Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Best. Day. Ever.
If nobody messes anything up -- and the folks are in town so there's always a good chance of that -- this could be one of the greatest days of the whole year.
First, tonight is the All-Star Game.
I have loved the All-Star Game since I was a kid. I know I'm not a kid anymore and the All-Star Game isn't the way it was when I was a kid anymore. But I ignore all that because when I do appreciate the All-Star Game as I did when I was a kid, I find that I still have a wonderful time watching the game.
So, yeah, tonight. The All-Star Game. I can't wait.
Secondly, today is my birthday.
Yes. Birthday and All-Star Game on the same day.
Don't even pretend that you're not jealous because either I don't believe you or you're the most frightening unfeeling cyborg ever devised and get the hell away from me you emotionless automaton on my incredible day.
You may think that having a birthday in July means the All-Star Game falls on my birthday all the time. But it doesn't.
In the 80-year history of the All-Star Game, it has been played on my birthday only one other time previous to tonight.
That was in 1985.
The National League won the game that year, as it often did at the time (and fortunately has been doing the same lately). It was such a dull game that the MVP went to starting pitcher Lamarr Hoyt, who pitched three innings, giving up an unearned run, thanks to his catcher Terry Kennedy's throwing error.
The NL starting lineup was filled with Padres that year, since they were in the World Series the previous year. I'm sure it was pretty aggravating seeing mustard and yellow all over the Metrodome that day. Hoyt on the mound and Kennedy at catcher.
Plus, Steve Garvey at first base and Graig Nettles at third. And Tony Gwynn in left field.
Good god, five Padres in the starting lineup. How the hell did we win?
But believe it or not, Kennedy redeemed himself with a run-scoring single after his throwing error allowed the American League to score first. Then Garvey drove in a run in the third to put the NL ahead for good.
The knock-out blow was delivered by Ozzie Virgil (who was actually with the Phillies at the time). Yes, Ozzie Virgil was an all-star. He delivered a two-run double off Bert Blyleven in the fifth inning.
(Tom Herr and Tim Wallach each hit key doubles in the game, too, by the way).
The only Dodger who played was Fernando Valenzuela. Pedro Guerrero was selected but he didn't play.
Today, it's the same situation. There's one Dodger on the NL roster and it's a pitcher, Clayton Kershaw.
Bruce Bochy had a chance to add Adrian Gonzalez to the lineup after Freddie Freeman exited, but of course he had to add a Brave (Brian McCann) and then sneak in another one of his guys in Sergio Romo, if Marco Scutaro wasn't enough of a disaster.
So, like 1985, I'll be rooting for players that I don't like all that much tonight. But if the National League wins, everything will be OK. Y'all remember Melky Cabrera last year, right?
Besides, it's my birthday.
And it's the All-Star Game.
That almost never happens.
Not even Bochy can bring me down.