Major League Baseball is going to have an “All-Star Charity Dance-a-Thon.”

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What’s the matter, Othello, jealous?

Well, did you know there’s a swimming pool under this floor?

And did you know that button behind you causes this floor to open up?

And did you further know that George Bailey is dancing right over that crack?

And I’ve got the key?

Stand back, everybody! Stand back!

They’re cheering us! We must be good!

Major League Baseball today announced the creation of a new All-Star Summer event, the All-Star Charity Dance-A-Thon, which will take place on Saturday, July 9, 2011 at the Phoenix Convention Center. All event-related net proceeds will be donated equally to three charities supporting cancer research and education — the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Glee’s very own acclaimed choreographer, Zach Woodlee, will lead the crowd in coordinated and spontaneous dance moves. He and other VIP guests will also serve as judges for a soon-to-be announced contest that will be open to Dance-A-Thon attendees. The grand prize winner of the contest will win an exclusive meet-and-greet opportunity on the set of Glee.

The last two All-Star Games had 5K charity races which, I assume, was considered a non-starter in Phoenix in July.  The Dance-a-Thon gives them another charity vehicle to tie into the All-Star Game in which averages Joe’s like you and me can participate if we wish, this time with air conditioning. Assuming Average Joe’s like you and me would be interested in a meet-and-greet opportunity on the set of Glee, which is by no means a given.

Buffalo gals, can’t you come out tonight …

Phillies to induct Bobby Abreu to Wall of Fame

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The Phillies announced on Wednesday that former outfielder Bobby Abreu will be inducted into the team’s Wall of Fame this summer. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, August 3 as part of the club’s alumni weekend festivities.

Abreu, 45, went to the Phillies in a November 18, 1997 trade with the then-Devil Rays that sent shortstop Kevin Stocker to Tampa. Abreu somehow only made two All-Star teams while in Philly. Overall, he hit .303/.416/.513 with 195 homers, 814 RBI, 891 runs scored, and 254 stolen bases in 1,353 games with the Phillies. Abreu ranks sixth all-time among Phillies in career Wins Above Replacement (47.2), fourth in on-base percentage (.416), seventh in slugging percentage (.513), second in OPS (.928), 10th in runs scored (891), fourth in doubles (348), second in walks (947), and seventh in stolen bases.

Perhaps Abreu’s most noteworthy accomplishment as a Phillie was winning the 2005 Home Run Derby at Comerica Park in Detroit. Abreu hit 24 home runs in the first round and finished with 41 total, both records at the time. That is his most noteworthy accomplishment as, through no fault of his own, the Phillies never made playoffs during his tenure from 1998-06.

Abreu’s tenure came to an end on July 30, 2006, when the club packaged him with pitcher Cory Lidle and sent them to the Yankees in exchange for Matt Smith, Carlos Monasterios, C.J. Henry, and Jesús Sánchez. Obviously, not a trade that worked out well for the Phillies. Abreu played through his age-40 season, spending time with the Angels, Dodgers, and Mets along with the Yankees. He retired with 60 career WAR, per baseball Reference, as well as a .291/.395/.475 batting line, 288 home runs, 1,363 RBI, 1,453 runs scored, and 400 stolen bases.

Phillies fans have always criminally underrated Abreu. He was viewed as lazy and uncaring, in part due to racism and in part due to a perceived aversion to outfield walls. Abreu’s induction into the Phillies’ Wall of Fame is a long time coming, but it will also likely spur a lot of debate on sports talk radio in the months leading up to it.