Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The 87th MLB All-Star Game

The American League all-stars beat the National League all-stars last night in the 87th MLB All-Star game, 4-2, in San Diego.
Normally, I'd watch the MLB All-Star Game on TV, since it's one of the few games that are still shown on broadcast television. The vast majority of baseball games are on cable TV now, even including much of the playoffs. MLB.TV fills in much of the gaps, but not all. Non-cable subscribers like myself simply can't (legally) watch certain games. But the All-Star game has to this point stayed on broadcast channels.

This year I happened to be on the road, driving around the Chicago area on my way back to Michigan. It just so happens that ESPN does the radio broadcast of the All-Star game, and there's a Chicago station that comes in pretty clearly for a long distance. So I got to listen in, which for baseball is a perfectly good alternative to watching.

Jon Sciambi and Chris Singleton are the announcers for most of ESPN's MLB radio broadcasts, and they did a fine job. I'm not as used to them as I am to the Detroit duo of Dan Dickerson and Jim Price, or the Chicago north-side team of Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer, but it's nice to listen to some different voices occasionally anyway. Though they did have a few awkward moments when the action on the field paused for various All-Star game extras, such as the Stand Up To Cancer pause.

I was pulling for the National League, so the final score was a little disappointing, but the game itself was great. I was very happy when Kris Bryant put the NL in front with a home run in the first, of course. The AL took the lead with some home runs of their own in the second inning, though. They'd never give up that lead, but the NL had plenty of chances so the game was still interesting the entire way through. For an All-Star game, I'd much rather have a game that's close than a blowout with no drama, even if my preferred side loses.

It was a little odd that the game was held in a National League park, but the American League was the home team. Just a quirk of scheduling, I assume. The announcers were saying that San Diego was such a nice venue that they'd be happy to come back every year, but I suspect there's a lot of other team owners who are anxious for their own chance to host the Mid-Summer Classic!

Two more days and it's back to the long grind of the baseball season for the second half. This All-Star game was a nice break in the middle.

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