Schmidt says ties should be left to hockey |

Schmidt says ties should be left to hockey

Steve Yingling, Tribune Sports Editor

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt avoided giving his opinion of the controversial All-Star Game tie as slickly as he played third base for the Philadelphia on Wednesday.

After several requests to answer the question during a teleconference for the American Century Celebrity championship, the 10-time Gold Glove winner finally answered, “Only in the stupid sport of hockey can you have a tie.”

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig called off Tuesday’s All-Star Game with the scored tied at 7 after 11 innings because the teams’ pitching staffs had been exhausted.

Schmidt played in 11 All-Star games, but he said the mid-season classic was approached differently back in the 1970s and ’80s.

“When we went there, whatever it took to beat the American League, that’s what we were going to do,” he said. “Some guys played whole games. They wanted to pitch in that All-Star Game even if they pitched nine innings that Sunday.

“There is a lot more intention being put on not hurting them and being aware of when they are scheduled to pitch next and not overworking them.”

The eight-time home run king and three-time National League MVP attended the game in Milwaukee but left after seven innings to catch a flight home.

“I thought the environment at the All-Star Game was as exciting of an environment as I’ve ever seen,” Schmidt said.

His opinion didn’t change once he reached his set. Just as he was sitting down, Twins center fielder Torii Hunter extended his elbow over the eight-foot wall while robbing San Francisco’s Barry Bonds of a home run in the first inning.

“I don’t know if you’d see that kind of catch 20-25 years ago,” Schmidt said. “I only say that because their walls are padded. So when they jump they don’t end up hanging on a fence or post. Our walls were cement or plywood.”

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