Reflections From Minneapolis-All Star Game

There’s something about seeing so much talent on one baseball field that is electrifying. Last night’s game just made me love the game of baseball even more-and I don’t know how that’s possible. I’ll tell you why a bit later.

The day began with the red carpet parade of players right outside my hotel door. There was excitement in the air. The hotel had set up a charcoal barbecue station with hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. right outside the revolving doors. The smell of charcoal provided a fantastic backdrop to the parade. The crowd was about eight people deep lining the sidewalks for as far as my four eyes could see. Minnesota has these fantastic walkways (with shopping malls and restaurants) above the streets for pedestrian traffic during inclement weather. The walkways were packed with people-their noses pressed to the window if they were in the front row. It was great to see and be part of.

Right down from my hotel is a statue to Mary Tyler Moore-star of the bygone days sitcom about a Minneapolis news room. The statue is wonderful and I’m glad I got to see it.

The All Star Game was really Derek Jeter Night, and he didn’t disappoint. I know there are people who don’t like him or anything Yankees. However, don’t count me among them. He’s a great player-a team player. He’s a gentleman. Classy. Intelligent.
His play on Andrew McCutchen’s first inning grounder set the tone for his overall game.

It was more than fitting that Jeter and Mike Trout hit one and two in the AL lineup. Because if Jeter is No. 1 now, at the end of the season, Trout will take that honor. And he deserves it. And he deserved his MVP Award last night. Imagine what he’ll be like when he’s in his prime at 27. Or if he plays until he’s 40, like Jeter.

I missed seeing Big Papi and Albert Pujols. They belong on the biggest stage of stars.

Chris Sale didn’t seem comfortable coming in during a game as opposed to starting.

I don’t know if anyone will ever hit a home run further in Target Field than Giancarlo Stanton hit during the Home Run Derby-just had to get that in. Sorry about that.

Jonathan Lucroy may now be a household name and not a secret anymore. The man is a double’s machine. He can hit, plays great defense and his game is coming to its peak.
He could help the Brewers into the playoffs if he keeps swinging like I think he can.

Dee Gordon was a blurrrr circling the bases faster than I could swallow a swig of water on Lucroy’s double. And he made a fine defensive play on Michael Brantley.

Yasiel Puig may have gone back to Los Angeles with a bit of humility. All Star Week saw him take a donut in the Derby and strike out three times in three plate appearances at the ASG.

I would have started Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the NL, but nobody asked me.

How cool was it that Glen Perkins of the Twins finished the game throwing to Kurt Suzuki of the Twins.

American League gets home field advantage in the World Series. Think it isn’t important? Ask the Dbacks and Yankees.

Next year the ASG will be in Cincinnati. The following years have not been announced. Here are my guesses-two of these three: Washington and either Los Angeles Dodgers or Oakland. I have no inside information. Just my hunches.

There was an ASG first yesterday-no pitcher went more than one inning.

Aroldis Chapman hit 101 mph twice.

Broadway singer Idina Menzel did a spectacular job with the National Anthem. It was stirring. Don’t know if they showed it on television, but if they didn’t, you missed a beautiful moment. F-16’s buzzed the field as she concluded.

I would like to hear God Bless America sung at every park in every 7th inning or before every game. It’s a beautiful song and it reminds us who we are, what we have and where we are.

I heard that Adam Wainwright said he threw Jeter a pitch in the first inning he knew Jeter could hit. Um…I’m not buying. I think Adam Wainwright threw Jeter a mistake Jeter could hit in the first inning.

Did you like the greeeeen shoes and the orange laces and trim? I’m just wondering.
I’d love some greeeeen shoes, but I can’t find any in my size. I wear a wiiiiide. Did you like the caps? I think I did. I had to think about it for a while, but I decided I liked them.

I walked back from the park last night. It was the most peaceful, happy, non-threating crowd I’ve seen in years. Folks were having a great time. I didn’t see one drunk.

Derek Jeter’s was the first car in the Red Carpet parade yesterday.

I really got a laugh seeing 6-foot-5 Jose Abreu standing next to 5-foot-5 Jose Altuve.

Isn’t it time for Fernando Rodney to put his cap on straight? I’m just asking. Or maybe he can just have a head tilt operation. I think the tilted cap is so…what’s the word….yesterday. So…… last decade.

Name the pitcher: 1 inning, 3 hits, 3 earned runs, 0 walks and 2 strikeouts. Does that sound like Adam Wainwright? Remember when Justin Verlander blew up in Kansas City? And how about Jon Lester?…1 inning, 3 hits, 2 earned runs. He let the NL back in the game. And one more. Pat Neshek. 1/3 of an inning, 3 hits, 2 earned runs and a closing ERA of…54.00. I’m sure each of them wanted the ground to open so they could crawl in.

So now I return to Phoenix. All Star Game activities are over for another year. It was great. Thank you Minneapolis. Thank you Twins, MLB and MLB.com. This was a wonderful week. And thank you for reading my Reflections From Minneapolis.

I hope you will keep up with my work on MLB.com and MLBPipeline.com and follow me on twitter @BerniePleskoff. I have the best followers in the world and you can become one yourself.

That’s it. I’m done.

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