Angry Ward Wednesday: The All Star Game Sucks… And So Do You

NEW YORK, NY – The other day here in NYC we had 1000% humidity, flooding rains, and walnut-sized hail. Now we’re smack-dab in the middle of an extended heatwave. I fully expect next week to contain a frost warning and at least one Sharknado. As the brilliant Suzyn Waldman would explain it, “That’s baseball, John.” Hey, speaking of baseball, the MLB All Star Game was played last night. Did anyone watch? I sure as hell didn’t.

For years the MLB All Star Game was far and away the best in all of sports. It was populated by guys with outsized talents and personalities to match. Moments like Dave Parker gunning down Brian Downing at the plate are etched on my brain. So too are memories of herky-jerky pitchers like Tiant, Fidrych, and Valenzuela—as well as dominant studs like Seaver, Palmer, and Richard—showing off their electric stuff.

Once upon a time there was no such thing as interleague play, so the All Star Game provided that rare moment, outside of the World Series, to see the best of the American League face off against the best of the National League. Whether it was league pride or the fact that players back then weren’t making the multimillions today’s stars do, players in those All Star Games really seemed to care about winning. I’m not condoning Pete Rose barreling over Ray Fosse and pretty much ending his career at the 1970 ASG, but it was great seeing the games’ stars go all-out just for bragging rights. As an AL guy, I took it pretty hard when the NL reeled off 11 straight All Star Game wins from 1972 through 1982. It didn’t help that my brother was a Mets/NL fan, and wouldn’t let me hear the end of it.

Anyway, you know how the story goes. I got older (much older), baseball changed, and the All Star Game changed. There were still fun moments here and there (Randy Johnson vs. John Kruk, for instance) but the game now feels no different than the All Star Games that are played in the NBA, NHL, and the almost-extinct Pro Bowl in the NFL. There’s nothing at stake—and to be clear, putting World Series home field advantage at stake was a MIStake—and we might as well be watching a bunch of millionaires out there playing golf together the way all these guys pal around. I can imagine the conversations. “Good for you turning down that measly $440 million, Juan. We’ve got families to feed.”

The other thing that really stinks/stunk about this year’s ASG is that it interrupted the Seattle Mariners’ 14-game winning streak. As JG Clancy texted to me the other day: “Ousy Mariners! – No L for them in a while.” But the rest of you mugs could care less, because you suck. Y’see? I finally got around to it. You all suck eggs. You only care about your fancy Yankees or poor Knicks or suddenly-relevant Rangers. Not a single word about my gritty Mariners. Not a lone sentence about the Warriors winning a title—over Boston, who you all hate!—and sending both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant into a sucking, swirling eddy of Escape from New York despair. C’mon, that’s gotta be worth a mention! But, no, you louts can’t be bothered. Heck, there are even some visitors to this site who wouldn’t even bother to cross Main Street in Tarrytown (you know who you are) to spit on my shoes, let alone say “hello.” I can’t even get Short Matt to talk to me about Major League Rugby, fer crissakes! Anyway… hope you all enjoyed your precious All Star break and got your rest. I’m coming for you.

Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who won’t be talking about Julio Rodriguez until he’s a member of the New York Yankees.

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About Angry Ward 656 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.