I was gone yesterday afternoon so I wasn’t following the blow-by-blow of the Bonds trial. By missing it, though, I missed a doozy. In case you missed it too, know this: to players on road trips, there are “wife cities” and there are “girlfriend cities.”
This came up during Kimberly Bell’s testimony, in which she said that Bonds told her about the idea. Bonds would know too, seeing as though he dated Bell through parts of two separate marriages. During her cross examination, Bell said that Miami was a “girlfriend city.”, so she’d rendezvous with Barry there and other girlfriend cities.
Quite the concept. Maybe it explains why the Braves always seem to play so flat against the Marlins on the road!
I’d love to have a list of all major league cities and have them rated for wife or girlfriend-friendliness. And in case you think I’d use such information for player-stalking purposes, I should say that I’m more interested in the criteria for categorization than anything else. Based on Miami being for the girlfriends I’d assume that a hot night life is important for that, but there has to be more to it. Like, which way does good shopping cut? And does the entire breakdown of the cities give us any idea as to whether cheating players have more contempt for the wives they betray or their girlfriends they use?
Put differently, who gets stuck with Cincinnati?
I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.
Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.
The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.
Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.
Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.
The rest of the voting: