Live and indirect from our world communication studio (in other words, I'm watching TV): the Foreign Intelligence Files presents the Major League Baseball Mostly Stars (and Mark Redman) Game.
All times Central.
7:02 pm: The opening sequence with what appeared to be Barry Zito in the hottub with two women just made my wife give the first "What the hell?" of the night. Surely, there will be more.
7:03 pm: More from my wife: "What the hell happened to her head?" This referring to the woman anchoring Fox's coverage with Kevin Kennedy. (Why do they let women on sports shows?) Why does Kevin Kennedy have a job?
7:09 pm: It's raining in Pittsburgh. And now an interesting thought: Who's crazier? Ozzie Osbourne or Ozzie Guillen?
7:11 pm: 18-year-old kid gets on the field and hits five shots off the tee to win a million dollars if he hits a target. He's "coached" by Al Oliver but manages to hit nothing. So, the million dollars will go to the person that can tell me what exactly Al Oliver did there.
7:15 pm: Player introductions! My goodness, the entirety of the White Sox team is there! So is Mark Redman. It's been said before, but there is no reason why we need to have one player per team (5.27 ERA and WHIP of 1.45...)
7:20 pm: How did the Milwaukee Brewers have three All-Stars?
7:22 pm: Am I the only one who thinks "First baseman David Ortiz" is funny? But then again, I think "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim" is hilarious. Funniest of all is "starting second baseman Mark Loretta." Not since Manny Trillo started the 1983 game...
7:25 pm: A possible reason that the NL hasn't won an All-Star Game in 10 years "batting 5th, Edgar Renteria." Oh boy, the Star Spangled Banner is next. You know what that means... O Canada can't be far behind...
7:27 pm: Our second "What the hell?" of the night. Travelocity commercial with the gnome being carried away by the red balloons. (Not on YouTube... yet...)
7:30 pm: DID THEY JUST CUT OUT THE CANADIAN ANTHEM???
7:32 pm: So, Carrie Underwood sang the National Anthem. And... Fox... just happens... to be... where you can see... American Idol. Subtle cross-promotion... very subtle.
7:37 pm: Tim McCarver and Joe Buck are discussing the strategy of the game and talking about Soriano and Beltran trying to steal and "pushing the defense". Did anyone tell them that this is an exhibition game? (I know, Bud, "it counts.")
Why are we now on our 5th straight commercial break?
7:41 pm: They cut the Canadian National Anthem. This is an international incident waiting to happen.
7:42 pm: What the hell is a "heavy, boring fastball." (belonging to Brad Penny.) Sounds like a description of a bad blind date.
7:44 pm: Buck: "This game starts off with a foul on the first 2-2 pitch of the night." (Huh?) Ichiro strikes out. It'll still be two days 'til he says "Wasabi"
7:47 pm: "That's a four-seam fastball up and in to Derek Jeter" - Tim McCarver as Jeter ducks to save his life. Thanks. "Juuuuuuuuuuuust a bit outside."
7:49 pm: Penny now has a "riding" fastball and a "Mark Wahlberg" fastball. Make your own joke. I am.
7:52 pm: I'll be... that Brad Penny is rather good. Will he outdo this?
7:57 pm: Is Tim McCarver drunk?
Kenny Rogers is apparently a "young 41." Albert Pujols pops out. I live near Wrigley Field, so once in a while, I see a Cubs fan wearing a shirt that says "Cardinals Fans Take it in their Pujols."
We need a drinking game. Any time Tim McCarver says something stupid, everyone takes a shot.
8:04 pm: Oh great, we've got a subplot going on how long we'll get to play before a rain out. What happens to home field advantage then? Bud? Where are you? Bud?
8:07 pm: My friend Steve, tipping his cap to all the Taco Bell commercials just sent me this link. I love YouTube.
Hey someone hit the ball off Penny! It was A-Rod! The subplot: Penny vs. $252,000,000.
8:08 pm: Vladimir Guererro. How the hell did that name happen? Al 1, NL 0. (update: "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes." I have no idea what the hell that was about.... I am scared. Civilzation is crumbling around us. If you saw it, you know what I'm talking about.)
8:15 pm: My wife has rejoined me. David Wright just tied it up with an HR. Nice.
8:17 pm: Has there ever been a player with a whiter name than Chase Utley? William Van Landingham?
8:18 pm: We've now had cross-promotion for American Idol and, thanks to a little puff piece on David Wright, 24. (update: Here it is) Next, Ozzie Guillen will be plugging a "very special" episode of Will and Grace. Mark Redman will yell "D'Oh" ala Homer Simpson after giving up three homeruns and seven earned runs. Someone out there is playing a drinking game every time I mention Mark Redman.
8:23 pm: Top 3rd, Roy Oswalt in, and Albert Pujols pretends that he's Omar Vizquel. Nice barehand play.
8:30 pm: Fox shows a PSA about steroids. Even my wife caught the irony on that one.
8:31 pm: Phil Garner has a sense of humor. Halliday faces the pinch hitter Holiday. Not since George Washington faced Geroge Mason in the NCAA basketball tournament...
8:33 pm: Buck, McCarver, and Phil Garner talk how cool it would be if Soriano tried to steal on Rodriguez. On cue, Soriano steals easily.
8:35 pm: Still talking. Beltran steals on I-Rod. Still talking. Wild pitch. Beltran scores. Will someone do play by play on... the game? NL 2, AL 1.
8:39 pm: My Russian wife just told me that it's good to see me doing something American tonight instead of watching all that soccer.
8:40 pm: Ozzie's got a microphone. Oh dear.
8:42 pm: What does the RCW on the wristbands stand for?
8:46 pm: SNAKES ON A PLANE!!!
8:48 pm: Despite their best efforts, Buck & McCarver can't get Ozzie to say anything stupid. But, we're only in the fourth inning.
8:50 pm: I just got to yell "FOUR-SIX-THREE" My wife asked for an explanation. I love her.
8:51 pm: My buddy Steve just asked me how I could marry someone who didn't know what 4-6-3 meant. I watch Gilmore Girls with her and have no idea what's going on there. That's what marriage is about. Not knowing what the other one is talking about, but still nodding your head.
MLB is honoring Roberto Clemente with an award that looks... like... a penis.
8:57 pm: Allan H. "Bud" Selig just said "Nicawaga." Way to be international, Bud.
8:59 pm: Friend Omar chimes in with this message for Mrs. Clemente: "and in honor of not having a man in your life, here is a dildo." I need to find a picture of this award for those who didn't see it.
9:01 pm: Clemente just got an award that a couple years ago was given to Barry Bonds.
9:03 pm: Bronson Arroyo was named after Charles Bronson. And now we're hearing him do a jazz/country cover of Wonderwall. This is getting a little weird. Tim McCarver just said that everyone in Florida can play guitar. I think baseball is collectively going through steroid withdrawal.
9:09 pm: Barry Zito is in the game. Ever since he broke up with Alyssa Milano, he just hasn't been the same. The Milano link is worth it for the "What the hell happened to you?" value.
9:11 pm: David Ortiz makes a nice pick. Who says DHs can't play defense? I take back what I said about him at 7:22.
9:16 pm: Shameless "I'm from Cleveland" comment: Grady Sizemore just struck out. :(
9:19 pm: We've reached the part of the All-Star game where it stops being interesting. My friends and I are making very sick jokes. My wife just asked me what 4-6-3 means again.
9:26 pm: How did we get to the 7th inning and I didn't notice?
9:28 pm: The last All-Star game in Pittsburgh (1994) had a fantastic finish. Extra innings. Will it happen again? Or maybe we'll have another tie.
9:31 pm: The first appearance of that random woman (whose name I don't remember...) butchering an interview with David Wright's father. This is painful to watch on so many levels.
9:34 pm: The Seventh Inning Stretch. John Legend is out to sing "God Bless America". Do they do this at the Blue Jays games? Seriously. Anyone out there from Toronto?
And they cut to commercial before Take Me Out To The Ballgame! That's un-American.
9:39 pm: Tom Gordon is warming up in the bullpen. The AL has this one well in hand.
9:41 pm: MARK REDMAN IS WARMING UP! THE AL IS DOOMED!
9:43 pm: FOUR-SIX-THREE!!! I love that.
9:44 pm: Tim McCarver's on fire tonight. Discussing the Twins: "The two lefties, Santana and Liriano, and the guy behind the plate, Joe Mauer, calling the game and leading the league in hitting. These two lefties are awesome." English, motherf%$#er, do you speak it?
9:47 pm: Joe Mauer 1) is a good catcher and 2) his left hand takes a lot of pounding. Make your own joke. I sure am. Yeah, this All-Star Game is a bit of a dud.
9:50 pm: Interview with David Wright. He's 23. He's younger than I am... what am I doing with my life? Grady Sizemore is up again! And he grounds out.
9:52 pm: We're now at the point in the All-Star game where it's a close game, but it will be decided by guys who are there by virtue of the fact that their team had to have one guy there.
9:54 pm: Where did my wife go? I think she's been gone for an hour. I just noticed.
9:57 pm: Here we go, ninth inning. So far, we've had a boring game with no cool subplots, no heroes, no memorable moments. Come on, Ozzie needs to headbutt someone. As Fox just reminded us, the winning run scored on a wild pitch in the 3rd inning.
10:00 pm: Ozzie Guillen is pinch running in an All-Star Game. And he doesn't have a first baseman on the bench. Ummm, Ozzie... it's not that important.
10:06 pm: Three straight AL hits (Konerko, Glaus, Young) and it's an interesting game. And the AL is winning! I love the AL!
10:07 pm: Hoffman blows it. Now in comes Rivera. If Rivera blows it, we might just see Mark Redman. Who's going to play first for the AL? I take back all the "not interesting" stuff.
10:10 pm: Troy Glaus playing 1B. He's never played there in a regular season game. I checked ESPN and baseball-reference.
10:12 pm: Tim McCarver apparently thinks that some of the people who are watching this game at this point are unfamiliar with Mariano Rivera.
10:16 pm: down by one, 2 outs, Beltran on 2nd, Carlos Lee at bat, Rivera on the mound. I love the All-Star Game.
10:18 pm: Carlos Beltran just tried to steal third... with two out in the bottom of the ninth. Why?
10:19 pm: And the American League wins this one 3-2. For the 10th straight year.
10:22 pm: So who is the MVP? Omar suggests the AL nominate Trevor Hoffman.
10:24 pm: It's Michael Young. Whatshername is emceeing the presentation of the award, which surprisingly turns into a Chevy commerical. Imagine that!
10:28 pm: I want to thank Gatorade for making the commercial where Jordan misses the shot over Ehlo in the 1989 NBA playoffs. For a moment, I actually felt like my beloved hometown hasn't been kicked in the collective cajones over and over again for a little while.
10:31 pm: Buck and McCarver are wrapping up a good night by announcing that Fox will be covering the All-Star Game and World Series for the next seven years. God help us all. Fear not. I'll be there.
10:35 pm: The game ends with Bronson Arroyo playing "Slide" by the Goo Goo Dolls. Yep, that about sums it up.
That final score once again. AL 3, NL 2. From the World's First International Interactive Ziggurat for Endangered Species and Auto Parts Superstore World Communication Center, good night, and good luck.