The announcers certainly knew. They couldn’t stop talking about it. Adam Wainwright gave a fist pump after getting out of an inning. Clearly, he wanted to win. The players were standing on the top step of the dugout watching the action. Clearly, they wanted to win. Players who were no longer in the game didn’t go back to the clubhouse. They stayed in the dugout. Clearly, they wanted to win. Apparently the only people who didn’t want to win, who didn’t remember that it counted, were the managers.
Almost as often as Buck and McCarver mentioned how much the game counted, they mentioned rules that needed to be put in place because the managers didn’t care. A starting catcher that was removed from the game could go back in to catch if the back-up catcher is injured. They mentioned how the American League had designated a player as eligible to return to the game if another player was injured. You know what would be easier than creating all these odd rules? Actually play the game as if it counted.
You know why they don’t have that rule about catchers in the regular season? Because managers don’t pull their starting catchers in the third inning on a whim. Because the games, even in April, count. Why on earth would Joe Mauer be on the bench? When the AL was trying to come back in the bottom of the ninth, they had the following players scheduled to appear…the back-up DH, the third string third baseman, and the back-up catcher. Huh? Can you imagine the outrage if Friday night the Yankees were trailing by two runs, but Girardi had elected to pull three starters so sent in three back-ups? In the critical ninth inning, he only had one player on the bench.
By the end of the night, I couldn’t name half the National League line-up. It was a joke. Fox had been promoting the game leading up to last night. I should tune in since I’d get to see great players like Pujols and Ichiro. They didn’t mention very often that I’d only get to see an at-bat or two of these great players.
Once again, my night was ruined by Yankees. Three of them, really. Phil Hughes lost the game. Joe Girardi had no idea how to manage. And former Yankee Joe Torre ruined the All-Star game by starting all this “rewarding” players, and getting everyone in the game garbage.
And that’s not even counting Derek Jeter.
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