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10 things to know, MLB All-Star Game

Tonight is the 81st MLB All-Star Game at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.  While much has been written and talked about the “Midsummer Classic,” here are ten things that we at Sports Climax think that you should know – and that the mainstream media won’t tell you.

  1. Fox is televising the game, with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver calling their record twelfth consecutive game together.  This is probably eleven games too many.  Prepare yourself for more wise-cracking, unfunny jokes and over-analysis from the pair.
  2. Your alternative is ESPN Radio, with Jon Sciambi and Dave Campbell on the call.  Might be a better option, as long as you can tolerate Campbell’s droning stories and periodic bitterness about his playing career.
  3. Since Fox is the king of shameless cross-promotion during sporting events, expect its show “Glee” to be the main beneficiary.  After all, cast member Amber Riley will be singing the National Anthem.
  4. Hopefully pregame analyst Eric Karros will sport a hairdo as astounding as the poofy one he had during the 2009 season and World Series.
  5. Good news – Jim Gray won’t be there to ask Derek Jeter softball questions about his next contract.  
  6. “This Time It Counts” – don’t buy it.  In the previous seven All-Star games (all won by the American League)  that have determined who gets home field for the World Series, the AL has won four fall classics, the NL three.  Yet another brainchild of the “used car salesman.”
  7. NL starting pitcher Ubaldo Jiménez is really, really good.  Pay attention to him – if the Rockies don’t make the playoffs, this might be your last chance to see him pitch live in 2010.
  8. But you won’t see the Nationals’ rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg on the mound tonight.  Get over it – he probably could use the rest anyway.
  9. Don’t expect the Angels’ “Rally Monkey” to show up.  Word has it that team owner Artie Moreno locked him up to a deal in which he works exclusively for the halos.
  10. In the likely event that a home run is hit during the game, expect a plethora of references and comparisons to Bo Jackson’s home run in the 1989 All-Star Game (which was the last one played in Anaheim).  Keep in mind that Bo hit it off Rick Reuschel, and there are no glorified wiffle ball-type hurlers on either side tonight.

Here’s hoping these tips enhance your viewing experience tonight, and that the game doesn’t end in a tie.  We don’t want Bud to take a page from soccer and have Home Run Derby determine the winner in the future.

Used with permission of the author.

Chris Lardieri covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for Examiner.com and has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. He previously wrote for 1766, the Rutgers Alumni Magazine, and popular blog, ‘The Outer Loop’.  Be sure to follow Chris on Twitter for more MLB and sports observations.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Jimenez tosses first no-hitter in Rockies history

Ubaldo Jimenez was handed the ball in this season’s opener for the Colorado Rockies and after his performance jimenez no hitteragainst the Atlanta Braves last night, it’s clear why.Jimenez no-hit the Braves in a 4-0 victory at Turner Field on a career-high 128-pitch performance. It was the first no-hitter in the history of the Colorado Rockies who’s starting pitching staff had only gotten into the 7th inning in a few previous attempts. 

What was impressive about this performance was the fact the radar gun at Turner was still showing 98 miles per hour in the ninth.

“He wasn’t tired, believe me,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He could have thrown 150 pitches and he would have been throwing 98.”

The feat was far from over when Jimenez took the mound in the 9th with the heart of the order coming up for the Braves. Fueled by adrenaline, the fast-baller threw smoke and managed to get sluggers Chipper Jones and Brian McCann out then the celebration began.

“That’s an unbelievable feeling, having your teammates enjoying the time with you and just hugging you, admiring everything we did,” Jimenez said. “Not only I did it. It was the whole team. Every single guy was pulling for me. You can see it in their faces.”

One guy who was laying it all out was center fielder Dexter Fowler who made a diving backhanded snag of a line drive late in the game.

Jimenez from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic is the first pitcher to no-hit the Braves since Randy Johnson did the deed while pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 18, 2004. Johnson actually one-upped Jimenez, his was a perfect game.

Jimenez improved his season record to 3-0 and 1.29 ERA.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

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