The Week in Sports #5: MLB All-Stars, Ocho Cinco, Tour de France

The Major League Baseball All-Star game is next Tuesday at 8 p.m. EST at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. This is one of the only all-star games that I care about in any capacity. It’s most likely because the game is usually close and the winning league gets home-field advantage in the World Series, so they actually have something to amp them up about. Pete Rose never really needed a reason to barrel into catchers back in the day, though.  Who am I kidding, I probably actually like it because I’m an AL fan and the American League is 11-0-1 since 1996.

Most of the other major sports league’s All-Star games stink. The NFL’s Pro Bowl is boring unless your team has a lot of offensive stars in the game and it means nothing in the overall scheme of things. It’s played the week after the Super Bowl and the season is already over. The NHL and NBA All-Star games are usually so uncomfortably high-scoring that real fans of the sports are left with a sour taste in their mouths. The MLS All-star game is actually pretty cool since the MLS All-Stars play a European Power. In past years they’ve taken on Scottish Club Celtic and English Premiership club West Ham United.

Here’s your 2k9 MLB All-Star Rosters:

American League:


C: Joe Mauer, MIN

1B: Mark Teixeira, NYY

2B: Dustin Pedroia, BOS

SS: Derek Jeter, NYY

3B: Evan Longoria, TB

OF: Jason Bay, BOS

OF: Ichiro Suzuki, SEA

OF: Josh Hamilton, TEX

Pitchers: Andrew Bailey (OAK), Josh Beckett (BOS), Mark Buehrle (CWS), Brian Fuentes (LAA), Zach Greinke (KC), Roy Halladay (TOR), Felix Hernandez (SEA), Edwin Jackson (DET), Joe Nathan (MIN), Jonathan Papelbon (BOS), Mariano Rivera (NYY), Joe Verlander (DET) and Tim Wakefield (BOS).

Reserves: Victor Martinez (CLE), Justin Morneau (MIN), Kevin Youkilis (MIN), Aaron Hill (TOR), Jason Bartlett (TAM), Brandon Inge (DET), Michael Young (TEX), Carl Crawford (TAM), Curtis Granderson (DET), Torii Hunter (LAA), Adam Jones (BAL) and Ben Zobrist (TAM).

National League:


C: Yadier Molina, STL

1B: Albert Pujols, STL

2B: Chase Utley, PHI

SS: Hanley Ramirez, FLA

3B: David Wright, NYM

OF: Carlos Beltran, NYM

OF: Raul Ibanez, PHI

OF: Ryan Braun. MIL

Pitchers: Heath Bell (SD), Chad Billingsley (LAD), Jonathan Broxton (LAD), Matt Cain (SF), Francisco Cordero (CIN), Ryan Franklin (STL), Dan Haren (ARI), Josh Johnson (FLA), Ted Lilly (CHC), Tim Lincecum (SF), Jason Marquis (COL), Francisco Rodriguez (NYM) and Johan Santana (NYM).

Reserves: Brian McCann (ATL), Prince Fielder (MIL), Adrian Gonzalez (SD), Ryan Howard (PHI), Orlando Hudson (LAD), Freddy Sanchez (PIT), Miguel Tejada (HOU), Ryan Zimmerman (WSH), Brad Hawpe (COL), Hunter Pence (HOU), Justin Upton (ARI) and Shane Victorino (PHI).

MLB: The Boston Red Sox led the way with six All-star representatives. Pitchers Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon and Time Wakefield made it, along with Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia and Jason Bay. The Big story, though, is Wakefield. He leads the AL in wins at 11, but the real story is the fact that the 42 year-old Wakefield got the first All-Star nod of his 17-year career. Another big story is the fact that Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers was voted in as a starter in the American League Outfield. As I write this, he’s batting .254 with only 6 homers and 24 RBI’s. I understand that Hamilton has a great story. Former #1 overall pick ruins his shot at the big show, blows all his money on drugs and spirals into darkness only to turn his life around and triumphantly return to the MLB and become an All-Star last year. But, this year he isn’t remotely an All-Star. This is a worse selection than Jason Varitek last season.

NFL: Chad OchoCinco says that he is going to Twitter during NFL games this season. Personally, I don’t know how he will be able to do that. Is he going to wear a cellphone holder on his uniform belt? Like a big bulky one? I’m not sure the league would like that. Is he going to keep the phone in his sock? That would be rather uncomfortable during the game. The NFL does have rules against cell phone use during games. Players are not allowed to handle phones during games. If OchoChinco does tweet during games, he better get ready to pay some fines. I guess that’s not a big deal though; he’s getting a lot of press from this. Maybe he’ll actually show up to play this season now that the spotlight will be back on him.

Soccer: The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup is an American soccer tournament that’s been around since 1914. It’s the oldest soccer tournament in America and one of the oldest in the World. Teams run the gamut from local club squads to Major League Soccer. The tournament started with thirty-two teams, but is down to the final four. The remaining Match ups are the MLS’s DC United against the USL First Division Rochester Rhinos and the MLS’s Seattle Sounders against Houston Dynamo, also of MLS. It’s interesting, but not surprising, that the Rhinos, a lower division team, made it this far. They are the only non-MLS team to win the cup (1999) since Major League Soccer began play in 1996.

Tour de France: The tour started on the fourth of July and doesn’t end until the 26th. That’s a heck of a lot of bike riding. If I take a bike ride I find myself huffing and puffing after ten minutes and wondering when I can stop and take a nap. Lance Armstrong came out of retirement to take part in this year’s event. At the time I write this he is only fractions of a second behind leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland as the cyclists head to the mountain stages in the Pyrenees. I hate riding my bike up a hill. I can’t even imagine riding it up a mountain. These guys are maniacs.

*Do you like any sports that you want me to cover next week or any sports stories you want me to mention? This is your article, not mine. Have at it. Throw me an email

Image credit: Kriss Szkurlatowski, SXC

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