Just back from my bathroom after vomiting. Such was my reaction to the brought-to-you-by-Fox All-Star pre-game ceremony, which was coated in more syrup than a 12-stack of flapjacks.
As a guy who’s witnessed the behind-the-scenes setups of way too many of these “events,” I will break some incredible news to readers. Willie Mays farts. As does George Brett. And Cal Ripken. And (gasp) Yogi Berra. You can pipe in as much classical music as possible, cue Joe Buck for his grating commentaryâ€”and at the end of the 20-minute session it’s still a bunch of ornery, washed-up ballplayers bitter over the $20 million deals they missed out on by being born in the 30s, 40s and 50s.
Things that stood out:
A. Mays chomping on his gum throughout the intros, then ignoring Josh Hamilton to converse with Kosuke Fukudome, a man who doesn’t speak three words of English.
Mays: “Can you believe they didn’t fly me in first class for this bullshit?”
B. The inviting of former Phillies ace Steve Carlton, who believes there are seven evil Jews running the world by manipulating markets. (As a Jew, I cannot confirm or deny this to be true. I can only ask that you kiss my feet).
C. Reggie Jackson apparently getting mad at Yogi Berra for standing so close to home before throwing out one of four first pitches. I am willing to bet large bundles of money that Jackson, Mr. Ego, had spent the past month practicing launches from the mound.
D. The awkward manhug between Dick Williams and Terry Francona. It was very similar to my general encounters with Ms. Hirschorn. Kiss? Hug? Shake? I never know.
E. George Steinbrenner being wheeled out to deliver the baseballs in his very own Pope Mobile. Three days ago Big Stein issued a very compassionate statement on the death of Bobby Murcer. Call me a fool, but I’m beginning to think he didn’t really write it.
** Special note: Yogi just entered the booth and called Joe Buck “Jay.”Â Sweet.