A Viewer's Diary of the All-Star Game

After an exciting Home Run Derby in part one of our All-Star extravaganza, we finish off this year's midsummer classic, and part two of our series, with the main event. Tricked out with its fair share of guest stars and angry rants, I present to you, my running diary of the 2004 All-Star game.

8:17 p.m. Phew! Turned on the game just in time for player introductions. Let's get this show on the road…

8:20 p.m. I forgot that Johnny Estrada made the All-Star team. Hard to believe many of us in Philly thought that Millwood deal a couple years back was a steal. Turns out it was, just not the way we thought (who says Philly isn't cursed?).

8:23 p.m. Having the starters come out of the stands and onto the field during their introductions is pretty cool. Unfortunately, I doubt MLB would try that if the game were being held here.

8:25 p.m. They just showed a high angle shot of the field at Minute Maid Park, and in big bold letters along the first base line, it says "THIS ONE COUNTS." Ok, we know that the winner of the All-Star game will get home field in the World Series, but does anyone really care that much about that? I doubt Griffey debated sitting this game out because he wanted to try and help get game one played on National League turf.

8:31 p.m. Singing the national anthem tonight is American Idol winner, Fantasia. Now I remember why I didn't watch that show…

8:34 p.m. Mohammad Ali on hand as a couple kids throw out the first pitches. After throwing a few punches at Derek Jeter, Ali threw up the bunny ears behind A-Rod as the group picture was being taken. I guess Ali isn't much of a Yankee fan.

8:41 p.m. So far no mention of the Clemens/Piazza situation from FOX. If you ask me, the seventh inning stretch would be a great time for a special edition of Celebrity Boxing. I'd put $20 on Piazza making Clemens look like Paula Jones when she tried to hide behind an invisible wall in her match against Tanya Harding.

8:45 p.m. I spoke too soon, as The Rocket is warming up, Joe Buck and Timmy M just mentioned the drama that is Clemens vs. Piazza.

8:46 p.m. Leadoff double for Ichiro…almost a home run. Perhaps Piazza is going to get back at Roger by doing what he can to get him lit up tonight? We'll have to wait and see…

8:48 p.m. Hitting second, Pudge just smashed a triple off the top of the right field wall. 1-0 AL. Piazza is smiling behind his mask (at least, that's how I imagine it).

8:51 p.m. Home run Manny Ramirez. Red Sox fans rejoice. Dinger from Manny off of Clemens, does it get much better for you guys? I think my Piazza theory more than just a theory now. 3-0 AL.

8:58 p.m. Clemens really can't catch a break, with two outs, Giambi reached on a Jeff Kent error, then Jeter reached on a single, and then Soriano destroyed a low slider. 6-0 AL. Joe Buck just mentioned that this is the worst inning Clemens has had since joining the Astros. Coincidence or not? You decide.

9:01 p.m. Roger finally got another strikeout to end his personal nightmare that was the top of the first.

9:02 p.m. Have any of you seen the Tim McCarver Show? Hearing Big Tim's color commentary brought back terrible memories of seeing his talk show while the Phils were in various rain delays. For those that haven't seen it, just imagine being in a coma and you'll have a pretty good idea of it.

9:04 p.m. Double to center for Pujols. This one could turn out to be a slugfest.

9:07 p.m. There is literally zero crowd noise as Scott Rolen takes his hacks. I feel like I'm watching a tennis match.

9:08 p.m. Broken-bat base hit for Sosa (no cork this time), scoring Pujols and moving Rolen (hit by pitch) to second. 6-1 NL.

9:10 p.m. Wow, Captain Jack just gave Clemens the pat on the back and ended his day at the office. Mission accomplished Mike.

9:14 p.m. Danny Kolb replacing Roger on the mound for the NL.

9:16 p.m. As Pudge reached base with his second hit of the night, Joe Buck revealed that Ivan is a big Yanni fan. I'll let you make your own joke on that one.

9:19 p.m. I almost had to change the channel as FOX played Yanni music for the third time going into the break just now. There should be a parental advisory warning before they do that.

9:26 p.m. Mulder made quick work of the NL to end the second. If I were Torre, I'd leave him in there as long as he gets the job done, and try to get myself a little home field advantage.

9:29 p.m. RJ is pitching for the National squad now. I've already started saying my prayers for a trade to the Phils.

9:30 p.m. Scooter the animated baseball just explained what a slider is (and was very excited to do so, I might add). Somehow I feel a little dumber after watching that though.

9:35 p.m. Three straight singles to Jeter/Giambi/Soriano. Forget what I said before about RJ, he stinks.

9:39 p.m. Randy get himself out of that jam without allowing a run…I guess he's not too bad. Feel free to make a move Eddie Wade, I'd still rather have Johnson over Millwood any day of the week.

9:42 p.m. Esteban Loiaza relieved Mulder for the AL. Do yourself a favor and don't look at Loiaza's first half stats. Your head will implode if you try to figure out how he made the All-Star team.

9:53 p.m. The NL brought in Carlos Zambrano, who really isn't holding anything back, to pitch to the Yanni lover.

9:54 p.m. Nice to see Giambi and Bonds tell each other "I love you" while Bonds was on first base in the last inning. I guess those BALCO boys have to stick together.

10:00 p.m. ARod with the RBI triple to right center, scoring David Ortiz from first base. The 230 lbs. Ortiz may never recover from that run. Someone get him a paper bag. 7-1 AL.

10:06 p.m. Since he is apparently participating in a ceremony for Clemens after this half inning, Joe Buck is now broadcasting from the stands as McCarver remains in the booth. I'm sure Harry Kalas is on the phone with the Phillies right now trying to get a similar arrangement for when he's teamed up with Chris Wheeler.

10:08 p.m. C.C. Sabathia, who is now pitching for the AL, is not only as big as half the Eagles' offensive line, but also is wearing his hat almost completely sideways. Either he polished off a bottle of Jack Daniels before the game, or he's rockin' a fashion statement that needs to go.

10:11 p.m. Edgar Renteria drove in Jeff Kent with the third straight two out hit for the NL (a double). 7-2 AL, with Pujols at bat.

10:12 p.m. The NL is back in this one. Albert smashed a two run double off the top of the left field wall. 7-4 AL. Looks like the NL really wants that home field advantage after all.

10:14 p.m. After Bonds popped out to end the rally, we are left to watch a video tribute to Roger Clemens. I don't think a person hated by so many people has ever received a video tribute before.

10:16 p.m. Apparently Roger is receiving the Commissioner's Historic Achievement award. According to Bud it's the eighth one ever presented, but I honestly can't name one other guy to receive this thing. Despite the "eight previous winners," I still say Selig invented this award on the plane ride down to Houston.

10:20 p.m. That Gatorade commercial with lines like "a win is a win, a loss is a loss," etc. is almost as dumb as Scooter the animated baseball. Almost.

10:21 p.m. Bringing in Carl Pavano was one of a few moves the NL made to start the fifth inning. Side note on Pavano: he's dating Alyssa Milano. I guess after all those injuries early in his career; Carl was overdue for a little luck.

10:32 p.m. Oh god, Scooter is back to explain what a curveball is.

10:33 p.m. Johnny Estrada is hitting .451 with runners in scoring position?!?! I can't breathe.

10:34 p.m. At least Vazquez struck him out to end the inning. I feel a little better now.

10:37 p.m. Jim Thome finally enters the game. This should mean good things for the NL's comeback attempt.

10:42 p.m. Two run moon shot off the bat of David Ortiz. 9-4 AL. Thome better make up for his mediocre home run derby performance by leading a surge here.

10:45 p.m. After watching two commercials for the new Manchurian Candidate, I'm left wondering why Hollywood insists on remaking movies that were already very good to begin with. Isn't the whole point of redoing something to try and make the bad good? Why not remake You Got Served into a film that isn't retarded? It's time we make the movie industry stop this now before The Godfather is remade with Jackie Mason as Vito Corleone (Jackie is in fact still alive by the way…I was surprised to). Rant over.

10:54 p.m. Thome struck out to end the inning. Ugh.

11:01 p.m. As if one American Idol winner wasn't enough, here's Ruben Studdard to sing "God Bless America" during the seventh inning stretch. Ruben kind of looks like a slightly larger version of C.C.

11:06 p.m. Bobby Abreu is finally in the game taking his hacks against Joe Nathan.

11:08 p.m. Bob just did his Thome impression. Ugly display for the Phillies this All-Star break.

11:28 p.m. That was one boring eighth inning. I think these guys are ready to go home.

11:37 p.m. Mariano Rivera's getting ready to come in and shut the door on the NL in the bottom of the ninth. With a five run lead, I think Mariano is ready to put this one to bed.

11:44 p.m. It's all up to Jim Thome, with two outs already notched.

11:45 p.m. Broken bat fly out to end the game.

That does it for this year's midsummer classic. Mark Mulder got the win, and Alfonso Soriano was named MVP with a line of 2/3 with a homer and three RBI. The real winners however will be whoever wins the AL pennant, as they will host game one of the World Series.

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