Wednesday, July 16, 2008


ALEX RODRIGUEZ isn’t the current American League MVP due to his brain power. But, for once, A-Rod made a smart move at Yankee Stadium last night. He left early.

Taken out of the All Star game in the fifth inning by AL manager Terry Francona, Rodriguez had better things to do than hang around until 1.37am to congratulate Michael Young on his winning sacrifice fly.

An occasion that started with a tumultuous fanfare ended in a damp squib with most of the 55,632 fans, some of whom had paid $725 for the privilege of being there, either on their way home or already in bed.

Nobody could have predicted that the game would go 15 innings, but Major League Baseball and host broadcaster FOX must take the blame for some bleary eyes this morning.

To say the opening ceremony was a massive case of overkill is an understatement.

Okay, so baseball is a sport steeped in tradition, a sport that doesn’t forget its heroes. But how many times do we have to pay tribute to the greats of the game?

I’m all for variety and I liked the idea of introducing the current players alongside the past masters of their positions.

Late start, late finish leaves baseball fans bleary-eyed

But by the time the wax model of George Steinbrenner had been driven around the ground, it was nearly 9pm before the main event got underway.

The game itself was an anti-climax. Nothing happened until the fifth inning and the pitchers dominated the hitters.

The entrance of Mariano Rivera, with one man out in the ninth inning, briefly stirred the crowd – and the script was set up perfectly when he induced a double play and then pitched a scoreless 10th.

With the bases load and nobody out in the bottom of the 10th, “The Sandman” was going to be the winner of the 79th All Star game. Sadly, it was not to be. His teammates blew it and the game went on…and on…and on.

Jonathan Papelbon, along with the other Boston Red Sox players, was predictably subjected to the Bronx Cheers.

But by the end of the night, or rather the early hours of the morning, nobody much cared what player from which team ended the show.

Neither did A-Rod. He’d had enough time to listen to the entire Madonna collection.

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