CC Is Your MVP!! Rays Represent at the All-Star Game! My ASG Recap…

Carlos Pena showed the country last night that we can hit the ball out of the park. 

Carl Crawford showed viewers that we can also bring the ball back in.

 

I was hoping.  I was hoping that CC’s 1-3 night and amazing game saving catch would be enough. 

It was.

Our own Carl Crawford took home the MVP trophy for tonight’s All-Star Game–the first Ray ever to do so.  It was an amazing feat that shows exactly how far this franchise has come the last few years. 

I was excited that tonight’s game was going to showcase 5 Rays and help get the nation more acquainted with our squad of hard workers.  Our guys helped to show the naysayers that this team has alot that will be said before this season is over, playing solid enough defense to lead the AL squad to a 4-3 victory over the NL.

It is no coincidence that fielding has been a hallmark of Joe Maddon’s teams the last few seasons, and to emphasize the point Crawford went blazonly at the fence after Rockie Brad Hawpe launched a long ball towards left center field.  CC did what CC does best–he took away a hit.

 

Only this time, the “hit” he stole was going to be a game-tying home run.

Hawpe hit it to the wrong side of the ballpark.

Crawford exhibited his typical humble personality in his postgame interview.  In fact, he seemed happier to have gotten an autographed baseball from our nation’s president than he did to be the winner of the MVP of the All-Star Game.  He told Chris Rose of FOX that it was his teammates, his Rays coaches, and manager Joe Maddon who helped him to be comfortable enough to go out there and play well. 

Lucky for the AL, he did play well.  In fact, the American League team that makes the World Series (ahem, the Rays) owes Carl a debt of gratitude for giving them home field advantage.

What a great night. 

Congrats to CC on being named the AL’s All-Star Game MVP. 

Congrats to the Rays on demonstrating the “Ray Way” of playing the game.

———————————————————-

ALL STAR RECAP

Overall I would say that the game was a success.  I enjoyed it MUCH more than the Home Run Derby the night before.  There was alot more drama and more excitement.

Plus, I would say the pitchers last night fared much better than the pitchers at the derby….

Here are some things I noticed about last night’s game:

 

PITCHING

Wow.  Somebody get out a stopwatch because those pitchers were trying for some kind of speed record out there.  They got the ball and threw, no hesitation.  Of course, it didn’t help that many of the hitters were swinging away at the first or second pitch. 

 

I felt especially bad for Raul Ibanez.  The guy gets his first All-Star Game nod and swings at the first pitch he ever seeing in an ASG and fouls out to third.  Ouch.  Not many good memories there.

 

FIELDING

Aside from CC’s amazing catch, I thought the fielding was adequate. 

The game was punctuated by great catches in the outfield, one for the AL (Crawford) and one for the NL (Jayson Werth’s snag in the 8th to stop an AL potential rally).

Albert Pujols booted one early in the game, but came back to make a few good plays after that. 

 

Jason Bartlett almost made an amazing play diving for a grounder up the middle. That would really have shown everybody how we play defense at the Trop.

(It was kind of cool in the 9th when Bartlett threw out an Upton–Justin Upton)

 

SUBSTITUTIONS

I know that does not sound exciting, but I felt like the managers were not making a big effort to get guys in during the game.  Especially the pitchers.  It seemed like Maddon and Manuel were managing to actually win the game.  That is great, but doesn’t that detract from the FUN aspect of the game?

 

People tune in to see their guys get in.  The Pirates are not going to have alot of success this season, but seeing Freddy Sanchez and Zach Duke get into the game is kind of neat.  Neither made it. 

I know that I was looking forward to seeing Ted Lilly throw an inning–or part of an inning.  Unfortunately, the only guy who got booed by the always hospitalbe fans of St. Louis did not make an appearance.

In all, the AL used 25 guys and the NL used 26.  That means 7-8 guys on each team made the trip to St. Louis, and that was all.  The fans who bought the All Star jerseys never got to see their favorite players wear them on the field. 

Of course, the job of a manager in a game such as this is tough.  But trying to add more significance to the game (home field advantage in the WS) might just be the thing that is taking away some of its sparkle.

———————————————————–

In all, I had a great time watching the game.  The Rays did well (they got the MVP of the game, duh) and the game moved quickly.  The competition was high and there was a level of fun involved. 

Now it will be time to get back to the business of real baseball.  Something that, I am sure, every player and fan has been itching for since Ben Zobrist caught the final All Star out.

35 comments

  1. crazy19canuck

    Pick two: Rays, Red Sox or Yankees. Two are going to the playoffs. One will win the division, the other the Wild Card.

    That was the prediction of the announcers tonight. And I agree. Who do you think should join the Rays?

    CARL!!! WOO HOO!!!

    This has been a great week so far!
    Ginny
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

  2. crazy19canuck

    I just got the alert to let me know Carl Crawford won the MVP…It’s been, what, an hour since they announced it. Go figure.

  3. lafaninslc

    I told you you had guts picking the ASG MVP! Now aren’t you embarassed that you didn’t pick one of your boys?!

    Seriously, great post and analysis! I’d love nothing more than to see TB motor on past NY and BOS and their $200M+ payrolls!

  4. raysfanboy

    Ha! I am SO embarrassed! How could I have gotten that wrong!? 🙂 Funny, I don’t think that Cruz even got into the game, did he? Ouch.

    Cal–I’m glad you are a CC fan. He is one of the good guys out there. In fact, the Rays seem to be totally comprised of good guys.

    Matt–I think Hawpe would have homered for sure. If you look at one of the pics I put in my article, Carl’s glove is above an a little beyond the fence. Hawpe would’ve made the game 4-3 in favor of the NL and then your guy K-Rod and company would have ended it.

  5. raysfanboy

    Canuck, you pose a great question. Who would I want to come along with us to the playoffs? Hmmm. I think that the Yanks are Sox are equally explosive. The Sox have better pitching. But we took the Sox in 7 last year. That means the Sox have revenge on their minds.

    I’m going to say that I would bestow the wildcard honor (b/c we would take the division) on the Sox. The drama would be very high b/c of last year and the Rays hit very well in Fenway. In October.
    http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

  6. diamondgirl55

    Aww you’re always so nice about Ichiro! :] But I agree, he is one of the best! I chuckled when Ichiro hit a single on his first at-bat. Go figure!

    Yeah I was definitely glad to see Ibanez! You’re right, he didn’t do much but it was nice to see him. Aww, I miss Rauuuuuuul!

    I bet you were so proud of Crawford! He was absolutely AMAZING!!!! I stood up and screamed for him because that basically won us the game. Can you imagine going into extra innings…or worse, the NL winning?! hehe! :] Crawford was SO deserving of the MVP! Yay for him!

    xoxo
    http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com

  7. stevg95

    Well, I don’t think Wakefield was voted in from past years. I mean look at him this year. He has 11 wins and 3 losses and has pitched 2 complete games…..He deserved it this year… It would have been fun to see the NL hitters swinging over the knuckleballs…even though i’m not a red soxfan (die-hard yankee fan) i still love watching him pitch…
    Arodfan13
    http://arodfan13.mlblogs.com

  8. Jane Heller

    It’s true that there weren’t a lot of substitutions and lineup changes, so there were guys who didn’t play, unfortunately. But I’m more than happy with the result. Congrats to Crawford for winning the MVP. He deserved it.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  9. raysfanboy

    MMM–Yeah, it looks like the fence is actually bending in. I hope he doesn’t feel that when the season starts up again!

    I think the team holds an option on Crawford that will keep him in Tampa Bay through the end of 2010. I am sure right now that the guys in the front office are working to come up with an extension that will keep CC playing in the Trop for years to come.

    At least they better be doing that!
    http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

  10. indianslove

    Hahaha! 🙂 Hope you find one soon. & Yeah, he is a icon for us. He has been with us for as long as I can remember. I think I would be more comfortable if he was traded to the Rays! I know you would appreciate him. The Sox..I dont know. He would sort of blend in, & that’s not his thing. I hope he stays with us! If he is traded..basically all Tribe fans will go on strike, I can almost gurantee it. & Thats not good. :} http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/

  11. juliasrants

    I would have loved to have seen Wakefield pitch and am very disappointed that he didn’t! He waits 17 years – is having a GREAT season – and gets told we will only use you if we go into extra innings? The AL used 8 pitchers – and yet there was no room for Wake.

    Julia
    http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

  12. raysfanboy

    Julia–Originally I didn’t care if Wakefield pitched or not. I figured he was brought onto the roster as a symbolic gesture.

    BUT

    You and Arodfan13 have changed my mind (a Sox and Yank working together!? Just like last night!). Now I do wish that Joe had been able to get him in there. I am sure he would have been thrilled to say he not only made the team but pitched in the game. You guys are right.

    Plus, like Arodfan said, it would have been AWESOME to see NL guys flailing away at the knuckle.

    I stand corrected.
    http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

  13. raysfanboy

    Diamondgirl–Ichiro is just awesome. I was skeptical when he came into the league, but he has been amazing every year. And he never gets hurt! I wish he could teach a few things to Fukodome over in Chicago since they have pretty much the exact same batting style and swing. Oh well.

    Kaybee–I thought that the managers were a little less caring about playing time this year than in past years. I know that as a fan of a team that got 1 guy on the AS team pretty much every year except for last year and this year I LIVED to see my guy get in for a little bit. It must have been saddening for the fans of those guys who didn’t play.

    Tribechick–I think that teams should hold on to the guys who define their team. They owe it to their fans. Victor is one of those guys. He should play his whole career in Cleveland. But, finances dictate the game these days.

    Jane–I’m sorry you hated the HR Derby so much–it was kind of a clunker–but you HAD to love last night’s game. It was pure joy. And to have CC win the MVP, well, as a Rays fan it doesn’t get much better. But you Yankees need to keep your hands off him. He’s ours!

  14. raysfanboy

    Crzblue–Thanks for the compliment on Daisy! That was very sweet. I am not going to tell her though. It goes straight to her head and then the next thing you know she’s begging for bonies (that’s what we call them in this household) in the middle of the night “because she’s cute.” 🙂

    Dillon–Granderson, Jones, and CC all deserved consideration. All three were big factors in last night’s game. The AL could not have won without even one of those guys. Granderson’s triple was HUGE!

  15. iliveforthis

    Oh god… watching Crawford rob my Hawper of a home run… it was heartbreaking. The game itself looked like good baseball, both teams looked good out there… well, the beginning for the National League didn’t look spectacular, but they bounced back as well as can be expected.
    Emily
    http://deconstructingthoughts.mlblogs.com/

  16. crazy19canuck

    Playing the Sox in the ALCS would be tough. Have to make sure the starters are at 100% and the bullpen rested! They have some big game pitchers up in Beantown. It’ll take a whole lot of offence and amazing defence to pull through…like we did last year! 🙂
    Ginny
    http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

  17. raysfanboy

    Emily–I thought that the NL had alot to be embarrassed about. Their offense sputtered. I felt that the AL’s offense would be stronger, but I didn’t think that their pitching could be so effective. Then again, it’s an All Star Game, everybody’s good I guess.

    Ginny–I agree, it would be very difficult to take down those from Beantown. Their offense is strong, their pitching, everything you just said. But so is ours!

  18. raysfanboy

    Money–It seems like coaches of any All Star team complain mostly about the subbing they have to do. And usually they do a decent job of it. 3 or 4 guys don’t get in. But I think that not putting in 7-8 guys per team is a little ridiculous. The guys made the team, the fans want to see them, PLAY ‘EM!

  19. jonnnnnn

    dang man how did you get all these comments. haha

    and yeah it must be nice being a fan of the reigning AL champs. All your guys were guaranteed to get in the game haha. I do love the Rays though and I was glad to see Crawford win the MVP.

    http://eatsleepmlb.mlblogs.com

  20. raysfanboy

    Eat, Sleep–It’s about time we can be fans of something successful in the game of baseball! To have a title like “Reigning AL Champs” is kind of cool. And the t-shirts are neat.

    Matt–The night seems so far away. I have no baseball to really watch today. Maybe I’ll fire up the DVR and watch the whole thing again!

    Cal–Anytime, buddy.

  21. orangebirds

    raysfanboy,
    thanks man. You got my back. 🙂 I got yours too. You are really starting to become quite the blogger. Keep it up and you will be top 20 on the top 100 mlblogs and hopefully I will see ya there. thanks please comment
    http://balorioles.mlblogs.com/

  22. raysfanboy

    Ginny–I am with you! I am trying to keep my mind occupied by working around the house. I’d rather be watching baseball!! (duh)

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