Jun 30, 2011
Jack Hamilton has a secret and it's hidden behind one winked eye. He knows what's coming. Why would he know and other people may not? Well, it's probably because someone told him.
Ok, it's not that secret at all. It's now the midway point of the season....and that can only mean one thing....copious amounts of BBQ and fireworks!
At least in the baseball seasonal rhythm, there's one other tradition that has been around since 1933. That would be the Midsummer Classic. 'This time it counts!"
Before, it was the ultimate expression of league pride and symbol of superiority (and it still symbolizes that to a degree). The National League won last year for the first time since 1996. There was a time when the NL won every year but two from 1963-1985. Now, the winner determines home field advantage for their league's representative in the World Series.
The official baseball people say it was to drum up interest. But everyone was still interested when there was an outcry with the tie in the 2002 version of the game. Interest in voting with access to internet voting has never been higher. Millions and millions of votes are cast. The only election with more is American Idol.
Here was my ballot, my criteria are not entirely related to who's performing the best this year, but who I want to see play:
Catcher: Alex Avila
1st: Adrian Gonzalez
2nd: Robinson Cano
SS: Asdrubal Cabrera
OF: Jose Bautista
OF: Curtis Granderson
OF: Josh Hamilton
DH: David Ortiz
Catcher: Brian McCann
1st: Prince Fielder
2nd: Chase Utley
SS: Jose Reyes
3rd: Placido Polanco
OF: Andrew McCutchen
OF: Matt Holliday
OF: Ryan Braun
And the reason why this criteria exists for me and my ballot is simple.....I am going to the All-Star game festivities this year! I have the tickets for all the events. I will take as many pictures as I can so that the full experience is captured. It will be excellent.
If anyone else is going to be in the Phoenix area, I have many extra Fanfest tickets for Monday, July 11. The Fanfest is a cool experience....kind of like a mobile baseball mecca. Not quite as reverence-inducing as Cooperstown, but more interactive on a personal level.
And if you see someone running out on the field during introduction of the lineups....it won't be me.