:20:23 PM PT): You know, for years, when somebody tells me that the draft is a total crapshoot, I always tell that person to look at the next all-star game rosters and tell me that again. I also totally made that up. I never actually COUNTED it, it just sounded right. Well, I counted it. There are 49 players on the rosters who entered baseball through the draft or were draft eligible. Of those, 23 were first round picks. That's just short of half, but I can make it more than half when you accept that Grady Sizemore (3rd round) and Matt Holliday (7th) both got 1st round money to sign. The lowest pick is Nate McLouth (25th round, 2000), but the real lowest is George Sherrill, who went undrafted out of Austin Peay.

Dave Pease (5:23:40 PM PT): So anyone hear anything on who's pitching the ninth for the AL?

Steven Goldman (5:28:15 PM PT): The late Joe Page, as a salute to old Yankee Stadium. Fireman Joe is reportedly pleased to be back, but hopes that no one will reanimate his other old nickname, the Gay Reliever, as it now makes him uncomfortable.

Kevin Goldstein (5:29:43 PM PT): Don't forget you can send questions!

Here's one!

jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): The Josh Hamilton thing is a great story, but isn't it worth noting that all of his struggles were self-induced? The way most of the media is covering it, you'd think he came back from cancer or some career-threatening injury. Am I being too cynical?

KG: I actually agree with you, but everytime I say that, I'm told I'm being too cynical.

No F-bomb from Utley, total dissapointment.

Joe Sheehan (5:30:00 PM PT): From Section 35 in the loge...it's very loud, very flashbulby, and very, very awesome. I have intermittent access to the Internet, but will check in as I can.

The cheer for Mariano Rivera was possibly the loudest I've ever heard this place. Not clapping sucked.

Joe Sheehan (5:31:55 PM PT): FYI, Tim Lincecum is not in the building tonight. Dehydrated and hospitalized, but he'll be fine.

Steven Goldman (5:32:11 PM PT): Joe, are they offering you discount food out there? In the regular press box you get cheap hot dogs and pretzels and dollar Cokes.

You know mom and I worry that you don't eat enough.

Kevin Goldstein (5:32:51 PM PT): rawagman (TO): Can you pick one team that will turn it on in the second half, and one that will collapse, and maybe a little bit about the why and wherefors? Thanks!

My pick is the Mets to keep it up, and the D-Backs to continue their collapse. Basically, they're starting to hit like I thought they would all year.

Ralph Kiner is there -- what I wouldn't give for a Kiner's Korner after the game. Hell, or right now.

Kevin Goldstein (5:34:13 PM PT): strupp (Madison): Hall of Fame Designated Hitter, Paul Molitor... wow... kind of depressing, isn't it? I mean, he played a bit in the field.

They needed someone! I would think Edgar Martinez would be the perfect fit, maybe he wasn't available.

Kevin Goldstein (5:35:15 PM PT): Can we play 'Guess My Weight' with Tony Gwynn? I'm going with 327.

Kevin Goldstein (5:37:40 PM PT): strupp (Madison): Or a Hall of Famer... I don't know if you noticed the theme or not :)

strupp caught me there -- hall of fame and a DH -- you're kinda stuck with Molitor no?

Dave Pease (5:39:15 PM PT): Gwynn's looked pretty large this year. He might not fit into his college uni, but he'd fit right in here at BP with that profile, actually.

Kevin Goldstein (5:40:28 PM PT): We got to the break after a nice ceremony with all the former great. National Anthem is next.

Nobody will ever touch Marvin Gaye from the '83 NBA All-Star game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRvVzaQ6i8A

Kevin Goldstein (5:41:35 PM PT): What? You can't find a Canadian to sign at this thing? Anne Murray? K.D. Lang? Geddy Lee? Some lame-o from Barenaked Ladies? Boo!

Dave Pease (5:43:12 PM PT): It *seems* like people forget that Molitor played the field, but like strupp and Kevin allude to there aren't a ton of pedigreed pure designated hitters kicking it in the Hall. He's definitely a reasonable choice in an Edgar-less Hall.

Kevin Goldstein (5:43:29 PM PT): Sheryl Crow times three is greater or less than Tony Gwynn?

Scary video game plane flying over New York! Real or from today's released trailer of Resistance 2?

Will Carroll (5:45:05 PM PT): Just me or did Willie Mays turn his back on Josh Hamilton?

Kevin Goldstein (5:46:03 PM PT): strupp (Madison): I challenge your Marvin Gaye with Wayne Messmer at the 1990(ish?) NHL All Star Game at Chicago Stadium... still can't find YouTube video of it, but I swear, I thought the stadium was going to collapse from the cheering.

Look. That was AMAZING. But it's no Marvin. It's certainly right up there.

Look #2. I don't care how your feel about King George. The guy is one of the most pivotal figures in baseball history and should be in the Hall of Fame.

Kevin Goldstein (5:48:01 PM PT): oira61 (San Francisco): If there was no conspiracy, which team would be the best fit for Barry Bonds?

I actually don't think I'd want to bring him into the D-Rays or D-Backs clubhouses, but I think he'd be great for the Mets.

Joe Sheehan (5:49:12 PM PT): 1) Bruce Hornsby and a Marsalis brother at the 1991 NBA All-Star Game.

2) We all look like idiots for not cheering. 50-odd Hall of Famers, a dozen future ones, a great moment, and we're not allowed to cheer. We look like two sections' worth of idiots.

I'll admit it. When Reggie, Yogi, Whitey and Goose threw the pitches, it got a little dusty in Section 35.

3) They needed a DH slot because the lineups had DHs. So Molitor took that spot, enabling Pujols and Bradley to have a HoFer.

4) I namechecked Glass Tiger, Kevin.

Will Carroll (5:50:25 PM PT): Wow, nice to see Whitey give Big Stein a kiss. I mark out for these things. Last year's Willie Mays, the Ted Williams thing at Fenway, Cal Ripken getting a meatball in his last ASG ...

Will Carroll (5:52:57 PM PT): Tim McCarver's tie is scary in HD.

Good news on Tim Lincecum. He was dehydrated, but will be fine. The Giants don't have him scheduled until at least Sunday, so shouldn't cost him or them.

Derek Jacques (5:53:53 PM PT): It really got dusty when they wouldn't let Steinbrenner get out of his golf cart. I spent far more of my teens than I would admit actively wishing that man ill, but that was hard to watch.

Kevin Goldstein (5:54:04 PM PT): Joe. Nobody even clapped? I know there are rules, but that's beyond lame. Boo.

Jonathan (New York): Second-half Over/Under: Rick Ankiel-15 HR? Prince-15 HR? Matt Kemp-10 HR?

A tiny bit under; A tiny bit over; push

Will Carroll (5:56:42 PM PT): Jonathan (New York): Second-half Over/Under: Rick Ankiel-15 HR? Prince-15 HR? Matt Kemp-10 HR?


I'll take over, over and push.

Will Carroll (5:57:20 PM PT): Taco Bell manager ads > Coors Light NFL coach presser ads.

Kevin Goldstein (6:00:16 PM PT): Ryan (Denver): All things considered, who got the better of that Beckett/Ramirez trade?

This might sound like a cop-out, but really there is no loser. Red Sox got a HUGE part to put them over the top, Marlins got a superstar.

Kevin Goldstein (6:02:58 PM PT): Easy 1-2-3 inning for Cliff Lee -- kind of the perfect pitcher to dominate against a lineup looking to hack.

Kevin Goldstein (6:03:54 PM PT): kj (boston): Do you think managers actually care about who deserves to be the lone representitive on a crappy team or do they just say screw it give me whoever they're using for a closer?

They definitely think about it, but creating the right depth on the bench definitely comes into play now that the game counts for something.

Will Carroll (6:04:00 PM PT): I think that it's also important to remember that there were a ton of health questions about Josh Beckett at the time of the deal. Ramirez is interesting in that he's the first player I can remember people saying was "bored" by the minors. Are there any guys out there like that now, KG?

Kevin Goldstein (6:05:45 PM PT): You heard the same about Justin Upton coming up.

Will Carroll (6:07:08 PM PT): I remember everyone bailing off Upton's bandwagon when he had the bad debut, but then people jumping back on quickly. I do remember people saying that about BJ, but it was always after the fact.

Kevin Goldstein (6:07:39 PM PT): samuelpage (Nashville, TN): Looks like Johan Santana has a good shot to win the Cy Young despite not being in the All-Star game. Any precedent for this?

Does one of our more historically oriented people have any thoughts here?

I'm betting Rick Sutcliffe certainly wasn't an all-star.

Kevin Goldstein (6:11:30 PM PT): canesfan1217 (Miami): Why was Joe Morgan and J.Bench not on the field with rest of the Hall of Famers? Was it because Pete Rose not invited?

I'm going to guess it's a coincidence, but I could be wrong. That said, Pete Rose shouldn't be there. Yup, I said it.

Will Carroll (6:11:34 PM PT): Sheets is looking pretty good.

Wondering if Hanley Ramirez will come out quickly given his shoulder problem.

Cubs fans have to be freaking out.

Kevin Goldstein (6:13:12 PM PT): matt (seattle, wa): greg maddux won the cy young in '93 and wasn't on the all star team (according to baseball reference).

Check out the big brain on Matt from Seattle! I love our readers. We don't say that enough. We love you.

Will Carroll (6:13:31 PM PT): Morgan's doing the ESPN radio broadcast, right?

Kevin Goldstein (6:14:13 PM PT): Fred (Houston): Do AL fans realize how good Albert Pujols is?

I'm not sure there are that many "AL Fans" anymore. I think that's quickly becoming a thing of the past thanks to the Internet and cable television.

Kevin Goldstein (6:15:18 PM PT): strupp (Madison): Pat Hentgen, 1996 Cy Young, All Star 1997, 1994, 1993

Ryan (Denver): A quick, non-exhaustive look through Baseball Reference reveals that Roger Clemens was somehow not an all-star in 1987. Greg Maddux also missed out in 1993. Doug Drabek in 1990. Sutcliffe in '84. John Denny in '83. Anyway, yes. There's precedent.

Yup, love our readers.

Steven Goldman (6:15:33 PM PT): Does Cliff Lee do this for five years, two years, or two months? I have this constant suspicion that he turns back into a pumpkin sooner than later.

Will Carroll (6:15:40 PM PT): So Cliff Lee does crunches while hunting and Manny spends three months at the top training facility in the world. Which one's the better story?

Kevin Goldstein (6:16:19 PM PT): Jonathan (New York): KG: Any higher on Sean Rodriguez at this point? He's doing the Jeff Clement dance and killing AAA but flailing in the bigs. What kind of player is he really?

Quick prospect question for you -- I think Rodriguez is pretty underrated offensively, but I'm not sure what to with him, because he's not a shortstop.

Derek Jacques (6:16:32 PM PT): If Rose's friends were boycotting, wouldn't Schmidt have skipped the game?

Santana won the Cy in 2004 without making the ASG.

Kevin Goldstein (6:17:15 PM PT): Steven: My bet is that he regresses into what he was before. A pretty good starter, but not an All-Star.

Will Carroll (6:17:34 PM PT): OK readers ... seeing Robin Yount at SS in the pregame reminds me, have we ever had a player go to an ASG in his first year after a position change? I'm sure there are and Braun's not a normal change anyway.

Will Carroll (6:18:16 PM PT): Guess Interbrew will be changing that "Great American Lager" tag line eh?

Steven Goldman (6:18:43 PM PT): That Bud commercial has the title of our forthcoming book in it. You can't buy that kind of publicity!

Steven Goldman (6:20:25 PM PT): Ernie Banks made it the year after moving from SS to 1B -- twice!

Joe Sheehan (6:21:03 PM PT): dianagramr (Queens): Please tell me there will be a pre-game moment of silence for the late Bobby Murcer (along with any other notable passings of the past year).


There did a moment of silence before the Futures Game and the HR Derby, both of which were greeted with big cheers. None tonight, although the Creatures--having a great week--got a huge "Bobby Murcer" chant going.

We were just talking about this...one of the earliest specific baseball memories I have is the Thurman Munson game, which Murcer won with double down the line, 5-4 over the Orioles.

Steven Goldman (6:22:38 PM PT): At Old Timers' Day, the Yankees announce the names of everyone from baseball who has passed since the last OTD. Bobby will be mentioned then, probably saved for last, and he will get a huge, emotional hand.

Jay Jaffe (6:22:48 PM PT): Howdy folks! Is this thing on?

Kevin Goldstein (6:25:48 PM PT): Other names from our readers on position changes: Yount, Ripken, Biggio.

Will Carroll (6:26:51 PM PT): Milton Bradley, less than nine months after ACL surgery, just stole a base in the ASG. Wow.

Kevin Goldstein (6:27:29 PM PT): strupp (Madison): Well, after that Bradley walk, Ben Sheets gave your your Chase Utley moment... right on camera KG!

Yeah, that was pretty sweet.

Jay Jaffe (6:28:34 PM PT): Ignore me for the moment, i'm having technical difficulties as I whisk through the first inning of the game to catch up...

Will Carroll (6:29:29 PM PT): Does it surprise anyone that Joe Mauer is the president of the MLBPA? I have no idea what that job actually does, but I'm curious why Mauer.

Jay Jaffe (6:30:35 PM PT): Test, test. Firefox not updating me, trying safari.

Kevin Goldstein (6:31:22 PM PT): Another question for the history folks -- any controversial calls in ASG history?

Will Carroll (6:33:18 PM PT): Looks like Hideki Matsui is done for the season. I know everyone was high on Gardner at the Pizza Feed a couple weeks ago in NYC, but is he ready to be a full-timer?

Kevin Goldstein (6:34:29 PM PT): Mike W (Chicago): Guys, my son is watching Johnny Test. Should I switch it to the game and listen to him yell, send him to bed now, or wait it out with you guys until his bedtime?

C. We're more entertaining. What's Johnny Test? That just SOUNDS cool.

John Perrotto (6:34:43 PM PT): Sarah Jessica Parker just stole the show

Kevin Goldstein (6:35:12 PM PT): I'm not sure the Yankees have another choice -- so go with Gardner. I don't think he'll embarass himself, and he's instantly the best CF on the team.

Jay Jaffe (6:35:35 PM PT): Test, test. Firefox not updating me, trying safari.

John Perrotto (6:35:42 PM PT): Girardi seems to like Christian a little bit, too.

Will Carroll (6:35:45 PM PT): Yogi Berra -- 5'8, 190, 358 HR.

Tim McCarver - 6'1, 195, 97 HR.

Just sayin'.

Will Carroll (6:37:08 PM PT): KG - with Joe Saunders on the mound, it gives us a chance to talk about the reports that the Angels are willing to start a trade package with Nick Adenhart. Your thoughts?

Kevin Goldstein (6:37:09 PM PT): Wow! Fox going with the Kanji for the Fukudome graphic. A+.

Jay Jaffe (6:38:48 PM PT): One more stab...

I know Gardner's skill set is different from that of Bubba Crosby -- less power but better on-base skills -- but I see the same hopeless scrub when I look at him.

Kevin Goldstein (6:40:03 PM PT): Will. That would shock me. Historically, the Angels have been VERY VERY VERY against trading young players, especially their top ones, and my sources tell me this year is no different. Plus, wouldn't you be selling way low on him right now?

John Perrotto (6:42:03 PM PT): I'm hearing the same thing here in New York, Tony Reagins is like Bill Stoneman in that he doesn't believe in trading prospects

Will Carroll (6:45:15 PM PT): I would agree -- the reports surprised me on Adenhart and I don't think there's much there. Just wondered if people were off Adenhart.

Kevin Goldstein (6:45:53 PM PT): Ichiro's leadoff single against Zambrano in the 3rd leads into a conversation of his Hall Of Fame chances. Thoughts around here? I say he probably should be there.

John Perrotto (6:47:06 PM PT): He's gaining on it with each hit.

Jay Jaffe (6:47:54 PM PT): I'd vote for Ichiro assuming he gets his 10 years in. don't have my spreadsheet on the laptop but from a JAWS standpoint his first seven years in the majors constitute a peak score that's definitely on par with HOFers.

Kevin Goldstein (6:50:51 PM PT): Mark (Boston): Who do you think was the best player never to make an All-Star team, not counting old timey ballplayers?-I nominate Todd Zielie.

I like this question as well so I'm throwing it out there in addition to the Ichiro one.

Will Carroll (6:51:08 PM PT): How perfect a throw was that?

Kevin Goldstein (6:51:50 PM PT): Wondering what an 80 arm looks like? Ichiro just showed it to you.

Will Carroll (6:55:42 PM PT): Ick. Zambrano is dropping his elbow still and is very "slingy" with his motion. Granted, he's dealing it at a Fox-adjusted 96 mph but so was John Smoltz.

Kevin Goldstein (6:55:44 PM PT): Dr . Zaius (Norfolk, VA ): Bill Buckner only one ASG in 1981. pretty good career overall...

Doesn't count! That's one! We need zero!

Will Carroll (6:56:24 PM PT): Manny's hair is an 80.

And that was Zambrano's knuckleball! I'm sure of it!

Jay Jaffe (6:56:38 PM PT): Speaking of 80 arms, Kevin, I know you talk about the 20-to-80 scale in scouting. I'm finally reading Dollar Sign on the Muscle now and they talk of a 60-to-80 scale (popularized by the Dodgers circa Campanis) that prevailed at the time. When did that go out of vogue?

Kevin Goldstein (6:57:02 PM PT): Jessica (NYC): The first player who comes to my mind when talking about best to never make the All-Star team is Eric Chavez.

Good answer. You're in the lead for now.

Kevin Goldstein (6:58:40 PM PT): Jay,

Honestly I'm not sure. At this point, everyone uses the 20-80 scale, but with a lot of variations. Some go 2-8, some allow half-scores, like 55 or 45, and one team even does half-halves with 43 or 57.

Kevin Goldstein (6:59:18 PM PT): Mac (Denver): Josh Hamilton, 80 raw power? If not, then what is?

Easy 80. Not even a debate.

bil burke (7:00:19 PM PT): best player to never play in an ASG... H. Wagner, SS, Pit... or maybe T. Cobb, OF, Det

Kevin Goldstein (7:00:52 PM PT): While we're on 80s, I had this discussion a month or so ago with a few people. Guys with 80 arm and 80 run. Ichiro comes to mind. One scout brought up Reyes, but I'm not sure that's an 80 arm universally. Even historically it's a very short list.

Kevin Goldstein (7:01:26 PM PT): Bil, that's cheating.

Kevin Goldstein (7:02:42 PM PT): Dave (Chicago): No all-star appearances - Pat Burrell?

Another good one.

Kevin Goldstein (7:03:44 PM PT): strupp (Madison): in all seriousness, I bet Shawon Dunston registered 80 arm, 80 speed when he was scouted.

I bet you are right.

Kevin Goldstein (7:04:02 PM PT): Also -- Rafael Furcal.

Will Carroll (7:04:50 PM PT): I've never forgiven the Cubs for letting Doug Dascenzo pitch when Shawon Dunston was right there!

Was that Jackie Autry in the stands?

Kevin Goldstein (7:06:30 PM PT): dianagramr (Queens): Best to not make an ASG .... well, maybe not the BEST .... but longest career .... Matt Stairs.
Mark (Boston): I re nominate John Valentin- a 9+ Warp player 3 times, but no All Star.
Ryan (Denver): JD Drew has never been an all-star. Is he better than Eric Chavez?

Best . . . Readers . . . Ever.

Jay Jaffe (7:07:11 PM PT): Writing about Robin Yount the other day I was struck by the fact that he played in only three All-Star Games. He wasn't an All-Star the year he won his second MVP award in 1989.

Kevin Goldstein (7:07:13 PM PT): Matt Holliday goes yard for the first run of the game. How long is he going to be a Rockie? How good will he be out of Colorado?

Will Carroll (7:08:48 PM PT): Seriously, could they not have taken a recorder over and let Bob Sheppard say the names?

Think the Giants wished they would have dealt for Joe Crede now? What train does A-Rod take to get to Columbus Circle from the Bronx?

Matt (Indy) (7:09:25 PM PT): Does ANYONE who's not a Cubs fan think Fukudome should be at this game?

Rany Jazayerli (7:09:49 PM PT): Just walking past, guys...but I couldn't let this slide. Kirk Gibson never made the All-Star team. Neither did Tim Salmon. Those two have to be the leaders in the clubhouse.

Kevin Goldstein (7:10:25 PM PT): jjf3 (houston): just curious, what were Hamilton's numbers coming out of HS? Arm and power seem like 80's, but what about the others?

He's one of the highest rated high schoolers in recent memory. Not that high school numbers mean anything, but he hit .514 his senior year with 13 home runs in 72 at-bats at Athens Drive HS in North Carolina. He also whiffed 95 in 55 innings on the mound.

Kevin Goldstein (7:14:31 PM PT): Dave (Chicago): Which, if any, do you see getting moved before the trading deadline: Ellis, Duchscherer, Blanton, and Street.

At least one . . . probably two.

Kevin Goldstein (7:15:27 PM PT): caernavon (Watertown, MA): For the dopes out there -- i.e., me -- 20, 80, 60-80...huh? What the heck are y'all talking about?

20-80 is the scouting scale teams use to evaluate tools. 50 is major league average, 20 is the worst you can do, 80 is the best.

Jay Jaffe (7:15:54 PM PT): Wow. Fukudome's splits are unreal... .348/.450/.522 at home, .212/.316/.297 on the road, .327/.436/.480 through April, .259/.360/.377 since. Yeah, that's a no for me.

Kevin Goldstein (7:16:48 PM PT): Who works at BP? Really smart people who know how to do stuff with data.

Best non-AllStar careers, position players

NAME VORP
-------------------- ------
Richie Hebner 349.1
Tim Salmon 333.8
Kirk Gibson 319.0
J.D. Drew 309.4
Tony Phillips 292.0
Bill Doran 266.2
Kevin McReynolds 256.1
Bob Bailey 249.1
Delino DeShields 247.0

Will Carroll (7:17:58 PM PT): Haren's such a mechanical mess. Every time I watch him, I wonder how he can do what he does.

Bud Selig has had dreams like that. So have I.

Kevin Goldstein (7:18:29 PM PT): strupp (Madison): Is there anyone in the Majors who'd rank close to a 20 in anything? Juan Pierre's arm has to be at least a 35, right?

Absolutely. Plenty of 20 runners and I don't think Pierre would even get a 35 on the arm. Jason Tyner power? 20.

Kevin Goldstein (7:19:02 PM PT): Top pitchers with no All-star games:

NAME VORP
-------------------- ------
Danny Darwin 402.3
Tim Wakefield 399.8
Tom Candiotti 378.9
Alex Fernandez 357.8
John Tudor 336.9
Kevin Tapani 322.0
Charlie Leibrandt 310.5
Jarrod Washburn 305.6
Dennis Leonard 300.6
Tim Belcher 295.3

Kevin Goldstein (7:21:30 PM PT): tribe24 (Cleveland): Honestly, on a 20-80 scale of unintentional comedy, how ridiculous and out of place did Bud Selig look next to Sheryl Crow and Sarah Jessica Parker?

I wasn't looking at Bud.

As an aside, I pretty much use the scale for everything ever. Chinese food I had last night? 55. Shellac's album 1000 Hurts? 70.

Kevin Goldstein (7:22:06 PM PT): More Data! Here's relievers will no ASGs.

NAME VORP WXRL SNLVAR
-------------------- ------ ------ ------
Mike Jackson 254.2 34.3 -0.1
Ron Perranoski 150.9 26.4 0.0
Gene Garber 171.6 23.7 0.5
Arthur Rhodes 188.2 23.7 3.4
Terry Forster 131.6 21.8 1.9
Bob Howry 167.8 21.5
Roger McDowell 129.1 21.1 -0.1
Dick Hall 162.5 21.1 6.2
Craig Lefferts 130.4 20.6 2.3
Mel Rojas 91.0 19.7

Will Carroll (7:25:22 PM PT): Wait - didn't Perranoski go as a coach? Does that count?

Will Carroll (7:26:26 PM PT): Is the NL playing a man down with Lincecum out?

Kevin Goldstein (7:27:07 PM PT): bflaff (Phila., PA): If World Series home field advantage is on the line with this game, doesn't it make more sense to have the manager of the team with the best record in each league manage the game? Hurdle really has no vested interest in this game's outcome, but Pinella does.

You really think Hurdle doesn't care now? And I'm cynical?

Jay Jaffe (7:27:43 PM PT): Kevin, I'm still partial to the first Shellac album, and the 7" singles that preceded it like "The Bird is the Most Popular Finger."

One of these days I'm gonna digitize those singles that never got put on CD. I've got a ton of them that I miss... And yeah, i feel old.

Kevin Goldstein (7:29:34 PM PT): Mulder (SF): If there are lots of major leaguers with a 20 speed rating, does Bengie Molina get a 15?

Nobody gets a 15. Molina gets a 20. Grandma in a walker gets a 20. Scale ends there. That said, I would bet that speed is the one tool that has the most 20s in the big leagues. I don't think there are any real 20 bats.

Kevin Goldstein (7:30:08 PM PT): Jay, you might feel old, but your musical taste is superior.

Kevin Goldstein (7:32:03 PM PT): Yankees take out Jeter mid-inning. Classy move.

Kevin Goldstein (7:32:59 PM PT): kj (boston): Hate to trash people, but where exactly does tony pena jr's bat rank on the 20-80 scale?
BenFeldman (SF): Tony Pena Jr. 20 bat

I stand corrected?

Kevin Goldstein (7:34:35 PM PT): Joe Buck is with me, saying that Steinbrenner belongs in the Hall of Fame. He said that after Jeter pointed out that big Hank is one of the first things you think about when you think about a team, and how rare that is. He's right. Any other teams like that? Braves in the Turner years was like that.

Joe Sheehan (7:35:09 PM PT): The mid-inning changes are weird. The first one, A-Rod, caught the crowd completely by surprise. I don't remember seeing that before. And if the idea was to get him an ovation, it failed.

The Jeter one, the second one, people were more prepared for.

There's no energy here. It's been a fairly nondescript game, Jeter killed the crowd twice in big spots, and the ratio of baseball to between-innings time has to be an all-time low. Best plays are a pickoff and a solo HR.

Gary Huckabay (7:36:20 PM PT): The coverage of this game is a fantastic example of how ancient and outdated the camera angles and coverage methods are. How about more split screens? When a gapper's hit, try showing a split of the runner, or the defense, or whatever, rather than the full-screen shot of the outfielders closing on the line of the ball.

I'll try to limit myself to a very few comments about Tim McCarver. I'll give it my best shot. I may not but Deion's biggest fan, but I understand.

Kevin Goldstein (7:42:38 PM PT): Gary,

I understand and agree with what you are saying, but not everyone has awesome screens like you and I. I'd like to see a seperate HD broadcast that does that.

Jay Jaffe (7:44:55 PM PT): I'd feed Buck to the hogs before McCarver, but that's just me. At least we know Tim Mc likes baseball and has some sense of history. Buck... probably makes his old man spin in his grave.

Kevin Goldstein (7:45:12 PM PT): Dan (Minneapolis): I have high hopes for my Twinkies in the second half. Will, how much of a concern is Liriano's return to his old arm slot? And Kevin, can Span keep hitting and getting on base enough to help us?

Span isn't going to do THIS weel long term, but he has value. I'll leave the Liriano question to Will upon his return. The question is -- do the Twins go for it and make a move? They have some bullets in their minor league system.

Kevin Goldstein (7:45:52 PM PT): More Data! Most career HR, no all-star NAME VORP HR
-------------------- ------ ----
Tim Salmon 333.8 299
Eric Karros 169.9 284
Kirk Gibson 319.0 255
Todd Zeile 242.1 253
Matt Stairs 187.1 250
Jose Valentin 196.1 249
Deron Johnson 149.0 245
Pat Burrell 225.0 241
Adrian Beltre 229.4 233
Rob Deer 84.9 230

Kevin Goldstein (7:47:33 PM PT): Most Hits:

NAME VORP H
-------------------- ------ -----
Tony Phillips 292.0 2023
Todd Zeile 242.1 2004
Jose Cardenal 207.7 1913
Garry Maddox 222.6 1802
Eric Karros 169.9 1724
Jim Gantner 114.6 1696
Richie Hebner 349.1 1694
Tim Salmon 333.8 1674
Shannon Stewart 146.4 1653
Enos Cabell 100.2 1647

Will Carroll (7:51:28 PM PT): What I saw of Liriano - admittedly one start - looked good. Other than the arb status, there didn't seem to be any reason to be in Rochester.

lichmd (7:52:03 PM PT): Makes me happy we didn't drop 2400 today for two seats.

Jay Jaffe (7:52:06 PM PT): Tony Phillips scored very well on the JAWS scale when he was on the ballot a few years ago thanks to all those walks and high OBPs, but without any peripherals like All-Star appearances one couldn't make a serious case for him.

Kevin Goldstein (7:52:50 PM PT): Quick quiz -- There are three players in this game who just might have been playing on Sundays in the fall had they not chosen baseball, as they were among the top high school quarterbacks in the country, ready to go to BIGTIME college programs had they chosen football. Name them.

Will Carroll (7:52:54 PM PT): Seriously ... why not Ronan Tynan?

Gary Huckabay (7:53:29 PM PT): On HDTVs -- I'd switch over for 2009. The 2009 saturation will be over two thirds of the target audience, and over 90% of the money that MLB chases.

Baseball's clearly demonstrated a willingness to throw the less profitable customers aside in favor of the more profitable ones. In fairness, most organizations have. And should.

On Buck -- He's pretty irritating, no doubt. Considering the whining that Fox has done about the ratings for baseball outside of the same bloody markets over and over, they've done remarkably little experimentation on tweaking to get more viewers.

Perhaps not inflicting such towering banality on the public would be a good start.

Kevin Goldstein (7:53:42 PM PT): More Date!

Top AVG, no all-star

Top BAVG, min 2500 AB, no ASG

NAME AB H AVG
-------------------- ---------- ----- -----
Placido Polanco 4647 1419 .305
Rusty Greer 3829 1166 .305
Hal Morris 3996 1216 .304
Juan Pierre 5052 1516 .300
Shane Mack 2857 853 .299
Shannon Stewart 5574 1653 .297
Brian Harper 3151 931 .295
Frank Catalanotto 3589 1052 .293
Luis Polonia 4840 1417 .293
David Segui 4847 1412 .291

Kevin Goldstein (7:54:04 PM PT): I honestly have no idea who Josh Grobin is.

Gary Huckabay (7:54:55 PM PT): Josh Groban?

What, it was to expensive to send people around stabbing us in the eyes with sharpened bamboo?

I think my testicles just ascended.

Kevin Goldstein (7:55:26 PM PT): kevin (boston): I'm a redsox fan but i'll even admit that ronan tynan does an amazing job with "God bless America," why does fox feel the need to bring in this clown?

The fans are with you Will, and so am I.

Will Carroll (7:55:37 PM PT): Mauer, Holliday and ... ok, I got two.

Josh Groban (7:55:43 PM PT): It was overwrought, to say the least

John Perrotto (7:56:03 PM PT): Just kidding, that was my remark

Kevin Goldstein (7:56:10 PM PT): Continuing the theme:

Top OBP, min 2500 PA, no ASG

NAME PA OBP
-------------------- ------ -------
Nick Johnson 2542 .3962
Travis Hafner 2961 .3934
J.D. Drew 4663 .3918
Randy Milligan 2593 .3907
Dave Magadan 4963 .3902
Bernie Carbo 3312 .3868
Rusty Greer 4420 .3867
Tim Salmon 7039 .3851
Kal Daniels 2739 .3821

Joe Sheehan (7:56:55 PM PT): I clocked Groban at 2.1 Kate Smiths.

Kevin Goldstein (7:58:28 PM PT): RahulN (GA): QBs....Holliday, Mauer, sizemore (?)

We have a winner! Plenty of you got one or two. Holliday was going to play at Oklahoma State, and was courted by both Tennesee and Miami when baseball wasn't working out early in his career. Mauer would have been at Florida State, and Sizemore at Washington.

Kevin Goldstein (7:59:30 PM PT): More data!

Top OPS, min 2500 PA, no ASG

(note that 2008 All Stars are not known to the database, hence the presence of people like Morneau on these lists)

NAME PA OPS
-------------------- ------ -------
Travis Hafner 2961 .9323
J.D. Drew 4663 .8971
Tim Salmon 7039 .8836
Rusty Greer 4420 .8649
Kal Daniels 2739 .8607
Pat Burrell 5129 .8585
Nick Johnson 2542 .8525
Justin Morneau 2711 .8477
Matt Stairs 5586 .8426
Carlos Pena 2852 .8390
Richard Hidalgo 3929 .8345
Chris Hoiles 3339 .8335

Jay Jaffe (7:59:55 PM PT): From one of my best friends regarding Gary's sentiments re: Groban:

"i know the question was rhetorical, but yeah, you'd be shocked when you try to price out eye-stabbing. I know I was."

Kevin Goldstein (8:01:58 PM PT): Henry (Lincoln Park): Bo Jackson...80 raw power for sure, perhaps 80 speed, 80 arm?

Yes. One of the only handful in the history of the game.

Kevin Goldstein (8:03:21 PM PT): Most IP, no ASG

NAME VORP WXRL SNLVAR SO IP
-------------------- ------ ------ ------ ----- -------
Mike Torrez 275.5 -0.9 49.6 1402 3037.0
Danny Darwin 402.3 7.0 43.5 1942 3016.7
Bob Forsch 229.8 1.3 48.4 1133 2794.7
Tim Wakefield 399.8 4.5 47.2 1874 2743.3
Tom Candiotti 378.9 0.0 53.5 1735 2725.0
Rudy May 281.8 2.3 42.3 1760 2622.0
Bill Gullickson 255.8 -0.3 43.9 1279 2560.0
Paul Splittorff 238.6 0.8 37.7 1057 2554.7
Stan Bahnsen 208.1 4.0 32.7 1359 2528.7
Ray Sadecki 159.7 -0.8 30.9 1614 2500.3

Will Carroll (8:04:08 PM PT): I'm serious -- have the Yankees considered activating Joe Girardi? What would PECOTA give Girardi right now?

Kevin Goldstein (8:06:00 PM PT): J.D. Drew hits a two-run home run that leaves the yard in about 3.4 seconds and things get very interesting. We're now tied 2-2. You still have to use Mariano right? Can we have extra baseball with no pitchers? Let the nightmare begin.

Jay Jaffe (8:06:09 PM PT): Girardi: .156/.198/.228. About par for the course.

If the Yankees must have a useless third catcher, I'll stick with Chad Moeller, thanks.

Gary Huckabay (8:06:18 PM PT): He's not 23 anymore, but that's an awfully quick bat.

Hey, Kevin, do you know of any club that performs a nerve conduction velocity test on players?

Kevin Goldstein (8:08:25 PM PT): I have no idea what a nerve conduction velocity test is. But there are a lot of showcases these days doing thing beyond radar guns and stopwatches to measure tools and athleticism.

Kevin Goldstein (8:08:41 PM PT): biglou115 (Arkansas): You know, J.D. Drew once hit me in the head with a practice swing while I was bat-boying for the Travelers.

So that's your excuse?

RickLopez (Erie, PA) (8:10:15 PM PT): Does that gorilla thing happen to Will when he drinks AMP?

Will Carroll (8:11:58 PM PT): Gary - It's too invasive, but there's some EMGs that can approximate the results. I do know one team that wants to do muscle biopsies on players, but some agents are squawking and they won't do it until they can do everyone.

Kevin Goldstein (8:12:25 PM PT): Gotta love Yankees fans now basically rooting for the N.L. with Papelbon in. Big picture people.

Kevin Goldstein (8:13:32 PM PT): Henry (Lincoln Park): If you were Mike Scioscia wouldn't you be a little annoyed that an opposing manager of a possible playoff opponent is warming up your closer and is thus getting to see all his pitches from the most intimate possible perspective?

Joe Girardi and the Yankees all have a very good idea of what K-Rod throws. Fastball, slider. No mystery there.

John Perrotto (8:14:04 PM PT): How about old Miggy showing some wheels?

Will Carroll (8:14:11 PM PT): I drink Diet Amp, so it's a slightly smaller ape. I'm pretty sure it's an orangutan.

Kevin Goldstein (8:15:28 PM PT): Carlos Quentin: Tommy John survivor and it shows as Tejeda scores on the sac fly to give the NL a 3-2 lead.

Gary Huckabay (8:15:31 PM PT): A Nerve Conductiion Velocity test is a test where a neurologist connects you to some electrodes hooked up to a PC, and measures the waves and speed of some voltage they run through you.

Makes your feet spasm. I don't know all the measurements, but normal for something called the Left Sural Anti Sensory (Lat Mall) is greater than 39m per second. Just curious if there's some knowledge base out there on that. I would think pro athletes would be well above and beyond the general populace.

Will Carroll (8:16:34 PM PT): Does Miguel's steal get an asterisk?

John Perrotto (8:17:47 PM PT): Maybe Miggy switch to Amp

Kevin Goldstein (8:22:21 PM PT): Jessica (NYC): Did anyone bother to tell Hurdle that just because Brian Wilson somehow made his way onto the roster, that doesn't mean he has to use him?

You said it all.

Kevin Goldstein (8:23:07 PM PT): Gary,

That's intersting, because scouts, in a completely un-scientific way talk alot about "fast-twich" athletes. The king of which is probably Jose Reyes right now.

R Lopez (8:23:26 PM PT): "And he has that ERA..."

Kevin Goldstein (8:23:35 PM PT): Steve (ND): So who is the MVP? Gonzalez with the sac fly? Tejada with the steal and going to 3rd? Anyone who actually sat through this entire game?

I'm betting the MVP has yet to earn it yet.

Joe Sheehan (8:24:21 PM PT): Kevin, I actually thought it was a decent throw. The footwork was terrible, especially when you consider the time he had to set. He doesn't have himself set for a quick throw in any way at all, and shuffling his feet cost him.

The NL misses Lincecum a little. That they've gotten through Volquez and Wilson and have the lead is a nice bonus, even if they didn't get there the best way.

Will Carroll (8:24:24 PM PT): If I'm an opposing hitter or manager, I'm making Wilson put on a sleeve. There's no way that the tattoo on his wrist isn't distracting.

Gary Huckabay (8:27:49 PM PT): I'm too old to know, but I assume the faux hip-hop crap on the commercials now is as lame as the faux rock-and-roll of my youth. Used to make me cringe.

I assume this is true? And wouldn't the Taco Bell employee 'accidentally' spill some nachos and Pepsi onto the driver when they got to the window?

Still better than the "Casino" burrito, which they'll probably also get.

Kevin Goldstein (8:29:43 PM PT): Will -- is that allowed in the rules? Can you force a tattoo cover? The jewelry I understand, but a tattoo? It's not reflective at all.

Kevin Goldstein (8:30:20 PM PT): Ryan (Denver): As a Rockies fan, I have to say - why would Hurdle start using his bullpen correctly now?

[rimshot]

Kevin Goldstein (8:32:14 PM PT): Longoria reaches out and nails a double to tie the game in the bottom of the 8th, as Grady Sizemore's uncontested steal becomes HUGE. Words cannot describe how much I'm hoping for extra innings, just for the mess it would create.

Will Carroll (8:33:45 PM PT): Yeah, it's the Justin Miller rule. I believe it's at the umpire's discretion, but I'd ask.

Gary Huckabay (8:34:08 PM PT): Can't help but remember the gag commercial from the first episode of Saturday Night Live, selling a razor with "3 blades -- because' you'll believe anything."

Jay Jaffe (8:34:38 PM PT): I call that "rooting for the splatter," Kevin.

Will Carroll (8:35:26 PM PT): Joe, John -- can you see into the bullpen to see if Bud Selig is warming up his shrug?

Gary Huckabay (8:37:20 PM PT): The hallucinations -- first, I could swear I saw Joe Crede, and now, my meds must be kicking in. Can Neurontin cause a vision of Cristian Guzman?

Will Carroll (8:37:30 PM PT): Of the pitchers that are left, are any actual hitters?

Joe Sheehan (8:38:36 PM PT): Puzzling move to use K-Rod, but think it through. Tito uses Rodriguez for a couple of outs, and if Mariano gets through it quickly, he can pitch the 10th, giving him two shots at the win.

Kevin Goldstein (8:39:50 PM PT): dianagramr (Queens): Clint Hurdle is now feverishly checking his cel phone for Micah Owings phone number.

Two-Way Star!

Will Carroll (8:41:01 PM PT): Has there ever been a bigger disconnect between player and entrance music than Mariano Rivera and "Enter Sandman?" I'll bet a large sum of money that Rivera cannot name one other Metallica song.

That physics professor in the Sharp commercial is both creepy and reminiscent of Dauber from Coach.

Jay Jaffe (8:42:21 PM PT): So, what do you think Bud will do about home team advantage in the World Series if the two teams get to the point of the 2002 ASG where they're out of pitchers and still tied? Award HFA to the AL on the grounds of interleague play results? Award it to the NL based on the AL having it last year? Figure out who would have had it under the old rule, which would mean having the AL in an even-numbered year?

Will Carroll (8:43:54 PM PT): There has never -- *never* -- in the history of baseball been as perfect a pitch as Rivera's cutter.

William Burke (8:45:05 PM PT): Sick-and-Tired category: tops is Josh Hamilton and his story, but only slightly less annoying is this... the absolute pander to the Yankees fans and players tonight.

Gary Huckabay (8:45:05 PM PT): Real Applebee's customers run at least 5-7 stone heavier.

Kevin Goldstein (8:45:20 PM PT): And futher on Joe's point, Rivera's two outs couldn't have come any cleaner. They might get a 10th and 11th out of him if needed.

Joe Sheehan (8:47:05 PM PT): Cristian Guzman has never played third base as a professional. Awesome.

Will Carroll (8:48:59 PM PT): Dempster just began doing the twisting glove thing. Len Kasper says its to not tip his pitches and that he starts with a splitter grip on every pitch. Still looks really weird and tough to repeat.

Kevin Goldstein (8:51:00 PM PT): akachazz (DC): With Guzman at 3rd, wouldn't it be kind of an interesting idea for Kinsler to bunt here? I know, I know, this is a BP chat...

I actually don't hate the idea . . . or didn't.

Will Carroll (8:51:50 PM PT): I had flu-like symptoms the morning after the NYC Pizza Feed.

Gary Huckabay (8:52:25 PM PT): Catch Navarro jumping way the hell out of his swing there? Turned before he came close to getting that plant foot down. 96 mph will do that.

Gary Huckabay (8:53:38 PM PT): Nasty. 94, low and away black.

Kevin Goldstein (8:54:28 PM PT): Ryan Dempster torches the AL in the bottom of the 9th, and we go to extra innings. Seriously folks, we're about 2-3 innings away from REAL fun.

Joe Sheehan (8:55:15 PM PT): Mr. Burke,

Seriously, that was a really stupid thing to say. It was. I get that ESPN and Fox overplay the Yankees, and you might not like that, but tonight is special. It's special because of this place, and the timing, and the history, and if you don't get that, it is your loss in a way I cannot quantify for you or explain to you.

That was a stupid thing to say.

Will Carroll (9:01:10 PM PT): So Rivera's showing his cutter to Roy Halladay. You see him kinda twisting his wrist there? That's *not* how you throw a cutter. Wouldn't it be funny if he was telling him something completely wrong?

Gary Huckabay (9:01:53 PM PT): Doesn't the Rivera/Wetteland era demonstrate just how silly the closer role and its usage is?

Do people think the Yankees would have been worse during that period if those two came in the game in reverse order?

Will Carroll (9:04:04 PM PT): Gameday says that Rivera's cutter that Martin hit moved less. Makes sense. I think Gameday might tell us more about Rivera than any other pitcher, especially if we match it up to video.

Gary Huckabay (9:04:20 PM PT): Tejada's looking more and more like Tracy Morgan.

Kevin Goldstein (9:04:43 PM PT): Rivera gives up back-to-back singles to Martin and Tejada and suddenly the NL has a legitimate threat. Mariano taking the loss at Yankee stadium isn't exactly the story anyone wants to write about, but life ain't perfect.

Kevin Goldstein (9:05:11 PM PT): As I type that, Rivera gets the double play. I'd act shocked, but why?

Kevin Goldstein (9:06:25 PM PT): Stevis (Arlington, VA): Nice to see Young paying homage to Jeter on that shot up the middle.

Four hours in, people are still funny. Michael Young ain't exactly Ozzie Smith either, but he's not a Yankee so people don't focus so much on his weaknesses.

Will Carroll (9:08:24 PM PT): KG - was Uggla always this muscular? What held him back in the minors?

Will Carroll (9:08:40 PM PT): Maybe it was his defense.

Dave Pease (9:09:13 PM PT): Dan Uggla for All-Star MVP for the AL!

Gary Huckabay (9:09:59 PM PT): Dear Lord, please don't let the AL win this inning.

The headlines around the country involving Uggla's name make me shudder.

Kevin Goldstein (9:11:26 PM PT): dianagramr (Queens): Will the headline read "Winning Uggla" ?

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Rany Jazayerli (9:12:00 PM PT): If I remember correctly, Nate wrote a very long column a few years ago on this very situation - winning run on third, nobody out in the ninth or later, and looked at whether you should issue IBBs or not. If memory serves I believe he found that with a man on third only, you should IBB one guy, but not two - loading the bases allows the game to end on a walk. Bad move by Hurdle here.

Jay Jaffe (9:12:03 PM PT): As my friend asks, does this count against Team Beat With Uggla Stick's stats?

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/fantasy_baseball_owner_rips_team

Kevin Goldstein (9:12:27 PM PT): So what are the chances of a run NOT scoring here? Bases loaded, zero outs?

Will Carroll (9:13:37 PM PT): Jeez ... does Uggla have money on this game? That's just a pathetically slow throw.

Kevin Goldstein (9:13:51 PM PT): So what are the chances of a run NOT scoring here? Bases loaded, one out?

Will Carroll (9:14:44 PM PT): Man, if Longoria had ended it there, I could have told the story about him stopping at the BP table back at Rays FanFest ...

Kevin Goldstein (9:14:45 PM PT): Interesting question -- you want a miss bat guy here or a groundball guy like Cook?

Kevin Goldstein (9:15:11 PM PT): So what are the chances of a run NOT scoring here? Bases loaded, two outs?

Will Carroll (9:16:02 PM PT): Gold star for Tejada. Dan Uggla saved. Bud Selig sweating.

Jay Jaffe (9:16:14 PM PT): Not that it's a big surprise given the defensive spectrum, but I guess Cristian Guzman can play third.

Kev, whomever's got a copy of Baseball Between the Numbers lying around can answer that, not that it's entirely relevant now.

Gary Huckabay (9:16:30 PM PT): Even the All-Star game can be wildly entertaining.

Despite the word "prostate" being the most prominent word in the broadcast.

Rany Jazayerli (9:16:51 PM PT): ...or maybe not. In Hurdle's defense, Cook has very good control and gets as many groundballs as anyone, so setting up the force at the plate may have been worth the risk of the bases-loaded walk. (And yes, I voted against the resolution before I voted for it. Happy now?)

Will Carroll (9:18:21 PM PT): All Star game length beats MacBook Air battery power. See you guys later.

Kevin Goldstein (9:18:43 PM PT): Ladies and gentlemen, the AL does NOT score with the bases loaded and no outs and the game continues. It's Wednesday on the East Coast. No we're having fun, and that's a whole lot of groundballs and one helluva play by an aging shortstop.

Dave Pease (9:19:09 PM PT): That Baby Ruth commercial is going to give me nightmares.

Kevin Goldstein (9:19:37 PM PT): strupp (Madison): Mayhem! Mayhem! Mayhem! I should have been in bed an hour ago, I'm gonna be so useless at work tomorrow, and this game isn't even that good. I just want to see Herr Bud squirm.

This is fun -- I gotta admit. I'm guessing Rany just cursed Soria.

Gary Huckabay (9:20:06 PM PT): McCarver's always right on the ball.

Kevin Goldstein (9:20:20 PM PT): Mike (Austin): You know, for all the kvetching people do about the ASG -- including many on this site -- I would put this one game up against every NHL, NBA or NFL all-star game every played.

Gary Huckabay (9:21:49 PM PT): If things blow up and Selig or someone else has to do something rash, I'm looking forward to all the "This time, it sucks" gags.

Gary Huckabay (9:23:11 PM PT): So, Mike from Austin, you're saying that the MLB all-star game is better than the other useless, meaningless exhibition cash grabs?

I just want to clarify.

Joe Sheehan (9:24:49 PM PT): AL is down to Sherrill and Soria, two one-inning guys. Kazmir, I've been told, isn't really available. That means they'd get through 12.

NL has Lidge and Marmol, plus Cook could conceivably go another inning. They're in much better shape, even missing Lincecum.

God help MLB and Selig if they have to call this. We'll have All-Star rosters with 18 pitchers, and the ridicule will last for decades.

Jay Jaffe (9:24:53 PM PT): Kazmir and Sherrill looking at each other like, "might be dangerous. you go first."

Derek Jacques (9:24:55 PM PT): Anyone who says that an All Star Game tie would be "everyone's worst nightmare" doesn't have vivid enough nightmares.

Kevin Goldstein (9:24:56 PM PT): Joe, crowd looks pretty decent. What percentage is left?

Will Carroll (9:26:52 PM PT): Did they wait until the 11th inning to advertise the Baseball Network? And to say something about Bobby Murcer? Crap on both.

Joe Sheehan (9:29:02 PM PT): Expecting Kinsler to run, I say, "How about Dioner Navarro vs. Aaron Cook in a double play situation?"

Ben Reiter, SI: "How about Dioner Navarro vs. Aaron Cook in an All-Star Game?"

Joe Sheehan (9:30:13 PM PT): I can't see about 15% of the stands...I'll say 55-60%. Left-field bleachers are pretty full, as in main reserve.

Derek Jacques (9:30:25 PM PT): Well, they were very busy all night reminding us that Robert Patrick is still alive and available for weddings, bar mitzvahs and other public appearances.

Kevin Goldstein (9:30:39 PM PT): 11th inning pitchout called by Hurdle and Kinsler is called out on a bad call by the umpire. Still, gotta love the managing to win in the 11th.

Kevin Goldstein (9:32:34 PM PT): How much do you think they'd love to pinch run for Navarro right now.

Great, Joe Buck just said that and now I question everything I know about myself. I've only been doing this for four-plus hours.

Dave Pease (9:33:42 PM PT): Holy Crow, that wasn't even close.

Gary Huckabay (9:34:05 PM PT): This is strange, on a meta-level...

It's the 11th inning of the ballgame, and the primary source of tension is whether or not the game will go forward and cause chaos...

Gary Huckabay (9:34:41 PM PT): Um, was it just me, or was he REALLY safe?

Will Carroll (9:35:02 PM PT): Not sure what McLouth's arm is (50, if I remember) but I was more impressed with the throw than the pick up that sent McCarver into paroxysms.

Kevin Goldstein (9:35:07 PM PT): Nate McClouth nails Navarro at the plate on a good throw by Nate McLouth and an even better play by Russell Martin and the game continues. Seriously folks, this is great, great stuff. Game for the ages.

Kevin Goldstein (9:37:32 PM PT): It's a 50-55 arm, but I gotta disagree with you here Will -- great play by Martin. Even if the ump missed the call.

Gary Huckabay (9:37:40 PM PT): Please...not the "Viva Viagra" ads...

Dear Lord, this is the groiniest advertising you can watch. I assume televised golf has the same set of ads.

Joe Sheehan (9:38:08 PM PT): Great throw, fantastic pick...I think he was safe. Very high tag. Man, I wish I'd DVRd this game.

Where are we on the "best ASGs" ever list at this point? Ton of action, great escapes, tremendous storylines...

Kevin Goldstein (9:38:10 PM PT): Mulder (SF): Sid Bream would've been safe.

I love those that are sticking this out with us.

Kevin Goldstein (9:38:42 PM PT): Kevin (Boston): HAHAHAHA!!!!! This is just too good to be true!
Jonathan (New York): HA! Love it love it love it love it!!!
bflaff (Phila., PA): I guess we won't be needing that Pete Rose vs. Ray Fosse footage.
strupp (Madison): Mayhem! Mayhem! Mayhem!

Just sharin' . . .

Kevin Goldstein (9:39:29 PM PT): Ok, so how far are we from mayhem? Basically, I'm guess every NL hitting in this inning is basically looking to jack one.

Dave Pease (9:40:09 PM PT): Mulder's right.

Present-day Tony Gwynn had a fighting chance on that.

Will Carroll (9:41:18 PM PT): Now my iPhone's battery is dying. This is a LONG game.

Gary Huckabay (9:41:26 PM PT): This has been too good of a game to end up as one of those 14-3 extra inning games. Hope it doesn't play out that way...

Joe Sheehan (9:41:36 PM PT): You think Trey Hillman called the home bullpen to get Sherrill up?

Rany Jazayerli (9:42:30 PM PT): Naturally, I'm thrilled that the reliever we've got under contract for the next six-and-a-half seasons is being asked to work a second inning in an exhibition game. Thank God for the extra day of rest after the All-Star Game.

Kevin Goldstein (9:43:06 PM PT): A walk to Ludwick, and bunt single by McLouth and and sac by Martin sets up second and third with one out for Tejada who will be intentially walked to give the bases loaded to Uggla. I'd love to say this one is over, but I've thought that 152 times already tonight, and Uggla has some swing and miss in him. That said, for him to get the winning hit would be nice redemption and a good story.

Kevin Goldstein (9:45:12 PM PT): Uggla's whiff is the end of Soria and Rany takes a HUGE deep breath. Kazmir time. Man I really hope we're still here an hour from now.

Joe Sheehan (9:45:43 PM PT): Poor Dan Uggla. That pitch still hasn't reached the plate.

Hillman makes the pitching change. George Sherrill probably has four outs in him.

Kazmir is stretching.

Gary Huckabay (9:47:48 PM PT): So does Cristian Guzman.

Kevin Goldstein (9:47:51 PM PT): Irony: Adrian Gonzalez, first overall pick in the draft; George Sherrill, undrafted out of college.

Derek Jacques (9:51:20 PM PT): Sherrill doesn't care where Gonzalez was drafted: if it's lefthanded he can get it out.

Rany Jazayerli (9:51:34 PM PT): KG, you know who else was an undrafted pitcher out of Austin Peay? Rowdy Hardy! Methinks his chances of an All-Star appearance are rather slim.

BTW, why don't more pitchers throw that Bugs Bunny curveball? Soria must have stolen it from Zack Greinke - Greinke never throws it anymore, even though no one ever hit that 62 mph yakker.

Kevin Goldstein (9:52:03 PM PT): I don't know what's cooler -- the fact that this game is still going, or that I totally forget about the leftover enchiladas in the fridge . . . until now.

Guillen doubles off Cook to lead off the bottom of the 12th and Cook once again is in trouble. Can he get out of another one?

Kevin Goldstein (9:53:06 PM PT): Sizemore grounds to the right side and it's Guillen at 3rd with ONE OUT for Longoria. This one might be over. I've thought that before.

Gary Huckabay (9:53:16 PM PT): Because it's damn hard to throw well. Make a mistake with it, and it travels long distances.

Kevin Goldstein (9:54:27 PM PT): Jivas (Oak Park, IL): If the NL loses the game without using Brad Lidge, it'll be a travesty. Saving him for a capital-C closer situation is just asinine.
Rick (Chicago): Has ever a pitcher as utterly mediocre as Cook pitched more than 2 innings?
akachazz (DC): Um, so why is Cook still pitching?

I agree with all of these sentiments.

Joe Sheehan (9:55:19 PM PT): Clint Hurdle completely screwed up the tactics here. You walk Sizemore there and try and get two outs out of Longoria. If Longoria bunts, you walk Morneau and pitch to Kinsler.

Yeah, it might work out, but still...

Kevin Goldstein (9:55:31 PM PT): I'm a big Longoria fan, but I have to admit to laughing when he struck out in an act of shadenfraude.

Kevin Goldstein (9:56:55 PM PT): Neifitastic (San Diego): Wow. If Cook finishes this inning, does he become the NL candidate for ASG MVP?

He does, despite the fact that all in all, he hasn't been that good.

Dave Pease (9:58:10 PM PT): It can't be a common request, but... more camera time for the Commish!

Kevin Goldstein (9:58:28 PM PT): Kinsler gounds out harmlessly and Cook pulls another Houdini act. Bud looks beyond miserable on the inning's closing shot and I've never had so much fun watching an All-Star game. Just an aside -- How much money have the bars in NYC lost from expected post-game revenue?

Jay Jaffe (9:58:32 PM PT): As far as I'm concerned, Russell Martin sets the standard for catchers who are fun to watch defensively. He's like this every night.

Will Carroll (9:59:31 PM PT): There's a good line about Russell Martin's hands and Alyssa Milano here, but I'll just let you fill in the _____.

Gary Huckabay (10:03:05 PM PT): Cristian Guzman can't even make an out properly.

Kevin Goldstein (10:04:13 PM PT): Guzman (who has been really good at third by the way), bunts to hard to just put himself at first with one out after Wright leads off with a broken bat single. Seriously, who's rooting for a run here? Anyone other than Tampa Bay?

Kevin Goldstein (10:06:13 PM PT): jamin67038 (Wichita, KS): George Sherrill vs. Ryan Ludwick. And Johan Santana is sitting at home...

Sorry, this is one of the reasons, this is so great right now, not the opposite.

Kevin Goldstein (10:07:24 PM PT): Two outs, guy on first, 3-0 count. You can give Ludwick the green light there? We go to the bottom of the 13th! Who's still with us! Let's stay up all night!

Dave Pease (10:08:16 PM PT): Does Sherrill have one more inning in him?

Derek Jacques (10:09:05 PM PT): The bars around the Stadium have probably taken a hit, but throughout the rest of the city they must consider this a windfall.

Will Carroll (10:10:13 PM PT): Marmol makes another appearance. Did Mike Marshall play in the ASG the year he won the Cy?

Will Carroll (10:11:16 PM PT): Answer: Yes. His only ASG appearance.

Will Carroll (10:12:14 PM PT): Good lord, is Uggla always this bad? I'll admit (like everyone else in America) that I don't watch many Marlins games ...

Jay Jaffe (10:12:44 PM PT): Marshall, yes, two innings, one walk, two Ks.

Dave Pease (10:14:54 PM PT): Buck and McCarver are giving Uggla a pass on that last error due to the bad hop, and to be fair it was a tougher play than the first two errors, but major league second basemen convert that opp.

Kevin Goldstein (10:15:29 PM PT): Uggla is not a good defensive player. Obviously, this is kinda awful.

Gary Huckabay (10:16:09 PM PT): Joe, is there a public transit last call around the Stadium? In Oakland, the BART last call is a serious crowd drain...

Kevin Goldstein (10:16:50 PM PT): bill b. (e3): Sure, it's the bottom of the 12th in an exciting, surreal game, but there are people out there who still like football!

There are? Are you really at E3? Email me if so.

Jay Jaffe (10:16:54 PM PT): Ok, its the 14th inning and I'm down to the Spaten Optimator. This could get interesting.

John Perrotto (10:18:07 PM PT): I'm impressed with how many fans have stuck it out, especially you get so many corporate types at event like this than the regular fan

Kevin Goldstein (10:18:28 PM PT): Quentin strikes out to end the 13th inning and let's out a pretty audible curse. He's no Chase Utley. We go to the 14th! Note to BP team -- I'm taking the day off tommorow.

Kevin Goldstein (10:19:40 PM PT): New York is a real city Gary, they run all night.

Will Carroll (10:19:59 PM PT): So was it defense that kept Uggla in the minors and available in the Rule 5?

And do we get Josh Groban again in the 14th?

Kevin Goldstein (10:20:33 PM PT): McLouth starts off the 14th by missing a home run down the RF line by about eight feet.

Gary Huckabay (10:20:45 PM PT): No matter what happens to Uggla the rest of his career in terms of defensive performance, he'll be defined by this game.

His Scoresheet owners should get on the phone tomorrow morning.

John Perrotto (10:20:54 PM PT): Great press box comment from veteran Indians' beat man Sheldon Ocker from the Akron Beacon-Journal: "I think the new stadium is finished by now."

Joe Sheehan (10:21:29 PM PT): This is awesome. I don't care who you are.

Sherrill comes out for the 14th. It's apparently been decided that his arm and Dave Trembley's wrath are preferred to Scott Kazmir's and Joe Maddon's. I'd hate to be Tito right now.

Sherrill hasn't thrown more than two innings since his fourth MLB outing on July 20, 2004, when he got seven outs for the ONLY time in his career. He hasn't thrown more than 35 pitches since May 13, 2006.

Kevin Goldstein (10:21:39 PM PT): Will, nobody nobody nobody (including Florida) ever thought Uggla would hit like this. NOBODY.

Will Carroll (10:21:56 PM PT): Jay, I once did radio while drinking Optimators ON DRAFT during the Palmeiro debacle. By the five o'clock hour, I was always an inch away from an FCC violation.

Kevin Goldstein (10:22:15 PM PT): Martin misses a home run by 13.543 feet.

Caleb Peiffer (10:22:59 PM PT): How nervous is Andrew Friedman right now?

Kevin Goldstein (10:23:38 PM PT): It's a little scary for a 1-2-3 inning, but it is nonetheless and we go to the bottom of the 14th. It's 1:12 AM in New York. Are we having fun yet? Joe's right. This is awesome.

Joe Sheehan (10:23:45 PM PT): No, Gary. This is a real city.

Kevin Goldstein (10:24:39 PM PT): Jonathan (New York): Tiebreaker after 14th inning: Aaron Cook grooves Hamilton one fastball. If it goes 450 feet or more, AL wins. Any less, NL is the victor.

New contest! Best way to solve the tie! This is the current leader!

Kevin Goldstein (10:25:10 PM PT): Olinkapo (NYC): Just a quick comment: Over at the ESPN (booo!) in-game chat, people are complaining about the length of the game. I think that's absolutely berzerk. This is exciting, fun, outstanding. Two flyballs to the track? I love it. Keep up the good work, BP.

Dude, it's the friggin ESPN game chat. You really expected something good there?

Dave Pease (10:25:18 PM PT): Now Francona's got the green light to slag Kazmir for the next eight innings.

John Perrotto (10:25:19 PM PT): I'm with Joe, this is a blast. I feel very fortuante to be here.

Joe Sheehan (10:25:45 PM PT): Not sure if it's coming through at home, but the Creatures are busting out a "Hit The Ball To Uggla" chant.

Will Carroll (10:25:48 PM PT): I started out with a full charge on the Air, then switched to the iPhone for a couple innings while the Air recharged. Now the Air is back to 40% and I've switched back. Long game.

Anyone have an idea of what the pitch count might be on Webb? Kazmir is one inning. At least Navarro's still back there for him.

Caleb Peiffer (10:26:22 PM PT): "They have to"--no they do not--they can use Lidge.

Not using the closer until a save situation when you're on the road is I think the most egregious misuse of the bullpen. There is no tomorrow. And in this case, why wouldn't you use a fresh Lidge here, and put off having to use the tired Webb until you really do have to?

Gary Huckabay (10:26:24 PM PT): Hey, I don't think you guys grasp just how tough the Lamorinda area is.

John Perrotto (10:26:58 PM PT): Webb also pitching Sunday like Kazmir

Kevin Goldstein (10:27:04 PM PT): Clonod (St. Louis): I love you guys (yes, I'm drunk at this point)

Again, we love our readers. I have no idea how inebriated anyone here is at this point, other than High On Baseball! Nancy Reagan would be proud.

Will Carroll (10:28:24 PM PT): Thanks, Tim.

Sinker: Screwball::Slider:Curve

Jay Jaffe (10:28:36 PM PT): There was a German beer hall down the street from my last place (Zum Schneider) that served Optimators on draft in those big half-liter glasses. A friend and I once drank four and by the next morning I wasn't sure whether being alive was a blessing or a curse.

Steven Goldman (10:29:18 PM PT): The All-Star game thought it was done with Yankee Stadium, but Yankee Stadium is not done with the All-Star game... This would be a good novel if W.P. Kimsella hadn't already written it.

Kevin Goldstein (10:29:28 PM PT): biglou115 (Arkansas): Its kind of cool how you guys all sound like 8 year olds who are staying up way past their bed time.

I'm normally about a 2 a.m. guy, so I'm good.

Kevin Goldstein (10:30:15 PM PT): Brandon Webb pretty much dominates in the bottom of the 14th, and we go to the 15th, and I really couldn't be having more fun.

John Perrotto (10:30:21 PM PT): here comes Kazmir but is he pitching on TWO days' rest now since it's Wednesday?

Gary Huckabay (10:30:29 PM PT): I had like fifteen things around the house I was supposed to get done tonight.

Caleb Peiffer (10:31:13 PM PT): 1:19 A.M.? This is prime writing time.

Gary Huckabay (10:31:58 PM PT): Actually, it's 42 year olds who are up way past their bedtime. And it's 10:20 here.

Gary Huckabay (10:32:51 PM PT): I wonder if Bud has a distinct ringtone for anyone calling from Tampa.

Kevin Goldstein (10:33:13 PM PT): More good suggestions:

jamin67038 (Wichita): Pick a random fan to represent the AL. He/she gets to field 10 groundballs at 2nd base. Then Uggla fields 10 for the NL. Most fielded cleanly wins.
Josh (Ft Worth): 4 words Hot Dog Eating Contest
kevin (boston): Best way to solve tie: have each team make an estimate of Bud Selig's blood pressure, closest to it wins
Steve (Detroit): Here's a tiebreaker. Forget the offense. Do a Speed Infield Race. The team that completes a round of infield the fastest wins. Make it like soccer, too. The players in the game now have to compete.

Steven Goldman (10:34:23 PM PT): Is Wade Boggs still in the park? He could come out and throw his knuckler for the AL in the 16th.

Will Carroll (10:35:07 PM PT): I don't believe Buck at all when he says Francona has a hard number. I think it's one inning (in fact, I was told that today) but if Bud says go, Francona's off the hook.

Caleb Peiffer (10:35:07 PM PT): It's pretty impressive Kazmir is throwing mid-90s after going over 100 on Sunday.

Kevin Goldstein (10:35:50 PM PT): BR (NYC): Who is the best AL position player to pitch next inning, switching spots with Kazmir?

Good question, we are basically VERY close to All-Star Mayham (tm)!

Kevin Goldstein (10:37:00 PM PT): We're all loopy now.

strupp (Madison): I'm modifying the rules for the Hot Dog Eating contest... One NL and one AL player get to throw Hot Dogs at Tony Gwynn...

Kevin Goldstein (10:37:48 PM PT): Trieu (Cambridge, MA): They did the stupid this-time-it-counts thing after the first ASG tie. What are they gonna' do after the second tie?

We might find out soon! Whatever it is, I bet Sheehan tears it apart and with good reason, here at BP.

Will Carroll (10:38:10 PM PT): Kaz didn't look good on that pitch. Then again, one pitch at-bats help. But what now, Bud? What now? If the AL gets shut down here (and is it Webb or Lidge), Bud's got some splainin' to do.

Kevin Goldstein (10:38:23 PM PT): Kazmir works his one scoreless inning and the AL is officially out of arms. Three Outs From Mayhem! I'm absolutely giddy.

Will Carroll (10:39:09 PM PT): It's not just that they have to bring in someone to pitch from the field, it's that Kazmir has to stay in and play the field!

John Perrotto (10:39:37 PM PT): flip flop Sizemore and Kazmir, that's what I'd do.

Gary Huckabay (10:39:54 PM PT): Trieu (Cambridge, MA): They did the stupid this-time-it-counts thing after the first ASG tie. What are they gonna' do after the second tie?

Two words: Human Sacrifice.

Steven Goldman (10:40:03 PM PT): What with George being around earlier, I keep thinking of the 1987 game, which went 13. Dave Winfield played the whole game, and came up lame or hungry or agnostic or something after, and George spent a few days yelling at the press about how his player had been abused...

Joe Sheehan (10:40:21 PM PT): I make no apologies for being an eight-year-old. This is more fun than anyone should be allowed to have.

Did I mention I don't work for a newspaper?

Perrotto, no one should be that funny at 1:30 a.m. Sober, anyway.

Kevin Goldstein (10:42:17 PM PT): Morneau leads off the bottom of the 15th with a single, and we have possible pre-mayhem drama.

Message to Joe:

bflaff (Phila., PA): Joe, if you're going to go streaking before the end of the game you need to go soon. This could be it.

Caleb Peiffer (10:42:56 PM PT): I hear Carlos Quentin throws a filthy slider.

Jay Jaffe (10:43:04 PM PT): New slogan: "This Time It's Cricket!"

Will Carroll (10:43:19 PM PT): I was about to say that it's either Sizemore or Drew. Drew's brother pitched, so he should at least have some clue.

Kevin Goldstein (10:44:12 PM PT): Ryan Ludwick makes a diving catch for the first out. I'd love to say it was a good catch, but it wasn't. It was a dramatic catch. That's just a running catch for a good outfielder. Nonetheless, we're two outs from MAYHEM.

Steven Goldman (10:45:16 PM PT): If the AL doesn't finish it here, how about a maple bat shatter-off until they run out of lumber?

Joe Sheehan (10:45:24 PM PT): Lidge is a closer, and will now fail because it's not a closer situation.

Kevin Goldstein (10:45:33 PM PT): Navarro clean single and it's 1st and 2nd with one one for drew. Hard to get slower than Morneau and Navarro right now. Lots of possibilities for outs at home and double plays.

Kevin Goldstein (10:46:42 PM PT): dprat (sd): tiebreaker: catcher stands with feet shoulder-width apart at plate..five players each side try to kick baseball from pitchers mound thru catcher's legs... good enough for the world's most popular sport, so? If I'm the manager, I pick the Latin players to kick.

Will Carroll (10:47:01 PM PT): I'll suggest the same thing for extra innings that I suggested for the Arizona Fall League. Get one of those Pro Batter things - the pitching machine with the video screen - and let that thing go.

Joe Sheehan (10:47:39 PM PT): Hey, bflaff, I'm actually playing long toss from 45 feet, getting loose.

Dave Pease (10:47:48 PM PT): Bases loaded, less than 2 out == no problem

Gary Huckabay (10:48:06 PM PT): So...HBP, BB, or Balk?

Will Carroll (10:48:37 PM PT): Michael Young is clutch.

Kevin Goldstein (10:48:41 PM PT): J.D. Drew walks to load the bases and with one out, we gotta get a run here, right? I'm suddenly very pessimistic about getting mayhem.

Jay Jaffe (10:49:54 PM PT): Alas, no mayhem for you, Kevin. But ending the game on a play at the plate is pretty damn good, especially when the call is right.

Kevin Goldstein (10:49:58 PM PT): Justin Morneau shows off the wheels on a sac fly by Michael Young and this one is over! Ok folks, that was an absolute classic, but I'm outta here. Thanks so much for joining us, and we're going to do more of these down the line.

Joe Sheehan (10:50:21 PM PT): Any kind of decent throw gets Morneau, who was barely safe even with that Damonesque effort by Hart, who has a good arm.

Bud Selig is such a luckbox.

Dave Pease (10:50:53 PM PT): Man, Young's clutch to not hit that to McLouth... Morneau'd have been thrown out for sure.

Frank Sinatra (10:51:32 PM PT): What does my singing "Fly Me to the Moon" have to do with baseball?

Rany Jazayerli (10:57:14 PM PT): I would love to hear what Tito would have done for the 16th. I would have moved the DH to the field - sure you lose the DH, but if you're bringing a position player in to pitch it doesn't matter. At least then you don't have Kazmir playing a position.

This is the sort of decision-making I typically only see at a Strat tournament.

Steven Goldman (10:59:43 PM PT): Man, with the price of gas what it is, there are few worse "gifts" than a new Chevy Tahoe, even if it is a hybrid. Being a hybrid just brings its mileage up from suicidal to merely self-defeating... Of course, they have to give them away, because they can't sell them right now.

Joe Sheehan (11:17:42 PM PT): Say, if anyone happens to be walking by Yankee Stadium with a pizza, or maybe a roast beef on rye, drop me a line...


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