What We Learned: A Look Into the All-Star Game • Latino Sports

Baseball

What We Learned: A Look Into the All-Star Game

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Citi Field, Queens- Baseball has always been a New York City institution.

Whether from the players who have called it home, or from the multiple titles taken from the teams that have inhabited the area, to think of New York without baseball almost seems sacrilegious if not down right absurd. Yet, for almost 50 years, the All-Star game has been absent from Queens, one of the most diverse places on Earth.

Four years into a new stadium, the mid-summer classic has returned in regal form to Flushing, and New York City is at last the rightful king of baseball, if only for a weekend.

As temperatures soared to the mid 90’s, the press gathered to the shady confines of the Cesar’s Club located on the equally, strangely named Excelsior level to find out the starting pitchers and lineups for both squads.

There was perhaps no surprise that Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Max Scherzer was named the starter for the American League, while hometown favorite Matt Harvey was chosen to lead the National League to what they hope will be their fourth straight All-Star game victory.

“It means so much especially being my first All-Star game,” said Scherzer. “To get the nod over the other guys, to get the ball, just means so much to me.”

“It happens to be in New York [but] it wouldn’t matter what city we would be playing in, it’s an honor to name Matt Harvey as the starting pitcher,” said National League manager Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants.

“I appreciate it, obviously in New York, hopefully make them proud, it’s a huge honor,” said Harvey on playing in front of home fans, thanking them on watching him pitch through numerous rain delays this summer due to the constant humidity.

The press conference went from informational and happy to downright depressing when talk of steroids in baseball surfaced. Bochy did his best to address his stance on the issue.

“In baseball, we are all 100-percent behind MLB in cleaning up this game,” said Bochy. “Eliminating any drugs players are involved with…let’s clean this up.”

American League manager Jim Leyland of the Tigers commented on how he will try to prevent the game from ending in a tie lest either team be bereft of pitchers in an extra inning game.

“We are going to decide who to hold back, been told you have to tell that pitcher [beforehand], and I will designate one, probably one who is rested,” said Leyland.

Speaking of pitchers, the 84th All-Star game is the final one for Yankees’ closer Mariano Rivera. “I assume he is coming in healthy. You will see him pitch at some point,” declared Leyland.

When asked why Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher Chris Tillman was chosen over the new York Yankees’ Hiroki Kuroda for the final pitching spot, despite Kuroda having a lower ERA at 2.65, Leyland explained his decision, saying “That’s a very good point. I had five names, he was one of them on the [replacement] list. I chose Tillman [because] I would be embarrassed not to choose a guy who won 11 games.”

Much ado about nothing was made over the fact that the All-Star game determines which league receives home-field advantage for the World Series, although the National League has taken the last three of four Fall Classics.

“I think it played a part in our success [in the World Series] , just a sense of comfort for the players,” said Bochy on the home-field incentive.

“It’s a nice touch, added Leyland on the topic, referencing the old refrain,” There’s no place like home.”

About Oren Vourman

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