"If you would have told me that I would have went 1-for-2 with two [RBIs] and take home a Home Run Derby Championship, that's a hell of a weekend".
The game was played in less than three hours and it featured a pair of prolific home runs, a total of 23 strikeouts, and no errors in the field.
We talked to out-of-towners, we talked to insiders, we talked to Insiders, we talked to people who talked to big wigs at Major League Baseball, and not only was there nary a bad word (save from those who got trapped in the middle of the 5k color rush for two hours), there was only the highest of compliments. "That's what it's all about". Sabathia didn't throw a single pitch, but Cora sent out his former teammate and current rival for a "mound visit" in the ninth inning, allowing the six-time All-Star to have a special moment with Cleveland's diehard fanbase.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor also was stunned by the sight.
From 2003-2016 the All-Star game was used as a mechanism to decide home field in the World Series.
"It was recognized that he's one of the best pitchers in the big leagues for the last, what, 15 years", Cora said.
Aroldis Chapman threw a ideal ninth to give the AL its 19th win 22 games, with a tie stuck in there. Everything started here in Cleveland. La Stella, a first-time all-star in his sixth major league season who attended the event but did not play because he is out with a broken tibia, wears No. 9.
"It was fun", Cora said. I don't know if this is going to be my only one. "I had some nervous jitters I wanted to get out", Brantley said. Everyone you talked to in the past five days had nothing but praise for Cleveland's efforts. He felt like he finally had a place among the game's elite.
With the Angels unlikely to make a deep postseason run this year, expect to see Trout at the Linc early and often.