Reasons vary, but 16 players — including 13 of the first 68 chosen — won't appear at Chase Field for the All-Star game on Tuesday night.
This season's whopping 84 "All-Stars" — that's one in nine active players in the entire league — are a record for the event.
So much for what remains of the All-Star game's integrity, value or meaning.
Shields became ineligible, by rule, to pitch in the All-Star game when he started against the Yankees on Sunday. But do you know who Shields' mound opponent was? It was Sabathia, who was just as ineligible to pitch Tuesday as Shields.
Not that Sabathia was going to Phoenix, anyway. Knowing for a while that he wouldn't be eligible to play, the Associated Press reported, CC had planned a vacation.
"I was going to the Bahamas the whole time because I was pitching today," Sabathia said.
Excuse me for a moment while I slam my head against Chris Berman's head.
Why didn't they just pick Ogando in the first place? Is it just so that Sabathia, or the Yankees, can say he's an "All-Star"? Good for them.
Players like Jeter will have to live with the criticism that comes with backing out of the game. Jeter might very well need the rest after conquering 3,000 hits, but he'll need to answer questions about what he's going to do with the $500,000 contract bonus he received for making the AL squad when fans voted him to the starting lineup.
Jeter's issue is an individual one. What about this rule about making starting pitchers ineligible when they start the Sunday before?
Cole Hamels(notes) of the Phillies, who started for his own team Sunday and was picked for the NL squad, won't be able to pitch in the game — but he is throwing a bullpen at Chase Field. He hates this stupid rule.
"I'd love to pitch," Hamels said. "Tuesday is a bullpen day. It's usually the day I feel the best. It's one of those things where people who don't play the game make the rules. I don't think they understand the way we work out and how we train. When you come you want to play. Most of us are pretty smart; we're not going to injure ourselves in an All-Star Game."
So, expunging this rule is one way to fix how rosters are assembled. Another: Don't make announcements about frivolous replacements — like Sabathia — who obviously aren't going. It's almost like the league goes through the media and asks it to put up a trial balloon — "Well, would this player go, if asked?" — before making a decision.
Keep it a secret until you know that the player will go.