Results tagged ‘ Home Run Derby ’
Major League Baseball marked the official start of All-Star balloting today for the 84th All-Star Game that will be held Tuesday, July 16, at Citi Field.
Yankees fans might have to make sure of write-in votes to help some of the players make it onto the team. The ballot does not include catcher Francisco Cervelli or outfielder Vernon Wells, for example. Chris Stewart is listed as the Yankees’ catcher, and the three outfielders on the ballot are Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki. Granderson has yet to play a game. Nor have first baseman Mark Teixeira or shortstop Derek Jeter. All had been expected back in May, which is why they were named to the ballot.
Jeter’s case has changed, obviously, with another break in his surgical left ankle that will keep him out of action until after the All-Star break. Alex Rodriguez, recovering from hip surgery, was never expected to play before the All-Star break, so Kevin Youkilis is listed as the Yankees’ third baseman. Also on the ballot are second baseman Robinson Cano and designated hitter Travis Hafner.
MLB’s All-Star balloting program is the largest of its kind in professional sports. Last year, more than 40.2 million ballots were cast, which was a record. This year, more than 20 million Firestone All-Star ballots will be distributed at the 30 major-league ballparks, each of which will have 25 dates for balloting, and in approximately 100 minor-league parks.
Fans may also cast votes for starters 25 times exclusively at MLB.com and all 30 club web sites, including Yankees.com. – online or via their mobile devices – with the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by freecreditscore.com.
Every major-league club will have begun its in-stadium balloting no later than Tuesday, May 7. When the in-stadium phase of balloting concludes Friday, June 28, fans will have the opportunity to cast their ballots exclusively online at MLB.com, the 30 club web sites and their mobile devices until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 4. Firestone is once again the exclusive sponsor of the 2013 In-Stadium All-Star balloting program. The ballot features an All-Star sweepstakes, in which a winner will be rewarded with a trip for two to MLB All-Star Week, including airfare, hotel accommodations and tickets to the All-Star Game and other MLB All-Star Week events.
“All-Star Balloting is more popular than ever, and we hope for another record-setting year in 2013,” commissioner Bud Selig said. “Major League Baseball is thrilled that fans throughout the world will continue to choose their favorite players for the greatest sporting event of the summer. We look forward to adding a new chapter to the remarkable National League tradition of New York City at Citi Field this summer.”
This will mark the ninth time the All-Star Game has been in New York. The Yankees have been the host team four times in the Bronx – 1939 and the second of two games in 1960 in the original Yankee Stadium and 1977 and 2008 in the renovated Stadium. The game was also in Manhattan twice when the Giants were the host team at the Polo Grounds – 1934 and 1942 – and once each in Brooklyn when the Dodgers were the host team at Ebbets Field in 1949 and in Queens when the Mets were the host team at Shea Stadium in its inaugural season of 1964.
For the fifth consecutive year, this year’s ballot will feature the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will get to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The Fan Poll also will be available online at MLB.com.
Cano, the winner of the 2011 event at Chase Field in Phoenix, is one of the 10 American League candidates, along with designated hitter Adam Dunn of the White Sox; first baseman Prince Fielder of the Tigers; third basemen Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers, Evan Longoria of the Rays and Adrian Beltre of the Rangers; and outfielders Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays, Adam Jones of the Orioles and Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout of the Angels.
The 10 National League candidates are catcher Buster Posey of the Giants; first baseman Joey Votto of the Reds; third baseman David Wright of the Mets; and outfielders Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals, Ryan Braun of the Brewers, Bryce Harper of the Nationals, Jason Heyward of the Braves, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, Andrew McCutchen of the Pirates and Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins.
The AL and NL All-Star teams will be unveiled Sunday, July 7, on the 2013 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show presented by Taco Bell, televised nationally on TBS. The AL All-Star Team will have nine elected starters via the fan balloting program, while the NL All-Star Team will have eight. The pitchers and reserves for both squads – totaling 25 for the N.L. and 24 for the A.L. – will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the two All-Star managers – the AL’s Jim Leyland of the Tigers and the NL’s Bruce Bochy of the Giants.
Immediately following the announcement of the rosters, fans will begin voting to select the final player for each league’s 34-man roster via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over a four-day period and the winners will be announced after the voting concludes Thursday, July 11. Now in its 12th season with more than 350 million votes cast, fans again will be able to make their Final Vote selections on MLB.com, club sites and their mobile phones.
This year’s final phase of All-Star Game voting again will have fans participating in the official voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the game, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 club sites via the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the official vote determining this year’s recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Commissioner Bud Selig and Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association, were in complete agreement on one issue Tuesday. Both executives felt that fans here overdid it in their persistent booing of Robinson Cano during Monday night’s Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium.
Cano was taken to task by local fans for not including Billy Butler, the Royals’ representative on the American League squad, for the AL’s quartet in the Home Run Derby. Cano is captain of the AL team and Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp for the National League. Cano was booed whenever his face appeared on the video board and throughout his at-bat in the first round when he failed to hit a home run.
“I felt badly about Robinson Cano,” Selig said. “He picked the people he thought were deserving and did a good job. I really felt bad for him.”
“I don’t think anyone could quarrel with the players he took,” Weiner said. “They had the three most home runs in the competition.”
Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder won the event. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo had the second and third highest totals, respectively. Even with Cano getting shut out, the AL out-homered the NL, 61-21.
Selig and Weiner spoke at the annual All-Star Game meeting of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America at the Kansas City Marriott County Club Plaza Hotel on a variety of topics on which they did not always agree except for the Cano situation.
Cano was not criticized by Butler, who said he did not fault the Yankees second baseman nor did he feel snubbed. KC fans, on the other hand, took it personally. Cano said he understood why the fans were upset and that part of being a Yankee is to get used to being booed on the road.
What fans here did not realize is that Cano had to name the Home Run Derby team before the AL squad was complete. Cano, Fielder and Bautista were voted into the starting lineup in the fans’ ballot, and Cano was told by a league official that Trumbo would be on the team. Butler was not named to the team until several days after Cano had to submit his list. He had inquired about two other stars, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, but both declined to participate.
“Fans have the right to express their opinion,” Weiner said, “but it seemed to me that it was more than the traditional booing.”
ESPN, which cablecast the event, did not help matters, either. Cameras were focused on Cano for what seemed an inordinate amount of time, almost as if the network encouraged fans to boo him.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The American League is the home team for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Kauffman Stadium, but the Yankees’ Robinson Cano was rudely treated as a visitor Monday night at the start of the Home Run Derby.
The reason is that local fans were expressing their displeasure that Cano as captain of the AL Home Run Derby team did not select Billy Butler, the hometown Royals’ representative, to be one of the four sluggers for the competition. Obviously, this was a favorite-son beef, considering that Cano also passed on the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton and the Red Sox’ David Ortiz.
Cano’s selections in addition to himself were Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder and Angels outfielder Mark Trumbo. It is difficult to argue about those picks. Bautista is tied with Hamilton for the AL home run lead with 27. Trumbo has 22 homers and Cano 22.
As for choosing Fielder, who has 15 home runs, over Butler, who has 16, Cano is justified based on career performance. After all, Fielder was the Most Valuable Player of last season’s All-Star Game at Phoenix when he was still in the National League with the Brewers.
And Fielder ended up winning the Home Run Derby for the second time in his career. He also won in 2009 on the other side of the state at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. He is one of two players to have won the Derby more than once. The other was three-time winner Ken Griffey Jr.
Cano took the booing good-naturedly. He won the event last year but failed to homer this year. If nothing else, Robinson may have made some people happy.
“You play for the Yankees, everywhere you go you get booed,” he said.
The Yankees couldn’t ask for a better time to be running on all cylinders than heading into Boston for a three-game series with first place in the American League East at stake.
The four-game sweep of the White Sox ran the Yankees’ winning streak to seven games and got them even atop the AL East tied with the Red Sox, who lost at Fenway Park to the Indians.
So the hosiery of the Yankees’ opponents goes from pale to rouge, and the AL’s oldest rivalry gets a bit more juice in a series that opens Friday night and continues with games late Saturday afternoon and Sunday night.
The final score of the series finale Thursday night at Chicago – 7-2 – is a tad misleading. It was a one-run game through six innings, a complete turnaround from Wednesday night’s 18-7 rout by the Yankees, who have shown in this stretch that they can win in every possible way.
Thursday night it took pitching as White Sox starter Philip Humber, who one-hit the Yankees earlier this year, was tough once again until he came unglued in the seventh.
Ivan Nova made a strong case to remain in the rotation with 7 2/3 innings in which he gave up one run, six hits and no walks with 10 strikeouts to improve his record to 10-4 with a 3.81 ERA. Think of it; a week ago, this guy was at Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In two starts since his recall last Saturday night, Nova is 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings. He was shipped out last month to make roster space for Phil Hughes, whose victory Tuesday night was a rain-shortened, seven-inning shutout. It is getting awfully crowded in that rotation.
The Yankees’ offense has come alive in the winning streak during which they have outscored opponents, 63-19. They have batted .351 with 17 doubles, 4 triples and 10 home runs for a .561 slugging percentage. Yankees pitchers have held opponents to a .256 batting average during the streak.
Robinson Cano, who hit his 18th home run, keeps defying the Home Run Derby Winner Jinx that affected so many others. Since the All-Star break, Cano is batting .322 with 7 doubles, 3 homers and 18 RBI in 87 at-bats.
Derek Jeter had five hits Wednesday night, becoming only the second player since 1900 to get five hits in a game at age 37 or older. The other was his boyhood hero, Dave Winfeld, although the Hall of Famer did it with the Angels in 1991.
Now the Yanks need to start showing some muscle against the Red Sox. Boston has had their number this year with eight victories in nine games. There is no better time to start turning that around than now.
PHOENIX – It was anything but a 1-2-3 inning for David Robertson, who got a 1-2-3 result in the second inning of the All-Star Game Monday night at Chase Field. Called on early because the Red Sox’ Josh Beckett was hurting, Robertson had plenty of support from his teammates in getting through the inning in his debut All-Star performance.
For all the heat Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Alex Rodriguez are taking for not coming here, it was good to see three Yankees on the field when Robertson came into the game to join starters Robinson Cano at second base and Curtis Granderson in center field.
Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista made a stunning, sliding catch in the right field corner on a foul drive by Braves catcher Brian McCann, the Most Valuable Player of last year’s All-Star Game at Anaheim, Calif.
Cardinals right fielder Lance Berkman, who was Robertson’s teammate with the Yankees for a couple of months last year, lined a single through the middle. Robertson needed assistance from Cano to get out of trouble. As Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday looked at a 3-2 cutter down the middle for a called strike three, Berkman tried to steal second, but he slid off the bag with Cano alertly tagging him after taking the throw from Tigers catcher Alex Avila. That completed a strike-‘em-out, thrown-‘em-out double play.
Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, still swinging for the fences the night after his close loss to Cano in the Home Run Derby, connected off Phillies lefthander Cliff Lee for a leadoff home run in the fourth inning. The American League’s first 11 batters were retired in order before Gonzo’s homer, the first in an All-Star Game since 2008 at Yankee Stadium, by another Red Sox player, J.D. Drew, in the seventh inning. Two innings earlier, Holliday, then with the Rockies, homered for the National League.
The AL jumped on Lee for two more hits, singles by Bautista and the Rangers’ Josh Hamilton, before Lee was lifted by NL manager Bruce Bochy of the Giants for Nationals righthander Tyler Clippard. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre lashed a single to left, but a strong throw by the Astros’ Hunter Pence cut down Bautista at the plate.
Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, who has been booed regularly here for two days, heard his first cheers when he followed singles by the Mets’ Carlos Beltran and the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp for a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth off Rangers lefthander C.J. Wilson. It was the first All-Star home run by a Brewers player for Fielder, who was the captain of the NL in the Home Run Derby and had incurred Arizona fans’ wrath for not putting the Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton in the competition.
Three stolen bases helped the NL scratch out a run in the fifth, by which time Granderson and Cano had come out of the game. Each had grounded out twice. Yankees catcher Russell Martin was the only AL position player who did not get into the game, a 5-1 NL victory.
PHOENIX — The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry extended to the All-Star Home Run Derby Monday night at Chase Field. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano beat Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in the annual power-hitting event, 32 home runs to 31.
It got pretty dramatic. In the first round, Gonzalez hit nine home runs and Cano eight. Cano hit 12 in the second round to Gonzalez’s 11, so each had 20 going into the final round. Gonzalez, whose pitcher was Indians manager Manny Acta, banged out 11 in the third round, which placed quite a challenge to Cano.
Cheered on by Yankees teammates Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin and David Robertson and with his father, Jose Cano, pitching to him, Robinson more than met the challenge by slamming 12 home runs, the most in any final round, to come out on top. It was quite a display by someone who has only the third highest home run total on his team.
“It means a lot to me,” Robinson said. “To be in the big leagues, I get to face him back home in the offseason. He is the kind of guy who is always there for me, not only as a dad but also a friend. Who better deserves than him to be there for me to throw BP?”
The American League dominated the competition, which made AL captain David Ortiz of the Red Sox look like a genius since he picked Gonzalez and Cano for the competition. The AL outslugged the National League, 76-19. It was a bit weird in an NL park that the captain of that league’s quartet, Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, was booed throughout the contest because Diamondbacks fans were upset that he did not choose local favorite Justin Upton to take part.
The senior Cano, 49, who also pitched batting practice to Ortiz, was signed by the Yankees in 1980 but eventually released. He wound up pitching in the major leagues in 1989, for the Astros appearing in six games, including three starts, and had 1-1 record with a 5.09 ERA.
Robinson Cano’s performance just might make AL manager Ron Washington of the Rangers re-think his batting order. Cano is scheduled to bat eighth for the AL. Granderson will bat leadoff.
Cano is the third Yankees player to win the competition, joining Jason Giambi in 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee and Tino Martinez in 1997 at Jacobs (now Progressive) Field in Cleveland.
Joe Torre, the former Yankees manager who was the AL manager at the All-Star Games in which Tino and the Giambino won the Home Run Derbies, presented the award to Cano in his new role as vice president for baseball operations.
Bartolo Colon came back to Earth a bit Thursday night. The 2005 American League Cy Young Award winner has been writing a wonderful comeback story this year, but his latest outing was a disappointment.
With so much attention focused on Derek Jeter and his race for 3,000 hits, it is easy to forget that the Yankees are playing important games against the Rays this homestand leading up to the All-Star break, beginning with the 5-1 loss.
The series got off to a bumpy start as Colon, who had not allowed a run in 12 2/3 innings over his past two starts, was greeted by leadoff hitter Ben Zobrist with a triple. It was an indication that things might go as sweetly as his previous start when in Colon’s first appearance after a stint on the disabled list because of a hamstring strain he pitched five scoreless innings against the Mets at Citi Field.
Zobrist, who scored in the first inning on a single by Evan Longoria, hurt Colon again with a home run in the third. Colon got the next two batters out before yielding another run on a double by Casey Kotchman and a single by B.J. Upton. It was even worse for Colon the next time he faced Upton, who slugged a two-run home run in the fifth.
Zobrist’s third hit of the game, a single in the sixth leaving him a double shy of the cycle, was the 10th hit allowed by Colon, the most he has given up in a game this year. Zobrist didn’t get the cycle. In his final at-bat, in the ninth, he walked.
In addition to all the hits allowed, Colon also had four walks, which was one more than he had allowed in his past four starts and 27 innings.
Warming up for the All-Star Home Run Derby, Robinson Cano smoked his 15th homer into the right field bleachers in the sixth off Jeff Niemann to account for the Yanks’ only run.
As the Yankees fell more and more out of this game, the spotlight on Jeter’s at-bats intensified. He grounded out to third in the second and again in the fifth with the Rays’ Sean Rodriguez making a diving, back-handed stop and strong throw to rob DJ of an infield hit. Jeter grounded out to shortstop in the seventh.
Two Yankees needed to reach base against reliever Kyle Farnsworth in the ninth for Jeter to get a fifth at-bat. Jorge Posada walked with one out. Those remaining in the sellout crowd of 47,787 roared when with two out Brett Gardner reached first base on a wild-pitch third strike that gave the Captain one more shot.
That cheerfulness was short-lived as Jeter grounded out to shortstop to complete an essentially disappointing night all around for the Yankees.
After two straight games in which fielding miscues were major parts of losses, the Yankees had the tables turn in their favor Tuesday night at Cleveland. The Indians’ failure to turn what looked like a sure double play opened the doors for the Yanks to put up a five-spot in the second inning.
Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco, who had not walked a batter in his previous two starts, got himself in trouble with back-to-back walks to Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner that loaded the bases in the second inning with one out. The rally seemed dead when Francisco Cervelli hit a bouncing ball to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
Here is where Gardner’s speed comes in. Second baseman Cord Phelps took the toss from Cabrera for the out at second, but Gardner got close enough to the bag to make a takeout slide that forced Phelps to hurry his throw. It bounced in front of Carlos Santana, a catcher by trade who was playing first base. Mark Teixeira would have handled that throw easily, but Santana, essentially out of position, couldn’t make the play.
Nick Swisher scored on the play, which of course he would not have if the third out had been made at first base. Next came the floodgates for Carrasco, who gave up a two-run double to Derek Jeter and a two-run home run to Curtis Granderson that gave the Yankee a sudden 5-0 lead that appeared enormous considering CC Sabathia was on the hill for them.
The Yankees have blessed Sabathia with the most run support (7.5 runs per game) of any starter in the American League this year. After Granderson homered a second time in the fourth inning to make the score 6-0, it marked the 10th time in Sabathia’s 19 starts that the Yankees scored six or more runs.
The score got to 9-0 while CC was in the game, which was for seven innings in which he did not allow a run, scattered five hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts to run his record to 12-4 with a 2.90 ERA. Sabathia’s 12 victories before the All-Star break two years in a row makes him the first Yankees pitcher to do that since Tommy John in 1979-80. Sabathia has won five straight starts and nine of 10.
CC will have one more start before the All-Star break Sunday at Yankee Stadium, which is said to be the reason he was not put on the AL All-Star roster because he would not be able to pitch. But how dumb will it look Tuesday night in Phoenix when the AL squad is announced before the game and Sabathia isn’t standing there with them?
Robinson Cano was named one of the four AL representatives in the Home Run Dereby (with David Ortiz and Adrian Gonzalez of the Red Sox and Juan Bautista of the Blue Jays against the National League’s Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks of the Brewers, Matt Kemp of the Dodgers and Matt Holliday of the Cardinals).
Meanwhile, Granderson is having a Home Run Derby of his own in the regular season. Two more bombs giving him three in four at-bats raised his season total to 25 to tie Teixeira for the club lead. Grandy is only five jacks short of his career high, and there are 78 more games to go.
Granderson had three hits and was joined by seven teammates with two apiece, including Jeter, who raised his career total to 2,996. With only one more game left on the trip, it is looking good that DJ will get to 3,000 at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees return Thursday night for a four-game series against the Rays.
The good news is that the Yankees will have six players on the American League roster, four in the starting lineup, for the All-Star Game July 12 at Chase Field in Phoenix. The bad news is that several deserving players from the Yankees will not be making the trip next week to Arizona.
Let’s start with the positive. The Yankees will make up three-quarters of the AL starting infield for the third time in franchise history with second baseman Robinson Cano, third baseman Alex Rodriguez and shortstop Derek Jeter.
The only other time the Yankees had three infielders elected to the starting unit was for the 2004 game at Minute Maid Park in Houston with Rodriguez, Jeter and first baseman Jason Giambi.
The Yankees also had three starting infielders in 1980 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, but only one – shortstop Bucky Dent – had been elected by the fans. Graig Nettles started at third base as a replacement for injured George Brett of the Royals. The Brewers’ Paul Molitor was voted the starter at second base but had to be replaced due to injury as well. The Angels’ Bobby Grich was added to the roster, but the Yankees’ Willie Randolph started the game at the position.
This will mark the 10th time that the Yankees have had at least three infielders on the All-Star roster. First baseman Mark Teixeira’s failure to make the squad this year cost the Yankees the chance to have four infielders overall for the third time. The Yankees had four infield All-Stars in 2002 at Miller Park in Milwaukee (Jeter, Giambi, 2B Alfonoso Soriano, 3B Robin Ventura) and in 1939 at Yankee Stadium (1B Lou Gehrig, 2B Joe Gordon, 3B Red Rolfe, SS Frankie Crosetti). Giambi and Soriano were starters in 2004 and Gordon in 1939.
Other years in which the Yankees had three All-Star infielders were 1950 at Comiskey Park in Chicago (1B Tommy Henrich, 2B Jerry Coleman, SS Phil Rizzuto), 1957 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis (1B Moose Skowron, 2B Bobby Richardson, SS Gil McDougald), Game 1 in 1959 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh (Skowron, Richardson, SS Tony Kubek), Game 2 in 1959 at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles (Skowron, Kubek, McDougald) and 2006 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh (Cano, Jeter, Rodriguez).
Yankees catcher Russell Martin had led in the voting until the last week when he was passed by the Tigers’ Alex Avila. At least Martin made the team as an alternate. His handling of the Yanks’ pitching staff has been superb.
Mariano Rivera was an obvious choice for the staff despite his blown save Sunday, which ended a 26-save streak against National League clubs in inter-league play.
Now for the head-scratching stuff – why no Teixeira or CC Sabathia? And has anyone other than Yankees fans been paying attention to the season David Robertson is having?
Tex fell out of the balloting lead at first base last month behind the Red Sox’ Adrian Gonzalez, an admitted Most Valuable Player Award candidate, but still ran a strong second in the voting. The Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera cannot compare with Teixeira defensively and trails him in homers, 25-17, and RBI, 65-56, but his .328 batting average is 80 points higher than Tex’s.
Now, here’s the rub. Teixeira has been invited to participate in the Home Run Derby. Nice. He can’t be on the team but he can fly all the way to Phoenix and take part in an exercise that could ruin his swing. Ask Bobby Abreu or David Wright about that? Say no, Tex.
All Sabathia has done is lead the AL in victories with 11 and posted a 3.05 ERA. Oh, that’s right. Pitching victories do not count anymore. I guess that’s why there was room for Felix Hernandez on the staff. The word is that CC pitching Sunday before the Tuesday night All-Star Game hurt his chances of making the team. Dumb reason.
To his credit, AL manager Ron Washington of the Rangers said nice things about Robertson when Texas was in town and that he was given him strong consideration. With so many other Yankees on the team, Robertson didn’t stand much of a chance, particularly since every team needs to be represented. When you see the Royals’ Aaron Crow in the pre-game announcements, think of Robertson. Crow, also a set-up reliever, is Kansas City’ lone representative.
It is a tough break for Robertson, but he is no more deserving than Sabathia, so it is hard to say he was snubbed. A lot of people don’t like the baseball rule about All-Star Games having to have players from each team, but I think it is a good thing. The 2012 game is supposed to be in Kansas City. It would be a shame if someone from the Royals was not on the team.
Each club no matter where it is in the standings has someone who deserves All-Star recognition. That the Yankees have so many is a testament to the terrific season the team is having.
Isn’t it time for Major League Baseball to retire the Home Run Derby? What started out as a friendly competition among sluggers during the workout day on the eve of the All-Star Game has morphed into a bloated, dog-and-pony show that has often been responsible for messing up some hitters’ swings.
There is no chance of this happening, of course, because ESPN loves it and years ago turned into a prime-time attraction, if one considers listening to Chris Berman screech away all night attractive. But if this is such a big deal, how come many of baseball’s top home run hitters don’t want anything to do with it?
There was a time when the big thumpers all regularly took their cuts, from Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa to Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. But now look. Alex Rodriguez is on the verge of hitting 600 home runs, and he stays away from the Derby. No Ryan Howard, either. And this year Albert Pujols has dropped out.
Why else would Robinson Cano be offered a berth? He is not a classic home run hitter. Cano can’t be faulted for being excited about wanting to compete because he only saw the fun in it not to mention the spotlight. The Yanks wisely thought otherwise and convinced the second baseman to pass on the opportunity.
The Yankees were concerned that the strenuous nature of the event could affect Cano. Hitting coach Kevin Long expressed his unease about Cano’s involvement.
“It’s just an exhausting process,” Long said. “It takes a lot out of you. It’s taxing. You see guys come back after the home run-hitting contest, and it affects their swing.”
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi convinced Cano that despite the honor of being selected to compete it is not worth the risk, particularly since he has been nagged by a sore lower back recently. It could explain his first real dry spell of the season. Cano is 3-for-23 (.130) in July and has had a longer stretch of mediocre results dating to June 11 batting .236 with four home runs and nine RBI in 89 at-bats.
Robbie was out of the lineup Wednesday night for the first time this year. He was due for a rest. He’ll get another one the night before the All-Star Game. Now if MLB will just give the whole idea a rest.