Saturday, September 28, 2002

An All-Star Diary by Steve Reynolds

Baseball’s All-Star Game has always been a summer centerpiece for me. When I was growing up it was always an opportunity to stay up past my normal bedtime. There would usually be a good old-fashioned baseball-type meal that night—hot dogs, potato salad, beans, a pitcher of iced tea and some ice cream somewhere around the fourth inning. After rediscovering my love of baseball (and all sports) in the early ’90s, I would always try to replicate one of those nights of my youth. On the way home from work I’d hit the local supermarket and buy all of the aforementioned foods, and then set myself in front of the T-V for a few hours. This year I decided to keep a diary of my All-Star night…

7:30 Arrive at my stifling hot apartment with 26 bucks worth of food in tow, including hot dogs, buns, chips, salsa, dip, cheese and a big steroid size bucket of potato salad.

7:49 Cooking the hot dogs has made the kitchen so hot I contemplate putting my A/C on “hi cool” and stuffing it down my shorts.

7:50 Realizing that I can barely fit into my own shorts, I decide to run the A/C on high and let it keep its precious freedom.

8:00 The Fox pregame comes on with a horribly hokey opening where actors reenact great scenes from baseball’s past.

8:00:30 I check to see if Office Space just might be on Comedy Central. Dammit, it’s not. Back to the vomit-inducing opening montage

8:01 Jennie Zelasko and Kevin Kennedy start talking, and suddenly my dreams have been answered—Kennedy’s lips are moving but I don’t hear a single word. Alas, it’s just a bum mic, not the K-chip I installed.

8:08 Holy shit—Shoeless Joe Jackson is on the field. Oh, wait, it’s just Ray Liotta coming on to introduce the 30 greatest moments in baseball history.

8:10 Seriously, isn’t Office Space somewhere on cable?

8:20 Okay, I know Mastercard sponsored this 30 greatest moments shindig, but I thought their tagline was “priceless,” not “timeless.” As in, “this presentation will go on forever, therefore it’s timeless.”

8:34 Alright, finally onto the game! Oh, wait, it’s the lineups. Oh look, Jorge Posada let his kid run out to take his place in the starting lineup. Isn’t that cute. If this were the good old days, Pete Rose would have run the kid, and then Jorge, over without blinking an eye.

8:52 Pop diva Anastacia is singing...well, perhaps emoting the Star-Spangled Banner. Shit, I lost my remote.

8:53 Find remote just in time to hear Joe Buck say, “In case you forgot, we’ve got a game coming up next.”

9:06 First pitch. I drop the remote and start to relax.

9:17 Oh Bonds crushed it. Oh HOLY SHIT. TORI HUNTER! Wow—now that’s what the All-Star Game is about! That catch we’ll be seeing for the rest of the season. There’s no way anything in this game could overshadow that robbery of Bonds.

10:15 Bob Uecker, who has been the voice on the Milwaukee Brewers for years, enters the booth with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver.

10:16 I’m laughing at Bob Uecker so much my stomach hurts.

10:21 As McCarver and Uecker talk about their wild days with the Cardinals, Buck sets up a great line.

Joe: “You guys were married back then though.”

Uecker: “Well, not to each other.”

Ha ha.

10:23 Uecker leaves, and I consider the turning the T-V off. Why isn’t Uecker doing games nationally?

10:50 I have not seen Twins closer Eddie Guardado all year. I realize that he’s pitching wearing what looks like bowling shoes. Perhaps that’s the next career he’ll try if contraction actually happens.

11:08 I must have accidentally slipped in a tape of last year’s World Series, as it looks like Byung-Hyun Kim has just blown a lead.

11:19 Now Sasaki has blown a lead? What is going on here?

11:36 Oh shit, it’s tied. How long will this game go into extra innings?

11:48 Only in Milwaukee—Baltimore third baseman Tony Batista almost gets run over by a guy in a sausage costume.

12:00 Dear God, it’s midnight. When will it end?

12:15 Uh-oh, this could end in a tie they’re saying? Nah, no way Selig would allow something like this to happen.

12:26 Okay, what is taking so long this conversation between Torre, Brenley and Selig? Have they decided to call this game a tie just because they’re worried about stretching two STARTING pitchers past two innings?

12:30 They just made the announcement that if the NL doesn’t score, the game ends in a tie. I realize that if I ever meet Bud Selig, I’m going to kick him in the cock.

12:31 Fans start booing.

12:32 Fans still booing.

12:33 I join in with the fans booing.

12:34 Here’s a chant I’ve never heard before in a ballpark: “Let them play! Let them play!”

12:37 Game over. What a disgrace. I can’t believe I wasted this much time. It’s not like I turned on a Major League Soccer match—I deserve some closure!

12:39 Fox says they hope to have Selig explains his decision, but for some reason they have to sign off before they can find him. What a chicken shit.

12:41 I go to bed just like I have after many a Mets game—extremely frustrated.

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