All-Star Sunday An Enjoyable Event
Mike Hammett - Mon 08:38 AM 07/09/2012
*KSAL Sports Director Mike Hammett received credentials to the 2012 MLB All-Star Week at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. He will share his experiences here on Tuesday and Wednesday as well.*
The All-Star Game Experience is certainly different from any other event I get to cover. I am used to walking in a press box or gym and I know exactly where I'm going and what I'm going to do. As I start to write this, I honestly have no clue what I'm going to do today. First things first, I need to find somewhere to go watch the Futures Game from, and maybe I'll camp out there until the Legends and Celebrity softball game is over. Where I'm sitting at in the press box is not condusive to watching the game. I can only see the outfield.
I'm going exploring. Back shortly.
By this time, I am firmly entrenched in the spot (or area, at least) that I'm going to watch everything from. The Royals have set up temporary bleachers in the left and right field corners. Presently, I'm sitting in left field, halfway between the Hall of Fame and the .390 Bar & Grill. I've left the spot once, to go conduct interviews of the participants in the Celebrity and Legends Softball Game and to grab some food.
Kansas City is doing a great job so far as a host. The ovations given to Jake Odorizzi, Wil Myers and Yordano Ventura during the Futures Game was amazing. You can tell the folks here are excited to get Odorizzi and Myers to the big leagues, and Ventura should be here in a year or two. He showed signs of having some filthy stuff in the only inning he pitched.
The USA is crushing the World Team, and I think some of that has to do with manager and Royals legend George Brett. He gave his team an inspired speech before the game, which included telling them if they don't sprint on any ground ball, they will come out of the game. Maybe I'm starting to be convinced that if he wants the managerial job whenever it comes open again, he might be the right guy for it. I know, I know, it's only a Futures Game. But, still.
I had the chance to talk to some of those participating in the Celebrity and Legends Softball game. I talked to Mike Sweeney, Steve Garvey, Ozzie Smith, Bill Self and Matt Cassel. You can hear parts of these interviews on a special edition of In The Zone on Monday night, starting at 6:05 on NewsRadio 1150 KSAL. I didn't talk to any of the celebrities, but it was neat to see Eric Stonestreet, Jennie Finch and many others.
The time has come for me to make my way to the clubhouse and see if I can track down Odorizzi, Myers or Ventura.
My quest for Odorizzi, Myers and Ventura proved fruitless. I've found that there's been a lack of organization around where to find people for interviews, and Odorizzi and Myers were whisked away to another room that I apparently didn't know where it was. Oh well. Still plenty of good stuff to hear tomorrow night, plus I have a chance to get sound from the managers and players in the All-Star Game on Monday. On the plus side, I did run into Billy the Marlin and Bernie Brewer on the trip.
Settling in now for the Legends & Celebrities softball game.
A fun day was capped with a rather entertaining Legends & Celebrity Softball Game. Some of the celebrities are more recognizable than others, and some are better than others at playing softball. I was impressed by Kansas basketball coach Bill Self hitting a home run in his first swing of the bat. The crowd's reaction to him was by far the best thing in the game. I would say the boos of the Missouri and maybe a few Kansas State fans narrowly outweighed the cheers of Jayhawk fans. I only include a few K-State fans in that, because I think most have respect for him.
The fireworks show to end the night was spectacular, and Kansas City seemed to do a great job of handling traffic.
Up tomorrow is workout day, complete with press conferences, and also the Home Run Derby. Check back tomorrow morning for another update. For more updates, follow me on Twitter @mchammett.