I've been slammed with non-baseball concerns lately, and it's really beginning to eat away at my mental well-being. I've been stacking up questions I have about the rest of the season and reactions to major news for days, but there's always something else on the agenda. I had a retail shift I couldn't get out of on Friday and I missed not only the fireworks but also the greatest comeback in Rockies history. The sad, unused ticket for that game could have gone into my stack of unforgettable Coors Field memories along with all of the playoff games from last season, the game I caught the home run ball during, and the game when the hot drunk girl took off her shirt and ran into center field.
Then the All-Star rosters were announced and justice was served: Aaron Cook got his spot. Cook's inclusion was never very much in doubt since Clint Hurdle was the guy making the call, but hopefully he'll get into the game and give the 99.5% of baseball fans unaware of how great a season he's having a wake-up call.
The point about most if not all All-Star viewers not knowing that Aaron Cook is one of the best starters in the NL this year has wider applications. Every season every national sports website runs one if not several articles about how unjust the All-Star rosters are. I just don't see what the point of making a fuss is. The All-Star game isn't about "real" fans anymore and hasn't been since the 70's. It's now a glitzy bit of mass-produced PR arranged to allow baseball the chance to rouge itself up and prostitute its product for its advertisers for a few days. You know, like the NFL does year-round. I stopped watching the game a few years ago and I haven't missed it. In fact, it's kind of nice having those few days in the middle of the season to not have to worry about keeping track of whether all the teams I care about (which, positively or negatively, is pretty much all of them; I think the only team in either league which I have no feelings about whatsoever is the Rangers) won or lost. Nothing of significance happens during the All-Star Break, and it's a time for actual baseball fans to recharge their batteries, just like all of the players who weren't elected to the game.
The counterargument to the "it just doesn't matter" thing is the World Series home-field advantage aspect. But that's just what they want you to think. The results of an exhibition game played between two groups of players mostly trying to avoid injury with 30-man rosters and pitchers being changed every two innings are no more or less arbitrary a way of deciding home-field than the old system. As you may remember, the involved former method determined which league's representative got Game 7 by whether it was an odd- or even-numbered year. Why they can't just go to the team with the better record like every other sport (that plays multi-game playoff series) has never made sense to me or anyone else.
Few more things, quickly, as my schedule isn't easing up any time soon: I'm really intrigued by the C.C. Sabathia trade, for a few reasons. One is that I used to be a Cubs fan and now that I'm an apostate I really don't want to see them win the World Series; I'd feel like a lifelong Christian who finally threw in the towel and became an atheist only to see the Rapture occur the next day. So I'm pulling for the Crüe for that reason. Also, even though last season's anomaly makes it harder to recognize, the Brewers are a team further along on the same path that the Rockies should be following. If they can win and stay good, Colorado can too.
I have a bunch of relatives attending the Twins-Red Sox game tonight, so I'll be flipping between the Rockies, the Brewers, and that game. Look for my peeps on TV, if you know what they look like. If you don't, well, think of what I look like and then look for the same thing only shorter and less bearded. And balder. (Sorry, Dad.)
I was really broken up when I found out that the Rockies came back from nine down on the 4th of July. Really broken up. I might have even cried a little, you'll have to check with my girlfriend. After I got over the disappointment, though, I felt happy. And refreshed. It felt tremendously good to know that I still cared so much about the results of a single game even in the midst of a blown season. As I decided earlier this summer, I am stuck with the Rockies. They're in my blood now. I don't think I'll be experiencing another conversion like I did after the 2003 NLCS. Good season or bad season, this is my team, and I want to be there for them for the highs and the lows. The fact that I can find highs in a season like this proves my commitment, I suppose.
They called from work this morning -- woke me up -- to ask if I could come in on the 22nd. I looked at my calendar and saw that I have a ticket for the game that night, Rockies and Dodgers. I told them where they could stick it. I'm going back to Coors Field, baby! All we have first is a couple more real games, a few days off, and one fake game.