Monday, July 08, 2002

Starting pitchers Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Matt Morris have withdrawn from the All-Star Game with "injuries" that will not cause them to miss a start for their regular teams.

On the one hand, this is somewhat noble. Throwing an inning or two in the Midsummer Classic could disrupt the rhythm these pitchers are accustomed to, and end up hurting their teams. These guys are sacrificing the individual glory that could come from an All-Star appearance for the good of their teams. It seems like we should be cheering.

On the other hand, it stinks. Not to take anything away from the replacements, but they are not Tom Glavine and Randy Johnson. If this trend continues, we could see All-Star pitching staffs consisting of one or two starters (first time All-Stars will probably continue to accept the honor) and a bunch of closers and middle relief guys. Even starting pitchers who want to play in the All Star Game could face pressure from their teammates and coaches to no-show.

The result will be the continued detrerioration of the All-Star Game, which has already suffered with broadcast cable and interleague play. It may not be a unique event now to see Randy Johnson take on Jason Giambi, but at least it's more special than seeing Mike Remlinger take him on.

It seems like the Commissioner's office needs to step in and prevent this trend from continuing.

Or do away with the game altogether, if it's such a bother.
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