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Elephant Rumblings: Paul Blackburn reps A’s at 2022 All-Star Game

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92nd MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 19: Kyle Tucker #30 of the Houston Astros, Paul Blackburn #58 of the Oakland Athletics and Nestor Cortes #65 and Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees look on from the American League dugout during the 92nd MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

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.

Per John Shea at the San Francisco Chronicle, 52,518 fans were on hand at Dodger Stadium. Friends and family were well represented.

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.

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.

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!

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Former teammate Liam Hendriks on Blackburn’s All-Star nod.

Fox’s practice of mic-ing player in-game isn’t universally appreciated, but Liam never disappoints in these situations.

Blackburn fan art.

A game of ironies.

Oh man—I wonder if any of these will pop up on eBay.

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.

Drellich with an update on rule changes.