Sometimes being the best pitcher in your league just isn’t good enough to get the nod to start — if you’re Tony LaRussa anyway.
The former St. Louis manager chose Giants pitcher Matt Cain to start tonight’s All-Star Game despite being best in every significant statistic by the Mets’ R.A. Dickey.
LaRussa explained the snub by saying he wanted NL?starting catcher Buster Posey to catch his teammate Cain, which he said would improve the team’s chances of winning.
“By the way, our club and our hitters in particular, have seen up close and personal how difficult [Dickey] is. The one edge I thought made sense is that Buster is catching and Matt is equally legitimate in terms of getting the honor.”
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Dickey is 12-1 with a 2.40 ERA and 123 strikeouts. Cain is 9-3 with a 2.62 ERA and 118 strikeouts.
Even Cain seemed miffed at the explanation from LaRussa.
“I don’t know if the relationship with Buster and I would be that big of a deal,” Cain said.
For his part, Dickey was diplomatic in his response to the snub though he was mad with how he found out. A friend texted him to say Cain would be starting the game over him. Dickey said he wished LaRussa had called him.
Dickey will likely be the second pitcher in the game for the NL tonight.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.