Photo: Justin Lane/Landov | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
In last night’s midsummer’s classic, the AL beat the NL 3-0 at CitiField in New York, holding the senior circuit to just three hits. But the final score doesn’t indicate what a weird, wonderful night it was.
Four Players 21 or Younger
Okay, so it's not a moment, per se, but still. Bryce Harper and Jose Fernandez are 20. Mike Trout and Manny Machado are 21. In total, 39 players made their All-Star Game debuts, but this week, these four really stood out. Harper, starting in center field for the NL, finished second in Monday’s Home Run Derby. Fernandez hit 97 mph on the radar gun, and mowed down Dustin Pedroia, Miguel Cabrera, and Chris Davis in a 1-2-3 inning. Trout led off the game with a double. And Manny Machado made a jaw-dropping play at third. Baseball is in good hands.
But during the regular season, MLB mandates that all teams wear matching shoes, which tends to mean white or black. Not so the All-Star Game! Which is why we got to see Mets, Orioles and Tigers in magma-orange, Andrew McCutcheon in canary yellow, Troy Tulowitski in imperial purple, and Brandon McCarthy in red and gold. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver really seemed to get a kick out of last night’s kicks. Also not a moment.
Matt Harvey Hitting Robinson Cano
For over three months now, Mets starter Matt Harvey has seemed blessed. The 24-year-old Connecticut native was named April’s Pitcher of the Month, he graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, he’s dated supermodels, posed for fashion shoots, been compared to former Mets greats like Tom Seaver, made funny videos for Jimmy Fallon, and was picked to start the All-Star Game for the National League. In short, he’s all but stolen Derek Jeter’s crown as Prince of the City. Which is why, in the first inning of last night’s game, when he hit Yankees star Robinson Cano in the knee with a 96-mph fastball, he must have seen it all come crashing down. Had Cano been seriously injured – and it sure looked like he could have been – Harvey would’ve gone from Big Apple hero to villain in no time. Sure, he’d still have had Mets fans in his corner, but if you’re the guy who sent the beloved Cano to the DL, you do not want to keep living in New York. It would be far too dangerous. Luckily for everyone involved, x-rays were negative. Maybe he is blessed after all.
Prince Fielder Hitting a Triple
It’s not every day that you see a 270-lbs bear-of-a-guy barreling around the bases. In fact, you never see it. Just try watching Prince Fielder slide head-first into third for a triple without smiling.
Dude Crowdsourcing His Field Invasion
Cano fan and Twitter user @MasonDylan tweeted that he’d run onto the field if he got 1000 retweets. Apparently he did, because in the sixth inning the dude took off for second…and then FOX cut away. What fans at home didn’t see was @MasonDylan realize what a mistake he’d made, practically surrender to security, and then get body-slammed. Blame it on social media. He did.
A New York Crowd Singing “Sweet Caroline”
This never would have happened at Yankee Stadium, but it was still weird to see a Big Apple crowd sing this Fenway anthem, even if New York native Neil Diamond was the one leading the charge.
Rivera Entering the Game in the 8th Inning
He’s the greatest reliever of all time playing in his final big league season in front of a hometown crowd. Clearly, it was imperative that The Great Rivera make it into the game, and AL manager Jim Leyland wasn’t taking any chances, calling for Rivera in the eighth inning. Sure, it would have been cool to see him save the game, but Leyland made the right call. But it was still weird seeing Rivera in an inning other than the ninth.
Rivera Entering the Game to “Enter Sandman” in a Venue Other Than Yankee Stadium
And while we’re at it, how weird must it have been for Rivera when his longtime entrance anthem came roaring out of CitiField’s speakers? Very weird! “I wasn’t expecting it,” Rivera said after the game. “I wanted to come in and do my job. I was crossing the field and got to the mound and listening, first of all, to the song that I pitch to in Yankee Stadium. I don’t hear that in another stadium. That was great.” Proposal: the Yankees should hire Metallica to play “Enter Sandman” live during Rivera’s last home game. Just a thought.
Rivera Warming Up, Completely Alone on the Field
When Rivera finally reached the mound…he was totally alone. Usually, the rest of the team mills about, chatting as the relief pitcher warms up. But this wasn’t any ordinary game or any ordinary relief pitcher, so both teams retreated to the sidelines and gave Mo a long standing ovation. It was pretty special, but also kind of strange, especially for the guy on the mound. “That’s not baseball,” said Rivera. “It felt so weird. I was there alone with my catcher. I don’t know how to act. At that moment, I didn’t know what to do. Just keep throwing the ball, I guess. It was weird, but I definitely appreciate what they did.”
Rivera Got Out of the Inning, 1-2-3. . . and Then Won the All-Star Game MVP Award
Actually, that’s not surreal at all. That’s exactly what everyone knew would happen.
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