Wednesday, July 14, 2004  
What it takes to be bitter, angry, and jaded

I didn't watch the All-Star game last night for what I thought at first were a set of principled reasons, but as I woke up this morning I continued to think about the question, "Why does the All-Star Game make me want to vomit?"
I reasoned to myself that, in a marathon like the baseball season, one game can't show you anything about which league has better stars. I used to complain about how uninformed voters got to decide who was playing. I was sure that the mano-a-mano matchups in the All-Star game, in which A-Rod would intentionally foul off a bad Zambrano pitch just to pass on a walk and take another cut, showed off a bunch of jocks embracing their testosterone.
But the real reason, I'm slowly admitting, is that I don't like when people tell me what to get excited about! The "this one counts" bit is contrived and generally quite unfair to the team that makes the world series, but there's been so much trumpeting about how it gives meaning to an exhibition game that I feel like MLB's trying too hard to make me look at it. And the times I feel like that, like when, say, a car salesman tells me how I'll be a lot happier with the next model up, I always react by insisting that it go my way. I'm so afraid of being manipulated that I get manipulated into depriving myself of something.
I think I would have liked watching the All-Star game, but I was so crabby about it by the time that it came that I pretended it wasn't even on. Now I'm afraid to look at a recap of the game or the box scores because I'm afraid that I missed something.
So I missed it. And I know the score was 9-4, and that when the Cubs make the World Series they won't have home field advantage, and that Clemens got beat up, and the Yankees will probably make the World Series. So if the Cubs face a game 7 at Yankee Stadium and they have one or two lefties in the lineup and they lose, it will have been Roger Clemens that beat us.
He's still pitching for the Yankees! And because Andy Pettitte talked him into it, maybe Pettitte's a spy for the Yanks, sent to Houston to get Clemens to cost the NL the home field advantage!
Boy, those Yankees are tricky.

Our friend Hank E. has asked the question, "What is the History of the All-Star Game?"
Here are a couple of links:
From Hickock Sports
From what I can find, the game was suggested by the Trib sports Editor Arch Ward, owners saw a moneymaking opportunity, and in 1933 they held the game. For a while, from '59 to '62, the players' pension fund received the proceeds from a second game. I'd say that the host of the game benefits the most, but Hank's right; an All-Star selection looks pretty good on a resume, even if the name at the top of the resume is Gerald Perry's.

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