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By GARY D'AMATO Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Miller Park never looked better. The weather was perfect and the atmosphere was electric. The pregame show was terrific and the 73rd All-Star Game was punctuated with big plays and timely hits. Baseball put its best forward Tuesday night, and until the bitter end, this game had all the makings of a classic Midsummer Classic. Unfortunately, both the National League and American League teams went through all 30 players on their respective rosters, and Commissioner Bud Selig ruled that the game end in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings. There was no winner. There was no Most Valuable Player. And there was a lot of frustration in the stands. When it was announced during the 11th inning that the game would be called if neither team scored, the 41,817 fans booed lustily. As the players trotted off the field, more boos rained down, along with a good number of plastic cups and seat cushions. “I don’t think it’s our fault,” said shortstop Jose Hernandez, one of two Milwaukee Brewers on the NL roster. “We don’t have nobody else in the bullpen. You don’t need to keep throwing guys in there; somebody could get hurt. “The fans) probably want to see somebody win the game, but you can’t do anything else. You can’t do nothing about it.” Before the unfortunate finish, the game was shaping up as a memorable one for different reasons. The All-Star Game showcased all that is good about the grand old game, from a poignant pregame ceremony to big plays in the field. “To avoid this ever happening again, we have to think about expanding the rosters,” said Selig, whose shining moment in his hometown was marred, if not ruined. “I was hoping someone would get a hit to win the game. “I’m sure the players would have done anything, but the managers were really pleading with me to end the game.” Some fans criticized Selig on their way out of Miller Park. “You guys better rip that decision!” one fan shouted to reporters. “That’s (expletive).” Said Mike Clark of Fond du Lac: “I thought it was terrible. People got mad when they announced it in the middle of the (11th) inning. That was ridiculous. If Selig had any support left, he doesn’t have any now.” Only one other All-Star Game ended in a tie. On July 31, 1961, the game was called after nine innings because of rain. “It was an unfortunate situation,: said Bob Brenly, the NL manager. “You can’t place blame on anybody for this. Two outstanding teams played a great game out there. You got everything you could ask for in an All-Star Game except a winner.” Until the end, nobody was talking about baseball’s well-chronicled problems. The words contraction, labor woes, competitive imbalance and steroids were barely mentioned. The buzz was all about Torii Hunter of the Minnesota Twins, going high over the wall in center field to rob Barry Bonds of a home run in the first inning and grinning all the way back to the dugout. It was all about Bonds, hammering a 3-0 pitch from Roy Halladay for a two-run homer in the third, a shot that traveled from Bonds’ bat to the facing of the second deck in the blink of an eye. It was all about Alfonso Soriano of the New York Yankees, making up for a tough day in the field with a towering homer in the fifth, and Damian Miller of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a product of West Salem, ripping a pair of doubles. “Those are the moments that people will never forget,” said Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling, who started for the NL. “That’s one of the things that makes the game as great as it is.” Five-day celebration The third Midsummer Classic in Milwaukee ... the first two were played in County Stadium in 1955 and ã75 ... climaxed a five-day celebration of baseball that included the popular FanFest downtown and a thrilling Home Run Derby on Monday. “This is a highlight night for baseball,” Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez said. “This is Milwaukee’s day to shine, to show the world what a great city and ballpark they have. They’ve put on a greatshow. “This city is very proud of what it has, and it should be.” None was more proud than Selig, who brought baseball back to Milwaukee 32 years ago and, by extension, made this night possible. Selig, burdened with baseball’s problems and often disheveled in appearance, was resplendent in a blue sportcoat, every hair perfectly in place. “This is his town,” Gonzalez said, showing respect for a man who is not universally popular among the players. “Every person has their own opinions, but he’s been here a lot longer than I’ve been playing baseball.” The hourlong pregame ceremony, described by Brewers vice president Laurel Prieb as the most lavish and elaborate in All-Star Game history, alone was worth the price of admission, and that’s saying a lot, considering tickets were priced at $175 and $125. The ceremony included a tribute to memorable moments in baseball history, with appearances by Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Cal Ripken Jr. Aaron, baseball’s all-time home run king who played for both the Milwaukee Braves and Brewers, received a lengthy standing ovation. “That was great,” Chicago Cubs outfielder Sammy Sosa said of the pregame show. “It’s great motivation. It’s a great feeling to see all of the beautiful things that happen to people.” Yount cheered When the respective NL and AL players and coaches were introduced, Diamondbacks coach Robin Yount was greeted by the old refrain of “MVP! MVP!” a chant that was heard often in County Stadium in his playing days with the Brewers in the 1980s and early ‘90s. Richie Sexson and Hernandez, the Brewers’ representatives in the All-Star Game, were accorded thundering ovations. Even Sosa got a big hand. “For a moment, I thought I was playing for Milwaukee,” he said. “The way they clapped for me and showed me appreciation, that was something that I’m never going to forget.” Aaron, Yount and fellow Milwaukee baseball legends Warren Spahn and Paul Molitor threw out the ceremonial first pitches, with Bob “Mr. Baseball” Uecker catching Spahn’s intentional dribbler. Schilling delivered the first pitch at 8:06 p.m. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki swung and grounded out, and the game was under way. There were poignant reminders throughout the evening of baseball’s past and its departed heroes. The No. 57 jersey of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile, who died last month, was hanging in the National League dugout. Fans in the right-field corner held a sign that read: “Kile and Buck, You Are Still With Us.” The latter was a reference to Cardinals announcer Jack Buck, who had died a few days before Kile. Ted Williams, baseball’s greatest hitter and the last man to bat above .400 in a season, was honored with his jersey No. 9 painted in the grass in left field. Williams died last week at 83, and the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award has been named after him. But on this night, there was no Ted Williams Award winner. There was no winner, period.
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"Fit To Be Tied" "Selig angers fans by stopping game" Headline by Mike Gauger of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Here's his solution: Sometimes, but not as frequently as I would like, good hed ideas spring to mind quickly. "Fit to be tied" fell in this category. Over the years, I have seen the phrase used a few times in stories on sporting events such as hockey and football, which often end in ties. Paradoxically, this story--about a sport whose games are not supposed to end in ties--offered the best and most striking use of the phrase of which I am aware. The hed works because it points to the circumstance that led to the tie (the managers having run out of pitchers) and to the anger among fans and others over the outcome. Also, "Fit to be tied" is a common, well-understood expression (no doubt another reason it came to me right away) that makes for a punchy hed. If there is a moral to this story for copy editors, I suppose it is this: They should read widely and keep learning about the language. Addendum to Mike's comments, from Kathy Schenck, AME copy desk: I heard about Mike's idea for "Fit to be tied" at 11:30, when the game was called off. Interestingly, I had shouted out that very phrase at the top of the 9th inning, when the game was tied and looked like it would go into extra innings. When the game was called off, I was considering this headline for A1, and the idea was cemented when I heard Mike had the same one. The phrase just fits this story perfectly and dovetailed very well with the photo, which wasn't even in yet. But because the designer had a headline he liked, that helped him and the picture desk know what kind of picture they wanted, too. That's the reverse of how it's usually done, but it worked out great, especially considering how pressed for time we were.
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