I’ve mentioned before that I listen to more talk radio than actual music now when I’m driving around town. The idea of having a permanent home now, coupled with the declining variability of my taste in music has made sports talk a more appealing option on my way to and from work. That means I listen to a fair amount of Mike & Mike in the Morning, plus the local ESPN Radio station’s drive-time show (creatively called “The Drive”) on the way home.
Monday afternoon, I was listening to “The Drive” as usual, and they were giving away an ESPN prize package (ESPN-branded t-shirt, coffee mug, and gift cards to a few local restaurants and other shops, totaling about a $100 value) for the first person who could call in and name the winner of the first Home Run Derby in 1985.
Since I was only a year old at the time, I don’t remember watching, but I did a little reading about the event’s history before the Derby later that night. I checked the answer (Dave Parker of the Reds) while I was sitting in traffic, and then I called in to win the prize pack. I was excited, since I never really listened to the radio until recently, so I had only called in to a radio station maybe twice before. Aside from a gift card to a local tobacco establishment, I’ll probably use everything that I won, so I guess it’s better than one of those 9th-caller-wins-a-key-that-maybe-unlocks-something prizes. Needless to say, I’ll probably be listening a little more closely to that station in the future.
As for the All-Star Game, I was getting into it until Martinez’ late homer seemed to put the game away for the AL. I got excited again for the NL’s ninth-inning rally, but it was just a tease. La Russa obviously made an “interesting” move by not using Pujols, and by interesting, I mean “totally unfounded in reason.”
Deadspin’s Will Leitch (a Cardinal fan) put it best by describing that as one of La Russa’s “I’m-the-manager and you cannot comprehend my wisdom” moves. After reading Buzz Bissinger’s book on La Russa, I’m not sure there’s as much wisdom to his moves as he would like to think. Leitch added: “As tends to be the case with La Russa anymore, he’s so busy thinking about how he’s three steps ahead of everyone else that he walks smack dab into a pole.” Well put.
I thought Pujols should have taken over at first for Fielder as early as possible because he’s, well, better. Derrek Lee should have been relegated to PH duty, and La Russa could have just left David Wright in the game, keeping Sanchez around if he needed a defensive replacement or pinch hitter in extra innings. There’s really no good excuse for playing Sanchez and leaving Pujols on the bench.
Again, this is one of those times when I feel bad for getting worked up about the All-Star Game. Luckily, Dane Cook was around to remind me that the postseason is cool, so THIS TIME IT COUNTS.
[As an aside, FOX/MLB used “THIS ONE COUNTS” as the slogan this year, but I think I’ve made my point.]