It’s very trendy to hate on the All-Star Game. The format, as it currently exists, lends itself to ridicule rather easily. Home field advantage being decided, players missing the game for injury or rest, and some pointless exhibitionism for the sake of it. But lost among the ridicule from the statistical braintrust, is that at its core the All-Star Game is a marketing event for the game of baseball. As a kid the game was the first time I ever saw all of my favourite players on one field. Seeing Ken Griffey, Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn all on the same field as my favourite Jays, Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter and Jimmy Key was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.
I was hooked. The star power, the game…and a home run competition to boot! Without resorting to hyperbole this early in my time here at Jays Journal, I would suggest that almost everyone reading this would have dreamed (or continue to dream) about hitting a home run as far as you possibly could?
As an adult, the luster and fun of the event is not lost on me. I choose not to get worked up about the phoney “this one counts” idea, or the expanded rosters. I believe that the biggest names should be there, and that snubs aren’t important. At its core, the Midsummer Classic is a celebration of the game by some of the best players that play it. Whether you’re 8 years old, or 28, it’s still pretty cool.
That said, here’s a quick run down on Jays content from the last 3 days in Kansas City.
I’d like to call this the coming out party for Anthony Gose, but everyone already knows about the tools that this guy has in his arsenal. The starter in Centre Field for the loaded Team USA, Gose had a single and a walk in the contest. Unfortunately baseball fans didn’t get a chance to see his speed in action, but he easily made the defensive play of the game.
Jays fans have reason to be excited about this young outfielder. In 2011, at AA New Hampshire, Gose collected 43 extra base hits, and stole 70 bases. At AAA Las Vegas this season, Gose continues to improve his offensive game with 31 extra base hits, in 50 fewer games thus far.
Home Run Derby
After a very poor showing in the 2011 Derby, Jose Bautista was back in 2012 with something to prove. He broke out in round 1 with an 11 HR showing, with his longest shot being 439 feet. He and Mark Trumbo tied after Round 2 went to a swing-off, which Jose won on two swings. Unfortunately, he ran into a red hot Prince Fielder in the finals who went off for 12 home runs before Bautista could even swing a bat. Finishing with 7 home runs in the final round and a total of 20 for the tournament was a great improvement for Jose.
With the lone Blue Jays participant being Jose Bautista, and he being the Right Field Starter for the American League, the game was limited for Jays involvement.
Bautista walked and struck out before being lifted in the 6th Inning.
2013 sees the game move to Citi Field in New York. Personally, I can’t wait.