Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All Star Boos For Utley And Marmol

Josh Hamilton's spectacular show at the Home Run Derby is getting more than enough press, so I won't bother adding more praise to what he did. What I will say is that none of Hamilton's 500+ foot homers, nor his 28 jacks in the first round, nor Milton Bradley's surprisingly fun antics were my highlights. David Ortiz' self-serving look-at-me antics certainly weren't. Nor was it when the All-State big wig with the giant check called Justin Morneau, "Jason Morneau" as he congratulated him for winning. No the highlight of the night for me came before the balls started flying.

As the players' names were called in the introductions, they would run out to the baseline, turn around and wave to the crowd, with an ESPN camera right in their faces. These cameras have microphones on them to pick up whatever natural sound from the field that they can. When Phillie Chase Utley was announced, he received a pronounced round of boos from the Yankee Stadium crowd (presumably from Mets fans?). That wasn't the best part.

The best part was that when Utley got out to the baseline to join Marlin Dan Uggla, and he heard the boos. Utley turned around to wave to the crowd and said to Uggla, easily loud enough for the live camera to pick up the sound, "Boo!? Fuck you!"

Sorry about the language there, but it was spectacular television and a simple "f--- you" wouldn't have captured it well enough.

A close second, in terms of my favorite moments, was when Hamilton launched a ball to dead center that landed on the black tarp-covered seats and two fans ran out to snag the ball. The cops converged on the two and one went sprinting down the tunnel, presumably to his death. The other was caught and held by the throat with one hand by a cop on national television. When they showed the replay later, they cut before that part.

Finally, with tonight's All Star Game being only hours away, I want to mention how unbelievably stupid it is that Carlos Marmol was the final replacement on the National League team when teammate Kerry Wood dropped out with an injury. First of all, Marmol is a middle reliever and I understand that this may be the most under-appreciated position in all of sports, and that just because he is a middle reliever doesn't mean he isn't one of the best 25-30 players in the league. But the fact that his ERA is over 4.00 does mean that!

After a very nice start to the season, Marmol's ERA in June was 7.36 and in July it has been 13.50! He was named a replacement the day after he blew a 7-2 lead and was booed off the mound at home! This guy is an All Star?

Pat Burrell (who I hate) is fourth in the league in homers with 23 and leads the NL outfielders in slugging. Jose Reyes is hitting .302 with 10 homers and 43 RBI from the lead off spot, along with 68 runs scored and 32 steals! He is fourth in the NL in runs, 2nd in hits, 1st in triples, 3rd in steals, and 12th in batting average. If you want a pitcher, how about Johan Santana who has 8 wins, is 4th in the league in ERA (2.84), and 7th in K's. Or Kyle Lohse, who is third in the league in wins and his era is 3.39. Or Chad Billingsley, who has 9 wins, a 3.25 ERA and is second in the league in K's. If you want a middle reliever, how about another Dodger, Hong-Chih Kuo (who I absolutely hate), whose ERA is 1.69 and has almost 1 1/4 K's per inning pitched.

Carlos Marmol? Really? That said, he'll probably wind up being the MVP of the game.

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