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2021 All-Star Game thoughts: Awful uniforms, Kris Bryant, fast pace of play

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The 91st MLB All-Star Game is history, and here are some of the key happenings.

Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The American League defeated the National League 5-2 in the 91st MLB All-Star Game at Coors Field Tuesday evening, which, whatever, this game is for fun and who wins doesn’t really matter, although the AL has now won eight in a row and 21 of the last 24. Weird.

A few random thoughts about the events in Denver:

  • Kris Bryant came to bat twice with the bases loaded, once in the sixth inning, again in the eighth. Out of all that, only one run scored, on a passed ball during KB’s sixth-inning at-bat, which ended up in a strikeout. In the eighth, Bryant smacked a line drive to left on which Jared Walsh made this slick sliding catch [VIDEO].

If Walsh doesn’t make that grab, the ball probably gets by him for a bases-clearing double and it’s a different game.

  • The other Cub in the game, Craig Kimbrel, retired two of the three hitters he faced and allowed a double to Adolis Garcia.
  • OMG those uniforms. We were warned before the game even began:

Tyler Kepner was absolutely correct:

The uniforms, which either looked like umpires (dark blue) or the ice-cream truck guy (white) looked like they came from an eighth-grade design class using Microsoft Paint.

Yes, I know. Nike got a multi-year, big-money contract to provide MLB uniforms and by gum, they are providing more uniforms than anyone ever wanted, between these and the City Connect series. Some of the latter are good, some not, but really, no one wanted these. Not even the players:

Heck, they made better uniforms for the Futures Game!

And Jomboy Media created something better, too:

I am fervently hoping this is a one-year experiment. MLB has created All-Star uniforms for more than a decade — and players have, up to this year, worn them for the Monday workout day and Home Run Derby, then gone back to their team uniforms for the All-Star Game itself. Let’s hope they return to that for the 2022 ASG, which will be at Dodger Stadium. I’m not alone in that thought. From a former MLB player:

  • The time of the game was exactly three hours. This was a pleasant surprise and 10 minutes shorter than the length of an average game so far in the 2021 MLB season.

This happened even though inning breaks are longer in games like this to shove in more national commercials. Inning breaks are supposed to be 2:55 in “jewel event” games like this, but I timed a couple of them and they were 3:25, which is 1:20 longer than the inning break in a regular-season game. That’s 80 seconds and there were 17 such breaks, which is about 23 minutes... so with the “normal” inning break, this year’s All-Star Game would have run about 2:37. There have been 1,149 nine-inning games played in MLB so far in 2021. Of those, 66 (5.8 percent) have run 2:37 or shorter.

Yes, I know, the All-Star Game is an exhibition, players just stand in the box and play, there’s none of the fooling around, stepping out, pitchers taking longer between pitches, etc.

I’d like to know why players can’t play this way all the time. The pace of the ASG was refreshing.

Two more days remain in the annual MLB midsummer break until the Cubs resume play Friday evening; there will be one game (Yankees/Red Sox) tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the break until baseball resumes.