GEE AND URSULA

Rick Rizzs: MLB All-Star Week is ‘Disneyland for baseball fans’

Jul 11, 2023, 6:36 AM

seattle all-star...

A general view during the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard press conference at T-Mobile Park on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Seattle has been busy hosting Major League Baseball’s (MLB) All-Star Week at T-Mobile Park — and approximately 100,000 additional visitors and baseball enthusiasts visiting the Emerald City — with festivities culminating on July 11, the day of the 93rd MLB All-Star Game.

“There’s so many wonderful things and we lived it 22 years ago, right here at our ballpark in 2001,” Seattle Mariners announcer Rick Rizzs said on The Gee and Ursula Show. “It was a fantastic showing of things going on within the city and on the waterfront. There are all kinds of things going on there and at Lumen Field and of course at the ballpark. It’s just a great show for the fans. If you’re five years of age or 95 years of age, we they’ve got something for everybody, and all the teams are represented here.”

Luis Castillo, George Kirby, and Julio Rodriguez will represent the Mariners in the All-Star Game while Rodriguez will also suit up for the Home Run Derby.

“It’s just the best All-Star event in professional sports,” Rizzs said. “It’s different than football which is at the end of the year. It’s different than the NBA. These guys are still playing hard in the middle of the season to get bragging rights, to see which league is best. It was a great idea in 1933 and it’s still a great idea and the players love it. It’s one of the greatest baseball events each and every year and everybody loves it.”

Seattle All-Star Game Guide: Rosters, details on marquee events

Even though Rodriguez belted 32 home runs in the first round of last year’s Home Run Derby — the most of any player in any round on the night — he ultimately finished second in the competition to Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto.

“Of course we Mariner fans want Julio to win it, but do we really want Julio to win it?” Gee asked Rizzs. “Because if that means if he wins, it means he has taken a lot of swings. Do we really want that? Last year, he was out for a little while after that Home Run Derby.”

“Of course we want him to win it,” Rizzs responded. “The kid made a great showing [last year]. He’s going to be fine. He’s up for it. He’s been practicing the last couple of days down and I hope he wins.”

The Seattle Mariners, winners of seven of its last nine, entered the All-Star break late last week with as much momentum the club has had all season — a familiar feeling to last season’s unprecedented success.

More on MLB All-Star Break: Seattle sees violent start to All-Star Week

“It was a great series in Houston winning three out of four,” Rizzs said about the Mariners’ most recent wins. “Also winning two out of three against the Giants in San Francisco, it was an outstanding road trip. A lot of momentum coming into the All-Star break.”

Last year, Seattle was just 37-42 before ripping off 14 wins in a row — tied for the longest winning streak that season — leading up to the All-Star break, hurling them into the playoff picture in the process.

“They played really well after a tough loss at home against Washington, not one of the better teams in baseball,” Rizzs said. “Then they take two of three at home against Tampa Bay. Then they go to San Francisco and Houston, and they played well. Now they’re back in it. Four games out of the wildcard and about six or seven out of the division. There’s a lot of hope for the fans here. They just needed something to rally around and the mariners did it over the past week, and I think they’re going to continue to do it. It’s going to be a fun second half of the season.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Rick Rizzs: MLB All-Star Week is ‘Disneyland for baseball fans’