By Shane Shackleford
As I sit at my desk watching Tuesday night's 88th MLB All-Star Game wrap up, I have some thoughts I’d like to share with you my adoring fan base….I’m kidding, totally kidding. Please keep reading.
--The Home Run Derby Monday night was a true must-see entertainment. The eight men who participated put on a display of power hitting I’ve not seen in many years. And the format of the derby was excellent too. It kept the fans charged up the entire night. And speaking of the players who did the hitting....
--Yankee slugger Aaron Judge (pictured) looks like the guy you’d create if you were playing a baseball (or any sport) video game. He stands 6-7 and weighs 280 pounds. Not a typo. He looked like he was hitting golf balls instead of baseballs. He crushed three of them to the tune of 503, 507, and 513 feet. Yipes.
--Judge was biggest player in the derby, the smallest was 6-2 220. And he’s a leadoff man. Stop it.
--Is it me, or am I the only fan who doesn’t really care for the celebrity/veteran softball game? Not the veteran part, the celebrity part. I think it should be eliminated and let the vets play. I’m over the cute little celebrity who can barely hold the bat up trying to hit and giggle at the same time. Again, stop it.
--The All-Star game itself was very well played, with the American League winning 2-1 over the National League in 10 innings. The players looked like they really did care if they won or not. Take heed NBA and NFL all-pros. Fans really do care if you put out some effort, even in all-star competition. Now I don’t expect Game 7 or 4th down and 1 intensity, but I’d like to see that you want to put on a performance you could be proud of.
--Since when did the Houston Astros not only become relevant, but place six players on the American League team but lead the West by 14 games at the All-Star break? Wasn’t too long ago they lost 110 games. And since when did they become an American League team?? They should still be in the National League Western division with Cincinnati and Atlanta. (Yes, I’m old enough to remember it!)
--The NBA Summer League has been really entertaining this year. The Kentucky boys (DeAaron Fox, Bam Adebayo, and Donovan Mitchell) have played really well. Kudos.
--And as far as the Fox/Lonzo Ball rematch from the NCAA tournament that didn’t happen, I have just two thoughts. First, it’s okay Lonzo, I wouldn’t want to play against the guy that lit you up for 39 again in a scrimmage. You’ll see enough of him come regular season since Sacramento is a short drive from LA. Second, I could go somewhere about Lonzo’s signature brand and the fact he let a minor injury stop him from playing, but I’ll keep it classy. Goodness knows LaVar doesn’t.
Shane Shackleford is a retired teacher and coach living in Speedwell, Tenn.