Lead Story - 7/31/2022
Season 18 ALL-STAR GAME RECAP
ASG18 - Wichita, Kansas
Eli Marrero homered for the NEA All-Star Team in ASG18
*** SPOILER ALERT!!! *** - The following write-up contains details of the All-Star game, including scoring plays and final results. If you’d rather watch the replay of the game, you can click on the link in the Message Center box on the right side of the league’s home page. There’s also a link there to the full Box Score, as simmed by the Commish in his private Sandbox League. Enjoy the write-up!
The 18th BNBL All-Star Game was hosted by Offday in Wichita, Kansas. In last year’s write-up, the Commissioner mistakenly announced that the game would be played in Wichita, Nebraska. The Commish did apologize for his ignorance, but unfortunately, eight players didn’t get the memo and were driving around Nebraska looking for Wichita among the cornfields. All eight were members of the Brooklyn Knights. Sorry guys. They did finally figure it out and joined the rest of the All-Stars in Kansas. Sadly, they missed the day long All-Star field trip in which the Wingnuts’ owner, Offday, packed everyone into a rented bus and toured us through the state, stopping at arguably the 4 best tourist attractions the state has to offer.
Stop number 1 was at the Oz Museum in Wamego. It sucked. Boring. Stop number 2 was another museum called “Dorothy’s House and the Land of Oz”. Worse than Stop number 1. Stop number three was the highlight of the trip. In Cawker City, Kansas, they have the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine”, a gigantic city monument that is worth the trip if you like or love twine. Floyd Baker of the Isotopes and Dave Kingman of the Gunslingers thought it would be funny if they unravelled the twine ball, so they grabbed the end of it and tied it to the back of the bus.
Final stop on the field trip was back in Wichita at Exploration Place which features a “Kansas in Miniature” display. It consists mostly of animated models depicting 1950s Kansas. But a new addition to the display was a tiny model of the Wingnuts’ home stadium, showing the home team in the middle of a game against the Sin City Silver Sox. Inexplicably, the makers of the display had the scoreboard showing the Wingnuts losing 23-0 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. The ‘nuts were being held hitless in the tiny contest, and it also appeared that the Sox were in the midst of making the final out of the game. Wes Parker and Desi Relaford, the two actual Wingnut All-Stars, were not impressed with the display, so they trashed it, breaking it into tiny bits and pieces but keeping the tiny figures of themselves for keepsakes.
Finally, it was on to the real stadium for ASG18. Kansas native Martina McBride sang the national anthems and great-grandchildren of Kansas natives Walter Johnson and Joe Tinker threw out the first pitches.
Jesse Tannehill of the Vancouver Canadians struck out Felix Pie of the Mudville Nine to begin the game. Kosuke Fukudome then reached on an error but Nick Etten grounded into a double play to end the top of the first. In the bottom half of the first, Sid Hudson of Toledo walked Bill Bruton of the Silver Sox, but then struck out Dan Gladden and got Sean Casey to hit into a double play. The home team cried foul on the Casey double play ball, as Casey got tangled up in some twine on the way to first. It seems that quite a bit of the twine from Kingman’s and Baker’s prank found its way into the stadium and was tangling up fans and food vendors, security guards and ushers, and even making its way onto the field, wrapping up a ball boy, the first base umpire, and tripping up Casey as he tried to beat the throw to first. After a lengthy review, the umpires decided that it was the BNBL and these things just happen, so the ruling on the field was upheld.
In the top of the 2nd inning, the visitors from the NorthEast-Atlantic got the first run of the game as Mudville’s Eli Marrero led off the inning with a long home run off Tannehill. Marrero was MVP of ASG17 as well as Season 17 Regular Season MVP. He is starting to become known as Mr. MVP, at least in Mudville.
Tannehill was pulled after allowing two more base runners, although one reached on an error. The Vancouver pitcher was complaining about shoulder pain, and the South Pacific team roster lists him as injured for 6 days. He may be ready for his next start for Mudville though, since he bought a bottle of “Healing Elixir” from a travelling merchant outside the stadium on his way back to the bus. It seemed legitimate, as the merchant’s rickety cart had hand-painted signs on both sides saying “Best Medisines in all Kanzas”.
Fake Bob Gibson came in with one out and two on to try to limit the damage. He got Jack Barry to pop out, gave up a single to Craig Counsell to load the bases, but then retired Felix Pie on a ground ball to end the threat.
The home team didn’t give the fans much to cheer about through the middle innings. After a Jim Presley double in the 3rd and a Dan Gladden single to lead off the 4th, the South Pacific stars were held hitless until the 9th inning, with the visiting hurlers retiring 15 in a row at one point.
The NorthEast-Atlantic bats weren’t exactly on fire either, as the South Pacific staff gave up just one hit themselves from the 3rd inning through the 6th.
In the top of the 7th, with all the subs coming into the game, the NEA added to their lead. Floyd Baker singled, followed by a Paul Blair single which moved Baker to third base. Johnny Logan then grounded into a double play which scored Baker, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.
During the 7th Inning Stretch, the entertainment included a no-holds barred wrestling match between Spinner, the Wingnuts’ current mascot, and three other mascots who the team is trying out to potentially replace him - Wingy, Nutsy, and Witchy Tonya. Nutsy was victorious and was a huge hit with the fans and Wingnut ownership. It was announced over the loudspeaker that Nutsy will take over official mascot duties for the 2nd half of the season. This gave the Wingnut fans some much needed good news and a rare opportunity for a standing ovation. Take Me Out to the Ballgame was sung by a local grain farmer, Ed Tweed, due to a lack of any other famous people in Kansas.
Pitching continued to dominate until the bottom of the 9th when Lance Blankenship singled to lead off the inning for the home team. The tying run was at the plate in the form of Milt Thomson, who grounded into a Fielder’s Choice, moving Blankenship to 2nd. Dan Gladden also grounded out, moving Lance to third. With the game on the line, Wingnut Wes Parker came to the plate with the crowd chanting “Wes, Wes, Wes!” but he could only muster a fly ball out to end the game, sending the crowd home to their boring Kansas lives with more disappointment than usual, if that’s even possible.
With the victory, the NEA now leads the all-time All-Star Game Series 11 to 7 and have won an impressive five games in a row. Eli Marrero (Mr. MVP) was named the ASG18 MVP, taking home the award for the 2nd straight season. ASG19 will be held in Freehold, New Jersey, hosted by Jeter and the Peace Frogs.
Hope you enjoyed the write up this year. The best thing about this All-Star game was when almost all of us were able to say “We’re not in Kansas anymore!” as we were crossing the border. The only ones left behind were the Wingnuts, who host the Generals in their next series, and also Dave Kingman and Floyd Baker who had to stay behind in Cawker City to restore the ball of twine to its original condition. That’s a lot of winding!! Good luck, boys.