Bautista makes big catch

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Associated Press
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
— Jose Bautista IS the Toronto Blue Jays, so when he went sliding into the wall to make a spectacular catch of a foul ball in the All-Star game on Tuesday night, his manager John Farrell was understandably concerned—but not at all surprised.

“A sigh of relief as he got up and threw the ball back in,” said Farrell, who was part of AL manager Ron Washington’s staff. “But as we’ve seen from Jose, he’s all-out all the time, regardless of the setting or the game.”

Bautista raced to his right and slid into the wall as he caught Brian McCann’s foul ball to start the second inning.

“He certainly represented himself well and the Blue Jays well on that play,’” Farrell said. “It was an all-out, hustle play.”

Another hustle play didn’t turn out so well. After Adrian Gonzalez’s third-inning home run put the AL up 1-0, Bautista singled to shallow center. Josh Hamilton followed with a single and Bautista advanced to second. Then when Adrian Beltre singled to left-center, Bautista tried to score from second but was out easily on a throw from Hunter Pence to end what had the makings of a big inning.

“Certainly he’s not going to be held up, he’s going to force the issue,” Farrell said. “Pence made a heck of a throw, threw a strike, but much like we’ve seen all year, he (Bautista) played tonight like it was a regular-season game, and certainly there was something to play for tonight.”

Going, going, gone

A bat that Babe Ruth used to hit a 620-foot home run in an exhibition game at Sing Sing Prison in 1929 was sold at auction Tuesday for $126,500. The item was among several pieces of baseball memorabilia sold at MLB FanFest, part of the All-Star game celebrations, by Hunt Auctions. The bat had not been expected to sell for more than $100,000.

A Jackie Robinson professional model bat from his historic 1947 rookie season went for $97,750, far above the pre-sale estimates of $30,000 to $40,000. Two 1908 Chicago Cubs world champion pennants sold for $57,500. The pennants mark the Cubs’ last World Series title.

A baseball autographed by Ruth and Lou Gehrig, circa 1927, went for $33,350, and an autographed bat that Roberto Clemente used for his 2,999th hit sold for $51,750.

Not a hot ticket

Possibly because the heat caused some fans not to travel to Arizona, there was less demand for tickets this year. Just six hours before first pitch, resale tickets were available for as low as $74, according to fansnap.com, and there were 1,000 tickets for less than $140.

The list price set by Major League Baseball ranged from $90-$350, down from $150-$360 when the Angels hosted last year. All-Star prices have fluctuated depending on the market in recent years, running from $75-$285 in San Francisco in 2007, to $170-$725 at New York’s Yankee Stadium the following year to $100-$360 at St. Louis in 2009.

Homer happy

The Home Run Derby on Monday night drew 6,686,000 viewers on ESPN, according to fast national ratings, up 4 percent from last year’s 6,418,000. The 4.7 rating increased 2 percent from last year’s 4.6.

It drew a 10.3 rating in Boston, a 9.3 in Milwaukee, a 6.3 in Phoenix and a 6.1 in New York.

Steamy forecast

While much was made of the Arizona heat at this year’s All-Star game, commissioner Bud Selig knows that it’s sweltering across much of America in July. Take Kansas City, site of next year’s game, for instance.

“It will be just as hot and a little more humid, but what the hell?” Selig said. “That’s been Kansas City forever.”

Last updated: 5:54 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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