AL, NL squads each get pregame pep talk
Hall of Famer Brett, eight-time All-Star Chipper deliver speeches
KANSAS CITY -- The American League All-Star team got a pregame pep talk Tuesday from George Brett, a Royals legend and first-ballot Hall of Famer.
The National League All-Stars? Braves legend and future Hall of Famer Chipper Jones.
"They get George Brett over there on the American League side," Jones said on MLB Network just before the Midsummer Classic at Kauffman Stadium. "Then they get little old Chipper Jones over on the National League side."
NL manager Tony La Russa extended the invitation to Jones, appearing in his eighth and final All-Star Game. Jones said he wanted the younger All-Stars to make sure they fully absorbed every part of the experience in Kansas City. He addressed the veterans, too, telling all his NL teammates they belonged there -- whether they were 19, like Nationals phenom Bryce Harper, or 40, like Jones.
"We are all equals here," Jones told his teammates. "I just want to impress upon you guys to soak up each and every opportunity that you have."
He ended his brief speech by channeling his inner Lou Brown, from the movie, "Major League."
"We won two," he said. "We win three, that's a winning streak.
"We've got an opportunity to do that tonight, and I am not going out losing my last one."
Brett, meanwhile, delivered an unprepared speech stressing the importance of earning home-field advantage for the World Series. He pointed to AL manager Ron Washington -- whose Rangers lost the last two Fall Classics without it -- as an example of why Tuesday's game mattered.
Brett, who spent 21 years in the AL with the Royals, also expressed a great deal of pride in representing the Junior Circuit.
"Nothing makes me happier [than] when the American League wins an All-Star Game and an American League team wins the World Series," Brett said.
He took a moment to joke that seeing the Royals beat the Yankees might actually make him even happier, but he finished by encouraging the AL All-Stars to enjoy their experience in the spotlight.
"Go out there and play with some pride," Brett said. "Go out there and show off to the people of Kansas City and the people around the world."