Reporting Rob Long
When I arrived at Citi Field, I expected to be wowed and I was indeed wowed. It was sensational seeing the guys who you cover on a daily basis mingling and enjoying the moment just as I was.
I saw Manny Machado hanging out with, no only, his own teammates but with the likes of Robinson Cano and Miguel Cabrera. Adam Jones was fielding ground balls along with the middle infielders while Jose Bautista was smashing balls in batting practice. Needless to say with Bautista hitting batting practice, Jones did not get many chances.
Chris Tillman looked happy to be here. This is a guy who woke up Sunday morning, not knowing he was going to be an All-Star. Even though Justin Verlander’s absence from the game due to a Sunday start, it was great to see that a perennial All-Star such as Verlander was still here standing next to the man who took his roster spot.
Most, if not all of the players honored our military men and women as they greeted them coming from the club house onto the field. It was great to see the players stop to take pictures and sign countless autographs. I’m not just talking about American born players. I’m talking about all of the players, taking time out to talk to the true heroes of our country.
The All-Star game always has a relaxed feel to it. These players are ultra competitive and I’m sure they’ll play to win, but they were here to soak in all of the festivities that suggest this game is an exhibition.
Oh, by the way, there was a very noticeable “Ohhhh” that echoed throughout Citi Field during the National Anthem.