All-Star Game MVP Melky Cabrera Among Players To Wear Special Cleats During Game
Nike sent several MLBers, including Giants LF Melky Cabrera, brightly-colored cleats to wear in Tuesday's All-Star Game, and since they could "wear something different, many players took the opportunity," according to C. Trent Rosecrans of CBSSPORTS.com. Cabrera, who was named MVP of the game, had on bright orange cleats, and said, "I brought my own spikes from San Francisco, but I wore them because I think they're cute." Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval wore a "slightly more muted hue of orange shoes made by Under Armour." He said that he "didn't have any input on the shoes, he didn't request them, he didn't know they were coming, they just showed up and he put them on." Sandoval did "lament that he wouldn't be able to wear them again." Rosencrans noted Giants P Brian Wilson two years ago "tried to wear his orange cleats in a regular-season game and was told to change." Other players also "got their own colors." Nationals LF Bryce Harper "had a pair of red high-tops with gold accents," while Pirates P Joel Hanrahan's "black shoes had gold toes and other highlights" and Orioles CF Adam Jones wore "white shoes with orange trim" (CBSSPORTS.com, 7/11). Braves 3B Chipper Jones said of Cabrera's cleats, "I would not be caught dead in those shoes to be honest. Aw, I'm just kidding. You know what? They get paid a lot of money to wear those shoes. It's a little flashy and a little loud, but we had a little fun with it here in the clubhouse" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 7/11). After Cabrera grounded out in the second inning of Tuesday's game, Fox' Joe Buck said, “Cabrera back to the dugout, and he will plug his shoes into a charger so they light-up brighter the next time he goes out there.” Fox’ Tim McCarver said, “The one guy you would not get in to those shoes is (White Sox DH) Adam Dunn. He told us yesterday that there is no chance I’m wearing those orange shoes.” Buck said Dunn noted the shoes “would be great for Pele, but not me” ("MLB All-Star Game," Fox, 7/10).
THE BRYCE IS RIGHT: In DC, Dan Steinberg noted Harper has been wearing Under Amour’s "new Highlight Spine cleats for a couple weeks," but he got a "special model for the All-Star game." It is a "higher-topped shoe with ankle support, which the company brags is both lightweight and durable" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 7/10). Harper said of the cleats, "Those are great, aren't they? They're awesome for the camera. ... They're pretty impressive. They've got that Vegas feel to them" (CSNWASHINGTON.com, 7/10). McCarver during the All-Star Game said, "How about the shoes on Bryce Harper?” Buck said, “They’re golden.” McCarver replied, “Oh, those golden slippers. That’s styling right there” (“MLB All-Star Game,” Fox, 7/10). ESPN's Rob Parker said Harper's cleats were a "little too flashy for a first-time, 19-year-old All-Star" ("Numbers Never Lie," ESPN2, 7/11).
TAKING THEM TO THE WOODSHED: In Indianapolis, Mark Ambrogi noted Tigers 1B Prince Fielder used bats from Indiana-based Hoosier Bat Co. in winning the State Farm Home Run Derby Monday night. Company Owner Dave Cook said that the "attention received from Fielder winning the title should give his company a boost" similar to that following Fielder's win in '09. However, Cook "doesn't plan [on] an advertising campaign." He said, "We usually just do it by word of mouth." He added that usually 30 to 35 MLBers "use his company's bats." Cook said that Harper "used the bats in the minor leagues" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 7/11).