Long before Twitter, there was such a thing as a "Running Diary." Yep! It's true! And in the spirit of remembering the past, here's my running diary of the 2009 All-Star Game, live from St. Louis. (Hat tip, as always, to Bill Simmons.) To the broadcast!
8:00: With Joe Buck and Tim McCarver calling the game tonight, I'm wondering how long it will take for me to get violently ill at mentions of how great St. Louis baseball fans are. (Spoiler alert: They aren't.)
8:00:01: Not long! Here's a terribly mawkish montage about St. Louis baseball. Excuse me while I go vomit.
8:02: Chris Rose (no relation) walking on the field, literally talking about nonsense. How much does he get paid to be the 7th man on the Fox Broadcast? Too much.
8:04: Fox shows video of President Barack Obama (who will be throwing out the first pitch about 3 hours from now) talking in the clubhouse with Derek Jeter. Somewhere, Gary Sheffield is gnashing his teeth.
8:05: President Obama and Ichiro share a wordless and awkward moment. Now we know what it's like when Barack and Hillary are in the same room together. Ding!
8:09: Player introductions! Here's why St. Louis fans suck, part 45: Joe Buck just announced the seventeen members of the Red Sox who made the All-Star team and none of them got booed. Hey guys, remember when you got run out of the World Series in 2004? Because I do. Boo away, you rubes!
8:10: Andrew Bailey, 2009 All-Star. (Silence.)
8:11: Joe Torre's skin color looks like a glass of Bigelow Green Tea.
8:12: You've gotta respect Miguel Tejada for making the All-Star team. Wait, did I say respect? I mean laugh at the complete lack of quality shortstops in the NL, since a 55-year-old steroids user (who hasn't been good in three seasons) made the team. And people wonder why the NL hasn't won since Bill Clinton was president.
8:13: Trevor Hoffman's corpse looks quite sprightly this evening.
8:14: If there is a bigger douchebag in Major League Baseball than Mark Teixeira, I haven't seen one. He makes me want to like A-Rod.
8:15: In an informal poll conducted by me, Aaron Hill was voted AL All-Star most likely to meet with George Mitchell.
8:16: These player introductions are still happening? Even Joe Buck sounds bored.
8:17: Albert Pujols gets a huge ovation from the home crowd, which seems like as good a time as any for me to say that he might be the biggest sneaky jerk in all of baseball. The man is an amazing ballplayer, but if he ever went to a real media market, he'd fold up shop and cry himself to sleep every night.
8:18: It's sad that I'm not sure if David Wright has more home runs than Yadier Molina.
8:19: Just checked. They have the same amount. Too early for a "Get Worse?" I didn't think so.
8:20: Oh boy. What is this? Fox scrolling through a bunch of "regular people" who started charities. "All-Stars among us," says Joe Buck. This is nice and all, but, seriously, who cares?
8:21: Baseball montage! With Barack Obama narrating! "We will prevail. Life will go on."
8:22: A freakish closeup of President Obama, wherein you can see his half-mustache, in HD. This is a man who cannot grow facial hair.
8:23: President George W. Bush! What's up, buddy!? Long time, no time. Nice job reading those cue cards! You're doing a heckuva job.
8:24: President Bill Clinton looks like a straight pimp.
8:24:01: President's George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter, however, do not.
8:25: And this thing is still going on. Seriously, Fox: This needs better music cues.
8:31: Sheryl Crow singing the National Anthem. Eek! She's flat! (Her singing voice! Get your mind out of the gutter!)
8:32: I assume the Stealth Bomber used to do things for the military... now it just flies over stadiums.
8:34: Promo for the new season of House: One part Prison Break, one part Hurley-on-Lost, one part ridiculous.
8:36: Stan Musial driving in from right field in a Zip Car is cool, but it's not as cool as when Ted Williams did the same thing in 1999. Maybe next time!
8:37: My favorite part of any All-Star Game: When the All-Stars have to pretend they actually know who Stan Musial is! Adam Jones looks confused right now.
8:39: More cheers than boos for President Obama as he goes to throw out the first pitch. But! A surprising amount of boos! And he's wearing a White Sox jacket too. Interesting choice.
8:40: Don't worry Fox, we didn't need to see if President Obama's first pitch made it to home plate. That's cool. Conspiracy! And where is his birth certificate?
8:41: Joe Buck's booth introduction is brought to you by c***sucker.com.
8:42: If you guessed that Tim McCarver would make a mistake in under two sentences, you win! He just said "bianic" instead of "bionic." And, in case you were wondering, neither word made sense in the context it was used.
8:45: Fringe season two promo! Ah, don't get too excited: It's just all clips from season one. And, Fox announcer, I don't mean to get too technical, but unless The Mentalist stopped existing, Fringe isn't the "number one new series."
8:47: SOMEBODY CALL 9-1-1, SHORTY FIRE BURNING ON THE DANCE FLOOR! Fox might be lost when it comes to music cues, but at Busch Stadium they aren't. Sean Kingston's ubiquitous Song of the Summer is currently blaring over the loudspeakers. If you don't think I'm dancing around my apartment right now, you are wrong.
8:48: Tim Lincecum, your NL All-Star starter, the best pitcher in the entire sport, and, an unofficial Jonas Brother.
8:50: The first pitch was brought to you by all the kids who have gone to sleep already.
8:53: Tim Lincecum, my hero! He just drilled Derek Jeter in the hand. Ding! Related: This inning is about to get ugly, with two on, none out and Joe Mauer batting.
8:56: Something all Mets fans are used to seeing: David Wright throwing wildly to first base and pulling the firstbaseman off the bag. Admittedly, that would have been a sick double play, but, still, make a better throw D-Rod! 2 on, 1 out. I smell an AL lead in a matter of moments, as my bete noire Mark Teixeira steps into the box.
8:57: And there it is! Pujols--or Gandhi reincarnated, as Buck and McCarver would have you believe--semi-Buckner's a potential double play ball to first base. Everyone safe, Jeter scores. 1-0, bad guys.
8:59: 2-0, bad guys, as Lincecum fails to cover first base on another possible double play ball. If you're counting at home, that's six outs this inning for the American League. Perhaps Timmy was busy listening to "Paranoid."
9:00: Wright lollipops a throw to first and gets Michael Young by a half-step. To the bottom of the first!
9:07: AL starter Roy Halladay, heretofore known as Trade Bait, makes quick work of the NL "All-Stars," getting them on three straight ground balls. An auspicious start to say the least.
9:10: Fox barely gets back from break in time to see Aaron Hill ground out to shortstop. Nice job, fellas. We don't need to see the plays or anything. Meanwhile: Still waiting for a replay of President Obama's first pitch.
9:14: Lincecum rebounds and blows through 8-9-1 of the AL lineup. I'm already bored.
9:17: President Obama into the booth! Being interviewed by Tim McCarver and Joe Buck has to rank up there for him, right?
9:18: Joe Buck stop talking! Where is Artie Lange when you need him?
9:19: They're finally showing the full angle of the pitch! And! Umm. Hmm. That is a fail. He barely made it to home on the fly. Maybe he should have bowled it up there. Zing! (I'd like to thank November 2008 for that joke.)
9:20: Give President Obama credit: He clearly knows his baseball. And he's using terms like "parity" and "hope." Yes we can!
9:21: While McCarver grins like a schoolgirl at President Obama, D-Rod gets a broken bat bloop single for the NL's first hit off Roy Halladay. Naturally.
9:22: Rally! Shane Victorino singles! First and second, 2 out.
9:23: Yadier Molina singles to center, Wright scores... and Victorino scores on an error! 2-2! Faced!
9:24: Prince Fielder pinch hitting for Timmy Lincecum rings a ground rule double into the left field corner, 3-2 good guys! The price for Roy Halladay is dropping as we speak. Meanwhile, Mark Buerhle is warming up, thus insuring that another 5 runs will score in the next inning.
9:26: HA!!! Joe Buck just asked if President Obama could stay for another inning and got totally shot down. Back at his home in New Jersey, Artie Lange lights a cigarette, does a shot of Patron and tells the television to "f**k off."
9:29: First NL pitcher out of the pen? Ryan Franklin and the feral merkin growing on his face. The 2009 NL All-Stars!
9:31: Everything about Mark Teixeira annoys me. He just fouled a ball off and ran to first as if it was going fair. Ugh. I hate him. He grounds out to end the inning. Dare I say: Not bad, NL. Not bad.
9:36: Joe Buck making a big deal about how fast Mark Buerhle works--while broadcasting an All-Star Game--feels a bit stupid. After all, this is a game where announcing the lineups took 25 minutes.
9:38: Mark Buerhle gets the NL down in order, leading Buck to say that was a "typical Buerhle inning." Clearly he's never seen a baseball game before.
9:39: If you thought playing for the 2009 Mets was a new low for David Wright, you were wrong. He just did a commercial for the talking hamsters movie, G-Force. Sigh.
9:42: I know that Danny Haren is a great pitcher, but his demeanor on the mound infuriates me. It looks like he literally could not care less and that he's about to burst into tears at any moment.
9:48: G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, congratulations on having the worst trailer I've ever seen. You couldn't get me to that theater if you promised I could watch Artie Lange verbally violate Joe Buck for ten minutes prior to showtime.
9:52: Zack Grienke shuts down the NL as this game moves into the boring/fast-paced category. 3-2 good guys, heading into the 5th inning.
9:54: Speaking of bad ad campaigns: Hey, Funny People, how goes it?
10:01: With Ichiro on first and one out, Pujols makes a sick play on Derek Jeter to get Ichiro at 2nd... but then Joe Mauer ropes a double into right field tying the game at 3-3.
10:05: Thankfully, Teixeira grounds out to Pujols (who makes another good play in the process) to end the threat. 3-3, heading to the bottom of the fifth.
10:06: So, wait. U2 went from plugging iPods to plugging Blackberry's? Could they suck more? Let me answer that: No.
10:10: The new AL pitcher is Edwin Jackson, forever known to me as Dr. AAA because of the comparisons he drew to Dwight Gooden when he was a 20-year-old rookie for the Dodgers and I foolishly drafted him in my fantasy baseball league. I *think* his ERA that year was over 17.
10:11: Seriously? We're already at the sixth inning? After last year's marathon, this is awesome!
10:14: Trevor Hoffman's corpse is in for the NL. This should go well: The first two batters he has faced have absolutely torn the ball. 1 on, 1 out.
10:16: Hoffman's corpse somehow gets Michael Young to ground into a double play. Then it walks into the stands and starts eating brains.
10:19: Poor Jason Bartlett. He gets misidentified as Ben Zobrist and no one noticed. Well, no one but me and Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett.
10:20: Both the NL and AL All-Stars are swinging at more first and second pitches than the New York Mets on a getaway day. Is Howard Johnson the hitting coach here?
10:22: Speaking of lazy looking pitchers, allow me to introduce you to King Felix. Get a more ill-fitting uniform. King makes C.C. Sabathia look put together.
10:25: Albert Pujols gets a standing ovation as he gets taken out as Charlie Manuel starts emptying his bench and losing interest.
10:26: Eric Karros interviews Pujols, who immediately talks about how the fans in St. Louis are the "best in baseball." Hang on, more vomit coming.
10:28: Francisco Cordero gets Justin Morneau to line out to third and we head to the 7th inning stretch. Unrelated: This game feels about as tension filled as a Spring Training split squad game.
10:29: I like to pride myself on musical knowledge, but I've never even heard of Sara Evans. She's singing "God Bless America."
10:29:01: I can tell from her accent that she's a country artist. Mystery solved. Nothing brings out the big guns like the All-Star Game. (Read: Sarcasm.)
10:30: Sara Evans is giving Tim McCarver a run for his money in the "How orange is my fake tan?" race.
10:34: Jon Papelbon gets greeted with a bomb off the bat of Brad Hawpe that Carl Crawford goes over the wall to catch. Home run saved. Good guys not getting the breaks here.
10:35: Miguel Tejada flashes his post-steroids warning track power. 2 outs.
10:37: And Jayson Werth strikes out. Inning over. 3-3, into the top of the 8th.
10:42: Heath Bell comes in for the NL All Stars. I'm guessing he gives up the tie breaking run within 3 batters.
10:43: Jason Bartlett (and not Ben Zobrist) grounds out to shortstop, one out.
10:44: Hilarious sequence here: Curtis Granderson bombs a ball to left and Justin Upton does his best Bobby Abreu impression, running around like a swarm of bees is after him. It goes over his head, Granderson Pete Rose's into third with a triple. Here comes the AL lead... I'm guessing sac fly.
10:46: Charlie Manuel has Heath Bell intentionally walk Victor Martinez to get to Adam Jones. Not a terrible idea. Oh wait, what's that? Adam Jones hits a sac fly to right. 4-3, bad guys.
10:54: File Orphan under movie I'll never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever see in my entire life. Thanks.
11:01: In the bottom of the 8th now, Joe Nathan gets the first two batters without a problem. But a walk to Adrian Gonzalez and an Orlando Hudson single off the glove of Jason Bartlett (not Ben Zobrist) puts runner's on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs and Ryan Howard coming in to pinch hit.
11:05: Breaking news: Ryan Howard strikes out. Inning and rally over. We head to the 9th. If this was the Mets, I'd expect to see the AL tack on a couple of insurance runs here.
11:10: Ha! Since Francisco Rodriguez is pitching, I'm going to assume the insurance runs will be showing up anytime soon.
11:11: Not an All-Star Brandon Inge grounds out to short. One away.
11:13: K-Rod gets the AL down in order. We go to the bottom of the 9th. I can't wait to hear Buck and McCarver orgasm about how great Mariano Rivera is.
11:15: Buck helpfully points out that the child on the right of the screen is Mariano Rivera's kid and not, in fact, Mariano Rivera. Thanks Joe! Artie Lange just threw something at his TV.
11:16: After a pitch to Justin Upton, McCarver unleashes this gem: "Mariano. That is his staple." What his staple is, however, is left a mystery. Unless he meant throwing a baseball. Which, in that case, would be accurate.
11:17: Justin Upton grounds out to short. One down in the bottom of the 9th.
11:18: This is the most boring All-Star Game ever. And that is saying something. Does Adam Jones win MVP for hitting a sac fly?
11:19: Brad Hawpe pulls a Carlos Beltran and gets caught looking on a "perfect pitch," as described by Joe Buck. By "perfect" he must mean: "Right down the middle and Hawpe forgot to swing at it."
11:20: Fitting that Miguel Tejada would be in position to make the last out of the game. Where is that B-12 injection when you need it?
11:21: Miguel Tejada showcases his power... hitting a flair to 2nd base. Ball game over. Bad guys win. Again. 12 and counting. (And the one tie, of course.)
11:22: Time of game: 2 hours, 31 minutes. Unbelievable.
11:26: Bud Selig, Chris Rose (no relation) and Carl Crawford (am I to believe he was voted MVP?) standing on the field, with Bud holding a crystal bat like he's Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. "Get off my lawn!"
11:26:14: HA! Bud Selig is talking nonsense to Carl Crawford (who looks confused) and then finally the St. Louis PA system kicks in, allowing the rest of the stadium to here him blabbering. Nice tech work, honk honk.
11:27: Carl Crawford accepts his award--given solely because of that relatively-not-that-spectacular-catch--with the vocal clarity of a subway announcer on the W Train. St. Louis might have the world's best sports fans, but they have the crappiest PA system.
11:28: Carl Crawford, still talking.
11:29: Baseball's best fans have completely cleared out of the stadium. Real commitment there.
11:33: Mariano Rivera breaks down what winning the All-Star Game means to him: "It means whoever wins here gets to start at home in the World Series." Yes. Yes, it does, Mariano.
11:38: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver, meanwhile, start breaking it down in the booth. The reason the game went so fast? Because the players were making "quick outs." I come for the boring baseball game, I stay for the smart commentary.
11:40: WHAT? A new single from Pearl Jam, titled "The Fixer?" Um, and I thought this All Star Game was a total waste of time!
11:41: Figured they'd only play 30 seconds and that it would sound like a Matchbox 20 song. Typical new Pearl Jam. Damn you, Fox. Damn you!
11:42: And that's it folks! Not nearly as fun as last year's epic; not nearly as fun as a typical Mets game; not nearly as fun as the Home Run Derby. It's the 80th All-Star Game on Fox. Catch the fever!