A daily accumulation of history and present as I follow the 2011 year through the baseball season and reflect on the glories and disappointments of the greatest game on Earth.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Robinson Cano

It's a nice moment to see Robinson Cano taking pitches from his dad to win the Home Run Derby, but...
other than watching the home runs that he hit in the second round, I didn't watch any of the rest of it.
I did, however, have father and son bonding night for the All Star Game, and I must say that it was the best game that I've watched in a while.
At one point, my dad asked me who I was rooting for, and my only answer was a good game with individual achievement. For the most part, I got that.
Sure, it was sad to see Cliff Lee let up a home run - even if it was to Adrian Gonzalez.
However, the saddest moment of the evening was a 3 way-tie. This was either the meltdown of Joel Hanrahan who let up a double after Starlin Castro ONCE AGAIN proved he needs to be the world's first 125-pound designated hitter by throwing short to first base and letting the 1,2,3 ninth go to seed, OR it was Prince Fielder proving that he needs to be the game's other 300 pound designated hitter rather than dropping balls that go too far behind his fat ass as he drops a relatively easy basket catch (which SOMEHOW doesn't get called an error - could it be the game needs Fielder too much to call it like it is?). The 3-run home run that won it for the National League did nothing to make up for the error (because that's what it was). It was just a sad display of the John Kruk attitude (I ain't an athlete) made worse for the fact that it's all about being a 2nd generation hero to a new generation that wants to make the game hip to the hip hop world in an effort to bring African Americans back to the game.
And while we want to see people of all colors, cultures, and persuasions in the game, do we really want the NBA or the NFL in our game of baseball? Seeing Andrew McCutchen's dreads in comparison to David Robinson's Opie look shows that the game can compete with people of all interests and attitudes. In this, we have no problem with Prince's tattoos (or Brian Wilson's tattoos or beard). It's style in the same way that Charlie Finley had when he paid for cool facial hair in the seventies (thank God for Rollie Fingers and Catfish Hunter).
However, we want our players doing the outstanding things that go with being an ESPN Web Gem or an MLBTV highlight at the end of the week, month, or season. Seeing how sluggish Prince Fielder is, we have to wonder what consideration for MVP he can get when he can't play the field. Just like his compadre Big Sluggi, the defensive liability of the Red Sox, we need to put him where he can do well - off the bench and attempting to knock in runs and get on base. No harm in that. Let's not pretend he's an all around player. Let's not let him think that he's any more Hall of Fame eligible than Edgar Martinez, who was generally considered the greatest DH of all time.
Seeing who came to the game and who didn't, it's nice to see that the game loves Fielder enough to make him the NL team captain of the Home Run Derby, but let's see him for what he really is: a one dimensional player that benefits from having a lot of hitters in front of him in the lineup. Where would he be if he was playing for Houston or the Cubs?
But all the same, those are only 2 moments of the 3 way tie. The final saddest moment...
Not seeing Justin Verlander 6 up, 6 down the NL team. Watching 100 MPH fastballs devastating the best of those who showed up would have been like Pedro in 1999 or Carl Hubbell in 1934. Sadly, he pitched Sunday, so he was mandated to sit out. Guess we'll have to hope he's there next year.

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