(Long Island, N.Y.) Many teams are judged by where they stand at the All-Star break. If you are still in contention at the second week in July, then you have stood the test of time and can actually begin to look forward.
That’s all well and good, but the dog days of August are still to be met.
But all of that is for later. Since we are nearing the Mid-Summer Classic and both of the teams in New York are enjoying fine seasons, then sending six of our local players to Kansas City to represent their respective league is well deserved. Three Yankee position players were voted to the starting line-up and there is a chance that a Met will be chosen as the starting pitcher.
Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano are annual starters, and Curtis Granderson is joining them. David Wright is one of the National League reserves, while CC Sabathia (who is on the disabled list) and R.A. Dickey were picked as pitchers. The announcement of who is starting has yet to come, but Dickey (12-1, 2.15 ERA) is a no-brainer for NL manager Tony LaRussa. The right-handed knuckleballer has had a Cinderella campaign in his 16th major league season and is an All-Star for the first time.
As for Wright, he lost out to San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, whose production numbers are dwarfed by Wright. The face of the Mets franchise is out hitting (.355 to .300), out homering (nine to six) and has driven in more runs (50 RBI to 25) than Sandoval, but the fans – apparently out west – casted 1.6 million more votes for the Giant. But Terry Collins took the high road, albeit with a hint of sarcasm.
“We’re disappointed David didn’t get elected,” the Mets manager told reporters. “But we send our congratulations to Pablo Sandoval and a great fan base and great fan support. Baseball people saw fit to put David on this club, which he deserves to be. We’ve just got to do a better job of making sure our fans come to see us. So we’ve got to start winning games so that we don’t have this happen.”
For Jeter, he will be going to his 13th All-Star Game and will indeed play after choosing to skip last year’s affair, citing exhaustion. The Yankee captain recently passed Cal Ripken, Jr. on the all-time hits list and now stands 13th with 3,186 career hits. After a hot start, Jeter has cooled off and is now hitting below .300.
Cano will be playing in his fourth and Granderson his third All-Star Game. Both are having very productive seasons for the first place Bronx Bombers and are major cogs in the team’s pursuit of their 28th world championship.
By hanging around and taking advantage of the Philadelphia Phillies having an off year, the Mets find themselves in second place and have a legitimate shot at qualifying for the postseason with the addition of a second Wild Card team in each league.
With the two Subway Series sets complete, the Gotham baseball fans have this game and perhaps an October meeting to look forward to. We shall see about the latter in a few months, but have the former to enjoy in the meantime.