Of the glaring omissions from the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Star Game rosters, none rings louder than Cincinnati Reds pitcher Jonny Cueto, who is having the best season of his career with a 9-4 record, 2.26 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 79 Ks in 107.2 innings pitched.
Cueto is not happy about being left off the National League roster, and he is letting manager Tony La Russa, who picked the pitching staff, know about it. (via Cincinnati.com)
“I see that I have great numbers,” he said. “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 if know 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.”
The brawl Cueto is referring to happened in 2010, when he was seen kicking former St. Louis Cardinals catcher Jason LaRue in the face after the benches cleared. To make matters worse, LaRue was forced to retire after suffering a concussion during the incident.
Given the consequences of Cueto's actions, this sounds like something La Russa would hang on to. Nonetheless, Cueto is completely justified for calling out the future Hall of Fame manager.
If you don't like a player, that is one thing. But to hold on to a grudge and prevent a more than deserving All-Star from getting his spot on the roster two years after the fact is childish.
Maybe La Russa does think that Huston Street, who is overachieving in cavernous Petco Park, is more deserving than Cueto. Maybe La Russa completely forgot about the brawl that happened in 2010.
But that is not likely. He was so tactical as a manager, and so clued in to everything that went on, that I find it hard to believe he didn't have some sort of hidden agenda.
And if there was a hidden agenda, La Russa should be embarrassed by his actions.