in Boston. So did Randy Johnson. Tom Glavine was always a super great guy. So was Joe Torre, who knew me from Baltimore and would always say: “You’re from Baltimore, that’s a great baseball town.
Yeah, we’re gonna do Baltimore, it’s important.” Derek Jeter was always a memorably nice guy.
Greg Maddux was always polite, but never did the show. Barry Bonds threw some insult my way when I was wearing a pink shirt at Coors Field. Manny Ramirez once told me that he didn’t speak English — in absolutely PERFECT English. Mike Piazza always blew me off. Albert Belle was always best avoided.
A lot of those years, Curt Schilling was on the team, and that always helped me because he would further my cause. I vividly remember a long three-way conversation at his locker with then-Expo Pedro Martinez at the Cleveland All-Star Game in 1997. At that point, it looked like one of them was going to be traded to Cleveland, so it was an interesting conversation.
Clearly, in October 2004, when they earned rings together as members of the Red Sox, it became a legendarily memorable occasion.
Trust me, it was a long way from that Prowler in Myrtle Beach, watching the game on a black and white television with my Pop adding tin foil to the rabbit ears and mosquitoes tearing me us up through the holes in the netting of little trailer.
But I haven’t been in a few years now, mainly because the entire event just stinks now.
As a media member, there is very limited access and they do the interviews in a hotel banquet room instead of at lockers or on the field. There’s no baseball vibe at all and it truly FEELS like WORK, not like fun.
And then there’s the actual event you’re covering.
The Home Run Derby is, without question, the DUMBEST event in sports and is just painful to sit through in the ballpark.
And the actual Tuesday night All Star Game itself — ever since that night in Milwaukee with that idiot Bud Selig shrugging his shoulders for the world to see — is a yawn fest.
Our listeners don’t much care, I don’t much care anymore and most of the veteran players act like it’s a chore to even show up and play in an exhibition game for the fans’ enjoyment.
The last two years, I’ve declined to attend and just stayed at home and thrown a party with my wife. We serve ballpark food and invite some of our friends who love baseball over to the condo. We all sit around and bitch about Peter Angelos and say how bad it all sucks, what’s happened to baseball in our town and in our lives.
But at least the food is good and the conversation about baseball is always as spicy as the salsa for the nachos.
But we decided during this past year’s game in Pittsburgh, we’d really like for the All Star Game to mean more to us than that we’re two weeks away from the start of Ravens’ camp.