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All-Star postmortems

SAN FRANCISCO -- It took a while to emerge from the chaos that is the bottom level of AT&T Park. Beautiful place for fans, lousy for the media. Press quarters are brutally cramped and they didn't build a lower service level for the clubhouses. The bottom level of seats is on the same plane as the clubhouse so fans, players and media mingle in a huge traffic jam after a game. It's a disaster.

While standing still in the basement, I saw Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak walk by. No Vanna. Willie McCovey was being driven out in a golf cart that blocked the entire hallway when Jim Leyland stopped it to say hello. The Japanese media waiting for Ichiro caused another jam.

Leyland got off a couple good wisecracks during his press conference when asked about his relationship with Barry Bonds. Here's one: "He invited me to his party last night but I didn't get the invitation until late so I think he's BSing (he said the whole thing by the way. I'm just abbreviating for a family blog). I don't think he invited me at all."

Leyland also said he'd like to see the DH put into the All-Star Game so there isn't the need for so much double-switching. Good idea.

Tony La Russa has some issues on the homefront because Albert Pujols was chafed he didn't get in the game. "I was ready all night," Pujols said. La Russa claimed he was holding his slugger in case the game went extra innings. Hmmm. Was he sending a message to Pujols about his subpar season?

Things got pretty hairy in the ninth inning for the AL. Players on both teams were at the top step of the dugout and the fans were on their feet. It didn't feel like an exhibition at that point.

The Mays ceremony and Ichiro's inside-the-parker will certainly be remembered for a long time. What were your impressions of this one?

---Mike Harrington

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