Of Millwood, Maddon and left-handed relievers
Joe Maddon was asked if leaving off Kevin Millwood was a tough decision…
“Real tough,” Maddon said. “There were different teams who did not have a player selected and we had to pick players from other teams also. So that kind of put less options for me when it came to the pitching. There’s three guys I really thought deserved to be on the team right now and they aren’t and that’s Millwood, (Mariners closer) David Aardsma, and our own J.P. Howell. I felt those three guys were All-Star deserving, too.
“I guess once you get the chance to walk in these shoes, the choosing shoes, it’s no fun. And you know you’re going to disappoint some people and it really stinks. But I’m a big admirer of Kevin’s. I think he’s a great pitcher, I really do. It was just a tough choice that I had to make. So those were the last three on our list. … And none of [those three] made it.”
There were 13 pitchers selected for the American League All-Star team. Eight were voted in by players and coaches. That left five to be selected by Maddon.
Five starters voted in by players: Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay and Edwin Jackson.
Five pitchers taken by Maddon: starters Felix Hernandez, Tim Wakefield and Mark Buehrle and relievers Andrew Bailey and Brian Fuentes.
Maddon had to take Buehrle and Bailey to give the White Sox and Athletics a representative. Both are deserving anyway.
Millwood is 8-5 with a 2.80 ERA. Wakefield is 10-3, but with a 4.30 ERA. Hernandez is 8-3 with a 2.62 ERA.
Fuentes didn’t have to be on the team. He is the fifth reliever along with Bailey, Jonathan Papelbon, Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan. He does lead the league with 23 saves but with a 3.49 ERA. From a tactical standpoint, he gives the A.L. a left-hander out of the bullpen.
Basically it seems like it was either Millwood or Wakefield.