It's safe to say it's been a roller coaster of a year for the Twins at the halfway point of the season.
The Dodgers, who have suffered 20 disabling injuries, hope to rebound in the second half of a season that, so far, has been unreal on the field and surreal off it.
A successful All-Star week touched Commissioner Bud Selig on a personal level, from the game taking place not far from his home to the MVP of the game coming from his beloved Brewers.
Thank you, Arizona. The 82nd All-Star Game came and went like a strong summer wind through the valley, and the long-awaited week left memories we won't forget.
It's too soon to tell what the All-Star victory truly entails, but, if the memory serves, the home-field help boosted Bruce Bochy's Giants against Ron Washington's Rangers last fall.
White Sox All-Stars Carlos Quentin and Paul Konerko nearly spearheaded an American League rally in the ninth inning of Tuesday's All-Star Game, but even though the rally fizzled, the two South Siders enjoyed the opportunity to play in front of family and friends.
Prince Fielder's three-run home run to left-center field that effectively iced the Midsummer Classic for the National League in a 5-1 victory earned him All-Star Game MVP honors.
If ever the National League needed home-field advantage in the World Series, this is the year. Conveniently, the Senior Circuit's champion will open the World Series at home this October.
For a young player enjoying his first full season in the Major Leagues, taking part in an All-Star Game is part overwhelming, part exhilarating and part fun. But for Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, this was mostly educational -- and he made a bit of history along the way.
It was Prince Fielder who effectively won Tuesday's 82nd All-Star Game for the National League and Tyler Clippard who recorded the individual victory. But it was a trio of Braves pitchers who locked down home-field advantage for the Senior Circuit. Jair Jurrjens, Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters combined to fire 2 2/3 shutout innings.
Bruce Bochy should patent his game-winning script. The Giants skipper used it last year to win the World Series and Tuesday, he rolled it out again, securing home-field advantage for the National League with a 5-1 victory over the American League.
The National League beat the American League, 5-1, for its second straight win in the All-Star Game. Here are some facts and figures from the 2011 Midsummer Classic.
The Tigers' All-Star contingent no doubt enjoyed the trip to Phoenix, despite the eventual outcome, but it wasn't all fun and games for one particular ace right-hander.
On Monday, it finally hit Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez that he was an All-Star. It occurred during batting practice a couple of hours before the State Farm Home Run Derby began.
Justin Upton's stint as an All-Star Game host is over with. It was quite a bit busy, slightly nerve-wracking and, as he claimed, every bit as exciting and memorable as he expected.
All-Star Game MVP Prince Fielder smacked a three-run homer to power the National League past the American League, 5-1, in the 82nd Midsummer Classic, providing the NL with home-field advantage in the 2011 World Series.
Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks showed they were among the game's best on Tuesday during a 5-1 National League win. Fielder took home the MVP honors, while Weeks shined.
Prince Fielder's go-ahead homer made him the logical and deserving choice for Most Valuable Player of the 2011 All-Star Game. This was simply an extension of the kind of work Fielder has been doing all season as the cleanup hitter for the Brewers.
After winning the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevy and granting interviews, the moment finally came for Prince Fielder to pull off his dirty No. 28 Brewers jersey at his National League locker and hand it over to the Hall of Fame.
A year after he missed the Midsummer Classic due to injury, Tulowitzki started and even picked up his first All-Star Game hit in the National League's 5-1 victory over their American League counterparts.
Of all the steps forward the Pirates have made so far this season, having three players -- Andrew McCutchen, Joel Hanrahan and Kevin Correia -- line up along the third-base line at Chase Field on Tuesday to tip their cap during All-Star Game introductions is viewed as one of the most significant.
While the American League lost, 5-1, in the All-Star Game, AL starter Jered Weaver pitched a scoreless first inning. Angels reliever Jordan Walden allowed a run in his first All-Star appearance, and Howard Kendrick grounded out in his one at-bat.
Pablo Sandoval and Brian Wilson had big impacts in the National League's 5-1 All-Star Game victory Tuesday before the sold-out crowd at Chase Field.
For Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard, the best part of his first All-Star experience -- which he thoroughly enjoyed -- was getting into the game and becoming the winning pitcher as the National League defeated the American League, 5-1, at Chase Field.
Fresh off belting 31 home runs in his runner-up performance in Monday night's State Farm Home Run Derby, Adrian Gonzalez said that the next-day soreness was equivalent to if he had lifted a lot of weights.
John Green said his daughter, Christina-Taylor Green, would have been right here at Chase Field on Tuesday, watching the 82nd All-Star Game with rapt attention.
Dave Robertson's emergency appearance in the National League's 5-1 All-Star Game win over the American League on Tuesday highlighted the Yankees' evening at Chase Field, as the right-hander twirled a scoreless second inning in his Midsummer Classic debut.
Although four Reds All-Stars did not have a bountiful evening at the plate, they were kept busy defensively as the National League's pitchers were stellar during a 5-1 victory over the American League on Tuesday at Chase Field.
It was a short night for Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday, but much better to have one at-bat in a win than three in a loss.
Heath Bell had an action-packed All-Star experience, culminating with the Padres closer sliding into the mound to get the last out of the eighth inning on Tuesday night.
"Fan Cave West" came to Chase Field as the pool presence Monday and Tuesday, and after "having a blast," they now head back to Manhattan.
What initially looked like an All-Star panic for Tigers fans turned out to be a precautionary exit from the Midsummer Classic for slugger Miguel Cabrera, who left Tuesday's 5-1 National League win with mild soreness in his right side.
Matt Joyce was on cloud nine after Tuesday's Midsummer Classic, despite a 5-1 loss for the American League. The Rays outfielder made his mark on the game with a single in the ninth inning.
Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett was confident he would be able to pitch in Tuesday night's All-Star Game, but when he tried to warm up, his left knee told him something different.
Here at Chase Field, the All-Star Game was not yet the Royals' party, and that's illustrated by the fact that their lone representative was a rookie middle reliever, Aaron Crow, who was not called upon to pitch in the American League's 5-1 loss to the National League.
They might take a train (doubtful), they might take plane (likely), but if they have to walk (no way), they're going to be there all the same. The All-Stars are going to Kansas City. Kansas City, here they come.
Mariners rookie Michael Pineda was stellar in his first All-Star Game, striking out two while pitching a scoreless third inning. Closer Brandon League allowed a run in the seventh, but was able to showcase his talent in the American League's 5-1 loss to the National League.
Asdrubal Cabrera knows there really wasn't a Cabrera quota in the All-Star Game. It just appeared that way, when he departed Tuesday night's Midsummer Classic in the bottom of the fifth, at the exact moment Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera entered.
One followed the other. One was perfect, the other not so much. But Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee came away with positives from their time in Arizona, highlighted by the National League's 5-1 victory over the American League in Tuesday's All-Star Game.
In the end, the results hardly mattered. In the end, simply being an All-Star was enough for Carlos Beltran.
After the sixth inning of Tuesday's All-Star Game, in front of a FOX television audience, fans stood united as one to Stand Up To Cancer.
Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez didn't just give the American League the lead with a solo homer with two outs in the top of the fourth inning on Tuesday night, he also broke a bit of an All-Star Game power outage in the process.
Stan Musial is the people's overwhelming choice as winner of the Midsummer Classics bracket competition voted on by fans the past month.
Ron Washington took his coaching staff to dinner on Monday night after the Home Run Derby. Before they broke bread, Washington stood up and thanked his staff for everything they had done for him. He had a bit of a struggle keeping his emotions from bubbling over as he spoke.
Major League Baseball on Tuesday announced a five-year extension of its deal with Chevrolet as the game's official vehicle, and Chevy showed off the partnership with the All-Star Game Red Carpet Show.
The stars aligned in more ways than one on Tuesday. Several hours before the start of the 82nd Major League All-Star Game, the perfectly painted paragon of baseball's greatest fans was on display in the form of an All-Star wedding.
With 34 of the game's 68 players making their first appearances, the All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Chase Field will have a fresh energy.
Robinson Cano edged Adrian Gonzalez in a Home Run Derby for the ages, both of them hitting a record for a final round. Major League Baseball and State Farm will pay out $603,000 to charities as a result.
Jose Bautista has done this All-Star thing before. Ricky Romero has not. So after waking up Monday morning in Phoenix, Romero reached for his cell phone. Then he grabbed it again. And again.
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano set a final-round record with 12 home runs, winning the 2011 Home Run Derby on Monday at Chase Field over Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez
Jose Bautista has hit in pressure situations, in big stadiums and with packed crowds. He has homered in them all, which is how he owns 85 home runs over the last season and a half. But the Home Run Derby, he said, was a tougher experience. He was eliminated in the opening round with four homers Monday night at Chase Field.
Robinson Cano may have been a first-time participant in the State Farm Home Run Derby, but he is no stranger to putting on a show at the plate.
Prince Fielder could not win his second Home Run Derby crown on Monday, while Rickie Weeks exited after the first round.
Fue una noche inolvidable en el desierto. Por segundo año consecutivo, un dominicano conquistó el Festival de Jonrones.
Matt Holliday was eliminated by a narrow margin in Monday night's State Farm Home Run Derby, making it to a three-way "swing-off" tiebreaker before being knocked out of the competition.
Robinson Canó superó a Adrián González para alzarse el lunes con el triunfo en el Derby de Jonrones, que se convirtió en otro duelo entre Yankees y Medias Rojas.
Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez looked like he might run away with the State Farm Home Run Derby title on Monday at Chase Field, especially after tying a Derby record with 11 home runs in the championship round.
Outfielder Matt Kemp, on the eve of his appearance in the All-Star Game, said he would love to stay with the Dodgers and help the franchise return to its winning ways.
The American League roster for the 82nd All-Star Game figures to have plenty of help from the Yankees on Tuesday, with four players active and ready to help fight for home-field advantage in the World Series.
Matt Kemp of the Dodgers hit only two home runs and was eliminated in the first round of the Home Run Derby on Monday night.
Good food for a good cause was the theme for Lance Berkman, Miguel Cabrera and Josh Hamilton on Monday at MLB FanFest, where the three All-Stars stopped in to help author Julie Loria, wife of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, sign copies of her successful book "Diamond Dishes: From the Kitchens of Baseball's Biggest Stars."
Characterized as a role player, Michael Cuddyer has been one of the Twins' most valuable players since he broke into the big leagues because of his ability to sub anywhere on the field. His status is cemented by his first All-Star Game appearance.
The road that led Gio Gonzalez to the All-Star Game was bumpy, and he relishes the chance to help the AL squad.
Angels closer Jordan Walden is still shocked that he's on the American League All-Star team, while second baseman Howard Kendrick fielded questions during the All-Star press conference as confidently as he does ground balls.
They arrived to the Indians' organization in what were, at the time, fairly low-profile trades. But on Monday, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and closer Chris Perez sat beside each other, in a room filled with some of the Majors' top talent, ready to represent the Indians on the All-Star stage.
On Monday, MLB presented a $1 million check to the Foundation for Blind Children for a new lab and learning center that will provide resources to more than 2,000 Arizona children.
They are a team with six All-Stars, and they dominated one corner of the ballroom where the American League's media day was conducted on Monday.
Tuesday will be the ninth annual opportunity to help decide the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevy, exclusively on MLB.com via the 2011 All-Star Game MVP Vote Sponsored by Sprint.
From Class A to the Major League All-Star Game. It only took a year for Royals rookie reliever Aaron Crow to make that jump. And he arrived at the Midsummer Classic in Phoenix in style.
For the fortunate four Reds -- Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, Scott Rolen and Jay Bruce -- who were invited, the trip to this year's All-Star Game is a high individual honor and personal experience worth savoring.
This is Heath Bell's third consecutive All-Star Game, but by no means has it become an obligation for the Padres' closer.
As he stood in the cage and took batting practice hacks while wearing his National League All-Star uniform on Monday afternoon, Starlin Castro's face was filled with a smile that wouldn't go away.
Alex Avila will be making his first All-Star start, Jose Valverde is on tap to close it out, and Justin Verlander looks forward to experiencing the game like a fan on vacation.
Manager Bruce Bochy penciled Carlos Beltran's name into the starting lineup for Tuesday's 82nd All-Star Game, using him at DH. Batting second, Beltran will give the National League a switch-hitting weapon ahead of its heavy hitters.
Justin Upton and Miguel Montero will represent the D-backs at the All-Star Game on Tuesday, and the chance to play in the Midsummer Classic is even more special for them since it's being played at their home stadium, Chase Field.
The Breweres' trio of Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks has come a long way since that fateful day in June six years ago.
Paul Konerko is in comfortable surroundings, participating in the All-Star Game in his hometown. Carlos Quentin also knows Chase Field, having made his Major League debut with the D-backs. The two White Sox All-Stars appreciate the opportunity to play with the game's best.
Major League Baseball's commitment for its All-Star Games to leave a lasting footprint on host communities has left a crater-sized imprint in South Phoenix, through a $2 million renovation of the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix.
It should come as no surprise then that the Mariners are represented at the All-Star Game by three guys whose right arms have helped paddle the ship for the past three months -- Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda and closer Brandon League.
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