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Tampa Bay Rays news and Links: All-Star Edition

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Meadows reps Tampa Bay as the American League comes away with a 4-3 win

MLB: All Star Game-National League at American League Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

For the seventh year in a row, the American League defeated the National League in the All-Star game, coming away with a 4-3 victory. If you care about such things, the Yankees Masahiro Tanaka was the winning pitcher and Clayton Kershaw took the loss.

Offense on the NL side came courtesy of a Charlie Blackmon home run and a two-RBI, bases loaded single from Tampa’s own Pete Alonso, who had himself quite an All-Star performance. The AL benefited from a Joey Gallo solo home run, as well as RBIs from Michael Brantley and Jorge Polanco. They also scored a run on a bases-loaded double play.

Honestly I am surprised that anyone manages to hit anything out of the infield in these games; batters are facing a new elite pitcher every inning.

You can find the game’s box score here, but for most fans the excitement is less the action on the field and more the activity around it.

  • Tyler Scaggs, the Angels pitcher who sadly passed away recently, was remembered at the game. Players wore patches with his number 45, and his Angels teammates sported this jerseys in his honor:
  • Some of the players were mic’d — something we’ve seen pre-game but usually not during the game itself. That largely provided some fun moments of banter, but also led to this not so great moment for Joe Buck. To set the scene, Freddy Freeman was at the plate, and he was chatting with catcher Gary Sanchez:
  • The MLB has long partnered with Stand Up to Cancer; for tonight’s game fans and players all carried signs with the name of a loved one affected by this awful disease and there was a moment of silence in the fifth inning when everyone literally stood up and displayed these signs. This tribute was especially moving in last night’s came, because the Indians Carlos Carrasco has recently been diagnosed with leukemia. He appeared on the field last night surrounded by some of his Indians teammates who all carried signs saying “I stand for Cookie”, using Carrasco’s nickname:
  • And in the “things you really never thought about” department, comes this. At first I thought was was a parody account, but apparently the real Neil deGrasse Tyson really did tweet about....spit:

Rays-centric All-Star musings

  • Neither Morton (who had pitched on Sunday) nor Lowe (on the IL) took the field for the Rays. Austin Meadows played a few innings in the outfield, and had one at bat. Although he didn’t reach base, his hard grounder to first advanced Gary Sanchez, who had doubled, to third from where he was able to score on an infield hit. Mark Topkin reports on Meadows All-Star experiences ($).
  • Our guys all enjoyed their red carpet moments, with Austin Meadows telling MLB.com’s Juan Toribio: “It felt like I was in a movie or a dream. To be able to do that with my parents, it was kind of an emotional moment.”The youngest Morton’s All-Star binkie is my favorite fashion accessory:
  • I’ve been waiting all season to see Charlie Morton smile. Apparently all it takes is an All-Star selection:
  • Because he was on the IL Brandon Lowe would not be taking the field. Still, it would have been nice if Joe Buck had figured out how to pronounce his name:

However, at least one viewer applauded the error:

More Rays links

  • Can’t have a All-Star Game without...more stadium talk? MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA head Tony Clark both weighed in, albeit cautiously, on the Montreal/Tampa Bay team sharing idea. Upshot? It’s early and there are still many issues to be consider ($).
  • Looks like Nick Ciuffo may soon have a new home, as he is poised to sign an MiLB deal with the Reds.

Other links

  • Ari Levin, writing at Five-thirty-eight, discusses the most head-scratching All-Star choices since 2002. Some of these not very stellar players represented bad teams that needed a representative, and some were voted in by fans.
  • Those between inning mascot races — ever wonder about them? Here’s a National Public Radio report out of Milwaukee, where it all, apparently, started.
  • The home run surge across MLB is apparent, but it’s still not clear whether the balls are “juiced,” according to this Tyler Kepner piece in the New York Times. Justin Verlander thinks they are and it’s intentional; other pitchers (including the Rays Charlie Morton) have noticed some changes and adjusted. Rob Manfred, however, insists the league has not sought to change the way the ball plays.

Today is an off day for everyone across the major leagues; baseball resumes tomorrow with a single game (Astros vs. Rangers). The rest of the league, including the Rays, go back to work on Friday. Here’s hoping our guys can catch up on sleep and home cooking and come back strong against Baltimore this weekend.