**The 2008 All Star Game**
The managers have announced the starting lineups and their starting pitchers, the players are ready and Yankee Stadium, the House That Ruth Built, will be ready to showcase all in a gala opening ceremony. Fox and FoxHD will start the television coverage with a 7pm EDT pregame show featuring all the festivity of these past two days, especially today's star-studded 6th Avenue parade. It should be great. Game coverage on Fox and FoxHD will be at 8pm. Expect a pre-game festival more choreographed than the 1999 Fenway Park All Star game, which was highlighted by Ted Williams' last appearance in front of the baseball world.
First, here are your starting pitchers. For the visiting (and losing, I hope) National League, it will be Ben Sheets, 29, of the Milwaukee Brewers. His record is 10-3 with a great ERA of 2.85. The American League will start the Cleveland Indians' Cliff Lee. He's also 29, and he has a record of 12-2 and an even better ERA of 2.31. Two great pitchers in one great game in which the home field advantage for the World Series will be determined. Here are your complete starting lineups...
The American League
1. Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki
2. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter
3. Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton
4. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez
5. Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez
6. Rangers designated hitter Milton Bradley
7. Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis
8. Twins catcher Joe Mauer
9. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia
The National League
1. Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez
2. Phillies second baseman Chase Utley
3. Astros first baseman Lance Berkman
4. Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols
5. Braves third baseman Chipper Jones
6. Rockies right fielder Matt Holliday
7. Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun
8. Cubs center fielder Kosuke Fukudome
9. Cubs catcher Geovany Soto.
So grab a beer, a soda or some popcorn, maybe fire up the grill before the 7pm coverage starts, and above all, enjoy! The Red Sox starters, as you probably know, are Manny Ramirez in left, Dustin Pedroia at second and the incomparable Kevin Youkilis, who might receive a few boos, manning first base. Big Papi WOULD have been the starting DH, but because of his wrist, he cannot play. But he's there, though. We all know how great a guy David is, and he wouldn't miss this for the world.
Click on the title of this post for some very special memories from Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant. He has SUCH a way with words unlike any other sportswriter I've ever had the pleasure of reading. So click on that title and as always, BE WELL.