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2001 All-Star Game
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2001 All-Star Game

Live 
Event Notebook  72nd All-Star Game
A team of MLB.com reporters have descended on Seattle and will provide a live running notebook from All-Star Week. Check in often to see which celebrities are hanging out at the ballpark and around town from July 8 to July 10.

 Century 21 Home Run Derby TUESDAY, JULY 10  |  MONDAY, JULY 9  |  SUNDAY, JULY 8  

8:45 p.m. PT
The Home Run Derby is over and the sun is setting in Seattle.

After the Derby, MLB.com spotted local legend and Washington State University baseball coach Bobo Brayton at SAFECO Field. Brayton, who has more than 3,000 wins at the collegiate level, coached the Mariners' John Olerud in the late 1980s.

The stadium has cleared out and the grounds crew is cleaning the field and repainting the All-Star logo. Down the third-base line, CNN/Sports Illustrated is still in the midst of live reports.

Tonight all players, guests and sponsors are invited to attend the Commissioner's Gala at one of the piers in Seattle, where more than 5,000 people are expected to celebrate the 72nd All-Star Game.

7:35 p.m. PT
Luis Gonzalez has won the Home Run Derby, but most of the crowd is still talking about Jason Giambi's colossal triple-deck shot in the first round. Gonzalez is still on the field, enjoying some of his brand new celebrity.

In somewhat of a bizarre moment, the Seattle crowd became energized when a fan hopped on the field with Barry Bonds at the plate and tried to escape with a bucketful of baseballs. Thankfully, fleet-footed SAFECO Field security guards tackled the would-be thief before he could auction off the balls on MLB.com.

All-Star Game MC Dave Neihaus stopped by the MLB.com booth after the Derby and we asked him if he had fun. "It was a lot of fun," he said, "but I'm tired."

5:32 p.m. PT
The SAFECO Field crowd is still buzzing after the performance of Jason Giambi. The A's slugger hit a Home Run Derby-record 14 homers, including two upper-deck moon shots. The Seattle crowd gave Giambi two standing ovations during what has to be one of the most memorable Derby at-bats of all time.

When Giambi was finished, he was surrounded three members of the Clemens clan - we're not sure which ones, but you can bet their names start with the letter K.

Bonds and Ichiro receive their awards for being the top vote-getters.
5:23 p.m. PT
Seattle baseball fans show a touch of class when Alex Rodriguez' name is announced by ESPN's Chris Berman, cheering for the former Mariners star. We must admit that current Mariner Mike Cameron did help the cause when he emerged from the dugout right behind A-Rod and encouraged the crowd. And earlier in the day, a local Seattle paper had asked fans not to boo.

The Seattle faithful held out their loudest applause for Mariner Bret Boone, who received a thundering ovation.

5:04 p.m. PT
Fans couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day here at jam-packed SAFECO Field. The roof is open and there isn't a cloud in the sky. The Home Run Derby is almost under way and players are sitting along the third-base line with family members, seemingly all equipped with camcorders. National League starter Curt Schilling is stretched out with his son, while reliever Jeff Nelson is near the on-deck circle with two children.

The ceremonial first pitches are thrown out by the "shot heard 'round the world" duo of Ralph Branca and Bobby Thomson. Seattle's Mike Cameron and Florida's Charles Johnson are the ceremonial catchers for the AL and NL, respectively.

Meanwhile, a smiling Sammy Sosa doesn't seem exceptionally nervous about defending his Home Run Derby title, as he takes in the atmosphere, leaning against his bat with his cap turned backwards.

Look for Gregg Klayman, right, to name himself to his Midseason All-Proposal Team in his next column. Christine Brown is the lucky recipient of Klayman's affection.
3:28 p.m. PT
Ichiro finally played second fiddle. While he and Barry Bonds were being handed their Top Vote Getter Awards, they were overshadowed by the media circus created by Klayman's proposal.

It started with Pudge approaching Christine and signing a ball for her, followed by his handing her a ball that was already written on -- by Klayman. The Klayman ball asked Christine to marry him, though the words he used to express that sentiment have yet to be published. Early reports have it that Klayman issued his proposal via poetry, or at the very least some flowery language.

Christine's acceptance was followed by much kissing and crying, all while the flashbulbs popped. Amidst the hubbub, the vital issue of whether or not Klayman ever took the plunge onto a single knee remains in dispute. MLB.com producers Tom Rose and Spencer Quinn, who were spying with binoculars from the press box, disagree on this fact. Rose gives Klayman the thumbs up, while Quinn says it never happened.

3:28 p.m. PT
MLB.com fantasy guru Gregg Klayman gave new meaning to the words "ballpark proposal" when he popped the question to girlfriend Christine Brown on the field during AL batting practice. Klayman's intricate plan to have Ivan Rodriguez -- Texas native Christine's favorite player -- take part in the proposal reportedly came to fruition, though it is unclear as of yet just what role he played. Word is that Christine said "yes," but it is also unclear whether that response was to Klayman or Pudge.

Stay tuned for more info.

Alex Rodriguez says hello to Cal Ripken's son Ryan on the field prior to batting practice.
3:13 p.m. PT
A touching moment as Cal Ripken and his son -- who sports the exact same blazing blue eyes as his father -- make their way down to the field. A-Rod comes over and puts his arm around Cal's kid's shoulder, then leans in to whisper a few words before taking his turn in the cage.

NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr., winner of the Pepsi 400 Saturday night (while driving the MLB All-Star Game/Budweiser car -- now if that's not good karma, we don't know what is), shows that he's as popular in the Northwest as he is in the Southeast.

2:57 p.m. PT
The crowd is mesmerized while Ichiro takes BP. Joe Torre is spotted looking intense during a chat with ESPN's Chris Berman.

2:40 p.m. PT
Batting practice is underway. First up, the American League, where Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams reportedly sent a blast into the upper deck in right field.

But it was Jason Giambi's turn in the cage that had the crowd oohing and ahing, highlighted by a shot that was a baseball's width away from hitting the "Hit it Here Cafe" sign in right.

1:20 p.m. PT
With hordes of fans surrounding the lobby area, security is so tight that one of MLB.com's reporters was kicked out of the elevator to make room for Barry Bonds and his son.

From the looks of his yellow, blue and green Hawaiian shirt, Larry Walker thinks he was invited to the NFL's Pro Bowl. Luckily for Walker, it is a clear, sunny day in Seattle.
1:02 p.m. PT
As the National League press session came to a close, Phillies rookie Jimmy Rollins was spotted taking a souvenir -- a piece of cardboard with his name on it, something that is placed on an easel next to each player.

12:51 p.m. PT
Like ants at a picnic, you can't have a collection of superstars without agents in tow. Uber agent Scott Boras was seen lurking around Todd Helton's table, while Jeffrey Moorad (a partner of Leigh Steinberg) was seen splitting time between Sean Casey and Billy Wagner.

12:39 p.m. PT
First-time All-Star Lance Berkman clues reporters into the secret behind his success. Before each season, the Astros' outfielder prepares by re-reading Ted Williams' "The Science of Hitting," a book Berkman first read when he was seven years old.

Though he certainly didn't have Ichiro-appeal, home run leader Barry Bonds led the NL in being surrounded by media.
12:25 p.m. PT
After his initial snub by Seattle security, Mike Piazza has proven to be one of the most popular National Leaguers. Only Barry Bonds has a bigger crowd around him. Overall, the atmosphere has calmed considerably with Ichiro and the rest of his Seattle teammates having left the scene.

With Piazza, all anyone seems to want to ask about is his matchup against Roger Clemens. But as far as what really matters -- his dye job, of course -- our reporter estimates that it is much darker in person than it appears in photos. (No official word yet on whether he has died it a shade darker or if it has simply grown out some.)

Randy Johnson, no stranger himself to having his hair style dissected, also seems to be drawing quite a crowd.

Blondes may have more fun, but they also have a harder time convincing people that they're Major Leaguers, as Mike Piazza discovered.
12:08 p.m. PT
The National League's media frenzy has started, but it almost didn't start for Mike Piazza. Security guards didn't recognize the Mets' All-Star catcher -- who traded in his trademark mullet for his new goldilocks -- and didn't let him in ... at first.

But Mets PR Director Jay Horwitz came to the rescue, showing Seattle's staunch security team the proper credentials.

11:39 a.m. PT
As the American League press session wraps up, the room is being cleared for Game 2 of this media doubleheader.

The popularity contest was handily won by Ichiro, followed by A-Rod at No. 2, and a dark horse bronze medalist, the A's Jason Giambi, who said he's still not confirmed for tonight's home run derby. The official lineup is reportedly on the way.

11:28 a.m. PT
Fashionably late, Derek Jeter just arrived, along with teammate Jorge Posada. Jeter is reportedly oozing his usual New York cool in a gray blazer with some kind of fancy cuffs, and a sky blue t-shirt underneath. "A nice summer look," we hear.

The National League should be arriving any minute.

11:24 a.m. PT
Apparently the most popular topic with Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez is last season's confrontation between Mike Piazza and Roger Clemens. Pudge was asked for his catcher's perspective on the incident several times, including once in Spanish.

"For me as a catcher, I like to work inside and outside," Rodriguez answered. "It was scary, but (Clemens) likes to come in and throw inside."

11:14 a.m. PT
An MLB.com insider managed to wiggle her way far enough through Ichiro's crowd to catch a glimpse. Word is that Japan's answer to Elvis has eschewed the all-leather look in favor of a black blazer and black t-shirt.

Former Mariner Alex Rodriguez is reportedly the second-biggest story in Seattle right now.

Kid reporter D.J. Drysdale made his way over to Freddy Garcia for an interview. Look for his story later on MLB.com.

There might not be any story about Yankees Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, both of whom are no-shows thus far. Perhaps they have an "in" with AL manager Joe Torre. (Seattle manager and AL coach Lou Piniella is also a no-show so far.)

No one is more popular with the media than Seattle's own Ichiro.
10:57 a.m. PT
As the AL team became available to the media, at least 100 reporters of all stripes immediately swarmed around Ichiro's table. By comparison, Tony Clark, who is sitting at the next table over, was surrounded by exactly three members of the media.

Clark shouldn't feel too badly. Troy Percival didn't have anybody around him -- although word is that MLB.com's intrepid 13-year-old reporter, D.J. Drysdale, was heading over to chat Troy up.

Overall, Mariners in general are the most popular players, with Mike Cameron, John Olerud and Bret Boone all drawing a nice-sized crowd. No word on Freddy Garcia's following as of yet, but we do know that he was spotted out at Belltown Billiards last night shooting some stick alongside teammate Carlos Guillen. Garcia may have gotten the All-Star nod, but Guillen is reportedly the better pool player.

9:55 a.m. PT
During a press conference from Seattle, being covered live by MLB Radio, Joe Torre chose a familiar starter for the American League, Roger Clemens. Arizona's Curt Schilling gets Bobby Valentine's nod for the National League.

Torre announced his starting lineup:
CF - Ichiro Suzuki
SS - Alex Rodriguez
LF - Manny Ramirez
2B - Bret Boone
RF - Juan Gonzalez
1B - John Olerud
DH - Edgar Martinez
3B - Cal Ripken
C  - Ivan Rodriguez

As for Valentine, his lineup looks like this:
CF - Luis Gonzalez
1B - Todd Helton
LF - Barry Bonds
RF - Sammy Sosa
DH - Larry Walker
C  - Mike Piazza ("His toe is fine, and he's ready to go," said Valentine.)
3B - Chipper Jones
2B - Jeff Kent
SS - Rich Aurilia

More Notebooks:
TUESDAY, JULY 10  |  MONDAY, JULY 9  |  SUNDAY, JULY 8