For those who care about personal statistics, the two Baltimore Orioles who played for the American League in last night’s mid-summer classic (Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz) went a combined 0-for-4. The world must be falling in…they didn’t get on base in an exhibition game?! I kid of course. If you’re reading this and saying what do you mean, I shouldn’t care that they didn’t get on base?!, consider it another way. In the NFL we hear all the time about how starters have a tough time getting up to play in preseason given the fact that they know they’re coming out after the first or second quarter; would it not stand to reason that the same could be true for MLB players in the all-star game, who know they’re only getting one or two at-bats?
Anaheim’s Mike Trout gave the American League the lead with an RBI-double in the fifth inning, and they didn’t look back from there. Obviously the win gives the American League representative home field advantage in this autumn’s World Series. However I would submit that the game is still an exhibition. I’m not shooing away the importance of home field advantage in the least. However in talking about home field advantage, we’re really talking about it for one game, and one which might not even happen at that. Certainly there’s one group of players from the AL team which will be directly benefitted by having that extra home game come this year’s fall classic. However again, as somewhat of a traditionalist I still say the MLB all-star game is an exhibition.
The Orioles along with the rest of baseball now prepare for perhaps the two “deadest days” on the MLB calendar. Today and tomorrow are both off days, and league play resumes on Friday night with the Birds traveling to Oakland. I suspect that most players and coaches will be on the move on Thursday given that they’ll have to play Friday, however from the perspective of fans there’s not much going on. So in terms of watching sports on TV, where does that leave people – NBA summer league, anyone? Speaking for myself, it might be a good time to catch up on movies.