2011 All-Star Game
The 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be the 82nd midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The game will be played on July 12, 2011, at Chase Field, the home of the National League Arizona Diamondbacks.
The controversial SB1070 anti-illegal immigration bill passed by Arizona's government and signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer has many fans, players and organizations (New York Daily News, CBS Sports, the Los Angeels Times) upset and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has been asked to move the game to another location. Others are considering asking club owners, sponsors and even the players to boycott the All-Star game if the law is implemented and the game remains in Phoenix. However on May 13th, 2010, Selig announced that he expects the game to be played at Chase Field in Phoenix as planned.
The American League will not look back on the 2011 All-Star Game with fond memories. Six of the league's top pitchers were not available. Josh Beckett, who was expected to start, was unable to because he tweaked his knee while warming up. All nine pitchers who entered the game for the A.L. were appearing in their first All-Star game!
So, after going thirteen years without a Midsummer Classic loss, the junior circuit lost for the second year in a row, 5-1.
The National League sent out its share of All-Star rookies also, but skipper Bruce Bochy was able to get through almost half the game with just two Phillies, veterans Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.
Adrian Gonzalez did get to Lee for a two-out home run in the fourth inning to score the only A.L. run. Lee then gave up singles to Jose Bautista and Josh Hamilton. Bochy lifted the ace for All-Star rookie Tyler Clippard, who went home with the win even though he gave up a single to the only batter he faced, Adrian Beltre!
Thank you Hunter Pence: When Bautista tried to score from second on a sharp single to left field, Pence nailed him with a throw to Brian McCann at the plate
One after another, a hard-throwing senior circuit pitcher came to the mound and shut down the American League's hitters for the second straight year. Other than Gonzalez's homer, the A.L. managed only five singles.
So how did the N.L. become king once again? "It's hard to beat great pitching and a three‑run homer," winning National League manager Bruce Bochy said with a smile. Fielder became the first Brewers player to hit an All-Star Game home run and win the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, which is quite impressive; the franchise was born in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots and moved to Milwaukee a year later. The uber short list of great Brewers players includes a pair of Hall of Famers: Robin Yount and Paul Molitor, both members of the 3,000 Hits Club, but never attained this particular honor.
The National League retains home field advantage in the World Series for the second consecutive year, but the American League remains confident having won twelve of the previous fourteen - minus that infamous tie in 2002.