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Wednesday (Justin Timberlake vs. Joe Buck at the ASG) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball Updated: July 13, 2011 - 8:57 AM

Maybe it's a testament to how vanilla last night's All-Star game was on the field. Perhaps Fox had the whole thing planned, with the consent of MLB, to get everyone to stop talking so much about all the players who weren't at the game (side note: Of the 16 players who were selected but bowed out of the game, it was noted on the broadcast that 11 showed up. Of the five who weren't there, four were Yankees. And the three out of the five who didn't recently have major surgery -- Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera -- were all members of the Yankees).

Regardless, the two minutes of last night's broadcast featuring Justin Timberlake being interviewed by Mark Grace were, without a doubt, the most memorable -- and it wasn't even close. If you thought he was being sincere the first time he told Joe Buck he was "classy" and calling a great game, you were 99 percent sure that by the THIRD time it happened Timberlake was ripping Fox's No. 1 sports guy during a live signature event. If you're among those who thinks everything JT touches turns to gold lately (The Social Network, SNL, Mila Kunis) and among those who can't stand Buck -- and this dual combination is a massive demographic -- it was must-see-TV.

Timberlake -- beer in hand -- teetered on the edge of a Joe Namath/Suzy Kolber breakdown, but he always managed to pull through. Even when he said "Beer's perfect. Beer never got mad at me because I didn't call beer back" -- which we swear we saw written countless times during the Dark Ages of the Internet/e-mail when we were in college on those "10 reasons why beer is better than a woman" HA-HA forwards -- he was bailed out quickly when Buck turned attention back to Timberlake's new movie, which allowed JT to rip on Buck some more. It was (presumably synergy at its worst for Fox, which had a trailer for "Friends with Benefits" at he commercial break shortly before the JT interview. Fox scratched JT's back; and he clawed theirs.

No matter. It was strange, sublime and unscripted (well, at least to everyone except Timberlake). If you're in the minority who think it was a disgusting act, well, Buck would probably agree with you.

There is a full transcript here, which is fun to check out even if you've already seen the exchange.

If you missed it completely, MLB has shrewdly put the clip up on its web site. Frankly we're surprised. We thought we might have to archive it on our DVR forever.

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