© 2002 Sportsticker
MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- It started as a celebration, and for a while, it was scintillating. But in the end, it was another disastrous evening for baseball.
On the night when the game celebrated its 30 greatest moments, it suffered one of its most ignominious ones as the 73rd All-Star Game was called after 11 innings, tied at 7-7.
After Commissioner Bud Selig met with both managers, the game was called after each team ran out of players. As fans at Miller Park chanted "Refund!" and "Let Them Play!", American League reliever Freddy Garcia struck out Benito Santiago for the final out.
Fans immediately began throwing objects on the field, ruining what was supposed to be the crowning moment of Selig's tenure as commissioner.
He worked with local politicians to have this stadium built primarily with public funds and turned over ownership of the Brewers to his daughter before becoming commissioner.
"This is not the way I wanted this to end," Selig said. "I am saddened by it."
Torre and Brenly agreed with the decision and backed the commissioner.
"I feel bad for Bud, especially here," Torre said. "But the fact of the matter is that Bob and I had talked about this: When you have players come to an All-Star Game, you want to get them in. The down side is, if you get them all in and it's the ninth, 10th, 11th inning, you can't have it both ways. ... The last thing I want to do is get a pitcher hurt and send Freddy Garcia to (Seattle manager) Lou Piniella saying he can't pitch."
"These organizations, their managers entrust us with their players," Brenly added. "The last thing we want to do is send a guy home who is not going to be able to compete for the ballclub that's paying his salary."
Things could not have started out better as pregame festivities brought out some of the game's biggest legends. On hand for the celebration of the 30 most memorable moments were Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and recently retired Cal Ripken Jr.
Baseball also took time to pay tribute to legendary hitter Ted Williams, who died Friday in Florida. Williams' No. 9 was painted into a patch of grass in left field and a video was shown.
A perfect weather night turned into an interesting game that featured the AL erasing an early 4-0 deficit, San Francisco superstar Barry Bonds hitting a two-run homer, some good defense and another meltdown by Arizona closer Byung-Hyun Kim.
But all that will be remembered from this Mid-Summer Classic are the bottles and cups raining down from the stands, obscene chants and another bitter pill for the league to swallow.
"I felt like I was in `The Bad News Bears,'" Kansas City's Mike Sweeney said. "It was sweet, we made history. But I think they did the right thing overall, keeping guys healthy."
The 10th extra-inning All-Star Game also was the first to end in a tie since the 1961 game was called after nine innings by rain.
For the first time, a Most Valuable Player was not named. The award was to have bore Williams' name.
It seemed that it was a night destined for one of the game's biggest stars as Bonds, who was a part of the pregame celebration, hit a two-run homer off Toronto's Roy Halladay to cap a three-run third inning.
Bonds' second career All-Star homer was one of his trademark bullets off the facade in right-center field. It almost was his second of the game, as Minnesota center fielder Torii Hunter leapt above the fence to rob him of one in the first inning.
After the NL picked up a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double by Wisconsin native Damian Miller, the AL rallied in the seventh.
Atlanta's Mike Remlinger allowed a leadoff single to Boston's Johnny Damon. After Damon stole second and took third on a flyout, Remlinger surrendered a run-scoring groundout to Anaheim's Garret Anderson. Tampa Bay's Randy Winn walked and Brenly opted for his closer, Kim, who surrendered a trio of dramatic home runs in last year's World Series. In a span of nine pitches, the Korean sidewinder allowed a stolen base, an RBI single, another base hit and a two-run double to Chicago's Paul Konerko that gave the AL a 6-5 lead.
The AL went down in order in the ninth and 10th before Vizquel walked and reached third with two outs in the 11th. But Philadelphia's Vicente Padilla, in his second relief inning, retired Tony Batista on a harmless flyout.
After Florida's Luis Castillo opened the bottom of the 11th with a flyout, an announcement was made and the chanting intensified. Teammate Mike Lowell drew a walk but Padilla, who had to hit for himself, could not get down a bunt and struck out. With Lowell at second following a wild pitch, Santiago struck out looking and the free-for-all began.
"In this game, crazy things happen," Konerko said. "That is why it is the best game in the world. But it does stink because because you want to see a winner and a loser, no doubt about that."
"It is about the fans, but you don't want to see anyone hurt," Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez said. "You don't want to see Garcia overextend himself. I hope the fans will understand."