I’m blogging to you live from the sky. Well, actually the fifth deck of left field here at AT&T Park. Here is what the field looks like from my seat. I can’t complain. I actually have a great view of McCovey Cove from where I’m sitting so if anyone goes deep, I’ll see the water splash and the kayakers fighting over the ball.
Not only is Hideki Okajima an All-Star, but so is his translator, Jeff Yamaguchi. Jeff called me over to his corner of the clubhouse today to show me that he happened to have a locker right next to Alex Rodriguez. Not bad company, right?
Red Sox assistant trainer Mike Reinold was also given clearance to come to the All-Star Game so he can monitor Josh Beckett and Jonathan Papelbon. Reinold is extremely dedicated to the health of all the Red Sox pitchers and the club felt strongly about him being here with the two hard throwers.
David Ortiz seems to be a lot more relaxed in this environment than he was in the last couple of weeks of the first half. He can forget about his leg woes for a couple of days and just relish in the experience of being among the best of the best. All the players rode through the city today in a red carpet parade. Well, all of them except Manny. Manny did have his son following him around during batting practice and he seemed to be enjoying himself.
Josh Beckett will be the first pitcher out of the bullpen for manager Jim Leyland tonight. Josh will be reunited with catcher Pudge Rodriguez, his catcher from the 2003 World Series champion Marlins. Beckett expected to go one inning.
Papelbon expects he’ll pitch, but he wasn’t sure if it will be a closing situation.