Baseball’s All-Star game is now a week-long celebration, and this week that celebration came to my hometown (sort of), Washington, D.C. It was the first time our nation’s capital hosted the midsummer classic in 49 years.
They’ll get another chance sooner than that.
First, Monday evening… the Home Run Derby, so much cooler since the clock and bracket format were introduced (sacrilege in a way but ultimately not). This event, literally, was years in the making. Ever since we knew this game would be in D.C. we awaited a certain Mr. Harper’s participation. He participated and then some. His moment was reminiscent of Derek Jeter’s final Yankee Stadium at bat, a comparison I do not use lightly (like comparing a president to Lincoln or a playwright to Shakespeare). Harper’s final minute of regulation, during which he (and his dad!) prevailed against long odds to claim the derby crown, was the greatest moment in Washington sports since, well, the Caps a month ago, but a hell of a long time before that one.
Then there was the game.
Well, that one could have gone better from a National League fan perspective. Yes, first time in my life rooting for the NL in the All-Star game. A game with 10 home runs should be pretty fun to watch. It was. And it gave credence to those who say the game is now only strikeouts and home runs. (There were 25 of the former, by the way.) Pitching, fundamentals, and three-run home runs, right? Well, then AL had its three-run homer. A two-run game-tying blast in the bottom of the ninth from Scooter Gennett just wasn’t enough. Exciting, but not enough.
Still, a great game. And a great moment. And seriously… Harper Monday night… that was magic.
Gonna be the greatest moment at Nats Park until they roll out the World Series bunting.
I’ve been asked many times this year whether having the MLB All-Star game in my “hometown” makes it any cooler or more interesting compared to other years.
Nope. I’m just gonna watch it on TV whether it’s 20 miles or 2,000 miles from my house. If my son were a little older maybe, but he’s not so it doesn’t matter. That he’s four and would rather play with sticks and dirt in the backyard than with some new age gizmos at “fan fest” probably saved me a few hundred dollars.
I will watch, with interest, tonight’s Home Run Derby, and of course the game tomorrow. I’ll have my son watch some of it too.
We don’t need to see it in person, but we do like the game.
After all, we are not Communists.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock on some distant planet the past week or so you’ve heard that there’s this Kavanaugh guy set to be a new Supreme Court justice following the retirement of Anthony Kennedy. I’ve heard everything from this guy’s our savior to this guy’s the devil. I find it all very uninteresting. Honestly, if they didn’t tell us, and they swapped out one guy on the Supreme Court for another, could any of us really tell the difference?
(I kind of feel the same way about the pope.)
Like most people in 2018 I’m never away from the Internet for more than a few hours (or a few minutes) at a time. From this past June 25 to July 2, however, I was traveling internationally with spotty Internet and news coverage at best. During this time there were exactly two pieces of information I was able to glean from traveler scuttlebutt:
- Anthony Kennedy was retiring the Supreme Court. Yawn.
- LeBron James was going to the Lakers.
This is news. This is going to be noticeable. LeBron in L.A.? All nine Supreme Court justices could walk down my street naked and I’d still be more interested in LeBron’s going to Lakers.
Priorities, people. Priorities.
The week between the Fourth of July and July 11 should be known as Fourth of July Week. Every other holiday extends its reach beyond its borders (seriously, Hobby Lobby was putting out Christmas stuff last week), so why shouldn’t this one?
The week culminates, of course, with free Slurpees today at 7-Eleven stores around this great nation of ours, including the seven or eight that are within spitting distance of my house (they say location is everything). New today? A Cap’n Crunch Berries-flavored Slurpee. Yes, Cap’n Crunch.
Heaven can wait.
Starbucks announced earlier this morning it is eliminating plastic straws from its locations, phasing out all said products by 2020.
I’ve got news. If you’re drinking coffee out of a straw you’ve got bigger problems than any environmental damage wrought by bits of plastic.
Proof that one should never give up on anything, especially baseball games with mediocre teams.
Witness last night’s contest between the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins, a game which the visiting Marlins led 9-0 early on, won by the home team 14-12 several hours later.
The Nats, actually, had every chance to blow this game. After said 9-0 hole and my hometown team’s two touchdowns to go up 14-9, Nats relievers did give up three runs in the top of the eighth to make the game 14-12. Sometimes unhittable closer Sean Doolittle gave up two hits in the top of the ninth to bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but was able to strike out Derek Dietrich to end the game.
Nothin’ to it.
And just in time to celebrate one of my favorite days of the year. The day that everyone does what I would do every day of the year: hot dogs, baseball, music, fireworks, and all things American.
Yeah, that’s my kind of day.
Leaving today on a little vacation to a place where the Internet is spotty at best. Expect no posts until July 3, during which time you might peruse our archives.
Quick reminder, on July 4 I will be presenting my annual public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Sterling Park, details here.
One of the benefits of having an unusual work schedule is that one might find himself free at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Monday to watch a futbol match from several time zones away. I’m still reeling from England’s stoppage-time victory over Tunisia in Monday’s World Cup action, an event whose thrilling conclusion was topped only by the fact that it took place while most Americans were at work.
Oh, Americans and their work, work, work.
Group action begins at 8:00 a.m. Eastern time today with Portugal vs. Morocco. The Spaniards take the pitch at 2:00 today for those of you sneaking out early.
I won’t tell.
Gotta hand it to the folks at Fox. The two biggest sporting events on Earth yesterday and they had ’em both. World Cup soccer and the U.S Open (that would be golf) and both of them were exciting to the end. Literally the beginning to the end, as that beautiful time difference between here and Russia has given us soccer (elsewhere they call it futbol) every day from eight in the morning. Hacking around Shinnecock Hills takes about eight hours too, so we were covered on sports right up until dinnertime.
Then baseball starts. On ESPN. You know that old channel. And baseball… you know that one? It’s like golf but they throw it at you from 60 feet away.
It’s what Americans used to do before soccer showed up.