Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tony La Russa screws over R.A. Dickey and David Wright

Tony La Russa's wrongheaded All-Star decisions have unfairly penalized not just R.A. Dickey, but also David Wright, and they have rewarded Giants fans for stuffing the ballot box.

Buster Posey did not deserve to start at catcher over Carlos Ruiz and Yadier Molina. But because Giants fans voted Posey in, La Russa names another Giant who shouldn't be starting, Matt Cain, as starting pitcher, citing Posey's familiarity with Cain, as if that was ever an All-Star battery consideration before.  

At least Posey is having a very good year. Giants fans also voted in Pablo Sandoval at third over Wright, even though Sandoval missed over a month with a broken hamate bone.

La Russa had the opportunity to put Wright in the starting lineup as designated hitter, but passed over the Met third baseman for Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez.

If Wright ends up playing much of the game at third, the move could make sense.  But it would have been nice to see Wright introduced with the starters, as he should have been.

And it would have been great not just for Met fans, but for all of baseball, if Dickey had gotten the start.  Even Squawker Lisa is outraged by the snubbing of the Met pitcher. Bud Selig makes the game decide home field advantage in the World Series in a pathetic attempt to increase ratings, then praises the Giants fans for making a mockery of the All-Star Game being more than an exhibition. And when baseball actually has a reason for casual fans to tune in, they leave Dickey on the bench.

Maybe La Russa is thinking about the 2004 All-Star Game, when his Cardinals did not end up with home field advantage in the World Series. The game was decided in the first inning, when the American League scored six runs. Some blamed bad feelings between the National League battery - Mike Piazza and Roger Clemens.

In 2004, it might have made sense to pick a different starting pitcher to go with the catcher. But it was the best choice for fan interest. And even though I'm a National League fan, I enjoyed seeing Clemens get lit up.

Cain is no Clemens (even if he also once beaned the Mets' best player). Cain deserves to be in the game, even if awarding him the start because of his body of work makes a lot less sense than it would be for AL starter Justin Verlander. But while I want the NL to win, I hope they do so without much help from any of the Giants in the game, or any moves by Tony La Russa, who should have stayed retired.

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