Allstar week has brought some heavy duty excitement to New York City this week. As baseball gets ready to honor America's Sports Cathedral one last time, all eyes will be on the House that Ruth Built. Since Friday there have been exciting events going on all through out the city. As All-Star week is sadly half over, I have to admit that I will be lucky enough to have been able to attend or will attend all the major events that have made up All-Star Week 2008.
Saturday Night- Livin on a Prayer with Bon Jovi
Bon Jovi rocked Central Park and the famous Great Lawn Saturday night. I was there, as my girlfriend was able to win concert tickets off MLB.com. I am not the biggest Bon Jovi fan, but the whole experience was amazing. He put on a great show that went off without any problems. He played all his big hits including: Living on a Prayer, Shot through the Heart, and It's My Life. It was definetly an event that I will never forget.
Sunday- Futures Game and Celebrity Softball Game
Allstar Sunday is the less publicized and hyped day of Allstar week however it definetly got things off on the right foot. To see the future stars of the game all on one field before they reach their promise is truly a special site. The names of people who have starred in these games in the past and have gone on to dominate the League is unbelievable. The list includes: Jose Reyes, Alfonso Soriano, Joba Chamberlain, David Wright, Barry Zito, and Justin Verlander (just to name a few.) Maybe one day the Matt LaPorta's and the Jesus Montero's of this game will go on to be All-Stars one year.
Even though the Stadium was awfully empty, which is a shame, the youngsters put on a good for us fans in attendence. The World team went on to beat 25 hopefuls for the 2008 Olympic Team USA. It was a pitching dominated game as the final score was 3-0 and very few people left base. It was clear that it was tough to hit pitchers who could empty the tank in one inning of work as opposed to saving themselves over 7 innings. This was clear with Henry Rodriguez of the A's who was consistently hitting 100mph in his inning of work.
The Celebrity Softball game was a lot higher scoring, as the bats led the way. It was fun to see Tino Martinez and Paull O'neill back on the field along with countless other former Yankees and Major Leaguers including: Goose Gossage, Wade Boggs, Paul Molitor, Dave Winfield, Ozzie Smith, and even Ernie Banks. The game was surprisingly entertaining and fun despite Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic annoying being the MC's. They showed little athleticism, less humor, and even less sports knowledge- in an interview with Dave Winfield they didn't know that the Yankees still had Old Timers Day and they thought this would be Winfield's last time on the field. As usual they wanted everything about them and not about the event. The only person coming out worse than them was poor Chris Rock who struck out twice, which is totally embarrassing in slow pitch softball.
Monday- Homerun Derby
The question is can anybody hit a fair ball out of the Stadium? It has never been done and only Mickey Mantle has come close. I would expect lefties to have a good chance of winning so expect Chase Utley, Lance Berkman, Josh Hamilton, and Justin Morneau to be the favorites. Grady Sizemore has a decent chance as a lefty and the dark-horses as righties should be Ryan Braun and Evan Longoria.
Tuesday- The Big Show
This will be an All-Star game like no other. As over 50 Hall of Famers will make their way to the field to honor the Stadium one last time. It will be something no one will want to miss or will ever forget. It will be a spectacle that only the Yankees and New York can put on. Hopefully it will end with the Best Pitcher we will ever see closing out the National League.
With All-Star Sunday being a perfect prelude for the Homerun Derby and the Mid-Summer Classic, I am sure this is a week I will never forget. I will continue to update on events and what is coming up.