Tuesday, July 09, 2013


2013 Baseball All Star Game

The 2013 Baseball All Star game will take place next Tuesday in New York. Major League Baseball has managed to keep up the All Star tradition, and has tweaked the game so that it means something. Unfortunately, the all star games for hockey, basketball, and football are a joke. Many of the best players will not participate.


The first Major League All Star game was held in Chicago, as part of the World’s Fair in 1933. Only one starting player from that game, Wally Berger, is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.


This year’s game will be played in New York City at Citi Field, home of the Mets on Tuesday, July 16. The Mets last hosted the game in 1964.


There has always been some contention about the selection of players for the game. From 1935 to 1946, the managers of the teams selected the players. Gradually, the fans became involved in player selection. Ballots were available at the ballparks, and soon fans could vote for their favourite players on line. There have been cases of fans stuffing ballot boxes. Chris Nandor, a Red Sox fan, used his computer to vote 39 000 times for his favourite player, Nomar Garciaparra. His votes were not counted.


The first player to be selected by the fans as a “write in” was Rico Carty in 1970 when he was with the Atlanta Braves. He finished his career with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1979.


Managers for each league are also involved in player selection. This year, Bruce Bochy from the San Francisco Giants, and Jim Leland from the Detroit Tigers will be at the helm. Players from each of the leagues are also involved in the voting.


(As a side note, the National Hockey League recently announced the All Star selections from last season. Alex Ovechkin was the big winner. He was moved to his off wing before the season started, and played the entire season at that position. Some of the hockey writers were not paying close attention. He was selected to the First All Star team on one wing, and to the Second All Star team on the other wing. This has never happened before, and I am certain it will never happen again.)


The Toronto Blue Jays will have three representatives at the game, possibly four. Jose Bautista will be making his fourth consecutive All Star appearance. He is one of 8 American League players to hit 20 home runs so far this season. Last year, he was one of the finalists in the Home Run Derby, clubbing one home run after another. Unfortunately, he went on the disabled list shortly after the All Star game. Many pundits attributed his wrist injury to his appearance in the Derby. Say “No!” this year, Jose.


Edwin Encarnacion will be making his first trip to the All Star game, and it is well deserved. It drives me crazy when I hear all of the different pronunciations of his name. Even Buck Martinez, the Jays’ announcer struggles with it. This is not rocket science. Ready? Ain---car---na---see—own. Five syllables. He is ranked among the top ten in many of the offensive categories for the American League with 66 RBIs, 23 home runs, and 38 extra base hits.


Brett Cecil is one of the stellar relievers on the Blue Jays. He recently established a team record by facing 40 straight batters without allowing a hit. He ranks among the league leaders in ERA (1.43), and opponents have only managed to attain a miserable batting average against him (.153).


Right handed pitcher Steve Delabar may also get to the game. He leads all American League relievers in strike outs, and has a 5-1 track record this season with a 1.58 ERA. Fanes may still vote for him at: www.BlueJays.com, or at www.MLB.com. Be sure to vote before this Thursday at 4:00pm.


I do hope that common sense will prevail and that Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers will be chosen for the game. He is pure excitement.


Enjoy the game!


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