BY Art Thiel 08:59PM 07/14/2015

A light night for Mariners at the All-Star Game

Hernandez is perfect, Cruz was 0-for-2 and the American League won 6-3, assuring the Mariners of home-field advantage in the World Series.

Felix Hernandez finished eight innings short of a perfect game Tuesday night in Cincinnati. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest file

The Mariners’ impact on the 86th MLB All-Star Game Tuesday in Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park was light: RHP Felix Hernandez pitched a 1-2-3 third inning, and DH Nelson Cruz struck out and flied out in his only two at-bats.

Manager Lloyd McClendon, an American League coach, during pre-game introductions tipped his hat nicely. He also smiled slightly, something he probably hasn’t done since Sunday’s ghastly 10-3 home loss to the Angels that ended Seattle’s first half with a thump like a drunk losing his grip on the lamppost.

Another person with a Seattle connection probably had the most notable face time: Ciara, girlfriend of Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, sang the national anthem. For the record,  she finished the song to the last note. And she’s had more major league baseball action than Wilson.

The American League beat the National League 6-3, assuring the Mariners of home-field advantage in the World Series. Having completed the difficult part, the Mariners have the easier task of getting there.

Mariners nemesis Mike Trout of Anaheim, with two hits, was named MVP, the first player to win consecutive MVPs. He led off the game with a homer, the fourth to lead off an All-Star Game in the event’s history. Six players in ASG history, including Trout, have hit a leadoff homer in the first inning, top or bottom. Bo Jackson in 1989 was the most recent.

“Just trying to get a pitch to hit,” he said of his homer off the Dodgers’ Zach Greinke. Trout also set the record for youngest player, 23, to reach 1,000 uses of the phrase, “Just trying to get a pitch to hit.” Crossing the threshold allows him to change his name officially to Mike Trite.

Perhaps the most noteworthy fact in ASG 86 came once the rosters were set: For the first time in the game’s history, neither a Yankee nor a Red Sox was in the starting lineup.

There are baseball gods.


  • jafabian

    I loved that the Cincy crowed booed all the Cardinals players as they were introduced. They even booed Pujols even though he players for the Angels. The M’s don’t have any sort of rivalry like that.

    • Effzee

      Rivalries like this require a tradition of playing relevant games against one another for high stakes. The M’s have no such tradition. This franchise has existed for more years than the total number of high stakes games it has participated in.

      Also, what kind of Mickey Mouse operation updates their uniforms by resurrecting the look of the worst era in franchise history?

      • jafabian

        For something that’s uninteresting the Sounders seem to average 40K a match and overall MLS attendance is up 11% from last season. Not bad for an “uninteresting” sport.

        • Effzee

          Hey, I can’t help it if a small section of a population passionately finds something interesting that is, in fact, not. ;-p

          • art thiel

            Before you deny everything, try soccer with the drinking part first.

          • Effzee

            This may indeed be the missing ingredient! Also, I don’t really hate it all that much. I just get on a roll sometimes when lost in Lincolnland…

      • art thiel

        Cranky, cranky. Uni-bashing, M’s bashing, soccer-bashing. The absence of rain is damaging all of us.

    • art thiel

      Given up on the heated passions with the Padres, huh?

      • jafabian

        The San Diego sport market has had so little success half the time I get it all mixed up and think Dan Fouts played for the Padres and that the Clippers still play there.

  • dingle

    So much good packed into so little space. Starting with the “Mariners in the World Series” coffee-spitter, and ending with a nod to the baseball gods for sparing us from the two most insufferable franchises (and fan bases) in baseball.

    Well done.

    • art thiel

      Thanks, dingle. I figured no one wanted play by play on a fake game except Bud Selig.

  • Kevin Lynch

    Ciara “finished the song to the last note”. I know I’m nitpicking Art but I believe the Anthem has four stanzas and she likely only sang one, leaving out the other three. Just like her boyfriend failing to read the last three chapters in the book “How to Negotiate a Long Term Contract”.

    • art thiel

      Yes, Kevin, you are nitpicking.

      I think you might have been more concerned with three final feet than three final chapters.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    If there are baseball gods it begs the Question why are they so disgruntled with the Mariners? When they won 116 games and had 8 all stars that year I honestly thought it was Seattle’s year. But the aforementioned Yankees?They of the 2015 all star starter shunning?The Gods allowed them to play devils advocate that 2001 year and oust us from the play offs. Maybe those “gods” are Ms fans after all and they put our guys in the series as Art declared. Then maybe i will believe the Gods are looking to even things out a bit.

    • art thiel

      I’m assuming there are baseball gods, but I will defer to Russell Wilson.

  • Dan Whitmarsh

    ” with a thump like a drunk losing his grip on the lamppost” – you must lie awake at night, searching desperately for ever new and creative ways to describe the myriad excruciating ways this team fails. Do you have a similar list of superlatives ready to go, on the minuscule chance the team ever starts to play good baseball?

    • art thiel

      I can’t plan these things. They just happen. But I am gratified when someone notices. Thanks.

      As far as when good Mariners things happen, well, I wrote a book about it in 2002: “Out of Left Field.” Don’t let it be said that I can’t appreciate a good thing.

      • jafabian

        I have this book and re-read it occasionally. It’s an excellent read for those interested.