BOZICH: Ten Reasons To Watch MLB All-Star Game Starts With 5 Former Louisville Bats
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Eight players from the Texas Rangers are stacked on the American League All-Star team. Six St. Louis Cardinals eventually worked their way on the roster.
There are five former Louisville Bats.
I wonder what Alex Rodriguez thinks about that because there are only four members of the $196 million New York Yankees on the AL team that will compete against the National League in Kansas City Tuesday night.
Looking for a reason to watch the game, which will be televised on WDRB, Channel 41, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday?
There you go. More former Bats (Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Aroldis Chapman, Josh Hamilton, Adam Dunn) than current Yankees (Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and the injured CC Sabathia.)
That's Reason One. Here are nine more:
2. BRYCE HARPER: I could drop a string of statistics about why you should watch the game to see this kid, but I'll save the stats for the other Great Next Thing (no clues, keep reading).
This is the best way to think about Harper, the Washington Nationals' outfielder: Peyton Siva will turn 22 in October. Terrence Jones turned 20 in January. Cody Zeller will turn 20 on October 5, 11 days before Harper celebrates his 20th birthday.
And Harper has a .354 on-base percentage, scoring 43 runs in 63 games.
3. ERIN ANDREWS: Not every free agent signs with the Yankees or Red Sox. Andrews left ESPN for Fox Sports, and handling interviews in the dugouts will be her Fox debut.
She'd better be prepared. As a reporter in Toronto discovered earlier this season, Harper is not a fan of "clown questions, bro."
4. DAN UGGLA: All right, I need help here. My interest in Uggla isn't that he will represent the Atlanta Braves as the NL starting second baseman. My interest is he was born in Louisville. His family (mom Elizabeth, dad Carl) moved to Tennessee and he played at Memphis.
But who knows – and will share – the local angle of the Dan Uggla story?
5. DEREK JETER: Sorry to follow a question with another question, but remember when baseball had three great young shortstops – Jeter, ARod and Nomar Garciaparra?
One is retired. One is fading. The other – Number 2 from the New York Yankees – keeps going and going. Jeter turned 38 last month, and he's tied for the AL lead in hits. Jeter is at 3,199 for his career. Think Pete Rose is getting nervous?
6. MIKE TROUT: You think Harper is good? Trout, an outfielder with the Los Angeles Angels, is better – and he won't turn 21 until Aug. 7. Trout leads Harper in RBIs (40-25), runs (57-43), extra-base hits (30-27) and stolen bases (26-10) in only 10 more at-bats.
Trout and Harper are the 18th and 19th players under 21 to make the All-Star game. Six (Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, Catfish Hunter and Bob Feller) became Hall of Famers.
7. ADAM DUNN: The Big Donkey played 55 games in downtown Louisville 11 summers ago – and hit 20 homers. But that's not why he's on my list.
A year ago Dunn played like he needed to send the White Sox a $14 million refund check. He had a higher strikeout total (177) than batting average (.159). Cincinnati Reds fans laughed at the absurdity of the four-year, $56 million contract the White Sox gave Dunn.
Dunn still whiffs. A lot. He's on pace to obliterate the big-league record (223) by finishing with 255. But he's first in the AL in walks, third in home runs and fifth in RBIs. He only needs to refund a couple of million.
8. AROLDIS CHAPMAN: I know Reds fans have been grumbling because Chapman, the former Bat, lost four games in June – and then went 13-year-old on everybody by turning a double somersault off the pitcher's mound against the Brewers. I also know that in his last five appearances, Chapman has 12 strikeouts in five innings.
9. JOEY VOTTO: I've told this story before, but it is always worth repeating. I'll never forget the first time I interviewed Votto in 2007 when he played for the Bats. He had what I thought was an excellent game, a couple of singles and a double.
I met him in the hallway between the Bats' clubhouse and dugout after the game and asked if we could talk. Sure, he said.
But not until he finished in the batting cage. He wasn't happy with his stroke. For more than 20 minutes, Votto worked. Then he emerged and answered my questions.
No wonder he's chasing his second NL MVP award in three seasons with the Cincinnati Reds.
10. R.A. DICKEY: I tried to throw a knuckleball. You tried to throw a knuckleball. Anybody who failed to break 60 mph on the radar gun has played with a knuckleball.
The Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, Twins (again), Mariners (again) and Twins (one more time) all told Dickey to look for other work.
Then he added a knuckleball. And now R.A. Dickey is a 37-year-old pitcher who has won 12 of 13 decisions for the New York Mets, even though he had a career record of 41-50 before this season.
Anybody want to play catch?
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