DETROIT -- While Giants manager Felipe Alou and outfielder-son Moises Alou shared the verve and excitement of one of baseball's enduring and endearing events -- the All-Star Game -- Tuesday night at Comerica Park, the overriding feeling earler on gameday was somnolence. As in ... yawn ... leaving San Francisco late Sunday night and arriving in Motor City at 7 a.m. Monday -- three time zones away -- then attending an early-morning press conference and other functions that required their presence the following day. Moises Alou slept in until 1 p.m. Tuesday and admitted he was tired, but started to get psyched as game time approached, his inner alarm clock buzzing. As a six-time selectee, he vowed not to treat this as a mere exhibition, hoping to "look good" and help the National League win the game.
He nearly pulled off all his goals, as the Senior Circuit stars trailed by seven runs after six innings but rallied before falling, 7-5. Alou walked as a pinch-batter in the sixth, then doubled in the eighth off former Giants reliever Joe Nathan and scored on Miguel Cabrera's RBI groundout for the National Leaguers' fourth run. "You always want to get a hit with your family and friends here," said the 15-year Major Leaguer. "Son, mom, people watching you from the Dominican ... you want to look good at the All-Star games. "It helped that I faced Nathan in Minnesota, so I knew pretty much what he had," added Alou of the Giants' trip to the Metrodome in mid-June. "I'm just an aggressive hitter and I had a strike right away and went after it. "It was a great experience being here, an honor, and hopefully I'll be back next year -- along with Barry [Bonds]." Alou now sports a .500 All-Star average, with five hits in 10 at-bats and a remarkable .700 slugging percentage over six Midsummer Classics. He didn't get a hit in only one All-Star game, the 2001 contest at Seattle while with Houston. Felipe Alou -- at 70 only six years younger than the All-Star Game -- was asked by longtime friend and NL manager Tony La Russa of St. Louis to coach here after declining on two other occasions so he could go fishing and take time off. He grabbed at this chance, however. "I was next to the manager but not the bench coach per se," said Alou, who added it was discussed briefly -- then dismissed -- that he serve as first-base coach. The elder Alou still got a lot of TV airtime, while leaving the strategical work to La Russa. Come Thursday, however, the real games resume, along with the stress of trying to get the Giants above .500 and back in the NL West race. Alou admits such thoughts were in the back of his mind, and he's still hoping slugger Bonds -- one of the great missing players here -- can help in that regard. "It was different without him here," said Alou of the mega-star, still rehabbing from knee surgery. "The last few years I used to watch the game on TV mainly because of Bonds. You make sure you get a cup of coffee or glass of wine just before his at-bat so you wouldn't miss it. "I know I miss him here," added Alou, "but I miss him every day in the lineup."
Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.