Well, the fiasco known as the Baseball Major League All-star game has reached a new low. The best pitcher in the National League (if not all of baseball) in the 1st half of the 2012 season will not be starting the All-star game. Why, you might ask? Because the misguided, legend in his own mind ex-manager leading the National League squad, decided that the major league catcher who was selected the starter, is incapable of catching a knuckleballer. He and MLB has turned their back on what is one of the great feel good stories of this season and more (I sense a movie here).
Tony LaRussa (who still thinks that he invented the game) made the incomprehensible decision to start Matt Cain (W/L: 9-3, ERA: 2.62, K: 118, BB: 24, WHIP:0.96) over R.A. Dickey (W/L: 12-1, ERA: 2.40, K: 123, BB: 26, WHIP: 0.93) because Buster Posey can’t catch a knuckleball. Tony didn’t want to risk pass balls since the game is important – it is for home field advantage in the World Series after all.
Give me a break. The best pitcher can’t start because the starting catcher is incapable of catching a knuckleball? Journeymen catchers can catch a knuckleball, right, Bob Uecker? Maybe the catcher shouldn’t be starting. Oh, but wait, he has to since he was elected by the fans so he has to start. So “winning” matters in the selection of the starting pitcher, but not the position players.
I won’t go off on a rant on that again but if it was so important, the best players should be selected, not voted on in a popularity contest (re: David Wright [gold glover], Avg: .351, HR: 11, RBI: 59, Runs: 56, SB: 9 vs. Pablo Sandoval,Avg: .307, HR: 8, RBI: 30, Runs: 30, SB:0).
Between the advent of inter-league play (hate it), television exposure, players attitudes towards the game, and the misguided attempt to make it relevant by awarding the winning league with home field advantage in the World Series, it has outlived its time and I won’t be watching.
And Tony, you can crawl off back into retirement. Baseball’s doing just fine without you.