|ESPN.com: All-Star 2008||[Print without images]|
|The All-Star Game lasted four hours and 50 minutes to make it the longest Midsummer Classic ever.|
Asked to describe how stressful those final innings were in that dugout crucible, AL manager Terry Francona responded with a quote never before uttered after any All-Star Game ever. "I have acne on my forehead." And how exactly does a guy like that develop acne on his forehead? Well, when you use up every one of your position players and every one of your pitchers, and it's closing in on 2 a.m., and then the commissioner's people send word to your people that this game must be decided somehow, you'd be amazed the places acne can bust out. Pretty much instantly. "You know, you wait a lot of your life to do something like this," Francona said. "And in the last two hours, it wasn't a whole lot of fun." Francona and NL manager Clint Hurdle had watched their bullpens grow emptier and emptier -- until they'd reached the point where there were more security officers out there than pitchers. It wasn't a "fun" feeling. "All my pals were going into the game," said the final occupant of Hurdle's bullpen, Phillies closer Brad Lidge. "I was literally the last man standing. It was the bullpen coach, the catcher and me." "I didn't know what to think," said the last survivor in Francona's bullpen, Tampa Bay's Scott Kazmir. "I was just playing around and trying to find some way to stay sane." Yeah, well, join the club. In the dugout, players began to wonder what might happen next. Would Kazmir have to pitch, say, the next 17 innings? Would either team be allowed to activate one of those leftover Hall of Famers -- say, Whitey Ford or Steve Carlton? Or would it be time to turn this crown jewel of baseball into a total farce, by handing the baseball to somebody who hadn't thrown a pitch since, oh, middle school. "I spoke to David Wright," said Hurdle. "I told David, `You were the last pick [on the roster]. I went and got you. Have you ever pitched in an All-Star Game?' "I said, `You wanted to be in this thing. That's all I've read, all I've heard, for the last three days. Well, you won't believe how much you might be in it here real quick.'"
|Russell Martin, right, got a perfect throw from Nate McLouth and tagged out Dioner Navarro trying to score in the 11th inning.|