For the ninth year in a row, the American League won the All-Star Game. Like most things in life, it’s not what it used to be.
Before interleague play, the only time players from both leagues met was in the World Series. Each league had its own president, who ran his league like a mini-commissioner. Players went to the All-Star Game wanting to crush the other league. Guys like Willie Mays would play the entire game. Why? Because who they heck would you replace him with?
Now, there are about fifty players per roster. There are legacy players selected by the commissioner (Albert Pujols for the N.L. and Miguel Cabrera for the A.L.). It’s a TV show more than a game.
But it’s still fun. Having players mic-ed during a game is such an interesting development. ESPN does that on Sunday night games, usually with an outfielder, conducting interviews with right in the middle of the game. It seems like it would be distracting to the player but they seem to enjoy it.
Last night’s game was what you expect when the best pitchers face the best hitters. Not a lot of offense. There were a total of thirteen hits. Eight by the American League, five by the National League.
The N.L. scored its two runs in the first. The A.L. it’s three in the fourth. Goose eggs other than that. Just a steady parade of players. Sixty-two total players, in fact, made it into the game for both teams.
Both Rangers made appearances. Martin Perez entered the game in the bottom of the fifth inning and did what Martin Perez does so well. He got three weak ground outs. In fact, the last five Rangers pitchers have now pitched one scoreless inning in the All-Star Game. Perez this year, Kyle Gibson in ’21, Cole Hamels in ’16, Yu Darvish in ’14, and Joe Nathan in ’13.
Corey Seager came in to play shortstop in the seventh inning. His only at-bat was the top of the ninth. He grounded out to first.
So, the All-Star Game is behind us. The first half of the season is behind us.
The Rangers limped to break, losing four in a row and going 5-11 in the month of July, so far their worst month of the season. Any illusions of a wild card are just that. Wild illusions. Instead, the trade deadline is thirteen days away.
For the next thirteen days, expect non-stop rumors and speculation.
At least that aspect of Rangers baseball will be interesting the next few weeks.