Niagara Gazette

Sports

July 18, 2013

Mroziak: Random notes during an All-Star Break

Niagara Gazette — How does one follow a commentary that offered a critical take about the dark side of sports fan behavior? With this one, celebrating one of the coolest moments from Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, along with a few other random bits...

• What an instant classic scene it was to see Mariano Rivera take the field for one last All-Star Game Tuesday night. From the moment the first notes of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” sounded on the Citi Field speakers, there was just this feeling something special was about to happen.

The fans and players on both benches did not disappoint, showing Rivera much deserved respect as he took the field alone. It was a fitting gesture for a man who, as part of his final season, has met privately with employees of rival clubs during Yankees road trips to express his gratitude for their hard work behind the scenes. He’s a class act all the way.

• Perhaps Tim McCarver’s straight reading of lyrics from “Enter Sandman” during Rivera’s entrance was in the same category of cheese as, well, pretty much any pop song William Shatner has ever covered (if you’ve never seen it, look up Shatner’s take on Elton John’s “Rocket Man” on YouTube.com). 

Still, like it is for Rivera, this All-Star Game is McCarver’s last. He’s had his share of controversial criticisms in the past, but he’s one guy to which I’m willing to give leeway this final season in the booth.

• One of the coolest baseball names I’ve heard in a long time is that of a player currently featured on the Niagara Power roster: Johnny Blue Craig. It’s got a nice classic tone to it, something I like in a day and age when other athletes take on abbreviated names like A-Rod, RG III and other similar handles that make them sound more like a robot character in Star Wars.

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