Look, we all know that the Major League Baseball All Star Game is a TOTAL waste of time. It’s usually boring and nobody plays hard and, despite the recent-ish rule that the winning side secures home field advantage for their league in the World Series, it’s not really worthy of most people’s time.
I mean, it was pretty cool when it was in Kansas City during the 2012 season, but that had everything to do with civic pride and not the Baseball Pageant itself. But this year it’s somewhere else— I don’t know, Texarkana or something?—so it’s hard to get a boner about it.
Well, you know, except for the whole, “three actual Royals representatives” or whatever. In case you missed it—and I’m sure you probably didn’t—catcher Salvy Perez, closer Greg Holland and left fielder Alex Gordon will be making their SECOND consecutive tandem trip to the midsummer classic.
That’s pretty boss.
And sure, there were some notable snubs—Wade Davis might be the best reliever in baseball, one could potentially make a case for shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielder Lorenzo Cain is having a tremendous campaign—but this is a far cry from days past when the sole Kansas City representative was the forced inclusionary pick.
You remember the glory days.
Mark Redman. Ken Harvey. Aaron Crow. Mike MacDougal.
Mike Sweeney (god love ‘em) was a FIVE TIME All Star, mostly because he existed in an insidiously dark era where there was no better option. (To be fair, there were years where Sweeney deserved it… but many when he did not.)
But this year, like last, it’s wildly different.
Gordon* is coming off of his third Gold Glove win and is arguably the best defensive left fielder in baseball. And despite some streakiness from time-to-time, he remains the Royals’ most consistent offensive producer year after year.
(*Gordon is dead or has a bad wrist or something, and will not be participating in the game itself. For the love of God, get better soon, Gordo.)
Holland, who has been the best closing pitcher in all of baseball for the last two seasons, is almost peerless in his disgusting ability to dominate everyone.
And with all due respect to St. Louis’ Yadier Molina, catcher Salvador Perez is the best catcher in the entire world. Oh, and due to an injury to Baltimore’s Matt Wieters, he’ll actually be starting the game, making him the first KC Royal to do so since outfielder Jermaine Dye got the nod in 2000. (Fourteen years without an All Star starter seems kind of wild until you remember that this is a team who hasn’t been to the playoffs in 75 years, or won a World Series in 90. This is Kansas City, after all, and excruciatingly long stretches of misery are par-for-the-course.)
Even though it’s highly unlikely that the outcome of the game will have any bearing on the Royals in the postseason—because I remain unconvinced that this team can REACH the postseason, let alone the World Series—there’s something to root for I suppose, which is nice, and different. KC’s three best players will take the field (again, except for Gordon, RIP) in front of thousands of fans (and several thousand more watching from the comfort of their own homes) and because I’m the oldest 33-year-old you’ve ever met, I will awaken with a responsible measure of excitement the following morning to take a look at the box score and see how they did.(I won’t stay up though, because come on, it’s on a Tuesday night and it’s the All Star Game, goddammit. I’m tired.)
Anyway, congrats and good luck to the *Big Three!
*minus Gordon, who is having his wrist amputated. God I hate being a Royals fan.