PITTSBURGH -- In an attempt to deflect criticism for some his selections on the National League All-Star team, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Botchy questioned Pirates' skipper Clint Hurdle and Florida Marlins' counterpart Jack McKeon for their reluctance to lobby on behalf of their own players.
Sorry, I mean Bruce Bochy, of course.
“I don't think lobbying is part of what you do in that position,” Hurdle responded this afternoon. “He earned that opportunity. Their organization earned that opportunity by winning the National League championship.”
The two have known each other since they were teenagers.
“There's disappointment on both sides,” Hurdle said. “I love Boch. I have the most professional respect for Boch. He's a better manager than I'll ever be. My feelings came from the heart, and if he felt disrespect or hurtful, then I'll apologize for that. That doesn't change my feelings.”
Save your sorries, I say. They're not necessary.
Bochy flat out abused his privileges as the National League manager, and anyone with a fair bone in his body knows it.
Based on performance and resume, the Giants deserved two pitchers on the staff—Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson—not the four who were picked instead. That would have allowed for the inclusion of Kevin Correia and the Florida Marlins' Anibal Sanchez, who should be in Phoenix next week.
One or both may get there by default as replacement players. Cain and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels are scheduled to start on Sunday afternoon, which would take them out of All-Star game consideration. According to the players' vote, Correia is the next starter in line.
While Bochy is correct to say that Andrew McCutchen has elevated his game in recent weeks, those numbers still count. At the very least, the center fielder should be one of the five candidates for the final roster spot, which will be determined in an Internet vote.
This is an ideal time for Bud Selig to step in, invoke his good-of-the-game powers and right some wrongs, not only as they concern the Pirates but other teams. At the very least, the commish should conduct a thorough review of the selection process in order to prevent this kind of blatant bias in the future.
For the record, in 2008, when Hurdle was the National League manager, two of his fourth-place Colorado Rockies were on the team. Outfielder Matt Holliday got there in a vote by the fans, while Hurdle chose 11-game-winner Aaron Cook on his own.
Nice to know that there's at least one manager who won't allow his ego to get in the way of what should be a showcase event for all of baseball, not a few chosen teams.
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