Now that the All-Star Game doesn't matter, the trendy thing will be what fun things players will do during the contest.
In years past, that would have meant that the AL pennant victor would have home-field advantage in the World Series, but for the first time in 13 years this year's game didn't count as anything more than an exhibition of the game's best and brightest. Because when it doesn't count, we get Nelson Cruz asking Yadier Molina to take his picture with infamous veteran umpire Joe West.
Asked after the game why he wanted a picture with Joe West, Cruz said, "Well, he's a legend, you know?"
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Joe West has been an Major League Baseball umpire since 1976.
The moment was the highlight of the game for Cruz, who went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
According to Cruz, Molina was all for the idea, but West wasn't a fan at first. "The second time, I left my phone on the bench because I played defense and I got on base, walk, and I forgot my cell phone that time". He was anxious he'd just made a costly baserunning error, but West called him safe. "That stuck in my mind".
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It's a moment Cruz still recalls fondly, and surely a reason why the picture was such an important goal of his All Star Game.
"I slide on my right side always, so it was safe".
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