In the 70’s there were several highly publicized exhibition matches between boxing legend Muhammad Ali and an assortment of wrestling stars. Andre the Giant even fought Chuck Wepner. Wepner, also known as the Bayonne(NJ) Bleeder was the inspiration for the first Rocky movie. These were pure spectacle, ridiculous and sometimes dangerous for the boxers involved.
I have a love-hate relationship with the All-Star Game and as I am anticipating it here on the first day of summer, I think of it as the Andre the Giant fight with Wepner, an odd mix, forced together by those interested in an event, not in the sport itself. I am even weeks behind in writing about it; commentary on stories and blog entries have been plump with voting results and insights.
I love it, though, for the way it seems to bring fans and players together in what looks and feels like a celebration of baseball. My mom took my brothers and me to the 1977 All-Star game at Yankee Stadium. I remember Joe Morgan’s home run and Tom Seaver’s walk from the bullpen, when the crowd gave him a lasting, loving standing ovation as he appeared in a Reds uniform in what was I think his first return to New York after leaving the Mets. Other than that I remember the brutally hot car ride home as the old, brown caddy was on the brink of overheating and we had to keep the AC off.
The other reason I like the game is that it provides some baseball over a few dry days without baseball.
I am not really concerned about the voting, even though I voted a few times for Youk, Dustin, Vmart, Papi, and Beltre. Mostly, I would like to see Clay honored. He wants it, and he deserves it– one inning to show the baseball world that Clay Buchholz is one of the best pitchers in the game. Clay has been my focus since my first blog entry, and thus far has proved vital. His fastball, which was noticeably more powerful as I watched him during spring training, reached 97 last night. Awesome. The proper retribution for LA was delivered in the form of this sweep, perfectly concluded by Clay, who in many ways has saved this season from derailment.
Worth noting is the sense of humor Red Sox fans exhibited at Fenway with their Beat LA chants crossing over to baseball. I think of this as a way of conceding that the Lakers were simply the better team and making it to the finals, not to mention Game 7, was joyous for Boston.
“Nava hot as lava” by the Globe’s Professor Abraham This is more in the form of dropping rhymes for Jay-Z. Abraham caught himself and said, “Man that is lame.” But, to me, it’s all about context. With the right beats, this works.
ipod sounds: I am a lonesome hobo Bob Dylan.