Hank got Hammered

Watching the 2008 All-Star pregame spectacle at Yankee Stadium was something else. If you’re anything like me, you find these kinds of moments both exciting and cringe-worthy. It was amazing to see all of these baseball legends together in one place. It was even great to see Big Stein roll in on his golf cart. It looks like The Boss had a stroke, but I don’t know what the going story actually is. I’ve always liked Steinbrenner for his devotion to the Yankees and this was a fitting send-off.

But with all those different team affiliations, decrepit old men, and giant egos in one place under the hot Bronx lights, you get the feeling something might go wrong.

Luckily, aside from the general pacing of this thing, (the damn game didn’t get started until 9pm-ish) it pretty much went off without any problem. Nothing really viral-worthy. Except for the mistreatment of Hank Aaron.

For anyone who didn’t watch this parade, here’s how the ceremony went:
They went around the diamond with Joe Buck announcing every still breathing hall-of-famer at each position, as only Joe Buck can. There were a couple of huge names and the well-educated Yankees crowd gave them their due.

When Joe Buck got to center field they went through the names and then he said something to the effect of this….

“And now… (dramatic pause)….. one of the true giants of the game. (It’s a pun!) Willy………………(dramatic pause)….. Mays!”
The crowd goes wild
cut to CU of The Say Hey Kid
cut to crowd going bananas
cut to CU of The Say Hey Kid
and so on.

This goes on for a minute or two.

Then, Joe Buck begins to announce the right fielders. As he’s going down the list it goes something like this…..

“Tony Gwynn…”
“Al Kaline…”
“Hank Aaron…”
“Reggie….. Jackson…”
cut to crowd chanting “Reg-gie” “Reg-gie”
cut to CU of Reggie’s ego
cut to crowd cheering
cut to CU of Mr. October

Ok, I understand that we’re in Yankee Stadium, and they want to leverage the crowd by throwing a Yankee great out there at the end. But how about something special for Hammerin’ Hank? I mean come on. They just went right by him! This man is another one of the true giants of the game. Could they not come up with a clever pun or something? Let me try…

“And now….. (dramatic pause)…. one of the bravest men to pick up the lumber……. (dramatic pause)…. Henry…..”Hank”….. Aaron.”

For goodness sake… he was the home run king for 33 years. And many people believe he still is! I grew up believing he was some sort of god. I didn’t think he was real. It’s Hank Aaron. Give the man a little more respect than that. Is it because we’re in the house that Ruth built and we are still bitter that he broke Babe’s record? That simply can’t be.

I don’t know if MLB produced this thing or if it was solely done by FOX, but someone needs to apologize to Mr. Aaron. I’ve got a feeling it’s FOX because I don’t think Major League Baseball would suddenly forget one of it’s greatest living legends. Someone should be ashamed. How soon we forget the man. And I’m sure, somewhere, Barry Bonds is pissed too.

Stepping off soapbox now.

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