Tuesday, July 10, 2012

All-Star nonsense

Typically, the week during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is one of the most quiet times in professional sports. However, with a couple of things that took place, the All-Star break has become more of a give me a break.

First, Reggie Jackson spouts off about Alex Rodriguez and the Hall of Fame credentials of others, including the late Gary Carter. I think Reggie believes he is more relevant than he truly is, but that's also Reggie being Reggie. I think the Yankees might have made it more of a big deal than it needed to be by telling him to stay away from the team for the time being, but they are also well within their right to do so.

While Reggie Jackson does not represent the Yankee brand, so to speak, his comments reinforces the belief of those Yankee haters out there that this is how all arrogant Yankees feel toward other teams and their players. Hopefully, this story will be just a one-day story.

Turning to last night's Home Run Derby, I can sort of understand the reaction of Kansas City Royals fans to Robinson Cano not picking hometown slugger Billy Butler to participate, but really, you're going to boo Cano during every swing and then to give him a standing ovation for him not hitting a home run. In the end, this is a meaningless exhibition. Maybe Cano could have had the forethought to invite the home-team guy, but there were many more deserving of the invitation than Butler (Adam Dunn, Juan Encarnacion, Adam Jones to name a few) and they weren't invited either.

What I think is funniest about it is the media reaction. They gave the fans a pass, saying this just shows how passionate Royals fans are about their players and that's a good thing for baseball. I only wonder if these same folks in the media would have the same reaction if the roles were reversed and it was Butler who did not pick Cano for the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium and the Yankee fans booing Butler for every non-home run? Somehow, I think those fans wouldn't get the same pass.

Finally, on to tonight's All-Star Game. How can you take the game seriously (as Major League Baseball wants us to) and have a manager who's not even managing this year (Tony La Russa) not pick the NL's top pitcher SO FAR THIS YEAR (the Mets' R.A. Dickey)? I'm totally dumbfounded by the decision.

You can throw all the excuses you want (All-Star catcher Buster Posey might have trouble catching Dickey's knuckleball; NL starter Matt Cain has had a better career than Dickey) and none of them hold water. The honor should be given to the player/pitcher having the best year. And, so far, that would be R.A. Dickey in just about every major statistical category.

For a game that supposedly matters, there seems to be a lot going into it that makes it meaningless.


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