There's been a lot of talk lately about Smoltz's injury and Jo-Jo "Don't Forget the Dash!" Reyes coming up to have a start in the series against the Padres, but as usual, most news sources are missing the important issues here. First of all, BREAKING NEWS: according to the AJC notes, Salty won't be friendless much longer:
"He's awesome, man," said Saltalamacchia, who became a close friend of the pitching prospect while they were teammates at three minor-league levels, including this season at Class AA Mississippi.
Reyes has the "awesome, man" seal of approval, so he and Salty must be pretty tight. That's good to know, but we've still got a problem: with Smoltz missing the All-Star game to get rested up for the second half, Heap will be headed out to San Francisco alone. Last year he had Andruw and Rent for company, and when they immediately ditched him for their cooler friends upon arrival, he at least had fellow country boy Dan Uggla to hang out with. But Uggla didn't make the team this year, and Smoltzie is no longer going, so what's the Heapster to do?
Let's take a look at the potential Friends of Heap on the NL All-Star Roster this year . . .
Starters -- Well, Wright, Reyes and Beltran are Mets, so they're all out of the question. Same goes for Utley, one of those dirty Phillies. Barry Bonds? I kinda doubt it. Ken Griffey Jr. seems nice enough, but he's an older guy with kids, and Heapster needs a young buddy to party with. Maybe Prince Fielder? I don't know much about him, except that he can hit -- allow me to consult his biography . . . "Enjoys listening to music and spending time with his son." Well, Heap likes music I suppose, but the All-Star players usually have their kids with them during the festivities, so Prince will probably be busy. But hey, Russell Martin, fellow catcher, is single and childless! Let's see . . . he's Canadian, and Heap seems to get along with the likes of Thor and company well enough, so maybe these two catchers will hit it off -- ah, but what's this . . . "lived in Paris from age 8-10"?? "Accomplished saxophone player"?? Yeah, maybe not.
Reserves -- J.J. Hardy is a possibility -- "favorite movie is "The Rock" . . . favorite food is steak"; sounds like Heap's kinda guy, but maybe Hardy will be busy hanging out with teammate Prince Fielder? Cabrera is a possibility, but his Wikipedia page claims he practices Santeria (you know, like the song, only he does practice it), and we all know how Heap feels about animal sacrifice. Heap tried to befriend Matt Holliday last year, but Holliday seemed to think he was too cool for Heap. He probably still does. Jerk.
He could always hang out with some of the pitchers -- bar fightin' Hamels or DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! Peavy, perhaps? Between those two and Dmitri Young, Heap will be lucky to get back from San Francisco without a criminal record.
Maybe he should just bring Frenchy along. I remember reading that he made the trip to Pittsburgh last year to watch Heap play, and I'm sure he'd be happy to do it again. Don't forget to leave a ticket for him at will call, Heap.
But wait! Frenchy might actually be busy over the All-Star break:
According to Hitchcock, a casting call will be held for actors and extras on Monday and Tuesday, July 9 and 10 at The Lodge [...] Thousands of extras and many actors are needed for this film [...] Several roles for white baseball players age 18-24 will also be cast.
I'm sure Frenchy is already putting together his headshots, having his teeth whitened and practicing his elocution. Sorry, Heap, I guess you're on your own.