Yankees 9, Mets 4 (top of the 4th)

Had Jose Valentin not pulled a Jeremy Giambi, the Yankees would only be up by a pair. Regardless, Alay Soler is having an ugly night, having allowed HR’s to Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez, the latter’s being a grand slam in the bottom of the third. The subsequent “you love me, you really me” speech from A-Rod was a little over the top (as was stopping the game for 5 minutes), but I’ll grant it was a very emotional moment. As was the bat-flipping

Ahem. Nick Green just homered to deep center off Heath Bell. I guess Darren Oliver wasn’t answering the phone.

(ADDENDUM : Perhaps I should stop flipping channels. Oliver is starting tomorrow against the Pirates due to Pedro’s sore hip…which he injured in May. These Mets are all about the top-secrecy)

Though it’s still early, this will be the third time this week the Mets have allowed 9 or more runs. If Barry Zito or Dontrelle Willis are indeed on the block at some point, the A’s and Marlins would be well advised to hold out for Lastings Milledge, Mike Pelfrey, Henry Owens and the rights to Frank Cashen’s bowtie.

The next person that instant messages me with a Sam Ryan / Wally Pipp comparison is getting bounced from my buddylist, I swear.

Jon Miller has made the audacious suggestion that Willie Randolph should’ve pulled Soler far sooner, in contrast to Joe Torre’s quick hook with Jaret Wright. I think Miller couldn’t be more right if he was having sex with Barry Goldwater’s corpse.

After I boldly claimed that no one would be taking up John Kruk’s laughable position that Craig Biggio deserved a spot on the NL All-Star team, Baseball Musing’s David Pinto has gone to bat for Biggio…and Barry Bonds.

I also think it’s sad that long-time greats Bonds and Biggio were left off the teams. There should be some special dispensation for great stars to make an appearance at the game.

Though I have nothing but respect for Pinto and his noble efforts to raise funds for his childrens’ private education through CSTB’s BlogAds revenue, I think he’s out to lunch on this one. David claims that Joe Mauer “got screwed” by the fan vote, but what of the players who’d likely stay home were Biggo and Bonds invited? Dan Uggla and Carlos Lee, just to name a pair of NL reserves, are there on merit, not sentiment. If MLB wants to create some kind of “honorary captain” role for fan favorites and all-time greats, no problem. But there’s precious little credibility to this beauty contest, as is, and I’d rather see smaller teams.

All of that said, someone at Fox might agree with Pinto ; the network’s ads for the All-Star Game prominently feature Jason Giambi and Carlos Delgado. If you were paying crazy cash for MLB TV rights, whose presence would be a greater ratings boon, Matt Holliday or Barry Bonds?

Still, I do kind of like the idea of Barry Bonds returning to Pittsburgh as an NL All-Star…because the fans love him so very much and want to give him a tearful goodbye. Jim Gray is already writing Fox a letter to see if he can conduct the on-field interviews.

Congrats to the Houston Astros on capturing the highly coveted Silver Boot with tonight’s 9-5 win over Texas. That’s why Drayton McLane was willing to break the bank for Roger Clemens, ladies and gentlemen, it’s all about winning trophies.   Garry Matthews Jr. celebrated being named to the AL All-Star team for the first time at the age of 31 by going 4-5 with 2 RBI’s in the losing cause.  Next to Paul Lo Duca, Matthews is my personal pick for First Half All-Star Most Likely To Fade. If Al Leiter wishes to nominate Scott Kazmir, well, he’s entitled to his opinion.