If Opening Day is a time to rashly jump to conclusions based on an absurdly small sample size, then the All-Star Game provides an equally good opportunity to offer updated but still quite foolish guarantees for the season’s second half. This year’s edition of the Midsummer Classic, which the AL won, 4–2, simultaneously confirmed some things we already knew and forced us to question the entire order of the baseball universe. With that in mind, here are eight surefire (to be right or wrong, who’s to say?) predictions based on Tuesday night’s action:
Johnny Cueto will once again forget how to pitch.
In retrospect, we should have seen NL starter Cueto’s regrettable outing coming: A few hours before game time, he tweeted a disturbingly half-hearted selfie:
A selfie should ooze confidence, but Cueto’s seemed to indicate that he’d rather be anywhere but Petco Park. Unsurprisingly, he wilted in the second inning, surrendering three runs on two dingers by Eric Hosmer and Salvador Pérez. Was Cueto just going easy on his former Royals teammates, or was this a sign that one of last year’s biggest second-half disappointments is again on the brink of a post–All-Star break collapse — perhaps even one that could cause San Francisco’s #EvenYearMagic to run out?
The Cubs will win the World Series …
After dominating last week’s selection show, the Cubs’ horde of All-Stars managed to meet expectations in the game. NL home run leader Kris Bryant went yard in the top of the first, Anthony Rizzo added a key single in the fourth, and the injured Dexter Fowler provided some key cheers in the dugout. Most importantly, there were no new injuries, which was a victory in itself.
… unless the Royals surge back to win it again.
Then again, should the third-place Royals catch fire and return to the Fall Classic for the third consecutive year, they’d have the luxury of home-field advantage thanks to the AL’s victory. In addition to Hosmer and Pérez’s homers, Kelvin Herrera pitched a perfect inning and AL manager Ned Yost earned high, high praise from Pete Rose. Hosmer also earned MVP honors, and it’s always nice to be in an exclusive club with Bo Jackson.
Terry Collins will lose the capacity for human speech while attempting to field his 4,987th question about Noah Syndergaard’s elbow.
While NL manager Collins revealed in a midgame interview with the underrated Joe Buck that — STOP THE PRESSES! — Syndergaard played catch on Tuesday, Collins failed to elaborate on a number of important details: with whom Thor played catch, what hair product Thor was using, whether Thor thoroughly enjoyed himself, and, you know, whether his super-alarming bone spur and arm fatigue are fleeting issues or grave concerns. Mercifully, Buck didn’t ask Collins about Matt Harvey’s season-ending surgery, or Jacob deGrom’s star turn as a Geico spokesman.
Ken Rosenthal will continue to make MLB players look like giants.
Early in the game, Rosenthal pulled Hosmer aside for a chat, and the height differential was startling:
Subsequently, Rosenthal felt compelled to advertise his diminutive stature on Twitter:
It’s just a shame the 6-foot-6 Syndergaard wasn’t available for an interview.
MLB players will continue to make perplexing fashion choices.
Neon shoes were all the rage on Tuesday night, and, given how badly Andrew Miller’s electric green cleats clashed with his pinstripes, George Steinbrenner must have been rolling in his grave. Meanwhile, Bryant changed shoes during the game, Manny Machado rocked a hilariously unwieldy necklace, and Cole Hamels channeled Nelly with a Band-Aid on his face (apparently due to some early-morning hotel shenanigans):
Daniel Murphy will just keep hitting.
Murphy may be the most pesky player in baseball, but he’s great at getting shit done. He was the only National Leaguer with multiple hits on the night, and he showed off his glove, too:
Collins may not have played any Mets, but at least he got to watch former Flushing favorite and current traitor Murphy excel.
The David Ortiz farewell tour will be all downhill from here.
Big Papi’s emotional pregame speech was genuinely moving (even for this Red Sox hater!), as was the ovation he received from players and fans after exiting the game. The All-Star Game is the perfect setting for farewell recognitions, but unfortunately, we’ll have to deal with this nonsense for another three months.