You knew I had to post on everything aesthetic during the MLB All-Star Break festivities. I just had to! Yes, I am a nerd for this stuff - always have been, always will be. And unlike some baseball fans, the All-Star Break is still must-see for me. I enjoy the Home Run Derby. I enjoy the All-Star Game. I appreciate seeing the guys enjoy the game that I love as well.
I'll leave my continued feelings (and rants) for fans who continue to push back against the progression of the game of baseball. For now, I'll just leave it be. I'm sure the rest of this post may drive them nuts too. Oh well. Here are some things that caught my eye this week:
For years I've been calling for both ESPN and FOX to step up their coverage of baseball, and I have to give credit where credit is due - they made some significant strides this year. Any baseball fan will tell you, the coverage of the game lacked in comparison to the efforts given to the NFL. We get it, the NFL is king...yadda, yadda, yadda.
In a complete 180 from my other tweet...loving this split screen action. #HomeRunDerby— Dome Pondering (@DomePondering) July 11, 2017
However, the subtleties such as the the split screen by ESPN for the Home Run Derby (an absolutely great idea!) were easily welcomed. And I know ESPN won't say it as they protect their longtime anchors, but removing Chris Berman from the broadcast was also a huge step. Sorry, "back-back-back" is not fun to hear all night long.
One last thing, the stats after each contestant wrapped up were much appreciated. I'm an exit velo guy, and I just eat this kind of information up.
Though, the broadcast still needs some work. Calling a Home Run Derby is tough, because there is no story or analyzing involved - just being a fan. And that does come across annoying at moments. But this is the first year for Ravech, Mendoza, and Big Tex, and was much better than years in the past. All in all. ESPN, I'm impressed.
Bryce Harper asks Joe Buck how Dak Prescott will do this year while he's playing in the #AllStarGame.#Cowboys pic.twitter.com/ttnH8MGUEl— Sports Funhouse (@SportsFunhouse) July 12, 2017
Other great ideas I would love to see more of in the future are the in-game interviews. Those who complain about this can go kick rocks - this was awesome! Listening to Harper be genuine and kick it while in right field was cool - or you know - actually getting to meet and a feel for the personalities on the field (imagine that, MLB?) is necessary, and wanted in today's social environment.
I'm a little torn on the interview by A-Rod going around the in-field mid-inning for interviews. It was hit or miss. Haven't decided. But I'm willing to try it again.
Wrapping this up - more access to the players, please! Continue to promote these great young group of all-stars the game now has.
Speaking of new things, anyone else excited that now baseball is (finally!) experimenting with personalized bats? I'm so pumped for this. I still think we're a ways away from seeing this in-game, but the bats for the derby were so cool. So personalized! Again, hooooorray baseball!
Mike Moustakas went with the American themed bats (and so did Charlie Blackmon), and they weren't as distracting as one would have thought. In fact, just like the fashion of MLB socks and wristbands have become a big thing, this might be the next aesthetic in baseball to arrive. It all started for Mother's and Father's Day!
Of course, with the nickname, "The Kraken", Gary Sanchez's bats broke baseball Twitter. As they should. So dope.
Of course, I always love when catchers get creative with their gear for big moments. The WBC was awesome for that. For the ASG, we had one big loser, and it pains me to say because I am a big fan of the guy...
Buster, sorry dude. That gray gear just looks weird with the cream colored uniform of the San Francisco Giants. It's cool in a megatron, mega man sort of way. But, eh.
Of course, this guy stole the show in many ways...
So dope. And Yadier also takes a pretty good instagram photo...
Ok, that was awesome. Look at Joe West being human. #MLBAllStarGame— Dome Pondering (@DomePondering) July 12, 2017
This was awesome. More please! More!
As for gear, these were some of the best All-Star game themed uniforms I have seen in a while. The colors were great, and the accessories provided made it so. Also, never usually a fan of shoulder stripes or accents in uniforms, but the black definitely worked.
The color combinations were awesome, and of course, still paid homage to the hosting Miami Marlins.
As mentioned before, I loved the socks. I may actually purchase a pair for lifting during the winter seasons. So stylish. Regardless, I continue to welcome baseballs new fashion sense.
A sleeper during the weekend were in fact the hats which for the second year in a row (with some minor touch ups), featured gold trim and stars above the holes in the hat, and within the team logo. The hat was a nice touch, and for me, the Oakland A's (because of the natural team colors) were the best of the bunch.
Oh, before I forget, the addition of the All-Star patch signifying the amount of times the player has been an all-star has been fantastic. Rob Mandred continues to tinker with the games overall aesthetic appearance (on-field and on-screen), and so far, I've been a fan overall.
Closing out, I always seem to leave the footwear for last. Under Armour did a tremendous job waiting as they reveal the Harper 2's, as well as an onslaught of cleats designed for their players during the ASG break.
With that said, here are the two cleats that really left an imprint on me:
Nike countered UA with it's latest reveal of the Trout 4 which various Nike athletes were wearing all weekend, noticeably Gary Sanchez who wore this version during the Home Run Derby, and then another during the game. I love the Trout line by Nike, and this just adds to it.
As mentioned, UA killed it with the special edition Harper 2's honoring Jose Fernandez. The open space on the shoe allows for such artwork and customization (see: Harper's July 4th cleats), and these made for yet another special moment during this year's All-Star Break.