Here they are. The most talented -- or, in some cases, the most popular -- players that Major League Baseball has to offer have convened at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City for the 83rd All-Star Game.
For one night only, the National and American leagues will pit strength and against strength to determine home-field advantage in the 2012 World Series. Well, the 2012 Midsummer Classic wouldn't have opened with a matchup of literal strength vs. strength if not for a mildly controversial decision by NL skipper Tony La Russa. Bypassing 37-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey despite otherworldly first-half stats, La Russa opted for big right-hander Matt Cain. Of course, it's hard to get too worked up about a guy with a perfect game taking the ball to start the All-Star Game for the Senior Circuit. But that hasn't stopped Mets fans and butterfly enthusiasts from speaking their minds.
Once American League starter Justin Verlander fires off the first pitch of the night then such pregame teapot tempests will likely be forgotten as the innings unfurl. But who will we all be talking about after the conclusion of the All-Star Game? Will it be 40-year-old Chipper Jones or 19-year-old Bryce Harper? Could hometown hero Billy Butler produce a key hit to wash away all the boos rained down on Robinson Cano during the Home Run Derby? Or can Cano endear himself to the local fans by helping orchestrate an American League win? OK, that last outcome seems unlikely. But anything is possible at the Midsummer Classic.. except for a tie. Because it counts.
STAY TUNED FOR LIVE UPDATES, CONVERSATION:
07/10/2012 11:36 PM EDT
And The MVP Is...
Melky Cabrera named All-Star Game MVP. The Giants' outfielder finished 2 for 3 with 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.
07/10/2012 11:18 PM EDT
Papelbon secures shutout in 8-0 win by getting Matt Weiters to fly out.
07/10/2012 11:16 PM EDT
Hanrahan gets Butler to go down swinging and then gets the hook. Papelbon coming on the final out.
07/10/2012 11:13 PM EDT
@ billbarnwell :
Total for this game in Vegas was 8.5 runs. Some people VERY angry that that wild pitch didn't result in a run.
07/10/2012 11:13 PM EDT
No, the AL hasn't stormed back. But Hanrahan can't find Ruiz' glove. Andrus up to third on first wild pitch. He stays there on the second.
07/10/2012 11:10 PM EDT
With Billy Butler up next (and drawing a loud cheer), Mets manager Terry Collins trots out to pull Miley. He induced a ground ball from Andrus that erased Mauer. That's one on and one out for Butler. Hanrahan on.
07/10/2012 11:09 PM EDT
@ richarddeitsch :
The Fox Sports suits know what's coming: An ugly rating manana. Non competitive from the jump equals small tune-in late.
07/10/2012 11:07 PM EDT
@ Twins :
Nice single by Mauer in the #ASG. AL rally hats!
07/10/2012 11:06 PM EDT
The Twins' metronome takes the lefty to center field. One on for the AL. Elvis Andrus up.
07/10/2012 11:05 PM EDT
This Is It
Down to its last three outs, the American League faces D-Backs pitcher Wade Miley.
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