Reds Brandon Phillips and Johnny Cueto Get All-Star Snub

The Cincinnati Reds will be well represented at this year’s All-Star game in Kansas City. First baseman Joey Votto, reliever Aroldis Chapman and outfielder Jay Bruce will represent the Reds. However, according to Reds manager Dusty Baker there should have been to more Reds players on the roster, and he thinks he knows why Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips were not invited.

Dusty Baker Reds“I’m happy for the guys who made it big time, especially for Chapman,” Baker said. “You figured that Joey would make it. We knew Jay had an outside chance. You also figured that Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips had a great chance. I don’t understand that one. “A snub like that looks bad. Johnny and Brandon were at the center of a skirmish between us and the Cardinals. Some of Cardinals who aren’t there anymore are making some of the selections.”

Each year players who should have made the All-Star team are left off. Sometimes it’s just a numbers game, in fact most of the time that’s the case. The snub of Philips and Cueto may run a little deeper than that. National League manager Tony LaRussa has left some people wondering if he might be carrying a grudge against the Reds players.

An incident that occurred in 2010 that resulted in a bench clearing fight between the two teams, the Cardinals and the Reds, may be part of the issue. Both Philips and Cueto were suspended as part of the altercation, along with the LaRussa and Baker each receiving a two-game suspension.

Phillips is hitting .288 with 46 RBI and 10 home runs. Those are strong numbers for a second baseman. Cueto is 9-4 record and a 2.26 ERA. Some of their teammates were quick to opine on the subject. “It’s kind of difficult to be overly happy today, considering the two guys I thought were shoo-ins aren’t going to be on the team,” Votto said.

LaRussa had declined comment on his All-Star selections, adding more fuel to a already smoldering fire., until now. He spoke put against Bakers rants on Monday.

“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.”

So La Russa used a rule that he apparently , misread or misinterpereted.

No pitcher is supposed to be passed over because he’s starting on Sunday. In fact, the matter is spelled out in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, under appropriately enough the “Sunday Pitcher Rule.” It reads:

(ii) Sunday Pitcher Rule. Any starting pitcher elected or selected to the All-Star team who makes a start on the Sunday immediately preceding the All-Star Game (“Sunday Pitcher”) shall have the option to participate or not participate in the All-Star Game. If such starting pitcher elects to participate in the All-Star Game, he will not be permitted to pitch for more than one inning, and he may also inform his manager that he should be removed from the game if he reaches a certain pitch count (irrespective of whether he has completed one inning), provided such pitch count is reasonable. If a Sunday Pitcher who was originally named to the team elects not to participate in the All-Star Game, he will be replaced on the roster but treated in the same manner as other All-Stars who are excused from participation, and he will be encouraged to attend and be announced at the All-Star Game.

For La Russa and Baker, the beat goes on