All-Star Game Liveblog

July 16, 2008 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

What's that you say? You want more of the world famous drunkblogs that only Thunder Matt's Saloon can bring you? Well today's your day, you lucky so-and-so! We had bartenders Brant Brown and Lingering Bursitis bust out the wine coolers for last night's extremely long and terrible All-Star Game (with a special surprise guest!). So without further ado, let's get to the action. Instead of typing each bartender's name before every comment, everything by Brant will be blue and everything by LB will be red. All times are PST.

(All entries are cut and pasted. I didn't proof or spell check anything, just so you can enjoy Brant and LB's descent into a drunken stupor.)

5:09 - I turn it on, and, commercial...

5:23 - Ah, after a bunch of pomp and circumstance, we get to the player introductions. Let's hope Utley doesn't give a "Fuck You" to the crowd again tonight.

5:30 - So they're sending old school All Stars to each position, and then announcing the players for each squad as they run out to RF, 2B, etc. This is lame and only serves to prolong the start time of the game. But I shouldn't complain, I'm on the West Coast.

5:31 - Sheryl Crow for the National Anthem? Ugh. Lance dumped her and now she's trying to nail a ballplayer huh?

5:35 - Ha, George Steinbrenner throws out the first pitch. I thought he was already dead. That man is beaten and old. I think he has a nurse with him. They seem to be driving him in something akin to an iron lung. Oh, it's a golf cart?

5:36 - Turns out Steinbrenner couldn't even get out of the golf cart. Four old Yankees threw the "first" pitch to four new Yankees. The circle of life is complete, but a little gayer.

5:39 - Alright, I'm a little late to the party due to some much-needed bourbon drinking. I hate Yankee Stadium. There, I said it. I realize that a whole lot of history has been made there, and it's all full of mystique and Babe Ruth's discarded chicken wings and shit, but let's face it, it's a celebration of bullshit. I hate the Yankees, always full of money and the shaving rule and pinstripes and overpriced free agents.... I hope we can ring in the end of tradition by seeing the NL rape the AL of its pomp and circumstance.

5:40 - You know, I agree. I am really just not in awe of Yankee Stadium. There are so many other stadiums I'd like to visit. Yankee Stadium really means nothing to me. Wrigley is my shrine.

5:44 - Please, cut the string symphonies and melancholic bullshit that is clearly angling for some sort of production Emmy or some bullshit. The emotion doesn't concern me. Let's just enjoy our overpaid athletes putting in some effort for 9 innings that really determine little. I realize that they decide who the home team is during the World Series, but does that really make a difference? Is it really that epic of a reward? I do appreciate that they put this slap-bang in the middle of the season though, as opposed to the phoned-in NFL Pro Bowl. Christ, bring futbol back already. I am dying over here.

5:46 - Fukudome and Soto round out the order. No respect!

5:48 - Underway with Handjob Ramirez. This just feels good. An All Star game that's gonna be good. As Ramirez promptly strikes out.

5:51 - I agree that it's a little disrespectful, but how often do we have two starters in the ASG? (I just know that if I bothered to look this up, I'd probably look like an idiot and it was probably like 2 years ago or something) wtf is up with Clifford Lee? Goddamn. Now let's see some fireworks from the former drug addict, Hamilton

5:52 - I fucking hate the AL with all my blood and soul.

5:58 - Ooooohhhh, big man Josh Hamilton comes up and strikes out. I know it's largely an old wives tale, but I hope the home run derby fucked up his swing.

6:01 - NICE. Soto with the solid D. Bring on El Toro.... bored of Sheets and his kooky action already. Also, this AL lineup is pretty fucking brutal. Just another reason to hate the AL. When is Bonds moving to the AL? Can it happen already?

6:04 - Pujols to A-Rod.... that'll surely be a Yankee combination in 4 or 5 years time. AL warming up another lefty? Also, I am psyched for Tropic Thunder. Looks hilarious. There goes Chipper Jones! How fucking old is he, anyway?

6:13 - Already, I'm bored. I'm five bourbons deep... how am I expected to retain interest? Simple... a Fukudome HR followed by a Soto HR would be nice.

6:16 - Alright, my internet connection is giving me problems, so it appears like I'm behind you significantly here on the commentary.
Seriously though, I am pretty fucking jaded about the ASG. Never really lives up to the lah-dee-dah that we all expect. Sheets looks decent enough, although Manny did get great contact on a couple of pitches. Also, I am still amazed in the transformation of Milton Bradley. Look at him go! Steals and hits and OBP! I guess all he needed was a change of scenery and a move to a team that is more volatile that him, while also making their home in a wonderfully hitter-friendly park.

6:19 - Pedroia looks like a young boy that's dying to be molested.

6:21 - He totally does. He has been molesting pitching since mid-june HEYOOOOOOOO

6:24 - omg the booth just got a little more senile and demented. Yogi fucking Berra! Great guy, and hilarious. I long to ghostwrite and/or edit a book by him someday. His garbled nonsense will fit in well with our avant-garde/experimental imprint.

6:25 - Fukudome, flailing at pitches. God bless his soul, but he needs to start hitting a little more. Weakly grounds out. Soto time!

6:28 - Apparently Sheryl Crow is there for breast cancer. Why would she be rooting for breast cancer??? That makes no sense.

6:29 - Good Christ we can't get anything together on offense. Time for Chaz!

6:32 - I predict I will make it to the 6th inning before changing the channel or falling asleep. Why, Brant, do we put ourselves through this mess? Are we doing this for humanity? Are we devoted and dedicated to the causes of cultural advancement? Are we deranged? Are we sadists OH SHIT HERE COMES ZAMBRANO NOW I SUDDENLY GIVE A FUCK GODDAMN IT A BASEHIT ALREADY OFF Z FUCK FUCK HOLY FUCK FUCK

6:36 - DOUBLE PLAY FUCK YOU IN YOUR SMUG ALL-AMERICAN ASS SANDERSON JETER yeah, i know I'm gonna need to be edited down. Joe Buck: he loves sensitivity. Nice destructive rundown of Hamilton's drug problems. Josh might as well have been living in the gutter, what with all the heroin and deprativty he lived in. Then he grounded out, and we awkwardly segue into the commercial! Also, fuck DirecTV's advertising. Taking bits of movies and injecting their HD bullshit rhetoric into them. Lame.

6:40 - hey i forgot we were at Yankee Stadium. Now here comes Halladay.. he made some wonderful comments about how pissed he was at Toronto being terrible. The guy just knows how to play media management. Meanwhile, Ervin Santana warms up. He was a piece of shit last season, and now he's suddenly rediscovered how to pitch. Much better redemption story that Hamilton's, in my opinion. Ervin was sent down to AAA, for chrissakes! That is far worse than being destitute and hooked on heroin, coke and painkillers.
Then Ichiro nails the sluggish slugger, Pujols, who was busy meandering his way to second base and was thrown out. Jeter makes a nice play, and a whole generation of Staten Island Italian princesses wet their cotton undergarments. I hate Derek Jeter.

6:44 - Zambrano making A-Rod look like Madonna's boyfriend.

6:45 - Zambrano's making some sweet pitches. Manny enjoyed that ridiculous breaking pitch

6:47 - Joe Buck is giving shout-outs to his fucking kids right now. Be professional man!

6:48 - Handjob Ramirez with an error. Thanks dickhead. Hard to play when there are actually people in the stands, huh?

6:50 - Nice steal by Bradl-oh wait.... Zam-Zam catches him napping. With a bit of luck, this game will be over by 10.30, which is good as I have shit to do (aka drinking)

6:55 - bye bye Manny. That HAS to be contractual or part of Francona's scheming to let Manny snooze through 4 innings. This Santana is much better than theother, more famous, Santana.
OMG EAT IT ERVIN JUST AS I WRITE THAT. Holliday goes deep to right, and I am excited that I picked 1-0 NL in our score prediction pool.

6:56 - man, this sucks with skittish internet and a bladder full of bourbon. I am trying my best though... i have 2 more innings in me

6:57 - You need to see this through. I have a woman to answer to. You do not.

6:57 - Um, I'll say it. Fukudome looks retarded at the plate.

7:00 - Our Cubs are 0-4 with some strikeouts! Excellent! I think both those rookies need to calm down, although I bet they both get pulled shortly

7:01 - Ha, Fukudome and Soto are pulled. Fine by me. I want the win.

7:03 - McLouth is in, and Soto shall ride the pine from now on. Haren looks like a mongoloid

7:05 - Not a fan of the AL running. Aren't they supposed to be the DH league that just sits back and waits for homeruns? Pedroia walks as his father licks his lips.

7:06 - Why are Bud Selig and Sheryl Crow promoting cancer!?!?!?!?!?!?!

7:11 - Sweet, Haren works out of a jam. Heading into the sixth, 1-0 NL.

7:21 - wow, i just came back from taking a shit and nothing has changed!

7:31 - christ almighty, i think the lord has forsaken us with this turgid dick of a game

7:32 - I beg to differ. This game is great, I'm just preoccupied with people knocking on the door and commiserating in my living room.

7:36 - Brant, we're clearly seeing the game through different lenses. You, ever the entertainer, are playing good host to some friends, while I am drunk and alone in my living room. I need action, goddamnit. You know how you can never watch a foreign film when you're drunk? It makes sense -- you're clearly too intoxicated to appreciate the nuance. Thus, you turn it off and watch monster trucks or girls with big tits jumping up and down instead. (is there such a video in existence that combines the two? If so, please send it to TMS HQ immediately). This game, to me, is like a foreign film right now. Sure, there is subtlety and good play and competent performance on both teams, but I'm too blitzed to care. I wish a dinosaur could parachute in and devour the entire AL outfield, only for Milton Bradley to strap on a Rambo headband and start knifing at the scaled beast's achilles.

7:44 - Seventh inning cock grab brought to you by Josh Groban.

7:50 - i am so glad i am not watching that abortion. My roommate commandeered the television briefly for some GTA IV... I will be jumping back in shortly. Plus I needed to pour another drink.

7:58 - I'm officially done. 2-2 tie and poker calls. Good night and god bless.

With word that both of our livebloggers were down for the count, Steve Finley Was Here correspondent E-Claire and I came home to find the game still going. E-Claire fired up the ol' laptop and took over sometime in extras. I sat next to her and yelled at the TV a lot.

9:12 – The top of the 11th just ended. A lead-off single by Adrian Gonzalez was wasted. Joe Buck just suggested having a dance-off if they run out of pitchers. Shut up, Joe Buck.

9:13 – Bottom of the 11th. Kinsler with a lead-off single. Daft Funk just said “If Aaron Cook loses this game, for the rest of his career, I will refer to him as ‘Aaron Cock.’ And he’s sober, too…

9:15 – Pickoff attempt at 1B. Now Kinsler just caught stealing. BULLSHIT! He wasn’t even tagged! This game is rigged. Brandon Webb is warming up. Rays catcher walks. What the hell is his name? Dioner Navarro. That’s it. Sorry. I really have to pee, and it’s affecting my memory. Can a full bladder do that? Don’t judge me.

9:17 – Flashback to the 2006 All-Star game and Hoffman screwing up. That sounds familiar.

9:19 PST- Base hit Michael Young! Navarro thrown out at home. Daft and I discuss whether he’s safe. We’re not sure. Kevin Youkilis is making an odd face in the dugout. Jeter is smiling and laughing – probably because no one’s making Madonna jokes about him. We’re going to the 12th, people. If this ends in a tie, I will throw my television out the window. No, I won’t. Then Daft and I would have to spend our evenings “talking.”

9:23 – Viagra commercial airing. Just thought you’d like to know. God dammit, I really have to go to the bathroom!

9:24 – Top of the 12th. Soria in for another inning. Ludwick is up. He walks. They’re playing “Walk this Way.” That’s so clever!

9:25 – Tejada is up. The intentional walk is his present for his 52nd birthday. We’ve just learned this is the longest All-Star game in history. Of course they play the longest game when I have to pee.

9:28 – Uggla is up. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to bring his glove to the plate. Uggla strikes out. Wow – he has been terrible tonight. Least valuable player for him. Here comes George Sherrill. I am going to pee while he warms up.

9:32 – Ok. Much better! Bases are loaded…2 outs. 0-2 to Adrian Gonzalez. Struck him out!

9:35 – Bottom of the 12th. Leadoff double by Guillen. Sizemore is up. Daft Funk predicts a popup. I predict the game winning hit. Neither of us is right. Sizemore is out at first, but Uggla looks shitty again. Why do they keep showing shots of Youkilis? They just showed a shot of first base to prove to us that it’s empty. Thanks for that. Kinsler is the 3rd out. We go to 13. Bug Selig looks really worried. No tie!!!

9:43 – Another Viagra commercial? I really feel like I should make a joke here. But I’ve got nothing. Now there’s a “Just For Men” commercial. Are they assuming the only people who watch the All-Star game are 50 year old men?

9:46 – Wright is up. Sherrill pitching. Did I spell his name right? I don’t fucking care. Marmol is warming up. Oh boy. It looks like the NL has him, Webb, and Lidge left. The AL only has Kazmir, and they don’t want to use him.

9:54 – Marmol is in. Hmmm. Navarro up. Uggla actually catches the ball. One out.

9:57 - Nancy Drew is up. Full count. Uggla fucks up again. His 3 errors are the most by any one player in an All-Star game. Good job, buddy! Daft is swearing at Marmol. I wonder if he knows Marmol can’t hear him. Nancy steals 2nd. Russell Martin swears. Swearing during All-Star activities is the new black (although Chase Utley’s swearing was much funnier).

10:01 – Quentin up. White Sock vs. Cub. Marmol strikes him out!!!! We’re going to the 14th.

10:04 – Sherrill going for another inning. McLouth narrowly misses a home run. The AL only has Scott Kazmir left to pitch. This tie thing is beginning to look like it could happen. No tie! I did not sit through 14 innings for this to end in a fucking tie! Decide the game by rock, paper, scissors. I don’t care. But no tie! Martin almost hits it out. Nancy catches it. Martin swears some more.

10:07 – Daft calls a homer by Tejada. Instead, he hits a ground ball to end the inning. Bottom of the 14th coming up.

10:09 - Bottom of the 14th. Webb is in. The NL is down to Brad Lidge. Tejada makes a good catch. By the way, he’s now 63 years old. Does anyone else think Webb kind of looks like a chipmunk? This shit had better not end in a tie. Longoria strikes out. To the 15th we go.

10:16 – They just showed a funny commercial featuring Bob Melvin for Taco Bell on the West Coast. Apparently, he loves the Frutista Freeze. I personally like the 7-layer burrito.

10:18 – Dan “I heart errors” Uggla is up. The AL is using its last pitcher, Mr. Scott Kazmir, who apparently threw 104 pitches on Sunday. Uggla strikes out. He is useless. God dammit. This shit is going to end in a tie, isn’t it? Francona and Jeter are chuckling in the dugout. Perhaps they’re saying something like “Let’s leave Kazmir in for 3 innings and ruin things for the Rays. Muahahaha.” Wright is out. Bottom of the 15th.

10:23 – Are they really going to put Kazmir in for another inning if the AL can’t win it? On the one hand, home field in the World Series is at stake. On the other, you don’t want Kazmir to risk injury in an exhibition game. I don’t want this to end in a tie, but I don’t want Kazmir to get hurt. Quite the quandary…

10:27 – The last NL pitcher – Brad Lidge – is in the game. He gives up a base hit to fake home run champ Justin Morneau. Ludwick makes a diving catch to rob Ian Kinsler of a base hit. Youkilis is drinking a sugar-free Red Bull. Product placement? Navarro is up now. Base hit! Fake home run champ to 2nd. Nancy Drew is up. I have a leg cramp. Just thought you’d like to know.

10:33 – Nancy walks. Michael Young is up. He pops up. Morneau tags up at third. He’s going home….SAFE! Game over! No tie! You’re a lucky bastard, Mr. Selig. Morneau may not have been last night’s star, but he’s the game-winning run tonight. Nancy Drew is the MVP. He gets booed, of course.

But wait...there's more! Lingering Bursitis comes to in the morning and shares his Jerry Springer-like final thoughts:

Christ, where did I leave off? Last time I was lucid enough to write emails, I was still seeing light trails emanating off the sides of the television. Let's face it; while this may be a beautiful game for the purists, it's a huge inconvenience for the audience that it's really trying to attract: those loathsome part-time observers scattered across the east coast and through the midwest, all of whom have to be sane enough to get to work at 8am. The college students and retirees don't care, and for the people in the middle, it's a tough one to watch.

At this point, I must deviate from the topic as my roommate has commandeered the television to play GTA IV. I was in the bathroom for about 8 minutes, during which time he'd managed to load up his game and begin the first of several missions he'd eventually complete before going to bed. I cannot say I'm too upset, as the first 7 innings of this contest did inspire lusty thoughts of homicide and running over hapless pedestrians in various stolen and abused cars.

Henceforth, I'll watch him for a bit, attempting to change back to the ASG periodically. I feel that deep down, if we're all honest, we could agree that this might be a more worthwhile endeavour.

I know enough about what's going on to make the following judgments:
- you just know some saves are going to be blown.
- you know someone's going to make a truckload of errors.
- by the time this game is done, there will be more runners stranded than there are on the Ironman course once night falls.

How can I guess these things? It's simple; they happen during every ASG. It's almost a rite of passage.

11pm, roughly:
Alright, my roommate is well into the atrocities of GTA IV. He's been shotgunning passers-by to death while also waging a neat war with grenades. His pattern is simple: find a busy intersection, park in the middle of it, wait until several cars show up, drop a grenade between the mass of vehicles, then speed away. It is fun to watch, and I dare say it could be quite the warfare tactic to combat these IED-devisin' fockers in the Middle East.

He just shot a woman in the face. He laughs hysterically while doing so, and now, despite the haze of bourbon clouding my thought, I am worried for him, for I fear he could end up on the front page of the NY Post one day for doing exactly that. Instead of gently intervening in his maelstrom of mayhem, I simply pour another drink.

Confrontation is difficult.

12am, roughly:
The last hour has been a haze. I reckon Brant's probably won several hands of poker by this point. I saw enough of the game to see a sac fly, then some errors by Dan Uggla. I am almost finished with this bottle of Knob Creek, and thus, I begin the alcoholic's dilemma, unwittingly.

The Dilemma is simple: once you've reached a certain point in your imbibings, you have to plan ahead to tomorrow. Finishing a bottle of bourbon would be great right about now. You're quite intoxicated, and the final two glasses of the sweet stuff will put you in a headspace of pure joy! However, that leaves you with absolutely nothing with which to wake up the following morning. That Hair of the Dog is so vital to the alcoholic, and yet increasing your drunkenness in the present leaves you fucked in the immediate future.

Hence, the Alcoholic's Dilemma.

Also, it bears pointing out that I am conjuring the latter part of this liveblog from my scrawled notes from last night, as I made the wise decision to stop drinking with my laptop right in front of me. A spillage would have been catastrophic, really.

1am or so:
Dan Uggla is an all-star? He makes more errors than the copy desk at the NY Daily News. Really. That paper is terrible. I am amazed that Hurdle hasn't found some utility wench on the bench so he can remove Dapper Dan from the carnage. His night has been awful: 0-4, 3 K, 6 LOB, 3 errors. Those Marlins.... really going places.

I imagine that since Manny was removed after the 4th inning, he is surely fast asleep in the dugout, or probably visiting friends in Washington Heights by now. It's not that far away; I live just over the bridge from Yankee Stadium on the south side, nestled in the comfy confines of Harlem. I live right by the Metro-North rail stop and next to the subway to Yankee Stadium on the other side, which means that every time there's a home game, all the Connecticunts roll off one train in their Yankee polo shirts and past my front door to get to the subway. I fucking hate 'em. People from Connecticut should not be allowed to support baseball. Hey, CT? You don't have a MLB franchise so deal with it. Please, stay up in Stamford or New Haven with your hybrid BMW people-carriers and leave me in peace!

My roommate is still playing GTA IV. He has foregone the concept of completing structures missions in favour of vague, indiscriminate violence all over the video game city. He is currently mowing down pedestrians with a machine gun as he speeds down various streets in the game's equivalent of Manhattan. I cannot deny that this is entertaining, as it's absolutely fucking great at this point. I am drunk (but with bourbon saved for the morning! Dilemma complete for one night at least), and watching the ragdoll bodies of people flying unrealistically and serenely through the air is hilarious. .

He has since switched to a Hummer-esque beast, and is currently trapping people underneath the front wheels until they are dead. There's an admirable quality to my roommate's quick thinking in switching from one form of violence to another so quickly. He is also a drummer, so I conclude in my head that his improvisation is due to years of musical training. Who knew that it would translate so well to a video game?


the game is finally over! Uggla can crawl back to Miami where no-one will ever see him play. I'm listening to the new Beck album while polishing off the last of my bourbon (fuck you, willpower. The dilemma has shifted to the other extreme, and tomorrow morning is going to hurt), and it's good. Beck's production value keeps going up and up. Good for him. Now the new Hot Chip album is playing. I love the Winamp shuffle feature. Hot Chip are the shit. I DJ from time to time, and their beats are so rigidly consistent that it makes dancing physiologically impossible to resist. That's what you need when you're dancing, or trying to inspire others to dance: a solid fucking rhythm. Without that, you're fucked. Time signature changes or sudden dynamic changes will spoil a party faster than a guest appearance by Carrot Top.

The sacrifice fly is a shitty way to end a game. It's not exciting. Feet vs. throwing arm! Who will prevail? The guy running from third, or the guy in the outfield who slings his entire body into the throw? 99.9999999% of the time, the guy running is going to win that race, unless it's Vlad making the throw and it's David Ortiz trying to tag up. Otherwise, you should just call it a run. Save us the pretend drama of the race to the plate. Most outfielders have good range, but when you're 300 feet away and the guy on third base is running 90 feet, it's already an uphill battle for the guy back at the warning track. It becomes even harder when they're backing up to make the catch, or making it on the run and heading in any direction other than directly forward. Where are they gonna get the momentum to throw from? That wastes precious seconds, making the throw even less likely to catch the guy out at home. And then you have to throw it accurately! And you get the ignominy of watching that guy score the winning run while everyone in the stadium watches your feeble throw drift off towards third base on its way to the diamond. Sad, really.

At least I can finally go to bed now. My roommate has put his psychopathic activities on hold until tomorrow, and I think I'll fall asleep on the couch listening to the turgid post-game interviews.


I am at work. I wish I was dead. Fuck you, bourbon. I hope you all realize that I'm dying for your blogging sins.