E-MAILBAG: Ask the Reports, Wednesday July 6th All-Star Edition
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Wednesday July 6, 2011
Q: I enjoyed your article on the Home Run Derby this week. Which players were selected to play in this year’s derby? From: Dave, Chicago.
MLB reports: Thank you Dave. So glad that you enjoyed our feature on the Home Run Derby. As indicated in the article, captain David Ortiz has included Jose Bautista, Robinson Cano and Adrian Gonzalez on the AL squad. The NL team, which was announced yesterday by captain Prince Fielder, includes Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, Matt Holliday of the Cardinals and Rickie Weeks of the Brewers. For the most part we have a very solid derby lineup. The only criticism that I can offer each team is the choice of the respective second basemen. While Rickie Weeks and Robinson Cano are fine players, there are far more powerful bashers that I would have preferred to see this upcoming Monday in Arizona. Curtis Granderson in the AL and Ryan Braun in the NL are the first two names that come to mind. It should be an interesting Home Run Derby regardless. So enjoy it!
Q: I am boycotting the All-Star game this year. It is nothing but a glorified exhibition game. I suggest you do the same. From: Sam, Vancouver.
MLB reports: Ouch Sam, you really do not like the All-Star game! As much as the game itself receives negative press, the truth is that all our readers are writing about in the last two weeks is the All-Star game. They cannot get enough of all the All-Star game coverage on the Reports! While the game itself may frustrate us, with the length of time it takes to play, number of substitutes etc, the truth is that the game has much merit. The All-Star game does decide home field advantage for the World Series, which is a huge reward. The players are playing for pride and in my opinion, the last few games have been exceptionally entertaining for the most part. Lastly, most of us love debating which players should be included on the rosters and analyzing the exclusions. Baseball is a sport of non-stop analysis and the All-Star game is no exception. Rather than focusing on the flaws, take in what is good about the game. With the glass-half-full approach, maybe you will become a fan again.
Q: My fave part of All-Star week is the Prospects Game. The up and coming stars get to play and I get to see them live. Will we get reports on the Prospects Game? From: Jason, Los Angeles.
MLB reports: Funny you should bring up the Prospects Game Jason, you have read our mind. As part of our search for the MLB reports Intern, we have Rob- a candidate for the post, preparing his feature article on the Prospects Game as we speak. We agree that the Prospects Game is a very important game, if not the biggest game of the break for many baseball fans. For the diehards that subscribe to Baseball America and try to learn all the prospects, many do not have the opportunity to watch the prospects live. For those of you that subscribe to mlb.tv, you may not know that you can add the Milb package as well for only a few dollars. But otherwise, the top prospects in the game will be playing this weekend. While MLB reports will have the game covered this weekend, we will be featuring Rob’s preview of the game starting tomorrow. Stay tuned for this must read feature!
Q: Do you see MLB ever getting rid of the All-Star game? Perhaps replacing it with the WBC or Olympics some years? From: Bruno, Mexico City.
MLB reports: Hello Bruno, great question. I can answer your question with one word: Never. The MLB All-Star game is a huge event for baseball that will continue until the end of time. The game itself is as much about pleasing the sponsors as it is the fans. The game is a showcase of Major League Baseball to the sponsors and baseball’s chance to wine and dine the greatest financial contributors the game. The All-Star game contributes a great deal of revenue and publicity for the home town sponsoring team and the battle to host the big event is fierce every year. The WBC, as featuring in our recent article, will be back as part of the 2013 edition. While experts have debated hosting the tournament during the middle of the season or at season’s end, the time and commitment required makes the logistics almost impossible. For now the WBC is remaining as a pre-season tournament, with qualifying taking place in the fall of 2012 and the WBC in March 2013. From the Olympics perspective, baseball is not even currently included as a sport. In 2013, the IOC will vote on whether to include baseball as an Olympic sport in the 2020 games. Baseball will be competing with karate, roller sports, softball, sports climbing, squash, wakeboard and wushu for one spot. The Olympics will be discussed on a different day, as the exclusion of baseball by the Olympics is unforgivable in my opinion and simply a harsh tactic to force Major League Baseball to send professionals to the Olympics. Baseball is strong in its stance though and even if baseball does rejoin the Olympics, it will not interfere with the All-Star game. The mid-season game is simply to valuable to baseball to let go. Ever.
Q: The National League won the All-Star game last year, its first win since 1996. Who will win this year? From: Tiffany, Miami.
MLB reports: I’m sorry to be the one to break this to you Tiffany, but the AL will win this year. Call it gut, call it bias. I just can’t see how the NL can control the bashers in the American League. Jose Bautista, David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson are just some of the big names representing the American League. While the NL has Prince Fielder, Matt Kemp, Lance Berkman, Brian McCann etc, I think the AL has too strong of an offensive team. The AL pitching is also stacked, led by Justin Verlander, David Prince, James Shields, Jered Weaver and company. While the NL pitchers get much of the press, the AL has its share of star pitchers. The game should be an interesting one, with the run total likely to be very high. But when all is said and done, expect the AL to come out on top and giving the Rays home field advantage over the Phillies in the World Series (did I just make a prediction?)
Thanks for the e-mails and keep them coming! firstname.lastname@example.org
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Posted on July 6, 2011, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged all-star, allstargame, baseball, brewers, cardinals, fielder, halladay, mlb, olympics, orioles, ortiz, phillies, redsox, wbc, worldbaseballclassic, worldseries. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.