What do you want to remember about the 2022 MLB All-Star Game?  A star was born and his name is Julio Rodriguez

What do you want to remember about the 2022 MLB All-Star Game? A star was born and his name is Julio Rodriguez

LOS ANGELES – The problem with baseball is that your eyes betray you too often. Or at least you can not see the whole story. What you see on the course is hardly the tip of the iceberg in a sport defined by large sample sizes and unexpected values ​​that must be quantified to be understood.

This makes the All-Star game pointless – I mean, it was anyway, and those of us who thought it was a little cool when the outcome decided the World Series home advantage know how to keep that downturn low – as a match and even on individual performance level. Aaron Judge is still the best slugger on the planet even though he went 0-on-2 with a couple of strikeouts on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

We can try to write about how every moment sets a match or a season on course for its final destination, but it is largely a poetic license. At All-Star, moments are everything. They are exactly as big or as fun or as gripping as they made you feel at first glance.

Or put another way: No analyzes, just vibes.

In May, when the Seattle Mariners came through New York, Julio Rodríguez talked about being the baseball’s stolen base leader at the time, despite profiling more for power than speed as a prospect.

“There are so many guys that someone else will say from the outside, ‘Oh, you’re just a power hitter.’ I feel like I don’t have to limit myself to what you want me to be. ‘

He had played about 30 major league games at the time and declared that he was “a little used to it.”

He has played almost 100 major league matches now. His 21 stolen bases are third in baseball and he leads all beginners in bWAR. He was also the only one to make the All-Star Game, and the only one to compete in the Home Run Derby.

Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez caught everyone's attention at MLB's All-Star Game festivities.  (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez caught everyone’s attention at MLB’s All-Star Game festivities. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

The atmosphere on Tuesday night was noisy, light-hearted, a bit boring considering the baseball itself, but a decent showcase of the players’ personalities that felt more natural and less pleading than trying to prove that the game can be a good time usually is. . But in the end, nothing had set up the J-Rod Show from the night before.

These days, the Home Run derby is the big event of All-Star Week. This is not an indictment for any of the incidents, nor is it just because all kinds of people are digging the long ball. The derby is captivating for the same reason that any other sporting event is: the excitement of competition. The inherent flaw in any show game is that it feels like winning cases – at least for the athletes involved. All-Star prioritizes giving each guy his moment and letting the players get a little distracted for the sake of the broadcast rather than the optimal strategy, as it should be. And the end result was that the only real anxiety came from messing up the National League to score one more and send us to a tiebreaker derby.

The real derby is the guys samples. In a head-to-head competition, it is difficult not to notice that the tension increases or to marvel at the unique displays of strength and endurance.

When it comes to pure baseball fun, it all peaked when Rodríguez – who has 30 home games in the minor league in his career and 16 so far this season in the majors – launched 32 long balls to start the derby, a number that would not be topped all night. It was a moment that everyone watched felt. He eliminated the two-time reigning champion – and far from the person who took it most seriously – Pete Alonso with 31 in the semifinals before falling short against Juan Soto in the final round.

Soto won the Derby – and rumors surrounding his uncertain future won the news cycle – but Rodríguez won the night. (He also used to, self-reportedly, regularly beat Soto on “Call of Duty.” “If he says he was better than me, he’s lying.”)

“What did I show the fans?” Rodríguez assessed after the derby: “Who I am, I guess. A bit of my style… I think they know a bit now. ”

This is old news now. The accomplishments of All-Star week age like the troughs of Dodger Dogs which consisted of the only food available in the press box. But with the right performance, the impression hangs. All the players in LA this week are committed to their talent, but it’s hard to decide if Rodríguez’s eyes or smiles are more captivating (it’s the diamond – studded 4-chain plate size that shines the strongest).

Julio Rodríguez entered an All-Star this week, leaving as one star star – which is much rarer. We are fortunate to see that status cemented so early in his career. 2022 Home Run Derby was the beginning, but it was only the beginning.

He will return later this week to a Mariners team that went into the break on a 14-game winning streak that pushed them into wildcard position. There is still a long way to go before the end of the season, as Seattle tries to catch the longest ongoing drought after the season in sports. All the more reason to see what Rodríguez can do.

Although they fall short, a new shot on the national stage awaits in a year when the All-Star festivities go to Seattle.

And so naturally, in the midst of the chaos of players leaving and clubs boxing memorial kits, Rodríguez asked not only if he wanted to compete in a new derby, but if he wanted to hit a ball straight out of the stadium.

“I can try,” he said. “I can try.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.