Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado among others key in AL win
The Baltimore Orioles ended up with four players on the American League all-star roster, including Manny Machado. And while Mike Trout took home the MVP honors in the American League’s 6-3 victory, there can be little doubt that the O’s left their mark on this year’s mid-summer classic as well. Incidentally, it does seem a little bit superficial to award someone an MVP award when we’re talking about a game in which most players were only in for a few innings at most. But it’s an all-star “exhibition,” so they have the ability to be inventive.
Adam Jones was hitting sixth in the starting lineup, and he started in left field. Jones had originally been a left fielder when he broke into the majors with the Seattle Mariners, and that’s where he found himself once again in Ned Yost‘s lineup. Jones went 0-for-2 in the game. Zach Britton also got into the game for the final two outs in the sixth inning, giving up a hit and committing a throwing error, but also getting a big strikeout of Bryce Harper to end the inning. Darren O’Day didn’t get into the game.
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However the big star of the night from the Orioles’ perspective was Manny Machado. He was inserted in the top of the fifth as a pinch-hitter in place of Josh Donaldson, and immediately made a home run bid with a deep shot to left field. However he got under it just enough and it was recorded as a long fly ball out.
Two innings later, Mike Trout drew a lead off walk and Boston’s Brock Holt was immediately sent in as a pinch runner. Holt proceeded to steal second base, giving Machado an at-bat with a runner in scoring position. And Machado didn’t disappoint, sending an RBI-double to the gap in center field. He would move to second on Mark Teixeira‘s ground out, and later score on Prince Fielder‘s sac fly-RBI.
The Orioles didn’t just have token representation in this game, they had a decent number of representatives. Two of them (Machado and Britton) played big roles in the ending of the game. Adam Jones was also one of the big stars of the all-star festivities off the field, making various rounds on various networks talking baseball, Orioles, and other things. As a broadcasting major, I would submit that there’s nobody more qualified to be a media personality when his playing days are done than Adam Jones!
Cincinnati and Major League Baseball also put on one heck of a show prior to the game. Each franchise had their “Franchise Four” (four greatest players) announced on the pregame show, but the Reds’ players (Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Joe Morgan, and yes the great Pete Rose) were announced to the crowd. I’ve long been a proponent of reinstatement for Pete Rose, and speaking for myself seeing him announced to the crowd was a special moment.
The Orioles’ Franchise Four players were Cal Ripken Jr, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Jim Palmer. When I voted I substituted Eddie Murray for Frank Robinson, however that’s about as legitimate of a list that you’re going to find league-wide. After that announcement, they brought out what baseball submitted as the four greatest living players: Johnny Bench, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Sandy Koufax. That was followed up by Koufax throwing the first pitch of the game…to Bench.
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Again, that’s about as legitimate of a list for the four greatest living players as you’re going to find. Mays and Aaron are almost givens, however I would have substituted Brooks Robinson and Nolan Ryan for the other two slots. But it’s all a matter of opinion. However needless to say, baseball puts on the best show for it’s all-star game. And that’s partially because whether you’re a baseball fan or not, the fabric of the game is ingrained in our hearts and minds. Some people say it’s boring and some say they have no interest in the sport; yet it’s still America’s pastime. Kudos to Cincinnati and MLB for honoring the game, it’s history, and it’s present in such a respectable manner.
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