Phillies manager Charlie Manuel’s inclusion of Braves light-hitting utility man Omar Infante as an NL all-star, when Atlanta already had its representative Jason Heyward is also a head scratcher, as is Yankees skipper Joe Girardi’s selection of Ty Wigginton of the Orioles when outfielder Nick Markakis was the obvious choice from that sorry franchise for the AL squad. Who would’ve been taken off if Markakis made the squad instead of Wigginton? Rangers up-and-coming outfielder Elvis Andrus, who didn’t need to represent his team since Josh Hamilton already made it.
Thankfully, both Youk, a Cincy native, and Votto are among the five nominees in each league’s final roster spot contest on MLB.com. In an unusual but cool spirit of unity, both teams are helping each other vote these two players onto their respective AL and NL All-Star teams, taking to radio and TV promos, interviews and club newsletters to get the word out. Voting ends on Thursday at 4pm ET.
More New Faces
You know of the successes of previously unknown talents Darnell McDonald and Daniel Nava. With more injuries come another set of new faces. Last week, Sox fans saw the debuts of minor league call-ups like pitcher Robert Manuel and infielder Niuman Romero, outfielder Eric Patterson – Baltimore’s Corey Patterson’s brother – whom the Sox acquired from Oakland, and a familiar face to Sox fans, catcher Kevin Cash.
In a surprise to many, the Sox also signed lefty and Milton, MA native Rich Hill to a minor league deal. The former Cub and Oriole pitcher will hurl for the PawSox in relief and hopefully help the big club’s bullpen soon, which finished last in the big leagues in ERA in June at 6.14 and just lost a key member to the DL in Delcarmen, another Boston native.
Cash is in his second go-around with Boston, courtesy of a deal that sent him here from Houston for Angel Sanchez. Cash was the heir to Doug Mirabelli in 2007 and 2008 as knuckleballer Tim Wakefield’s primary catcher. He batted just a meager .207 in that time but that was not much of a concern, as he was paid to catch, not to hit.