TrumBombs Away, an NL Shellacking, Mid West Boo Birds + Any Other ASG Thoughts that Come to Mind

So in the current baseball world order, the AL absolutely dominates the Home Run Derby, the NL sometimes allows the AL to score during the All Star Game, but only when they’re feeling especially generous, and the NL also just pretty much owns Ron Washington. Do I have that about right? Oh what a difference a few years makes! And that’s a good thing actually. Sports trends, both winning and losing, are meant to be bucked and dynasties to be crumbled. In the end, it makes all of the teams work harder and the whole thing just that much more fun for the fans.

As for this year’s All Star Game, wow. And, by wow, I mostly mean yikes! And, to a lesser degree, *facepalm* While it did contain many memorable and touching moments, I’m sorry but out and out shellackings are always a snooze fest, especially for the fans rooting for the shellacked. I do understand what I perceive to be Ron Washington’s motivation to allow all of the starters an opportunity to hit before he removed them from the game, and to allow each starting pitcher to finish a full inning, but I just can’t get behind it. Trying to give everyone a chance to really play is an absolutely lovely sentiment…for Little League.

Yes, the All Star Game is an exhibition meant to delight the fans and give the players a chance to share the field with the best of the best among their peers. But it’s also supposed to be a good game. An entertaining game. A game both sides are trying their hardest to win. And then there is that tiny little matter of the All Star Game determining home field advantage in the World Series, the importance of which should be crystal clear to Washington after two very painful demonstrations in as many years. If the team you have on the field isn’t getting it done and you have a dugout full of All Stars at your disposal, you might want to flip some folks out before the 6th inning, or maybe get the pitcher off the mound before he allows that 5th run, even if it is only the 1st inning. I’m just sayin’.

Oh well, at least the Angels All Stars played well. And I do love hearing the MLBN analysts and other national media oohing and aahing over Angels players, especially when it’s so richly deserved this season. Of course, for Angels fans, the highlight has to be the Home Run Derby. TrumBomb. TrumBlast. Heck even TrumBoner. All of these phrases coined by Angels fans and our local media for our hometown hero have now reached the National consciousness as they tripped off the tongues of Derby commentators with increasing frequency and passion while a veritable TrumBlitz assaulted the walls and waterfalls of Kaufmann Stadium.

In fact, while Trumbo placed third in the Derby, I think it’s safe to say that after Monday night, the national baseball viewing public experienced the latter phrase themselves, at least a little bit. Don’t worry, America, you don’t need to call your doctor if it lasts for more than 4 hours. We’re going on two seasons out here in Southern California with only positive side effects. And the best thing about Trumbo’s Home Run Derby performance? What the analysts kept saying of Prince Fielder is just as true for Trumbo, that is his normal, everyday swing. All of those stupendous, crazy, I can’t believe he hit the ball that far and didn’t even fully extend his arms bombs? Yeah. Normal. Let’s just say that batting practices before Angels games are pretty epic.

Anyway, if you’re interested, I wrote more about Mark Trumbo’s Home Run Derby appearance and tackled the dreaded Home Run Derby Curse for the LA Angels Insider blog. If you get the chance, please check it out. :)

Sunflower & Show Me State Boo Birds

Yeah, I couldn’t very well write an All Star festivities article, however brief, without attacking this divisive subject, now could I? Here’s my 2-cents on Royals fans booing Robinson Cano for the entirety of his Home Run Derby appearance and I would love to get your take on it in the comments, along with your Trumbo Love and other ASG thoughts you may wish to share. My apologies to Billy Butler fans everywhere, but Cano clearly made the correct choices in assembling his Home Run Derby team. The AL team absolutely rocked with the lone exception of Cano himself. Where Cano Royally – pun well and thoroughly intended – f’d up is not in neglecting to include a Royals representative on the team, it was the fact that he had previously indicated he would like to include a Royals representative on the team, that he felt it was the right thing to do, and then neglected to include said Royals representative. Cano never should have made such a comment – or promise depending on your perspective – unless he had every intention of abiding by it.

Okay, so he messed up. Very painful lesson learned. But did the punishment really suit the crime? No, I think it was excessive. I understand why fans booed Cano. I understand why they continued to boo him and to applaud his mounting failure to hit the ball out of the park. I understand that this was funny on some level. In fact, initially, I was laughing. But fans carried the joke way too far. When it was obvious the Cano was floundering. When it became painfully clear that Cano’s poor father – whom I do not believe fans intended to harm or insult in any way – could no longer give his son a decent ball to hit, it was well past time to let up. If fans had booed Cano and yucked it up for the first 5 outs, maybe even the first six, and then stopped, they would have still made their point and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

You know how there’s a fine, fine line between an amusing heckler and an outright bully who makes fans from both sides uncomfortable? For the first four outs, Royals fans were on the amusing heckler side of that divide. But, somewhere between the 4th and 6th outs, they waltzed right over that line and into uncomfortable bully territory, which is even more unfortunate in light of that fact that the rest of the 2012 All Star festivities were 100% classy. While I think that, much like booing Cano for his entire performance, such a punishment would be excessive for this particular crime, Royals fans, don’t be surprised if Bud Selig says this is why you can’t have nice things for another four decades.

6 Comments

First off, I don’t think Cano did anything wrong in not picking Butler for the Home Run Derby. Butler’s swing just isn’t a home run swing. Last year, I could understand why the Diamonbacks fans wanted Justin Upton. I’m a person who checks a home run tracker semi-frequently, and Upton had THE longest home run of the season, along with two in the top-5. This I just don’t get. The other thing is; the way you’re building him/them up, I can’t wait for Angels batting practice Wednesday. It should be fun. Except I may have to go in the bleachers, so everything doesn’t go over my head
-Mateo
http://mateofischer.mlblogs

I agree, Mateo, he wasn’t wrong to not pick Butler. It was a mistake to plant the ide in the fans heads tht he was going to pick a Royal, but I don’t think Cano meant any harm by it. It probably seemed like the right thing to say until he sat down and really looked at power hitters for his team. If they are up to par, you are going to have so much fun at batting practice! Some of the guys on the team are rumored to have a play HR Derby every batting pratice to determine who buys breakfast, Trumbo among them. Enjoy!

– Kristen

Kristen-yeah, the blowouts don’t do much for the fans, and seeing JV getting hit wasn’t much fun. In his defense, though, he was just shooting it down the middle of the plate. Trumbo was impressive, too. I’m glad Prince won, but would have liked some offence from the AL more. And…TrumBoner? (que the Beavis & Butthead laugh now…heh heh heh…)
–Mike

It sounds like Verlander was trying to pitch too fast, too early, Mike, trying to show the fans his crazy 8th inning stuff in the 1st inning. I think everyone knows he’s a lights out pitcher, he just had a bad inning. I just figured that with a bench full of crazy good pitchers, I would have surely pulled him out after that triple. Prince looked great. By the end I was rooting for Bautista just because he hadn’t won before, but the cool thing was I liked all of the guys in the Derby and would have been happy seeing any one of them win, which makes it fun to watch them all cut loose. Yes, TrumBoner. Oh how the jokes fly over that one everytime Trumbo does something clutch, LOL.

– Kristen

One, initial, let’s-make-our-point boo session would have been enough. They went overboard. But in their defense, KC fans haven’t had ANYTHING to be happy about regarding baseball since the 80s so I don’t blame for being pissed with Cano, who didn’t fulfill what hinted at being a promise.
–Jeff

That makes sense. And I do agree it wasn’t reallly a full blown promise so much as a comment.

– Kristen

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