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Reds feel they were intentionally snubbed by National League All-Star manager Tony La Russa

Jul 1, 2012, 5:39 PM EDT

baker cueto getty Getty Images

Tony La Russa, the honorary manager of this year’s National League All-Star team, got to hand-select only nine of the players for his roster. And he had to be sure that every organization was represented.

He went with left-hander Wade Miley (as the Diamondbacks’ only rep), outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (as the Marlins’ only rep), Huston Street (as the Padres’ only rep), then grabbed Jonathan Papelbon, Cole Hamels and Carlos Ruiz from the Phillies, Clayton Kershaw from the Dodgers, Ian Desmond from the Nationals and Jay Bruce from the Reds.

All fine choices (and zero Cardinals). But Cincy apparently believes the fix was in.

According to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds manager Dusty Baker indicated Sunday that he thinks La Russa intentionally skipped over Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips because of their involvement in a number of altercations over the years with the team that Tony used to manage:

“I don’t understand that one,” said Baker. “A snub like that looks bad. Johnny and Brandon were at the center of skirmish between us and the Cardinals. Some of the Cardinals who aren’t there anymore are making some of the selections.”

Cueto, who ended Jason LaRue’s career with repeated kicks to the head during a benches-clearing incident between the Cards and Reds in August 2010, had his own interpretation of the All-Star snub. More from Fay:

“I see that I have great numbers,” said Cueto. “I thought the way I pitched this year, I’d have a chance to go to the All-Star Game. I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if the manager of All-Star Game is pissed at me because I went out with one of his girlfriends.

I don’t know if they base their selection on the brawl. That’s not the way it should be. … They should pick and choose players by their numbers.”

Cueto has a 2.26 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 107 2/3 innings this year. Phillips declined to talk to the media.

  1. fearlessleader - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Dusty and Cueto were under the mistaken impression that this was the Pro Bowl and that the National League needed a kicker.

    • larryboodry - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      For what Cueto did in 2010 to LaRue, he should be doing time, and banned from baseball for life.

      • larryboodry - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:57 PM

        The four of you (so far) who gave me thumbs down here…Are you condoning what Cueto did?

      • ThisIsBaseball - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:05 PM

        This is HBT. You get thumbs down just for being alive. I wouldn’t read so much into it.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM

        If you don’t want to get kicked you shouldn’t get into a fight.

      • metalhead65 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:10 PM

        right so the lesson learned from that brawl is when you are pinned up against the wall don’t move and take the beating. cards fans can cry about larue all they want but cueto did what he had to do in that situation. he amd [hillips are all stars whether st. larussa picked them or not. there should be a new rule that if you retire then you don’t manage the all star game. this will be 1 all star game I will be rooting for the american league just because he is the manager.

      • forsch31 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:11 PM

        @metal–Cueto did not have “to do what he had to do.” There were other players pinned against the wall, too, and they didn’t bicycle-kick a player’s head and end his career. That’s a chickenshit response, from you and him.

        Also, LaRussa has responded, saying he’s not on the roster because he wouldn’t be available to pitch:

        Reds: Bigger whiners than the Cardinals.

    • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:07 PM

      I definitely wasn’t one of the thumbs down. I keep hoping to open the paper over breakfast and see that Cueto took a comebacker right between his wretched eyes. That the little thug is still playing the game is nothing short of a disgrace.

    • mlb4life - Jul 2, 2012 at 12:12 AM

      I guess no one seems to remember how the St. Louis bench threw Cueto against the backstop first….. only after he was pinned, did he kick Jason LaRue. I’m not condoning the kick, but St. Louis started the skirmish and was immature enough to handle it calmly. Tony LaRussa wanted to get back at Dusty for being ejected from that game, and eventually losing the NL Central to the Reds and Johnny Cueto.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        mlb4life: a little biased are you? I have the brawl on tape. I routinely replay for all my Redlegs buddies who have selective memory (to the point of them no longer bringing the subject up). Bottom line…if little “Joanie” hadn’t been dancing her ass around the pile trying to sucker punch someone she wouldn’t have gotten her ass pinned against the fence.
        As for #4: If he hadn’t ran his mouth in the media the day prior then acted like he and Yadi were homeboys (WHICH STARTED THE SKIRMISH) the brawl would have never happened.
        You Redlegs fans need to let it go. You are the only people I hear talk about it.
        It’s like you need validation or something. This All Star Game crap is just the latest example.

  2. okwhitefalcon - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    I think praising a questionable Jay Bruce selection rather than ripping alleged snubs and placing sole blame for said alleged snubs without understanding the selection process may have been a bit better way to go.

    Kudos to Phillips for not commenting, good guy and a great player.

  3. okwhitefalcon - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    TLR’s has responded to the allegations mentioned above.

    Game, set and match LaRussa.

    Per Rick Hummel:

    An angry La Russa said the non-selection of Cueto was due to the fact that Cueto, who is 9-4, is slated to pitch next Sunday for the Reds and would be unavailable to pitch in an All-Star game two days later.

    La Russa said, “If Dusty had been more interested in Cueto being on the team, then he wouldn’t be pitching him on Sunday. Cueto probably would be on the team if he wasn’t pitching Sunday.

    “The comments Dusty made clearly disappoint me and are attacking my integrity. The All-Star experience is too important to let anything stand in the way of a decision like that .

    “No way am I going to penalize anybody for any kind of past history. The fact is that Cueto is going to be pitching on Sunday. Some other day, he’s probably on the team.”

    Read more:

    • saints97 - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      And just another example of why Dusty Baker is a moron.

    • fearlessleader - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:38 PM

      Even in retirement, TLR out-manages Dusty.

      • chumthumper - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:54 AM

        TLR to Dusty: What goes around, comes around.

    • firegoodell - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM

      He can spin this any way he wants….wonder how many other pitchers that will pitch on Sunday will go to the All-Star game….LaRussa is a chickensh it as s hole…Cueto is arguably a top five pitcher and Phillips is the best second baseman in the National League….the All Star game is a joke as is the selection process and the entire process for that matter…

      • - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:04 PM

        I agree the selection process is broken and wrote as much, but whether it was his intention or not, TLR has every right to leave Cueto out after he witnessed him end the career of his catcher firsthand.

        Don’t tell me you’d have done anything different.

      • djpostl - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:23 PM

        Um, none moron because by rule they cannot be on the roster. They might get a “nod” then be replaced at best.

        And I love ow you cal LaRussa the chickenshit then praise that hoodrat fuck Cueto.

    • antelope850 - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:43 PM

      There’s a new rule that allows pitchers to work an inning in the all star game if they pitch on Sunday. And they can be considered anyway if they are deserving and replaced on the roster. Don’t know if LaRussa intentionally snubbed Cueto, but his response reeks of bullshit.

      • djpostl - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:25 PM

        Have a link on this new rule, have yet to see anything indicating that and wouldn’t mind reading up on it.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:54 AM

        Towards the bottom of the article:

        “A new rule this year allows pitchers who start the Sunday before to throw on a pitch count in the All-Star Game if they choose”

    • dsmaxsucks - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      So what’s the made up excuse on Greinke? Remember he said nobody liked Chris Carpenter and St. Tony did one of those crybaby things no one misses (but are all now reminded of). He’s not pitching Sunday (and is also having a superior season to Lance Lynn). Also, isn’t the protocol to name a Sunday starter to the team, and then replace? Yes, unless you have to make something up to cover your bullsh#t. No one outside of Missouri misses Tony.

  4. - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:53 PM


  5. moagecu - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    @firegoodell, if cueto is top five the fans, players, coaches and media would have voted for him. Take your blinders off.

  6. saints97 - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    The best part of this is the irony. Reds fans are so quick to call the Cardinals whiners every chance they get (those “crybaby” Cardinal fans “whined” about how Cueto head-stomped a player into retirement ).

    • baccards - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:14 PM

      More like hypocrisy

  7. paperlions - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    TLR must hate Allen Craig, who is 7th in all of baseball in offense (essentially doing exactly what he did last year) and played most of his time at 1B this year, yet he picked LaHair instead.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:45 PM

      Apparently hates Matt Holliday as well, hence the Jay Bruce selection.

      • paperlions - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM

        Yeah, there are probably 10 OF that would have been better choices than Bruce.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:06 PM


  8. crookedstick - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Man up LaRussa….just admit the reason for the snubs. Don’t hide behind this “he’s pitching on Sunday” crap. Pitchers are named to the All Star team all the time who pitch on Sunday. They’re then replaced by someone else. But they still get to enjoy the All Star experience and any resulting bonus they have in their contract. But to not admit what everyone knows is true, is in fact showing your lack of integrity. Everyone would respect the decision must easier if LaRussa was at least truthful about the sham, “yeah he kicked one of my players after Carpenter escalated the fight and I didn’t want to name him to the All Star team. Karma’s a bitch!”

    • paperlions - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:22 PM

      So…..the players didn’t pick Cueto, and Cueto didn’t even make the final player vote list, but it is LaRussa’s fault that Cueto (or Phillips) isn’t on the team? I see.

      I suppose you think TLR is so diabolical that he purposefully picked the undeserving Bruce to cover his tracks?

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:00 PM


        All on field retaliation plans were also squashed post Queto ending a career in hopes that one day this All Star snub conspiracy theory scenario would arise and could be carried out as the ultimate act vengeance.

        I guess George Will really was right after all about TLR..

    • saints97 - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:28 PM

      Oh, Reds fan, Kleenex stockholders do love you. You still wanna blame Carpenter for Cueto’s cowardly act. And, yes, karma is rough. Karma has killed the Cardinals since that incident. Were you near a TV last October?

      • crookedstick - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:44 PM

        Re-read the post saints97….I have LaRussa saying “Karma’s a bitch” to the Reds, not the other way around. I know it’s a little over your head, but stay with me.

        And if the “saints” in your user name refers to the NO Saints, that’s hilarious you calling someone else out for complaining!

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      crooked: I give you the following post from Paper as he does a great job of summing things up.
      “Phillips is so clearly the best 2B in the NL, that the fans failed to select him, the players failed to select him, he failed to make the list of final vote candidates.” Whiny bitches.

    • bluesfan58 - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      This just in…LaRussa has kicked Joey Votto off the team to make room for Albert Pujols, noting “He may play for the AL now, but he was in the NL when those dasterdly Reds started a fight, so he deserves to be here”…

  9. allmyteamsareterrible - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    Dusty please shut up.

    • allmyteamsareterrible - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:53 PM

      Oh and Cueto shut up please as well.

  10. hushbrother - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:38 PM

    The real issue here’s that these guys play in what is essentially a minor league, and wouldn’t even be considered All-Stars by anyone if they played in the AL.

    • jrd8523 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:15 PM

      Yeah. Too bad that goddamn minor league keep winning the major league championship. Its a baseball paradox.

  11. drpompanoduke - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:42 PM

    In my world u fight with your fists unless you you are a pussy & use your feet. Now the ? Is does a pussy belong on an all star team

  12. yahmule - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:58 PM

    I’m not a big TLR fan, but he did nothing wrong here. Dusty Baker makes a fool out of himself every time he opens his mouth.

  13. jayquintana - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    I thought the e-mail LaRussa sent Cuerto to be a little over the top.

    Dear Johnny,

    No All Star Game for you. Ain’t that a kick in the head? LOL.


  14. dutchman45 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    Tony LaRussa is a disgrace. Brandon Phillips is the best second baseman in the NL. He is the best fielder I have seen. Tony has given baseball a black eye. He is probably afraid of what Cueto and Phillips might say to a total loser like himself. K

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      “He is probably afraid of what Cueto and Phillips might say to a total loser like himself”

      Possible things they might say:

      “Hey Loser! What’s it feel like to have only won 3 World Series Trophies!”.

      Or possibly:

      “Maybe if you weren’t such a loser, it wouldn’t have taken you 7 games to win the title last year!”

  15. thefalcon123 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    What a bunch of whiny bitches.

  16. Marty - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    What does Cueta expect? Fans vote, the manager pics the pitchers. That’s the rules and assholes usually lose.

  17. johnnyb1976 - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Wow a lot of hatred spewed at Cueto and Phillips. Must mean that they are really good then. This is LaRussa’s final jab at the reds because he knows that he don’t have to see these guys ever again, and yes he is a chickens*it to name Bruce over his own guy Halliday just so he didn’t have to put Cueto and Phillips on the team. Cardinal fans have just about as much class as LaRussa. Still having fun looking up at us this season? No. Didn’t think so. Get used to it.

  18. alexhutton - Jul 2, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    There’s a real easy remedy for Phillips, that is for Reds fans to actually show up to games and vote…

    As for Cueto, Dusty knows the rules, and could have not scheduled hi, to pitch.

    There’s nobody for the Reds culture to blame but themselves, really… All-Star bonus money grabs are a competition, and if you don’t show up to play, don’t be surprised when you lose.

    Also? The skeptic in me suggests that most of this nonsense is drama manufactured by savy businessmen designed to spark fan passion.

  19. dutchman45 - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:14 AM

    All BS aside. Brandon Phillips is the best second baseman in the league. Fans paying for the all star game are going to miss seeing his fielding magic and potent bat. In addition he is a fan favorite. He invites fans and pays for them to various events around the country. He is charitable and never been in trouble. Cueto aside, Brandon deserves to start.

    For the individual who blamed reds fans for not voting him in. This person is uneducated in the voting process. Cincinnati is a small market team and the population of reds country does not match Atlanta metro area or other cities. All teams promote their respective players with ads and campaigns. In addition, players benefit the last week of voting if team is at home.

    • alexhutton - Jul 2, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      Uh, St. Louis metro is smaller than cincy/Dayton, nor does it have a Columbus to draw from Braniac.

      • cintiphil - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

        Uh, I think you are wrong. Dayton is a dying city and at least 55 miles away. Population is dropping quickly also. What are we now coundting as a Metro area? I will give you 30-40 miles, but 55 plus miles is way out of line. How about counting Columbus and Louisville? And Lexington by the way.

      • alexhutton - Jul 2, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        Do your research, you’re just flat out wrong. Cincy has more population in drivable area to draw from.

        I lived in both areas for 10 years. Cincinnati just isn’t the baseball town St. Louis is. You shouldn’t be surprised when they win an allstar vote.

      • cintiphil - Jul 2, 2012 at 5:02 PM

        However, you didn’t say drivable, you said the metropolitan area. There is a large difference in the two. You can also include as drivable, Indy. Not in our Metro. area.

      • cintiphil - Jul 2, 2012 at 5:07 PM

        Oh and by the way, I am over 70 years old, and have lived here many more than 10 years. So, we all know that there is a larger population which is drivable to Cinti than drivable to St. Lou, however we still do not have the fan base, as it is split between Atlanta, Cleveland, Chicago and even Pttt. And our fans in Cintil are just as good as St. Louis, so please don’t give me that BS about not beijng the baseball town that tey are. It is not true.

      • alexhutton - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:29 PM


        STL 2.8 million

        CIN 2.1 Million

        Dayton .8 Million

        Columbus 1.8 Million

        Nearly a million more population within 80 minutes ( I’ve gone to Cinergy from Dublin, took an hour).

        Your small market argument doesn’t stand.

    • alexhutton - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:32 PM


      STL drew 3 Million

      Cincy 2.2

  20. bluesfan58 - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    SERIOUSLY? Not a year goes by that fans of every team feel that someone on their team was snubbed. After all, there are only so many roster spots. This gripe is not unusual, but blaming it on a several year old scrap is nuts. I’ve never been a big TLR fan, but simply can’t believe he wasted a single moment thinking he’d specifically snub Cueto and Phillips for that. I know Reds fans think they’re both deserving, and perhaps they are, but no more so than many others from other teams who were also not selected by the FANS, then the PLAYERS, and finally (when only a few spots were left to the manager to fill), by TLR. Would you be OK with it if he left Jay Bruce off to give a spot to Phillips? By that “Tony is out to get us” logic, you probably think he left off Scott Rolen because of old issues with him (and not because he now sucks)…

  21. cintiphil - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Every year someone feels that he should be picked for the game. In this case however, it is hard to see why Phillips was not selected, but then again, how many second basemen do you need? He should have been picked as a pich hitter, I feel. But, Cueto can not even play unless Dusty changes his proposed line ups and pitches Cuets Saturday instead of Sunday. As I understand the rules, in thi scase, Cueto is not even elegible to play. Yes, I feel that Phillips shoud have been picked before Bruce in this case. But then, why whine about it? Lets get over it and go on. Next year, Dusty can pick whom ever he wants, after he wins the W-S.

  22. openseason51 - Jul 2, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Cueto should have been sent to Jail for what he did.

  23. stevequinn - Jul 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Baker is an idiot. First of all, there has to be a selection from every team and LaRussa picking Aliuve from Houston was required. He was voted to the game by the players anyway. Cueto is pitching on Sunday. Were I LaRussa I would have told Baker, if he takes Cueto out of the rotation for that one game, I’d put him on the roster. Phillips is a good player and an argument can be made for him to be on the team but LaRussa only had 7 choices for the roster…not counting pitchers. Baker should take that toothpick and put it where the sun don’t shine.

  24. materialman80 - Jul 5, 2012 at 2:15 PM

    The Reds need to whine a little more….

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