I Didn’t Watch The MLB All Star Game But

by A.J. Coltrane

I’m watching the Triple A All Star game. It just seems like there’s more at stake.

1.  It’s the Pacific Coast League against the International League — it really is two different leagues opposing each other. Actual bragging rights!

2.  The players are invested in doing well. A really outstanding performance could get every teams’ attention, not just the franchise that they’re currently playing for. Nobody’s going groove a pitch to Derek Jeter. (During the MLB All Star game Adam Wainwright’s pitch to Jeter had 0.3″ of horizontal break.)

[For those of you who didn’t watch the game either, Wainwright had this to say before later changing his story:]

“I was going to give him a couple of pipe shots,” Wainwright said. “He deserved it. I didn’t know he was going to hit a double or I would have changed my mind. I thought he was going to hit something hard to the right side for a single or an out. I probably should have pitched him a little bit better.”

I think the “pipe shot” reference was excellent from a visual standpoint — Wainwright pretty literally threw the ball straight down a pipe.

3.  The players are younger, and in many cases it’s my first look at a player who will be in the Major Leagues for years to come. As I write this M’s prospect Chris Taylor just hustled out a double to go 3 for 3 with two doubles and a single. For what it’s worth, both of the starting middle infielders for the PCL are Mariners.

4.  The game is being played at the Durham Bulls home field. Anything that evokes the movie Bull Durham is a win in my book. They’ve even got this awesome billboard “Bull” that blows smoke and has glowing red eyes whenever someone hits a home run.

Which of course leads me to “Candlesticks always make a nice gift”:

3 comments to I Didn’t Watch The MLB All Star Game But

  • Blaidd Drwg

    I love the AAA ASG – it is my annual “I didn’t realize X was still playing” moment. This year was Ruben Gotay and Wilson Betemit.

    I don’t know which was more damning in the MLB ASG. The backpedaling that Wainwright did for grooving the pitch to Jeter or the fact that Jeter was way behind on an 87 MPH Fastball with no movement right down the middle of the plate. It almost looked like he was up there to take a pitch and then decided almost too late to swing.

  • A.J. Coltrane

    Haha. I almost mentioned Betemit in the post — wasn’t he an Mariner for a really brief period? I could have sworn he played 30-50 games for them, though Baseball-Reference doesn’t agree with that recollection. Did we see him in Tacoma?

    And Chris Taylor won the game MVP.

    Ruben Gotay — I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him.

    [Looks up Gotay] Well, that explains it, he last had a MLB plate appearance in 2008. His career encompasses 811 PA over four seasons ending 6 years ago. That’s four years of 5th-6th infielder type of stuff.

    By contrast Betemit has 2,335 PA from 2001 to 2013.

    Funny what our minds grab onto.

  • Blaidd Drwg

    Betemit never was in the Mariners org. If we did see him in Tacoma, he was probably playing for Omaha. He was an uber prospect back in the day for the Braves. I remember planning one of my trips to Montreal so I could stop in Burlington, Vt to see him play when he was just 18. I still have the scorecard from the game and if memory server, there were 4 or 5 other players who eventually hit the bigs (Jason Bay is the only one I remember). Not bad for short season A ball. Hard to believe he is still only just 32ish.

    Gotay was going to be the next Frank White for the Royals in the early ’00’s. It didn’t work out so well for him.

    The other guy who should get a mention is Michael Hessman. I am going to do a post on him soon, but he is basically the real life Crash Davis. The guy has 400 career MILB home runs.

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