Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Real baseball wins: NL 8, AL 0.

"The National League Gets Serious" is the headline on Lynn Zinser's New York Times piece about yesterday's All Star Game. As one whose NL loyalty extends back to 1955 when, as a fourth grader living in the loblolly pine clad Florida Panhandle, I cemented my allegiance to the Brooklyn Dodgers as they proceeded to beat the big bad bully Yanks in that year's Series, all I could think was, "Get serious? We've now won the thing three years straight, and we've done it all three times playing the AL's debased version of the game."

It turns out, though, that Ms. Zinser was bemoaning the overall level of seriousness afforded to this "exhibition game" exemplified by "Tony La Russa['s] scowl." She allowed that it has been afforded  seriousness because of MLB's decision, a few years back, to make its outcome determine home field advantage in the World Series. Fun, she said, is what we need. She saw her fellow pundits saying things like: "How dare anyone suggest it would have been more fun to watch Buster Posey try to catch R.A. Dickey's knuckleball at the start of the game?", or criticizing AL starter Justin Verlander for having a little fun by trying to throw the hottest stuff ever and getting "hit like a pinata". Like many Mets fans, I would have liked to see Dickey honored as the starter. Still, I think 8-0 was fun.