Awesome Game

The Seattle Mariners played an impressive history-making game in Toronto, Canuckistan against the Blue Jays.

James “Big Maple” Paxton, native to that country, threw a no-hitter in the Mariners’ 5 – 0 win. That is the only time a person from that region has ever thrown a no-hitter on their native turf.

Isn’t it ironic?

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Talkin’ Sports: MLB All-Stars! ***UPDATED***

It’s the “All-Star break” in Major League Baseball (MLB), meaning that the season is halfway over. The “Boys of Summer” are headed to Cincinnati, Ohio, to take part in the Home Run Derby and the All-Star Game. Here’s a little information about it, from CBS Sports:

The rosters for the 2015 All-Star Game were officially announced during a pair of live broadcasts Sunday and Monday night. As a reminder, the starting position players are selected by the fans while the rest of the rosters are voted on by players and selected by managers Bruce Bochy (Giants) and Ned Yost (Royals).

The All-Star rosters run 34 players deep, but only 33 players for each team were announced. The final spot is up for grabs via the Final Vote fan voting. Any starting pitchers who pitch Sunday, July 12, are not eligible to pitch in the All-Star Game itself, which will be played at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14. The Home Run Derby will be played the day before, and the Futures Game the day before that.

All 30 teams get at least one representative in the All-Star Game. Keep in mind that injured players will be replaced on the rosters between now and then.

Two of my Seattle Mariners are in the roster: “King” Felix Hernandez, pitcher, and Nelson Cruz, designated hitter (DH). The DH is mainly used by teams in the American League (AL), due to minor play differences between the AL and the National League (NL). AL pitchers do not go up to bat, while NL pitchers do. The AL’s DH position is essentially a batter who doesn’t play a field position, taking the place of the pitcher. This changes during Interleague games and in the World Series, depending on where the game is played. When a game is played at an AL park, the NL team must choose a DH; when a game is hosted at an NL park, then the AL team’s pitcher must go to bat.

The Home Run Derby is…well, here’s a little info about it from the MLB website:

“…In a radical new tournament-style format, the first round will pit Albert Pujols (No. 1 seed) against Kris Bryant (No. 8), Todd Frazier (No. 2) vs. Prince Fielder (No. 7), Josh Donaldson (No. 3) vs. Anthony Rizzo (No. 6) and Joc Pederson (No. 4) vs. Manny Machado (No. 5). The seedings were based on each player’s 2015 home run total through July 7.

It’s pretty simple. The winner of each head-to-head matchup will move on to the semifinals, while the loser will be eliminated. The two players who emerge from the semifinals will square off in a third and final round. Ties will be broken by a 90-second swing-off. If there’s still a tie after that, the batters will engage in successive three-swing swing-offs until a winner is declared.”

I’ve watched the Derby a couple of times; it’s nice to know who the main sluggers are, and who needs to be watched when they’re up at the plate!

Credit: blog.crsportsbet.ag

You’d probably be surprised to know that I used to HATE baseball. That hatred stemmed from playing one season in Little League. We had co-ed teams; girls and boys played on the same teams and against each other, but I and my two older brothers were on the same team – and we were on the WORST team! Our “coach” was an alcoholic who spent more time flirting with women in the stands than coaching us. I had recently gotten glasses, so I wasn’t cut out to be an infielder – I got stuck out in far-right field. Forget batting; I was too worried about getting my glasses broken and having to wear tape on them, so I suffered the indignity of “tee-ball.” We only won two games that entire season, and one was by default: the game was rained out, and the other team didn’t bother to show up!

I started liking baseball when I worked at the Kingdome – turns out I’d rather watch that sport than participate in it. Not that I never played any sports; I made the varsity volleyball team in 8th grade and as a frosh – I was one hell of a blocker! My vertical jump was impressive, to say the least. I also got into weight-training, and took Tae Kwon Do for a year…only a yellow-belt, there, but it was enjoyable. I would have liked to have participated in track and field events, but my school was too small for that. We didn’t have a swimming pool or a football team: there was boys basketball, girls basketball, wrestling (boys only), volleyball (girls only), and cross-country racing (girls and boys, competing separately).

In closing, here’s a great song about baseball…enjoy!

***UPDATE***

…and, the winner: Cincinnati’s home-town hero, Todd Frazier, who was a Little League Champion in 1998! He hit 15 homers in the finale, narrowly edging out rookie Joc Pederson…and Pederson was no slouch. He should hold his head high, IMHO.┬áHe has a ton of potential in this, and many┬áseasons to come. Well done, gentlemen – all of you were a joy to watch!

Credit: lasordaslair.com

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