While the Wisconsin Dells Rivermen are still in search of their first win at the mid-way point of the 2018 Home Talent season, at the national level, Major League Baseball is gearing up for the annual Mid-Summer Classic, AKA, the All-Star Game.
Scheduled for July 17 in Washington, D.C., with the regular season beginning a week earlier and the All-Star game taking place a week later than normal, it’s not exactly a mid-season showdown as in years past. But regardless, the MLB All-Star game remains a star-studded event.
While some claim the All-Star Game no longer matters, citing the fact that the winning league no longer receives home field advantage in the World Series, or, with the advent of interleague play and free agency, the rivalry and pride between the two leagues no longer exists.
They overlook the very reason the game was conceived: the fans.
From the fan’s perspective, there is nothing like the thrill and excitement of watching a ballgame that features the best and brightest talent of the day. Never forget, the All-Star Game is for the fans.
As in every All-Star Game ever played, this year’s Mid-Summer Classic holds a special significance, particularly for the host city and its fans, with this year’s contest being held at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals.
And with the Nats biggest star, Bryce Harper, becoming a free agent immediately following the 2018 season, this could very well be the last time Harper graces the All-Star stage as a member of the Nationals.
For the Washington faithful the game could be a bittersweet one.
Of particular interest to fans of the Milwaukee Brewers, the National League All-Star Game roster showcases three members of the Brew Crew, with possibly one more waiting to come aboard. They include outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, along with bullpen ace Josh Hader. Meanwhile, Brewer number four, Jesus Aguilar, is looking to join them via the fan vote.
The National League leader in home runs with 23 heading into Wednesday, Aguilar should have been a unanimous choice.
As for the starting line-ups, representing the NL will be the Cubs’ Wilson Contreras behind the plate with Nolan Arenado at third base, Brandon Crawford at shorstp, Javier Baez at second base, and Freddie Freeman at first.
The outfield will be covered by Matt Kemp, Nick Markakis, and Harper, while Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer has the inside track to start for the NL squad.
Looking at the AL starting line-up, Wilson Ramos gets the nod behind the dish. He will be joined by Jose Ramirez at third, Manny Machado at short, Jose Altuve at second, and Jose Abreu at first. Outfielders not named Jose include Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout.
In this his seventh big league season, Trout will be making his seventh All-Star Game appearance.
In regards to the AL starting pitcher, all I know for sure is that it won’t be Justin Verlander, since he is scheduled to pitch on Sunday, just before the All-Star break.
But whoever gets the call, it’s sure to be one heck of a match-up!
From one fan to another, enjoy the game.