Some random observations on Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game:
Kenny Rogers. What guts. What poise. Standing in front of the crowd during the introductions, taking his boos like a man. Those cameramen he assaulted took it like men, too, but man, Rogers should get a Purple Heart for the battle wounds he must have sustained last night.
Seriously, the type of apologist butt-kissing Kevin Kennedy ("let's put this behind us"), Joe Buck and Tim McCarver heaped on Rogers leads to his sense of self-entitlement and being above the law. It has to be a reason why Rogers thought he could attack two cameramen and get away with it. When you are a famous athlete, there is never a shortage of sycophantic fans and media members who want to be your apologists, in addition to the bunker mentality that exists among players and coaches when a teammate does something wrong. And, Kevin, Joe and Tim, prefacing your butt-kissing with "we, of course, don't condone what he did" doesn't make your comments any more objective.
(Rogers, by the way, has gotten away with his attacks so far. He has yet to serve a game of his 20-game suspension -- which will probably be reduced on appeal -- he has yet to lose a dollar of pay, he got to appear in the all-star game, and the only remorse we have on record is a prepared-statement apology nearly a week after the fact, along with one Q&A with the media Monday.)
Kenny, your wrists must be in agony from all those slaps.
Why was Joe Buck handling the pregame announcements anyway? Nine innings of on-air banter with McCarver isn't enough? Can Buck do it better than the Tigers' regular PA announcer, who mans the Comerica Park microphone 81 times a year? Or is ramming Buck down our throats a part of Fox's contract with MLB?
Class move: Having a brass quartet play "God Save the Queen" to honor Britain after last week's terror bombings. Unfortunately, to do it within the 45-minute parameters of the pregame festivities, the pregame organizers had to eschew "Oh Canada," even though an entire Canadian color guard was holding a giant Maple Leaf in right-center field, next to Old Glory.
The Blue Jays' Shea Hillenbrand, the lone representative from the lone major league team left in Canada, looked heartbroken -- as soon as he got done pinching himself that he was actually at the all-star game.
Tacky move: Fox desk maiden Jeanne Zelasko and her bright orange "please, please, please gossip about my pregnancy" dress, which looked like something Scarlett O'Hara would have worn to bed in "Gone With The Wind."
Most women as far along as Zelasko appeared to be are far too self-conscious to appear on live TV in front of several hundred million people ... unless they are trying to steal some of Jennifer Garner's thunder on the about-town pages of the New York Post.
Zelasko's dress was probably the most embarrassing girl-gossip moment to hit an American sporting event since Lisa Guererro dropped an "I'm getting married" reference into her sideline reporting during a Browns-Rams Monday Night Football game in 2003.
Oh, yeah ... there was a game, too.
The game's lead-off batter, Bobby Abreu, takes a meatball from Mark Buehrle and slices it into left field for a single. This after he hit a record 41 homers in the home run derby the previous night. Too bad all-star week performances don't factor into MVP voting. Abreu has, for the moment, supplanted Dave Concepcion and Omar Vizquel as Venezuela's favorite son.
Dontrelle Willis brings the spice, the hot sauce, the delivery that is all arms and legs and pizazz. If he were a Chinese dish, he'd be brought to your table sizzling with hot peppers as a garnish. But even if you are a human habanero pepper, you still need to be able to throw your breaking ball for strikes. Against Mark Teixeira in the sixth, he couldn't, and Teixeira took him deep. It was an opposite field shot, Teixeira's first off a lefty this year,and it was probably the back breaker for the NL. At the time, it was 7-0.
Bob Wickman threw only five pitches in the ninth inning. Thank you, Terry Francona. Wicky needs every last drop of juice he has left to save games for the Indians.
The NL rallied to within 7-5 before they ran out of outs. It stretched the NL's winless streak in the midsummer classic to nine. The last NL win was in Philadelphia in 1996.
If this keeps up, NL players aren't going to be too happy about this winner-gets-homefield-in-the-World-Series format. Unless you play for the Rockies. Then you won't give a crap if they move the World Series to a neutral-site field in Shanghai, China.
Wait, forget I said that. Bud Selig, are you listening? Forget I said that.