The 2015 All-Star Game came and went relatively uneventfully last night. The story was the same for DJ LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki, and Nolan Arenado, the three Colorado Rockies representatives. The trio combined to go 0-for-4 at the plate and made five plays in the field. More notable than their on-field performance, however, was the broadcast team's general lack of knowledge about them.
The first Rockies player to appear in the game was DJ LeMahieu, the starting second baseman. LeMahieu did not earn the start by way of the fan vote, instead being named starter after Dee Gordon of the Miami Marlins went down with a dislocated thumb. This was the general reaction to him starting the game:
In 5 years we're going to look back on this night and say "DJ LeMahieu started the All Star Game?"— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) July 15, 2015
All I'm saying is, if DJ LeMahieu is starting, it should be called the Some-Star Game— Matt Sussman (@suss2hyphens) July 15, 2015
People weren't wild about it and unfortunately, even the broadcast team of Joe Buck, Harold Reynolds, and Tom Verducci didn't seem to know much about him. In his first trip to the plate, there was little to nothing said about him. In his second time up, the focus was on how big he is! Nobody seemed sure how big, but definitely big! Buck mentioned that LeMahieu was over six feet tall, Reynolds said he was around 6'5. A quick perusal of Baseball-Reference that took me all of 30 seconds reveals that he is, in fact, 6'4. I understand that there were a lot of players from a lot of teams to research before this game, but if they wanted to know how tall he is, there was a very quick and easy way to look it up and give their audience accurate information. After the height discussion, not much else was said about LeMahieu.
The next Rockie to appear was Troy Tulowitzki. During his one and only plate appearance, Buck, Reynolds, and Verducci thought it would be appropriate to have a conversation about how the Rockies should trade him! There was an article by Bill Shaikin before the game yesterday that included the following quotes from Tulowitzki:
As of now, I feel we can win. I want to win (in Colorado), first and foremost.
I take a lot of pride in staying in one organization. My favorite player was Derek Jeter. He stayed with one organization his entire career. I think there is something special to that. Not too many guys get to do it in this day and age. It would be cool, when I am done playing, to say that I did that.
Those clearly indicate that he would prefer to stay with the Rockies. Even if he didn't, Rockies fans don't want to sit and listen to talk about how their best player should be traded during the All-Star game. There's a time and a place for every conversation, but that wasn't it. The trade talk is also submitting to the logical fallacy that every team who has a bad record needs to trade away their top players to improve. Tulowitzki is under contract with the Rockies through the 2021 season, so there's absolutely no reason to trade him now, but the overriding point is that trade speculation has no place at the All-Star Game. There will be more than enough of that talk over the next two weeks leading up to the trade deadline, just let the fans enjoy this one game.
The third and final Rockie to enter the game was third baseman Nolan Arenado, who's name was consistently mispronounced throughout the entire night. Another quick check at Baseball-Reference provided me with a handy pronunciation guide for his name! Not only that, Arenado is already a two-time Gold Glove winner who has made countless highlight reel plays in his career, so it stands to reason that the people chosen to announce a high-profile game like this one would know the proper way to say his name. Outside of that, they were actually quite complimentary of Arenado, but these are little issues that could easily be fixed with a quick Google search or by paying a mild amount of attention to the sport these announcers are being paid to talk about.
Last but not least, throughout all of the All-Star festivities this week, Cincinnati Reds' third baseman Todd Frazier was referred to as The Toddfather. I think we all know who the real Toddfather is:
Need more proof? Go here, type in "The Toddfather," and tell me what happens.
I'm really not asking for much here. However, I don't think it's too much to expect the national media do one minute (if that) of research on the team's players and not disrespect the franchise by speculating about trades of the team's current best player during the All-Star Game or by giving away the nickname of the franchise's best player ever to someone else without even a passing mention of where it originated. It's time to start taking the Rockies seriously.