View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Wednesday

13

July 2011

15

COMMENTS

Prince of the League

Written by , Posted in General

NATIONAL LEAGUE

  • Prince Fielder hit the go-ahead HR in the 4th
  • Roy Hallady and Cliff Lee dominated the AL lineup
  • Brian Wilson and his infamous beard sealed the deal in the 9th.
  • Castro stole a base and had an error. What is with this kid? He has to cut down the errors. But, watching the replay, Votto could have done a better job of trying to scoop the ball, so I won’t put all of the blame on Starlin. Every other aspect of his game is phenomenal.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

  • Gonzalez scored the AL’s only run with a solo home run.
  • Bautista flashed the leather in right field with a great defensive play early in the game.
  • The AL hitters had a hard time figuring out the NL pitchers.

TAKEAWAY

The NL showed pitching prowess and clutch hitting tonight. Bochy was aggressive with his base runners (Quade, pay attention and take notes). The Phillies are lucky to have both Halladay and Lee. Bochy used three of the Braves’ relievers in a row. Somehow, it doesn’t seem fair that these teams get great players for small-ish amounts of money (smaller than the Cubs are paying, anyway). I’m glad that Castro was the Cubs’ representative for this. It would be nice to see more Cubbie blue on the field, though. Maybe someday that wish will come true. Until then, we’ll hope and pray the Cubs can develop some great players like Halladay, Lee, and Fielder.

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Beckett missed the game because… he had an injury? No way! That’s never happened before!
  • Jeter decided to not play in this game. I don’t blame him, considering that the AL would have the most overrated starting fielders in the history of the game.
  • The NL has won for two years in a row. Too bad the Cubs most likely won’t get the privilege of having home-field advantage in the World Series.
  • Seeing Mike Quade in the dugout felt very… wrong. Of all the other decent managers in the National League, Bochy picked him? Weird decision. However, maybe he imparted some fundamental baseball knowledge to Mike.
  • Prince Fielder is a vegetarian. I’d hate to see what would happen to him if he decided to start eating meat.
  • During the game, they compared pictures of Brian Wilson from last year and this year. He looks like a totally different person. Personally, he looks better with that unnaturally black beard.

Closing thought:

Why should the All Star game determine home-field advantage? It’s an exhibition game. With all the substitutions and pitching changes, a team can’t get into a rhythm, so it really just boils down to the luck of the draw with which batters face which pitchers late in the game. But, is there any other good way to decide home-field advantage?

Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Prince Fielder (.228 WPA)

2nd Star – Adrian Gonzalez (.127 WPA)

3rd Star – Roy Halladay (.097 WPA)

  • BuckeyeLakerCub

    You decide HFA the only sensible way: Best record

  • BuckeyeLakerCub

    In 2008 we had 8 all-stars. The last 2 years just 1 because we needed a rep. Let’s get back to winning not only so we can get more all-stars, but if we finally make the Fall Classic we can stack the team with our guys.

  • Eddie Von White

    Castro needs to quit hot dogging and make the play. He needs to field the ball and throw to first. Period. Cut out the double pumping, showing off the arm etc. He has a long way to go to prove himslef in the MLB. We have enough hot dogs on the team already.

    Castro stole two bases? I didn’t know he had that kind of speed. Why isn’t Quade running him? The NL manager apparently knows more about our All-Star than his own manager.

    I felt the same way when I saw Quade in the dugout – he looked so out of place. That’s an abuse of the word All-Star.

  • Doc Raker

    84 All Stars, who were these guys? It seems a bit diluted and just doesn’t seem to have the same status as it did in the 70’s. Back then it seemed like it was a game of Hall of Famer’s.

  • PackerCubBull

    Such a dumb rule that every team has to be represented.

  • PackerCubBull

    BTW – Did anyone see the Brewers got K-Rod? I hope his option vests for next year, making it harder for the Brewers to keep Tubby Veggie. And I don’t Fielder is still a vegetarian. He switched after the 2007 season. They say he isn’t a vegan, but he doesn’t each cheese or eggs, so idk why he is so fat still. He must eat a lot of chips.

  • Mark in Toronto

    I agree that every team doesn’t need to represented, but MLB knows they will likely lose ratings in those cities where no players are in the game so I’d guess that’s why it won’t change.

    It still boggles my mind that Quade was selected to be in the game as well.

  • Buddy

    I agree with many of the comments so far: 1) An exhibition game should not decide World Series home field advantage (use best record). 2) Every team should not have a rep, unless they are deserving.

  • PackerCubBull

    Even though Castro was selected, I didn’t watch much of the game.

  • Aaron

    My understanding of using the ASG to determine home field advantage was that it would help make the game slightly *less* of an exhibition. Baseball was losing ratings with the game and players didn’t seem to care as much about it. If the outcome of the game means something, everyone gets a little more invested. Not necessarily saying I think it’s right or fair, but that’s why I think they did it.

    @Doc: I think one of the reasons why the All-Star lineups seemed more diluted had something to do with the number of initial nominees who dropped out for various reasons (injuries, exhaustion, apathy– no wait, sorry, that was the fans). Once you get past the first one or two nominees per position, the person who actually ends up playing the game isn’t necessarily an all-star to begin with. When you also consider that the fans can vote for specific participants, that also muddles the field; lots of fans vote for names without paying attention to performance.

  • @Raker…this mandatory All Star representative deal loosely parallels the national health care reform scenario. You are losing your touch.

  • Seymour Butts

    Anyone else see the MLB channel post game coverage? The Phat prince was being interviewed by Hazel Mae. Prince’s 2 kids were standing in front of him. The one in the camera frame spent the whole 3 minutes with his eyes glued to her chest. Nice camera work.

  • Buddy

    Doc has been too busy trying to understand onbase + slugging.

  • Aaron

    @Buddy – Jim Caple at ESPN wrote up some predictions for the second half of the season (http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/story/_/page/caple-110713_MLB_predictions/gazing-crystal-ball-mlb-second-half). Maybe this one was intended to include Doc as well:

    Aug. 3: Disgusted by the way the young players are so easily distracted, Florida manager Jack McKeon bans all that “newfangled technology” from the clubhouse such as Sony Walkmen and transistor radios.

  • I agree with Aaron. The ASG determines home field because the ASG had become nothing more than an exhibition. Honestly, it was boring. Guys just showed up to show up and no one cared who won.

    I don’t think Castro is hot dogging, I just think he gets caught up in adrenaline. I also think that he will continue to improve (unlike Dunston who never could figure out the difference between first base and seats on the first base line).

    I assume that Castro had been told to run on contact from third base. Was that clarified at all after the game?