The 82nd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be played on July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix. It will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau des Sports, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
So there you have it boys and girls, if you don’t have a ticket to the mid-summer classic and you live in the US or Canada, you should have no problem seeing or hearing the game. Many of the participants actually playing in the game however are All-Star replacements (23.5%), not All-Stars. Unfortunately, the way MLB has operated things here has turned what was supposed to be a spectacle into a farce. At this point, this event is nothing more than going out with the hot girl’s neighbor.
First let’s get to the injuries. For players like Alex Rodriguez or anyone else who is on the DL for any reason, not playing in the game is totally acceptable. There’s no justifiable reason an injured player should be forced to attempt to play. But then there is Mariano Rivera, David Price and Derek Jeter who have (let’s call it what it is) contrived injuries. Exactly what injury does Jeter have anyway? 3,000 hit fatigue? Sure he was on the DL recently with a calf injury, but he was cleared to play, has been playing for a week already and healthy enough to go 5-5 in a Major League Baseball game with a home run for number 3,000 to boot! He’s not healthy? The man has now played all nine innings in the field at the shortstop position in six straight games since coming off the DL and during those six games he’s brought his batting average 14 points up from .256 to .270. It would seem to me that the guy is as healthy as he’s been all year!
As if players with both legitimate and fictitious injuries weren’t bad enough to taint the quality of the All-Star line-ups, a new wrinkle in MLB’s rules governing eligibility for the All-Star game have had a drastic impact on the game. Any starting pitcher who pitched on Sunday has been ruled ineligible to play in the game. Genius!
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Some of the very best pitchers in the sport, CC Sabathia, James Shields, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Cole Hamels and Matt Cain have all been ruled ineligible to play since they pitched on Sunday. Forget the fact that many of these guys would have thrown on Tuesday anyway to get their side work in, they aren’t even allowed to come in and face a batter. I’m assuming that MLB has covered all the bases here in attempting to protect the arms of these pitchers strictly prohibiting anyone who pitched on Sunday from playing catch with their children during the three day All-Star break too.
And then there’s what we’ll call the CC Sabathia fiasco. Here MLB took a pitcher who is leading MLB in wins at 13-4 with a 2.79 ERA pitching in arguably the toughest division in baseball and left him off the original All-Star roster. Then after a classic pitcher’s duel between two of this season’s truly finest Major League pitchers on Sunday with James Shields, MLB the sends Sabathia a “B-List wedding invitation” placing him as a last minute replacement to this year’s AL roster. Sabathia replaced James Shields who he just pitched against because Shields was ineligible because he pitched on Sunday. And since Sabathia pitched in that same game, he then was ineligible too and had to be replaced by Alexi Ogando.
So what the hell did they name Sabathia for in the first place! Am I the only one that sees this as asinine? They deemed one of the best pitchers in the game not good enough to play in the game to begin with, then when they found out he couldn’t play, they named him to the roster momentarily only to take him off! Stupid!
For those who are keeping track, all tolled 16 All-Stars are either hurt, have been ruled ineligible, or have backed out of Tuesday night’s desert showdown (so far). Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester, Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes and Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino are on the disabled list, and Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was slated to have knee surgery Monday. Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun (calf) missed his team’s last eight games heading into the break and Philadelphia third baseman Placido Polanco (back) was sidelined for his club’s last six. MLB has turned everyone else’s situation into a joke.
It’s a good thing that Jeter isn’t going to show up because everyone that was named to the two teams are fully recognized as All-Stars and can participate in the festivities and be introduced with their respective rosters prior to Tuesday’s game. So with two 34-man rosters and another 16 guys named who are not playing for one reason of another that’s 84 players between the two teams and they are going to have a problem with Fire Marshal in Arizona fitting everyone into the dugouts!
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