Arrived in Phoenix this afternoon and motored over to Chase Field to watch the Futures Game (I’ll have a report later). When I checked my e-mail, I saw a bunch of MLB press releases announcing changes in the All-Star roster.
The always funny Eric Stangel, head writer of the David Letterman show, tweeted this today: “BREAKING: Arizona has pulled out of the MLB All-Star Game. It will now be played at the Mahwah, NJ rec field…”
Stangel, of course, was riffing off the flurry of players pulling out of the game, or being replaced.
Unfortunately for MLB, one of the main story lines for Tuesday’s All-Star Game will be who isn’t playing. By my count, 15 players who made the team will not be active for the game, by virtue of injury or the rule disallowing Sunday starting pitchers from suiting up. That latter rule shot down Felix Hernandez, but also allowed Michael Pineda to make the squad, officially as Justin Verlander’s replacement.
Here’s my list of players who made the All-Star team, but you won’t see on Tuesday, at least not playing (some of them might show up for the festivities):
(In some cases, such as Sabathia and Lester, they were named today as replacements — because they were next in line on the players ballot, and thus mandated to be chosen — and then instantly replaced, Sabathia because he pitched Sunday himself, and Lester because of injury.)
In addition to those players named, here are some players who won’t be in Phoenix because they didn’t make the All-Star team: Albert Pujols, Ichiro, Joe Mauer, Hanley Ramirez and Carl Crawford.
That’s a lot of star power that will be absent on Tuesday.