“Ironic” seems to be the theme of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game experience in the Twin Cities.
After we finally build a gorgeous outdoor ballpark, we land the Home Run Derby during a record cold-day for July. Nice.
And the timing of this all-eyes-on-Minneapolis event couldn’t be better. The Twins biggest star, Joe Mauer, can’t qualify for the All-Star Game because he pulled his obscure, er, oblique muscle. An extraordinary injury for Above-Average Joe, whose only weaknesses are bilateral.
To add insult to injury, the Home Run Derby gets delayed on Monday by an hour because of rain, and then the contest provides all the drama of a Brazil-Germany World Cup soccer match.
After Monday's snooze fest at Target Field, MLB tapped Aloe Blacc for its post-Derby All Star Gala at Mill City Ruins and Museum. I guess they couldn’t find Alanis Morissette to sing “Ironic.”
So they got the voice (and songwriter) of Avicii’s worldwide smash “Wake Me Up.”
And that’s exactly what Aloe Blacc did to the crowd of a few thousand ticket-holding partiers outdoors behind the Mill City Museum – and to untold residents on the opposite side of the Mississippi River.
With show-time temperature hovering at 57 degrees, the pop-soul star played a 50-minute set that featured his big hit, “The Man,” which has become something of a theme for All-Star Game promos, and a slow-downed, almost jazzy reading of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”
“I apologize for doing a Michael Jackson song in Prince’s city,” Blacc, who lives in Southern California, said after the tune. “But we don’t know any Prince songs.”
There were plenty of Minnesotans in the crowd, judging by all the Twins gear (people still love Kirby Puckett and Justin Morneau). There were a few faces well-known to local baseball fans: Clark Griffith, Dick Bremer and Frank Viola. But there were many out-of-towners showing their love for the L.A. Dodgers, Detroit Tigers and, of course, the Yankees. Too bad it was so chilly that the visitors were ignoring the fabulous Izzy’s ice cream desserts set up next to space heaters on the riverbank.
The out-of-towners seemed captivated by the fireworks above the Stone Arch Bridge – which started at 12:20 a.m. and lasted for 13 minutes. But the fireworks seemed like an impossible-to-ignore snooze alarm for nearby residents who didn’t abide by Aloe Blacc’s “Wake Me Up.”
We imagine the Twins, Major League Baseball and Minneapolis officials might be receiving some uncomplimentary phone calls, emails and Tweets.