I've made my distaste for the All-Star Game pretty clear over the past week. I did sort of watch it--it was on in the background as I listened to the Boise Hawks game. But with the sound wisely turned way down. But if you care about the game and somehow you don't know what happened, here you go.
- Unfortunately, I have to talk about something that happened at the All-Star Game. Adam Wainwright claimed he gave Derek Jeter "some pipe shots" because he "deserved it." In other words, he grooved a pitch that Jeter hit for a double.
- Then Wainwright apologized. Not for grooving one to Jeter, but for leaving people with the mistaken impression that he had grooved one to Jeter. I wish I could remember which wag asked how Wainwright was going to explain that his voice had been hacked.
- Jeff Passan says Wainwright was right to do it, and MLB is wrong to base home field advantage in the World Series on the All-Star Game.
- Dayn Perry agrees that the incident proves that making home field advantage dependent on the All-Star Game is a joke.
- Jerry Crasnick says whether or not Wainwright grooved one to Jeter (and are you seriously giving Wainwright the benefit of the doubt, Jerry?), the incident will unfairly define Wainwright's career for a long time. Also, awarding home field advantage to the winner of the All-Star Game is stupid.
- Joe Posnanski puts Wainwright's actions in the context of a violation of the "unwritten rules." Also, he thinks awarding home field advantage to the winner of the All-Star Game is stupid.
- In case you are willing to give Wainwright the benefit of the doubt, check out this article from Monday where Wainwright sounds pretty starstruck about pitching to Jeter and how he grins at the suggestion from a fan that he "let Jeter hit it." He then said he wouldn't need to do that, but he didn't say he wouldn't do that.
- Despite all he has accomplished, Michael Bauman thinks that Jeter remains modest. Perhaps because he was born in a manger to a virgin mother.
- The other All-Star Game controversy came from something that didn't happen: MLB failed to acknowledge the passing of Tony Gwynn. Kevin Kaduk is upset about that.
- So were a lot of other people on Twitter.
- One thing baseball did do was recognize Glenn Burke as a trailblazer: the first ballplayer to acknowledge that he was gay after he retired.
- MLB also appointed Billy Bean, the second former ballplayer to acknowledge he was gay, as a consultant for tolerance and inclusion.
- As far as Burke goes, Rob Neyer isn't too impressed with MLB's actions but acknowledges "better late than never."
- Bud Selig did have his last annual All-Star Game press conference. He talked about replay, Montreal, smokeless tobacco and the length of games. When asked about Chief Wahoo, he said "I'm sorry. I'm old and can't hear very well. Wahoo? I've never heard of him. Is he a minor leaguer?" Profiles in courage.
- Joe Torre says that the somewhat controversial home plate collision rule will be made permanent next season.
- Here's a profile of All-Star and former Cubs farmhand Josh Harrison. I know I'll catch hell for pointing this out, but Jim Hendry drafted three current All-Stars: Harrison, Jeff Samardzija and Josh Donaldson. Signed another one out of the Dominican with Starlin Castro. Of course he traded two of them.
- I don't know how great an article this is, but you should read it just because Huston Street coins the verb phrase "getting Samardzija'd."
- In case you want a recap of the former Cubs ace's career, Sam Gardner provides one.
- To me, this is probably the biggest story of the week. Agent Casey Close (Derek Jeter's agent!) is furious with MLB and the Houston Astros over the Brady Aiken negotiations. Close doesn't represent Aiken, but Astros fifth-round pick Jacob Nix, who has had his offer pulled because the Astros won't have the cap space if they don't sign Aiken. It's a complex issue. Just read the article. And the deadline for signing is Friday.
- There are no shortages of explanations in Japan for Masahiro Tanaka's injury.
- Royals owner David Glass has given a vote of confidence to GM Dayton Moore and manager Ned Yost.
- The Mariners have contacted the Royals over Billy Butler's availability.
- The Mets are willing to trade Bartolo Colon.
- The Angels want to acquire the aforementioned Street and Ian Kennedy from the Padres. Without a farm system to speak of, however, the Angels would likely have to part with major league talent to land the two.
- Aaron Gleeman wants to know what happened to all the superstar left-handed power hitters? Hint: they're living in my attic next to my first wife.
- The Orioles have made a habit of exceeding expectations. Of course, the fact that the entire AL East has been lousy this season has helped. This year, at least.
- Athletics owner Lew Wolff says he will once again look at options for a new stadium on the site of the current stadium.
- David Schoenfield remembers the top ten stories of the first half of the season. I can remember covering all of them here on MLB Bullets.
- A fan of the Corpus Christi Hooks ran out onto the field and tried to start of fight with the pitcher for Midland. Police believe alcohol was involved. Good to see they've got Lieutenant Columbo on the case down in Corpus Christi.
- In all seriousness, you probably aren't going to want to read this article, but you should anyway. It's about ex-Cub (among other teams) Mel Hall and a series of sexual assaults he committed upon young girls over more than a decade.
- Finally, and I always like to go out with something more light-hearted, while I'm pretty cynical about the All-Star Game, these Peanuts All-Star Game Statues in Minneapolis are really cool. Of course, Charles Schulz was a Giants fan and not a Twins fan, which only makes sense as the Minneapolis Millers of his youth were a Giants farm club and he lived most of his adult life in Santa Rosa. But I'm sure he'd approve of Charlie Brown and the gang wearing Twins uniforms just this once.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.