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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Monday, July 09, 2007

All-Star Weekend

Here we are, at the halfway point. Umm... Sort of. 89 games, 88, 82, who's counting? And, it's not really a weekend, but hey, I've got the day off, so it is for me. So there. Tonight the shindig gets off the ground with the Barroid Bonds-less Home Run Derby. He dissed his own crowd and passed on the Derby for Jay-Z's party down the road. Not that it might not be more fun, but the park that Barry built gets its All-Star game, and Barry says "thanks but no thanks". Actually it's more like "whatever, have fun".

True, it's a grind on the body, and with the three rounds of 10 outs is just too much. But, the Giants are far from competing for the pennant, and he should have got out there on the stage in front of "his" people who've supported him for years and years when nobody else has. Not that Barry is or ever has been a spokesperson for the game, but I think it would have helped for him to embrace the fans and try and go out with some class and positivity.

Back to the 10 out thing, it's just too many. How about 7? That'd be nine less outs over the course of the contest. And, let's add 'em all up and let the highest total win. Nothing was more deflating then seeing Mark McGwire hit all those mammoth shots over the Green Monster in Boston and still lose the event. The crowd got what they wanted for sure, but the results didn't add up in the end (even though Griffey won it with the same total of 16 HR's. But, think of the sudden death possibilities after that. Go swing for swing, first one who doesn't match the other is out). How about when Jason Giambi hit 20 in '01, in the first two rounds, and didn't even make the final round, losing out to two people who hit 10 ("winner" Luis Gonzalez) and 11 (Sammy "Corkman" Sosa) in the first two rounds.

I know, I know, after that they made sure round one carries over to round two to eliminate that possibility. But why wipe the slate in the end? Make 'em all count. Whoever hits the most wins. Nuff Said. Someone get me Bud "I'm The Greatest, Just Ask My Mother" Selig's phone number.

Two hours 'til home run bliss. I'm pickin' the rook, Prince Fielder, to hit more than a few into the Bay and taking this year's Derby. Although it is tough for lefties to hit 'em in Candlestick/Pac Bell/AT&T Park, I think he's got the swing to take it. He puts it all in there, and there's a lot of all in there. Watch Pujols too, like anyone ever has to say that when it comes to dingers.

Time for a beverage run.

Oh, except for one last thing. I've wanted to answer Matt's post question, Who's In Your 5, for a bit, but haven't had the time to get to it. Today I actually got a full day off, so, drum roll please (or maybe just a frickin' get on with it scream from the back), here we go:

1. Jake Peavy
2. Alex Rodriguez
3. Johan Santana
4. Ryan Howard
5. Justin Verlander

When asked the people I would build my franchise around, today, and for the future, I have to take into account young players who will be around for a while. This heavily influenced my decisions here. Every one of these type of things motivates discussion and perhaps even a few beer-fueled arguments, but I'd just say, hey, let's lace 'em up and see what happens.

Sure, Pujols' glove is better that Howard's, but I think the kid's still got a lot more to show us. And I wanted to balance my right-handed slugger (A-Rod) with a left-handed bomber to anchor the lineup. Get some OBP guys in front of Howard and A-Rod, and that's a lot of runs waiting to happen. With Peavy, Santana and Verlander taking the hill, I wouldn't even need that many runs, but I'd surely take 'em. I'm no fool. (hey, you shut up).

Maybe I just couldn't put a frickin' Redbird on the roster.

Go Cubs!

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