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Report: Matt Cain will get the All-Star Game start over R.A. Dickey

Jul 9, 2012, 9:43 AM EDT

We know Justin Verlander will be starting the All-Star Game for the AL. John Harper of the New York Daily News has a source telling him who the NL starter will be:

I know a lot of  people want R.A. Dickey to start for the NL because he’s awesome sauce and everything. And really, it would be fantastic to see the contrast between the 100 m.p.h. Verlander and the knuckleballer to start the game.

But ultimately it kind of doesn’t matter given how short pitcher outings are in this thing. R.A. Dickey has been better than Matt Cain so far this year, but Cain has been pretty damn fantastic too, so as a controversy, I’m guessing it won’t have long legs.

Unless of course La Russa’s explanation for it is nonsensical again, like it was with the Cueto/Greinke snubs.

  1. wrg885 - Jul 9, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    No.
    Signed,
    Non-Mets fan/Fan of the Knuckleball

    • ajcardsfan - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      LaRussa, put Dickey in as your starter, I want to watch Dickey vs Verlander! Do it or I’ll find a way to take down your dedication panel in CF.

  2. quizguy66 - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    I understand why if it’s true that Posey has never caught a knuckleball/isn’t comfortable with it, but it’s a bummer as Dickey fully deserves the honor. It’s not a trivia concern as I remember one all-star game where Charlie Hough was pitching to a catcher who had never caught a knuckleball and the results were comical enough that even Charlie was laughing on the mound at the situation.

    -QG

    • A.J. - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      Oh that was back when the All-Star Game was just something we did for fun.

      I guess Dickey, or any other knuckleballer, won’t be able to pitch in an All-Star Game that his own catcher doesn’t make for as long as it “counts.”

  3. Ben - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Oh come on. I was at Cain’s perfect game and I still would have given it to Dickey.

  4. savoirlaire - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    What a load of crap…first Wright, now Dickey? Pretty much of a boning, if you ask me…

  5. zekemob - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Dickey has 3 more wins, more strikeouts, and a lower ERA than Cain. How the hell is he not starting? Just another dis of the Mets. 12-1 isn’t good enough to start an All-Star game over a guy who is 9-3.

    • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      I think it has less to do with stats and more about Buster Posey catching a knuckleballer.

      I agree, Dickey should start, but I understand the logic behind it.

      • tsi431 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        So because a catcher has a flaw in his game means we must accommodate for that flaw?

        Posey also can’t throw a runner out if they tripped (CS 24.6%). So I guess runners can’t steal either to be fair.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:24 PM

        I’m not saying it’s fair or the right things to do or defending it in anyway. I’m merely saying the *reason* probably has less to do with stats and more to do with the catcher behind the plate. Let me be clear, Dickey earned the starting spot in the All-Star game.

        Truth is, LaRussa has no option but to start Posey but he did have the option to choose who throws to him. Since this will be the last game he ever managers, I think his decision to skip Dickey has to do with a fear of passed balls. I do not endorse this decision.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        …Just wanted to confirm my suspicion.

        The Mets do lead the majors in passed balls, and that’s with guys who are used to catching a knuckleballer.

      • tsi431 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        Pass balls have everything to do with the catcher, wild pitches have everything to do with the pitcher. Once again, its the flaw is in the catcher, not the pitcher, Mets have terrible defensive catchers.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        “Pass balls have everything to do with the catcher, wild pitches have everything to do with the pitcher. Once again, its the flaw is in the catcher, not the pitcher, Mets have terrible defensive catchers.”

        Not. True. At. All.

        If this were the case, then why do catchers consistently have a far higher number of passed balls with a knuckleballer on the mound? Because it is, obviously, much harder to catch!

        For example, who lead in passed balls in 1986? Why, Charlie Hough and the Texas Rangers.

        1977 in the NL? Phil Niekro and the Atlanta Braves

        Or how about Tim Wakefield and the 1998 Red Sox, who also lead the league in passed balls.

        I’m not cherry picking here. I just decided to look up Charlie Hough, Phil Niekro and Tim Wakefield and literally clicked a random year, and in all 3 cases, their team lead the league in passed balls.

      • thefalcon123 - Jul 9, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        In fact, from 1995-2004, the Red Sox lead the league in passed balls every season except for two, 2001-2002. In those years, the Tigers lead the league in passed balls.

        Who lead the Tigers with a combined 421 innings those two seasons?
        Steve Sparks.
        …Knuckleballer Steve Sparks.

  6. minimoose763 - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    As a Giants fan I am not looking forward to the epic freakout that will occur if this is true. It’s a bummer for Dickey if Cain does get the start and it’s insulting to Posey to suggest that he can’t “handle” a knuckleballer. Even Dickey thought that it would make more sense to start him (Dickey) because that would mean he would have more time to work with the starting catcher than just a few warm up tosses. Maybe Dickey should manage the game, because that makes a lot more sense than anything TLR has done recently.

  7. nygf - Jul 9, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    It would be one thing if the biggest problem was that Cain will probably have more chances to get consideration for an ASG start while this was likely Dickey’s only shot, but the fact that Dickey has been the better pitcher this year makes this especially frustrating

    I hope he goes two scoreless after Cain and leaves to a standing O.

  8. citynative - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    What does Sandy Alderson think?

  9. oltanya - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    As a Mets fan, Cain-Dickey-Strasburg makes nothing but sense to me for keeping AL hitters way, way off balance.

    As long as these 5-run starts don’t become a trend, Dickey’s headed for serious CY consideration, and I care about that a whole lot more than what inning he throws in exhibition.

    • ezthinking - Jul 9, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      Except since the pitchers throw one inning, the hitters won’t face a Dickey and a Strasburg.

      • oltanya - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:41 PM

        Batters watch the game and mentally prepare for upcoming at-bats. Even if it’s subconscious, watching 80 miles an hour from the bench, then stepping up to the plate and seeing 100 coming at you will take some adjustment.

  10. pkers - Jul 9, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    How many perfect game/no-hitters are represented in this year’s ASG?

  11. pantswearer - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    La Russa clearly hates the Mets. No other possible explanation.

  12. sonoco - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    And here’s a great big Nelson Muntz “Ha Ha” to Mets fans from Giants fans.

  13. j0ey15 - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    The Posey comment doesn’t make sense because weather Dickey is throwing first or 2nd Posey will be behind the plate

  14. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 9, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I don’t think the has been a manager more hated in the past 30 years than La Russa.

  15. annaalamode - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    I say that the NL start both of them They could pitch side by side. Like synchronized diving only with baseballs and no water.

  16. nyyankeedave - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    LaRussa lives on the West Coast. He’s managed on the West Coast and in the Midwest for most of his managerial life – and he is a smart guy. He’s just striking a blow for the non-East Coast biased fan! How many years – in all sports – has a deserving player from a team west o the Mississippi or a club in the Midwest been passed over for some overrated, overhyped tool that kust happens to play in New York, Boston, Philly, etc. I don’t got a problem with it – perhaps if ESPN and MLB Network could pull themselves away from covering my Yanks and the Sox for a second, fans would realize that there’s some pretty darn good players out there! Yeah, Dickey’s been awesome – but if he were on the Rockies, A’s or Mariners NOBODY WOULD CARE!

  17. blabidibla - Jul 9, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    LaRussa is managing the game, and splitting up the pitchers to throw the batters off balance. Dickey is much better suited to pitch second between the fastballers. LaRussa doesn’t give a crap how well Dickey has done for your fantasy team.

    “Earning” the starting role went out the window when they made the game matter.

    • nixonotis - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      This doesn’t make any sense. With each pitcher going an inning a piece, and only one knuckleballer on the team, how does not starting Dickey “throw the batters off balance?” Odds are no one is going to have to face both Dickey AND Verlander or any combination of the like, so this is just excuse making for not giving the more deserving pitcher and the better story the start.

      Also, the game still doesn’t matter. No one cares. Not the players, not the fans, and not even the managers aside from the attention seeking Tony LaRussa.

      • blabidibla - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        odds are? Let’s say 5 batters come up in the first and 5 more in the second. that doesn’t seem terribly unrealistic to you does it?

        You take every advantage you can get when the game matters. I know it’s hip to hate LaRussa, but the guy did win 6 pennants and 3 WS. He’s not an idiot no matter how many pundits like to bash on him.

      • nixonotis - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:36 PM

        You just made my argument for me. Let’s say 5 batters DO come up in the first, then another 5 batters DO come up in the second, how many hitters in the lineup were affected by one starter beginning the game over another? Just ONE HITTER. This is all nonsense. LaRussa tries to get himself over by making seemingly meaningless decisions into potentially life changing events. The fact is that whether or not Dickey starts the game will have very little bearing on the outcome. As such, the right choice was to choose the pitcher with the better statistics who, consequently, happens to be one of the best stories in baseball the last few years.

      • blabidibla - Jul 9, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        I made your agument by demonstrating an advantage? One hitter can make all the difference in any game. Millions of dollars are on the line. Every little advantage is worth taking.

        Cain is a better story over the past few years. Won a little thing called the World Series while not allowing a run in the post season.

      • oltanya - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:31 PM

        I’ll give you 100% odds that no one has to face both Dickey and Verlander.

  18. charlutes - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    Cain deserves it, is ten times a better pitcher than Dickey in every way. Good run by Dickey though, he’s a great story.

    • nixonotis - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      Taking only this season into account (as we are supposed to do when considering all-star teams), I am curious how you’ve decided Cain is “ten times a better pitcher. . . in every way.” Actually, I’m really not, as this is simply nonsense when it comes to 2012.

    • blabidibla - Jul 9, 2012 at 5:23 PM

      Agreed. Watch the second half as Dickey regresses and Cain continues to be who he’s always been.

  19. thatyankeedude - Jul 9, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    Larussa is an ass. I don’t like the reds but Cueto is a beast and should be an all star. I also think R.A. has earned the right to start.

  20. simon94022 - Jul 9, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Dickey is a wonderful story, but Cain has had the better career by far. There is no reason why All Star decisions should be dictated solely by the first 3 months of the season.

    • oltanya - Jul 9, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      It’s an exhibition game for that season, that’s pretty much the only reason for it to be there

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