Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!
Paul Blackburn should be basking in the afterglow of his All-Star appearance at Dodger Stadium yesterday. His journey from being DFA’d last year to breaking out and becoming the A’s lone representative at the 92nd MLB All-Star game is one of this season’s true feel-good stories.
By all indications, Blackburn savored every moment of his experience. Perhaps most importantly, he shone on the mound when he was handed the ball to pitch the fourth inning. Blackburn held his National League opponents scoreless to hold a 3-2 lead for the American League.
Only Willson Contreras reached base while Blackburn was on the mound, and that was on an error by AL third baseman Jose Ramirez. Paul looked sharp last night, inducing a popout by Trea Turner, challenging Albert Pujols to induce a flyout by the future Hall of Fame inductee, and topping it off with some swing-and-miss by striking out Joc Peterson on this fastball to the outer edge of the zone.
Blackburn beamed as he mingled with fellow players and reporters before the game, and he didn’t even try to hide his giddiness over getting a locker next to Mike Trout.
Paul Blackburn’s locker is next to Mike Trout’s. Blackburn said he introduced himself yesterday. “It’s awesome. It’s freakin’ Mike Trout.” #AllStarGame— Ben Ross (@BenRossTweets) July 19, 2022
Per John Shea at the San Francisco Chronicle, 52,518 fans were on hand at Dodger Stadium. Friends and family were well represented.
Paul Blackburn said he'll have about 20 family and friends with him at the All-Star Game. Said the only time he's been to Dodger Stadium was the 2020 playoff bubble. "It’ll be a little more crazy than it was with cardboard cutouts in the stands."— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) July 17, 2022
Blackburn was initially booked to fly to L.A. on a commercial flight, but the Astros contingency kindly invited him to hop on their charter flight from Houston, where the A’s had just won a best-of-three series against the AL West leaders.
The A's were gonna make their only all-star, Paul Blackburn fly commercial to the All-Star Game this year— The Game Day MLB (@TheGameDayMLB) July 19, 2022
Then, Dusty Baker & the Astros came through and let him hop on their charter to LA ✈️ pic.twitter.com/xSB3mczkBN
There was a huge kerfuffle on Twitter over the A’s budget transportation arrangements. But I’m with Hal on this one. Of all the angles one can find to criticize the A’s organization—and there are plenty—this is one of the worst.
Also, jesus christ, guys, I gotta buy some carbon offsets. @louispotok, wanna hook me up at the end of the season?— Hal the Hot Dog Guy (@AsHotDog) July 19, 2022
Athletics Nation offers a most sincere, heartfelt, and hearty congratulations to the A’s Paul-Star! He did a fantastic job repping the team, and I hope his All-Star experience gives him a boost to keep him dealing through the rest of the 2022 season and beyond!
- Hall: MLB Draft 2022, Day 3: A’s make picks in Rounds 11 thru 20
- Shea: MLB commissioner Rob Manfred weighs in on A’s stadium situation ($)
- A’s Blackburn flies on rival Astros’ charter to All-Star Game
- McDonald: This Trade Candidate Is Better Than His ERA
- Shea: American League wins All-Star Game, 3-2, but it was all about the show ($)
MLB News & Interest:
- The Athletic: Commissioner Rob Manfred rejects premise that minor leaguers aren’t ‘paid a living wage’ ($)
- Gallegos: J-Rod electrifies with 81 HRs in Derby debut
- Sarris and Buchanan: MLB All-Stars on the adjustments that helped get them to the Midsummer Classic ($)
- McDonald: Royals Release Roman Quinn, Brad Peacock
- Adams: Looking For A Match In A Juan Soto Trade
- Mooney: With his Cubs days numbered, Willson Contreras reflects on road to All-Star Game ($)
- Franco: Lance McCullers Jr. To Begin Rehab Assignment
- Bastian: Cubs draft son of legendary slugger McGwire
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter:
Former teammate Liam Hendriks on Blackburn’s All-Star nod.
Former A's teammate Liam Hendriks on Paul Blackburn: "I'm ecstatic for him. This is a fantastic opportunity for him to come out here and I hope he gets in the game. It's a thing that you'll always relish."— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) July 19, 2022
Fox’s practice of mic-ing player in-game isn’t universally appreciated, but Liam never disappoints in these situations.
Blackburn fan art.
THE ART OF PITCHING#fanart for @Athletics lone All-Star and Hometown Hero Paul Blackburn! Contra Costa County to Hollywood! Love his story so I dug deep into the tool box for a piece a bit different from the cartoons. Make some art today Paul!— Guy Sliwinski (@GuySliwinski) July 19, 2022
⭐️#DrumTogether #AllStarGame pic.twitter.com/It1I602EnW
A game of ironies.
Oh man—I wonder if any of these will pop up on eBay.
Don't miss out on your chance to get a Nick Allen bobblehead, this Friday ONLY!! pic.twitter.com/f4LYGvDHOT— Midland RockHounds (@RockHounds) July 19, 2022
Whatever you think of the Dodgers, this is a fine venue to watch a game. I always park near the exits—and prepay to save $10. I also play disc golf at a nearby course with a great view of the stadium from the 18th hole—super fun when a game is happening! Someday I’m hoping to birdie at the same time someone hits one out of the park. The crowd goes wild!
I would not want to face the MEGA UNIT.
A “let them eat cake” moment for Manfred.
Harry Marino, director of Advocates for Minor Leaguers, responds to Rob Manfred: pic.twitter.com/VDIPhwld8V— Zach Buchanan (@ZHBuchanan) July 19, 2022
Drellich with an update on rule changes.
Tony Clark on potential rule changes being discussed on competition committee, which includes players: "Pitch clock, bases and shift are the focal point for the consideration for 2023... Remains to be seen what comes out of that discussion." Clark thinks next 40 days will be key.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) July 19, 2022