If you’re like me, you take a great deal of pride seeing your guys representing your team at the All-Star Game. It’s always a special moment for me seeing our beloved Tribe players get introduced. There’s certainly a sense of pride there that I think every baseball fan has for their respective teams, regardless of how well the regular season is going for them.
However, this sense of pride is increased a couple of notches when one of your guys steps up and makes a big play on the All-Star Game stage. This is exactly how I felt yesterday when Jason Kipnis lined an RBI double off Atlanta flame-thrower Craig Kimbrel in the top of the 8th. It can certainly be argued that this was the biggest hit of the game for the AL. It wasn’t the biggest play, as Jose Bautista’s sac fly gave the AL the lead, but it was a huge hit for the AL to give them some insurance.
Jason Kipnis certainly had the credentials to win All-Star Game MVP, however, that went to the greatest reliever of all-time, Mariano Rivera, in his last ever all-star game. My fellow writer Chris Burnham discusses whether or not it was the right decision to give Rivera the MVP or not in his previous post. I think most Tribe fans might share Chris’s opinion that Rivera did little to influence the game and thus should not have been given the MVP based on his lifetime achievement (and I think Chris is right on the money with this one).
Unfortunately, Justin Masterson did not get a chance to pitch in the game. I don’t think this should come as a huge surprise though. There’s only five, maybe six innings devoted to starting pitching during an All-Star Game, and it’s hard to argue against the people Jim Leyland threw out there. I’m just happy that Justin got recognized for being a workhorse for us for the first-half of the season, and I’m sure being named to his first ever All-Star team was an experience he’ll never forget.