All-Star game unplugged
By Jeff Passan, Yahoo! Sports
July 11, 2006
More All-Star game – Winners and losers
PITTSBURGH – Come on. Like Fox was really going to show the good stuff when it placed microphones on players during the All-Star game.
Much as we'd love to write about the game, it can be summarized in two sentences. The American League won 3-2. The National League stinks.
And until the ninth inning, when Michael Young tripled in two runs with two outs and two strikes, the only intrigue streamed through the mics. Fox, inventors of the plate cam, the base cam and, coming this October, the toilet cam – "We'll be there for every flush!" – for some reason deemed the unfettered commentary unworthy of broadcast.
Such censoring seems both unfair and unbalanced, so, in the interest of the public, of course, it is only right to disclose the true transcript, obtained after Tuesday's game by Yahoo! Sports.
It is for neither the weak nor timid.
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jason Bay, the hometown favorite, runs out to right field to a standing ovation. Under his breath, he whispers.
Bay: No. Oh, no. This isn't happening. PNC Park isn't supposed to be full. We usually get booed. And they're ... cheering? Please. Don't do this. I don't know what this sounds like. My ears. They're bleeding. Stop! I can't take it!
Meanwhile, the NL starter, Brad Penny, is throwing smoke. His fastball sits at 97. He struck out New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter on a high 98-mph fastball two pitches after buzzing him with one at 99. When Jeter returns to the dugout, he sees his teammate, Alex Rodriguez, whose fondness for malaprops is exacerbated by the excitement around the All-Star game.
Jeter: Man, he's nasty.
Rodriguez: No. It's not Penny's stuff. It's Jerry Crawford's strike zone. It's as big as the Miami Ocean.
Jeter: Alex, the Miami Ocean doesn't exist.
Vladimir Guerrero's opposite-field home run gives the AL a 1-0 lead. As he rounds third, he hears a familiar voice.
Manny Ramirez: Hey, I'm supposed to be playing left field
Guerrero: Manny? Is that you? I thought you were hurt.
Ramirez: I am. My arm hurts from lifting these margaritas. And my stomach hurts from eating all day. And my back hurts from playing so much golf. Time for a massage. Peace, sucka!
AL starter Kenny Rogers hands back the advantage on a solo home run to left field by New York Mets third baseman David Wright. Guillen is not happy with his starter.
Guillen: #*$#! You're a @#$@! No, you're a *$#@^$@! No, no, no. You're a Mariotti!
Rogers: I'd better not catch you carrying a camera.
With Toronto Blue Jays starter Roy Halladay struggling, Guillen gets a call from the bullpen phone.
Francisco Liriano: Ozzie, I'm ready.
Guillen: Don't worry, you'll get your turn.
Kansas City Royals starter Mark Redman steals the phone.
Redman: What about me?
Guillen hangs up.
Bay steps to plate and singles. At first base, he's standing next to the Boston Red Sox' David Ortiz.
Ortiz: You look nervous, Bay.
Bay: I don't like all this attention. It worries me.
Ortiz: Listen, kid, if you want to be cool like Big Papi, you need to find your happy place.
Bay: Happy place ... OK.
NL manager Phil Garner calls for Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who missed Monday's media session because he partied into the wee hours of the morning.
Arroyo: Dude, I'm hammered.
Arroyo: Yeah. I kicked a case in the bullpen all by myself, son! Wanna touch my hair?
Arroyo: I use this conditioner. So dope. Hey, can I do a keg stand on the mound? Ten inches in the air. Altitude!
Garner: Let's see some zeroes.
Arroyo: Zero brain cells left. Rawk!
After Arroyo plays air guitar and throws a scoreless inning, Guillen makes a gaggle of substitutions, including the insertion of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer. When Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley leads off the inning, Mauer greets him.
Mauer: You know I'm dating Miss USA 2005?
Mauer: Yeah. And you know what else? I'm dating Miss USA 2005.
Utley: I heard the first time.
Mauer: I know you did. Except I'm dating Miss USA 2005.
Utley: Would you like a prize?
Mauer: Absolutely. I'd like to date Miss USA 2005. Which I am.
Garner's turn to make mass subs. Among the group of new players are Colorado Rockies pitcher Brian Fuentes and Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann. They meet on the mound.
McCann: Who are you?
Fuentes: I'm Brian Fuentes.
Fuentes: I'm the closer for Colorado.
McCann: Sure, guy. Listen, just take this white ball and throw it over the plate. Got it?
Fuentes: But ...
McCann: OK, hoss.
Bay walks from the dugout.
Bay: Happy place. Happy place.
The crowd stands again.
Bay: OK, imagine they're all naked.
Arroyo: I do that all the time, man. It's awesome!
The cheering is cacophonous.
Bay: Too ... much ... pressure!
He strikes out. Back in the dugout, he puts on headphones and turns on a Kelly Clarkson CD.
Bay: Ahhh. Happy place.
Meanwhile, Guillen's phone rings.
Liriano: Ozzie, I'm ready.
Guillen: Hey, kid. @#&^ #$%* $#&*@!
Liriano hands the phone to Redman.
Redman: Ozzie, I'm ready.
Guillen: What, to give up five runs?
Redman: Good point.
Redman hangs up.
The game is dragging. It's 2-1, a run hasn't been scored since the third inning and one man's eyelids are shutting.
Arroyo: I think I'm going to pass out.
Garner passes out, too.
San Diego Padres reliever Trevor Hoffman comes on and, with two outs, gives up a single to Paul Konerko and a ground-rule double to Troy Glaus. Garner's phone rings.
Liriano: Phil, I'm ready.
Garner ignores him and lets Hoffman pitch to Young. He knocks in the game-winning runs, Mariano Rivera shuts down the NL in the bottom of the inning and for the ninth consecutive game with an outcome, the AL beats the NL.
As the AL celebrates, Guillen feels a tap on his shoulder.
Liriano: Ozzie, I'm ready.
Bay: You say %^#&? I'm the one who needs a drink.
Arroyo: Once it hits your lips it's so good!
Mauer: That's what Miss USA 2005 says.
Fuentes: Don't fight, guys.
McCann: What's your name again?
Rodriguez: Please! Please! Stop with the negatism!
Ramirez: I'm glad I went on vacation.
Jeff Passan is Yahoo! Sports' national baseball writer. Send him a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.