By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
Clemens-Piazza Union = All-Star Nightmare Soriano Wins Game MVP
NEW YORK, NY. — Three things were proven at this year’s Major League Baseball All-Star game. The American League is better than the National League All-Stars. The American League has earned home-field advantage in the World Series this fall. Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza still cannot get along, as evident during the A. L.’s 9-4 romp over the N. L’s at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday.
Clemens and Piazza’s history dates back to the 2000 when “The Rocket” beamed Piazza with a pitch that repelled across his head. In the 2000 World “Subway” Series, a piece of Piazza’s cracked bat was thrown in the star catcher’s direction from Clemens on Piazza’s way to first base.
Both Clemens and Piazza were forced to work with each other playing for the N. L. Clemens was chosen as the starting pitcher after posting an impressive 10-3 record, 2.66 ERA, 121 strikeouts during the first-half of the season for a losing Houston Astros ball club.
The opportunity for Clemens, at 41, to become the oldest pitcher to start an All-Star game (especially in his hometown) could not be passed. Even if one of his most despised competitors were to catch for him behind the plate.
After the first four pitches thrown, it was clear that Clemens and Piazza had difficulties communicating effectively, even if it meant there respective teams would have home field advantage in the World Series.
Clemens did not look comfortable throwing to Piazza, while the star catcher did not appear comfortable sitting behind home plate while Clemens launched fastballs.
The results were disastrous.
With the A. L. leading 1-0 following an RBI triple by Ivan Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers, Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox drilled a two-run homer to give the A. L. a 3-0 edge. With two runner on, Alfonso Soriano of the Texas Rangers and a former teammate of Clemens with the New York Yankees, blasted a three-run homer which to give the A. L. a 6-0 edge.
“You go out there and do the best that you can,” Clemens said afterward. “The results are the results.”
By that time Clemens was sarcastically ginning and making faces in disgust. At no time did Piazza approach Clemens to review or even reconstruct their strategy.
“We talked (before the game),” Piazza said to reporters. “We gave up a few more runs than we would have liked.”
Clemens exited after only one inning, allowing three earned runs, five hits, but did manage to strikeout two hitters. Piazza went 0 for 2 with a strikeout.
Soriano Named All-Star MVP : Soriano, 2 for 3, one homer and three RBI’s, was named the All-Star game’s MVP. His three-run homer put the dagger in any hopes the N. L.
had of winning the game and home field advantage in the World Series.
Soriano was traded from the Yankees as part of a deal to get Alex Rodriguez, the $252 million man, to the Texas Rangers in the off-season.
The trade has paid off for both teams, as the Rangers are 49-37 (.570) and have possession of first place in the A. L. West. The Yankees, at 55-31 (.640), have the best record in baseball.
Soriano, overall, is having a spectacular season. He’s hit 17 homers, 55 RBI’s, and 14 doubles, on 106 hits with a .289 batting average.
Soriano is on pace toward hitting 32 homers, 104 RBI’s on 200 hits.