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All-Star tie generates more anger at baseball

7/10/2002

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Bud Selig hoped Barry Bonds, Torii Hunter and
the other All-Stars could help baseball forget its troubles for at
least one day.

Wrong!

In Bud's backyard, even the sport's summer showcase ended with fans booing. Despite Bonds homering and Hunter making a spectacular catch, the All-Star game finished in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings Tuesday night when both teams ran out of pitchers.

Selig, who lives in Milwaukee and ran the Brewers before
becoming commissioner, made the ultimate decision to call the game
after conferring with both managers.

The sellout crowd of 41,871 at Miller Park loudly chanted "Let
them play!'' and "Refund!'' A few fans in right field threw bottles to protest the controversial decision.

"I want to take this opportunity to apologize to the fans,''
Selig said. "Given the health of the players, I had no choice.

"The decision was made because there were no players left, no
pitchers left,'' he said. "This is not the ending I had hoped for.
I was in a no-win situation.''

Amid worries about a players' strike and steroids looming over
the sport, baseball had hoped to put the focus back on the field.
Instead, the abrupt halt may just have been the first work stoppage
this season.

Tue., July 9

This is definitely an embarrassment for Bud Selig. You can't have an All-Star Game end up in a tie. It just can't end that way.

My first complaint is that the managers don't pick enough pitchers for the rosters and the pitchers are just not throwing enough innings.

The 1987 All-Star Game was a perfect example of pitchers being extended early on in the game and it was needed later on as that game went 13 innings. The first three AL pitchers who appeared in that '87 game went a combined seven innings -- Bret Saberhagen started and went three innings, followed by two innings each from Jack Morris and Mark Langston. The first three NL starters went a combined six innings -- Mike Scott started and went two innings, followed by two innings each from Rick Sutcliffe and Orel Hershiser.

Something needs to be done so this doesn't happen again. And ultimately that means adding more players -- pitchers to be exact -- to the rosters.


"This is terrible. These guys are going on strike and they're
doing this now?'' said Tim Dugan of Chicago. "We've been ripped
off.''

There was no MVP picked. Bad timing, too, since the award was renamed this week to honor Ted Williams, the Hall of Famer who died Friday.

This was the second tie in All-Star history. The other one came
in 1961 and was stopped by rain.

An entertaining evening that began with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays
and Cal Ripken taking part in festivities to remember the game's
past wound up with fans even more angry and upset about its present
and future.

"With everything going on in baseball, I'm sure the fans were very upset,'' Hunter said.

Freddy Garcia struck out Benito Santiago with a runner on second
base to end it, and players walked off to jeers. While players said
they understood the decision, fans did not.

"They treated it like it was a meaningless game,'' said David Cuscuna of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. "They're telling the fans this game doesn't matter. Not to mention the $175 face value for tickets. It sends a lot of bad messages.''

Said Selig: "This is a very regrettable situation.''

It became apparent that a tie was possible after the top of the
11th when AL manager Joe Torre, NL manager Bob Brenly and umpire
crew chief Gerry Davis went over to talk with Selig in the front
row next to the first-base dugout.

At one point during the five-minute discussion, Selig threw up his arms.

After Luis Castillo flied out to start the bottom of the 11th,
the stadium public-address announcer informed the crowd of the bad
news, saying a tie would be declared if the NL didn't score in the
bottom half.

Garcia and Vicente Padilla, who finished for the NL, each
pitched two innings. All 60 players on the two rosters were used,
prompting Selig to raise the possibility of increasing future
rosters.

The result left intact the AL's five-game winning streak. The NL leads the overall series 40-31 -- and now with two ties.

"I feel bad for Bud,'' Torre said. "Bob and I had talked. You
can't have it both ways. You can't have all the people see all the
players.''

The game took 3 hours, 29 minutes. Five other All-Star Games have lasted longer than 11 innings, most recently the NL's 2-0 win in 13 innings in 1987.

"If I was a fan, too, I would be disappointed,'' said Arizona catcher Damian Miller, who doubled twice. "Obviously, you want to see someone win. You have to look out for the players and their health.''

Lance Berkman, leading the majors with 29 home runs and 81 RBI,
hit a two-out, two-run single off Kazuhiro Sasaki in the seventh
inning that rallied the NL to a 7-6 lead. The Houston outfielder
delivered after Byung-Hyun Kim blew a lead in the top half -- yet
another time the Arizona closer couldn't hold a late edge on a big
stage. He had been through this twice in last year's World Series.

But Omar Vizquel, making a rare appearance at second base
because the AL had five shortstops on its roster, made it 7-all
with an RBI triple in the eighth off Giants closer Robb Nen.

Bonds' two-run shot off the facade of the second deck made the
San Francisco slugger an early candidate to win the MVP trophy. It
was fitting that Bonds connected on this night -- he and Williams
are arguably the two greatest left fielders in history, and the
link between them was hard to miss.

Bonds frequently stood on the No. 9 that was perfectly painted
into the left-field grass at Miller Park, replicating the
distinctive design from the Red Sox uniform worn by the "Splendid
Splinter.''

"This is great. This is fun,'' Bonds said when he left after
three innings. "What they did with the memorable moments was
great.''

Bonds also got a first-hand look at Hunter, the Minnesota center
fielder known for astounding catches.

With two outs in the first, Bonds launched a long drive to deep
right-center field. Hunter glided into the gap, timed his leap and
reached far over the fence -- his elbow was way above the 8-foot
wall -- to pull the ball back into the park.

Bonds, who has 594 career home runs, and the fans could hardly
believe that he'd been robbed of another shot. As Hunter came
jogging off the field, Bonds playfully intercepted the Gold Glove
winner in the middle of the field, hoisted the Twins star with two
hands and put him over his shoulder.

"He said, 'Hey, good job,''' Hunter said. "Then he tried to
dunk me, but I wouldn't let him.''

When Hunter came to bat in the second, Bonds and several other
NL stars stood at their positions and watched the replay on the
center-field video board.

Hunter called it his best catch ever.

"I had to go get that,'' he said.

While the sport's most memorable moments were shown earlier on
the board, baseball also paused to remember St. Louis pitcher
Darryl Kile and Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck. Kile's No. 57
jersey hung in the NL dugout and Buck's widow was in attendance.

Game notes
Sammy Sosa was 0-for-9 in All-Star play before singling in
the second. ... Next year's All-Star game is at Comiskey Park in
Chicago, followed by Houston in 2004. Selig said he not committed
to alternating AL and NL sites beyond that. ... Aaron played his
24th and final All-Star game in Milwaukee in 1975, representing the
Brewers. He lined out as a pinch-hitter.