In case you missed it: Trailing 5-4 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, NL manager Tony LaRussa decided to keep Albert Pujols on the bench.
Four times in a row.
After Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run dong to bring the NL within striking distance, the Senior Circuit found themselves with a chance to break their ten-year losing streak.
LaRussa, as the Cardinals manager, had an opportunity to get home-field advantage should his team turn it around and make it to the Promised Land again this year.
And what did he do?
He let J.J. Hardy bat, who walked to first.
He then let Derek Lee bat, who also walked to first.
Next up was Orlando Hudson. Would LaRussa pull him for Pujols?
Nope, he stuck with Hudson. Who also, magically, walked to first.
The bases were now loaded with All-Stars. Perhaps LaRussa's patience was going to pay off: Albert Pujols, the National League's best hitter, would come to bat and reverse ten years of bad memories with one swing.
Two outs, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded in a 5-4 game—the moment was perfect.
The 2007 All-Star game had somehow turned meaningfull. Even in a day and age of $20 million salaries, where Pete Rose running over Ray Fosse at home plate seems like something from a distant galaxy, this game was going to matter.
Everything that's special about baseball could be defined by the moment. There were no seconds ticking away on a clock; the talents of the pitcher and hitter alone would determine how long the game would go on.
The air was tense in Pac Bell Park. But it seemed to finally be the NL's time. And who better to take that final at bat than Albert Pujols?
But somehow, some way, Albert Pujols never came to the plate.
Instead, to the shock and awe of millions of fans across the country, Aaron Rowand determined home field advantage in this year's World Series.
Rowand flied out and the game was over. Tony LaRussa had done the unthinkable: He took a giant crap all over the National League and his star player.
You know something's wrong with the game when one of the greatest managers in recent memory decides to keep Albert Pujols on the bench in case "they needed him in extra innings."
Newflash, dumbass: THE BASES WERE LOADED. A single by Pujols and the game is over.
Extra innings? The game should have been won right then and there. This can't be the real reason Tony LaRussa didn't play Pujols, could it? Maybe he was worried that Albert would pull a hamstring with that at bat?
I have the utmost respect for Tony LaRussa as a person and manager, but he seriously disappointed me last night. He showed the lack of a spine that defines the modern era of baseball, and proves that the players and managers no longer really care about the game's history.
During the most important moment of the game, Tony LaRussa took the easy way out to save his star player...whether it be for extra innings or later this season.
Pete Rose ending Ray Fosse's career for the love of the game; Tony LaRussa acting like a sissy and letting the National League lose for a tenth straight time.
These are two moments, stretched years apart, which occurred during what's alleged to be the same game traditionally played midway through the season.
But only a true jackass with half a brain could say the same sport was being played in each instance. Pete Rose played baseball in the 1970 All-Star game; Tony LaRussa played vaginaball last night.
What has happened to the national pastime?