Jim Souhan: An open, a close and plenty in between

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 16, 2014 - 4:27 AM
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The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds conducted a fly by a of Target Field at the end of the National Anthem before the start of the MLB All Star Game. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com - July 15, 2014 , Minneapolis, Minn., Target Field, MLB All Star Game

Baseball has died a thousand deaths.

Labor stoppages were sure to kill it … but didn’t. Steroids would strangle it … but didn’t. The rise of the NFL, slow play and pitching injuries supposedly pose clear and present threats to the game, if you believe in this generation’s version of baseball Armageddon.

Here is the test of baseball’s sustainability for Minnesota: If you took a seat at Target Field on Tuesday night, and were not taken by the beauty and drama of the game, and the class and talent of the players, then it is time to don bike pants and turn your attention to the Tour de France.

If you were not entertained by the 85th All-Star Game, baseball is not for you.

On a chamber-of-commerce night in a ballpark that didn’t need mascara for its close-up, the best all-star game there is delivered the goods, from Derek Jeter’s cap tip in the first inning to Glen Perkins’ celebratory glove slap in the ninth.

The American League defeated the National League 5-3 with Perkins recording the save while pitching to Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki, on a night when fans cheered as loudly for a Yankee as they did for Perkins, a lifelong Minnesotan.

“Moments like that,” Perkins said, “are why you play.”

This was destined to be Jeter’s night, if not his game.

He made a diving stop to start the game, although he couldn’t throw out Andrew McCutchen.

He received a long ovation before leading off the bottom of the first, tipped his cap in all directions, then lined a double down the right field line before scoring on Mike Trout’s triple.

He singled to right in his next at-bat, then he jogged to the field in the top of the fourth.

AL manager John Farrell sent out his replacement, Alexei Ramirez, so Jeter could receive a farewell ovation on his last trip to the Target Field dugout. In a city that loathes and fears the Yankees, “New York, New York” played.

NL starter Adam Wainwright said he grooved a couple of pitches to Jeter, trying to help him go out in style, then later recanted. Jeter handled the instant controversy with typical class, saying that if Wainwright gave him pitches to hit, “thank you. But you’ve still got to hit them.”

The AL took the lead during a tour-de-force first inning highlighting three of the game’s biggest stars. Jeter singled, displaying his patented inside-out swing. Trout tripled, showing off his power and speed in one burst. Miguel Cabrera launched a gravity-defying home run to left, and it was 3-0.

“I said, ‘This is great,’ ” Perkins said. “Let’s hold them right here, pitch a shutout, and I’ll come in for the save up three runs.”

The NL rallied to tie the score, before the AL took a 5-3 lead in the fifth. Perkins had been told he would pitch the ninth if there was a save opportunity.

“Time stopped once we scored those two runs,” he said.

When Farrell called in Perkins for the ninth, he was stunned by the ovation he heard, and the eventual chants of “Let’s Go Per-kins.” He pitched for Stillwater High, and the Gophers, and has been with the Twins since 2006. His sum total of All-Star Game and postseason outs recorded in the big leagues was, at that moment, one.

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San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
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