The MLB All-Star Game had its high points, but for this fan, it screamed other things that made it too hard to watch
Well, at least the guys on the field for this year’s MLB All-Star Game seemed to be making an honest effort. Really. That’s not sarcastic, and honestly, there’s nothing quite like talented millionaires making an effort in competition, whether in the boardroom or on the athletic field. All that was needed was horses and a polo game might have broken out.
I watched half the MLB All-Star Game July 17 because of the calculation Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola would pitch before that point, following Washington’s Max Scherzer and New York’s Jacob deGrom. This prediction was on the money better than I could have hoped for. Nola came out for the top of the fifth inning. He struck out two, gave up a single to Jose Altuve, and popped up Mike Trout to end the half-frame.
As always in the MLB All-Star game, there was no shortage of talent involved in nearly every confrontation between batter and pitcher and any fielders eventually involved, if any. As noted, effort was expended as well. Scherzer, for example, was declared by one Twitter researcher to have thrown his four fastest pitches of the season in the first inning, begging the question, why go digging for that nugget precisely? They looked that much faster than usual?
This is not to suggest this was an intense competition, whatever the final score or effort. Players were actually mic’d up and interviewed in the field while playing. Luckily, it seems, there was no line drive directly at an interviewee during the back and forth between the Fox Sports folks and Trout, Bryce Harper and Matt Kemp.
Likewise, there was nothing much said that was interesting unless Harper’s declaration Trout is baseball’s best player fits that term. Perhaps Harper’s on-field observation his father could “knock [him] silly” was a bit more noteworthy. Who knew any 25-year-old had ever even heard that phrasing?
In the end – or rather the middle – the game ended around midnight, this All-Star game seemed designed less to appeal to young fans just discovering baseball, and more for the entertainment of the athletes themselves and those broadcasting the event.
Or as Kyle Lobner, an observer of the Milwaukee Brewers, tweeted, “A reminder that MLB players are hard to relate to sometimes: These players stand to receive $20k each for winning the ASG. This is so trivial to them that they treat the contest as an exhibition.”
There was certainly excitement for the casual fan in the 2018 MLB All-Star game, but perhaps looking deeper takes away some of that excitement…