I was as angry as I have ever been at the result of a game last night after the National League lost 4-3 to the American League.
It's hard to understand. I didn't even watch the first four innings. The All-Star game is not an event I look forward to. It seems more and more irrelevant each year. I'm ashamed that I would get so angry at the result of any game, let alone an All-Star game. And yet, when Tejada popped out to end the game, I was seething.
Why is it hard to understand? I wonder that, when I think of all the horrible, annoying things that have led up to the game, and that happened during the game. The American League's dominance. The Dodgers never getting to host a game since 1980. Charlie Manuel managing the team and stacking it with Phillies. Kemp not making the team. Fox doing a terrible, awful job of presenting the game. Interviews with players while the game is going on. The insistence on singing "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch. Tim McCarver. Joe Buck. Billingsley giving up a run. Mariano Rivera getting the save. Ryan Howard coming to the plate and striking out, and knowing it would happen because while he may be a productive hitter he can't hit good pitching to save his life, and the indignity of having to root for the overrated strikeout machine Phillie. Home field advantage being determined by the game.
That's the one. That's the one that has me so angry. Now look, I'm not assuming anything. Okay? I'm not assuming the Dodgers make the World Series; I'm not even assuming they make the playoffs. But if the Dodgers make the World Series, then they will have lost home field advantage through little fault of their own. See, if the Dodgers don't make the playoffs, or they don't advance past the first or second round, or if they enter the first or second round without home-field advantage, it will have been their fault. It will have been based on their play, their own failure in the field. But the World Series? It may be a relatively small thing, but if the Dodgers make the World Series they won't have home field advantage because of Ryan Howard and Heath Bell and Charlie Manuel.
What a thing. Why should Heath Bell have the power to alter the Dodgers destiny? Why? Why? For marketing. Because this time it counts.
Well, if it counted, why was Ryan Howard up there to strike out with the game on the line? If the National League was really trying their best to win, wouldn't Manny Ramirez have been named to the team? The problem with saying that "this time it counts" is that they don't construct the teams or manage the game as if it counts.