It should come as little surprise, but Brian McCann, who delivered the big bases-clearing double in the seventh off fellow lefty Matt Thornton, has been named the game's most valuable player. Bud Selig comes out to hand off the Ted Williams MVP Trophy, which is a long crystal bat. Let the debate rage over which is the cooler trophy: the long crystal bat MVP trophy, or the bronze(?) crossing-bat Home Run Derby trophy. As an American, naturally, I prefer the thing that's bigger, but what's really important here is that no matter which trophy is cooler, they're both way cooler than the World Cup, which is a blight on everyone involved. I have a theory that trophies should be proportional to the number of people that care about them. Following that idea, the World Cup should be made of astatine and contain the entire moon somewhere.
For the second night in a row, an event I was dreading was made more tolerable by liveblogging the whole time. I think this really is a valuable lesson, particularly for bloggers of bad baseball teams who're out of the race, such as myself. It wasn't just the liveblogging this time, though. This was an All-Star Game, and it was over in just under three hours. Now, last year's All-Star Game was the shortest All-Star Game since 1988, which (A) I didn't realize, and (B) we were never going to match, but you always expect an exhibition like this to drag on longer than your standard nine-inning tilt, so kudos to Charlie Manuel and Joe Girardi for whatever they did to lull their lineups to sleep. We were one Brian McCann swing of the bat away from having Hong-Chih Kuo as an MVP favorite.
So, what does it mean? It means some team in the NL might get one more home game than some team in the AL in the World Series. It's a pretty big advantage if the series ends up going seven games, but if it doesn't, it's irrelevant, and the series hasn't gone seven since 2002. Odds are it's all much ado about nothing. What's most significant to me is that the NL finally snapped the AL's remarkable streak, which, even if you concede that the game doesn't really matter, was as impressive a streak as any I've seen in a while. The odds of one league's ~best players going undefeated against another league's ~best players 13 times in a row are lower than this sock I just threw on the floor for demonstrative purposes.
People will argue about the managing in this game, as they always do. People will wonder why David Ortiz ran for himself in the ninth, and why Alex Rodriguez never played. People just love to be mad at things. Sure, the game wasn't managed perfectly. No game is managed perfectly. The rosters for these teams weren't selected perfectly, either, and the outcome very well may not mean a thing. It's not worth getting up in arms about, and I don't know that anyone would get up in arms about it if it weren't the only sporting event of any significance of the day. People need to talk about sports. The sport they're actually talking about doesn't matter as much.
So we're done. Tomorrow, there's nothing. Thursday, there's baseball again. Real baseball. Meaningful baseball. The All-Star break has a lot of flaws, but one thing it does do is really whet your appetite for the return of the regular season. Onward we march. There is a lot of ground yet to cover.