Much to the dismay of my friends and colleagues at MLB.com, I want to strongly urge you to not cast your votes yet for this season’s All-Star Game.
It’s way to early and a vote now is a month too early unless you are absolutely convinced that James Loney is a .381 hitter.
However, I do want to start a campaign to have Mariano Rivera start the All-Star Game
I urge Jim Leyland and the powers that be in Major League Baseball that the starting pitcher in the All-Star Game on July 16 at Citi Field in New York City for the American League should be none other than the greatest closer of all-time, Mariano Rivera.
Why you ask?
Why not, I reply.
Nine to Know
Let me make my case for the starters role for Mo:
- There are no players who receive more attention in the days leading up to the game than the leagues’ starting pitchers. In this season, in which Mariano is retiring and awaiting his Hall of Fame induction, the attention should go to Rivera.
- After earning his 16th save of the season last night, there is no question that Mo is having an All-Star season, so his selection wouldn’t be a pity pick. The only discussion is whether he should start the game (hopefully against the Mets’ Matt Harvey) or be saved for a save opportunity.
- We have no idea as to whether there will be a save situation and this way Rivera’s appearance would be insured and celebrated.
- There is a sketchy precedence for a great player to be honored through a position switch. In the 2001 All-Star Game in Seattle, Cal Ripken, Jr. received an enormous ovation as he was introduced in the pre-game starting lineup introductions,. Soon after the AL took the field in the top of the 1st, prior to the first pitch, shortstop Alex Rodriguez motioned to Ripken at third base to switch positions, giving him one last start at shortstop, the position where he earned much of his fame.
- Rivera starting would pit him against the best the NL has to offer. From the 6th inning on the game is filled with substitutes and often the mandatory one player from each team representative.
- Rivera against the true All Stars is what we want to see and with that as a tease MLB and FOX can assure themselves of a large first pitch audience.
- Think of the kids. By the time Rivera gets into this dragged-out game kids are in bed. By starting, kids are getting to see one of the greatest players to put on a uniform. It will be something that they can tell their children about.
- For those of you purists, I ask you: Does it really matter which inning in this exhibition game that the great Mariano actually pitches, or does it matter that we get to see him pitch?
- There is no finer gentleman in the game and this player, who is respected by so many of his peers, would never ask for the accolade which makes him all the more deserving.
Here is Mariano All-Star Record
|12 Yrs (8 GP)||0||0||0||0.00||6||4||8.0||5||1||0||0||0||5|
As you can see he has been selected 12 times and appeared eight times.
Let’s make certain, in his 13th selection, that we are certain of an appearance.