It must be great to be a San Francisco Giants fan.
Not only did a late push of fan votes elect three starting position players (Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera) to the NL lineup, but now the Giants will also have Matt Cain as the starting pitcher.
John Harper of the New York Daily News tweeted at 9:23 a.m. that “Source says Dickey is not starting All-Star Game. Will be Cain vs. Verlander.”
No knock on Cain, whose perfect game this season certainly warrants an All-Star start, but R.A. Dickey has been the feel-good story of the year.
Here are the results of a National Poll taken by ESPN shortly after the announcement was made: Click the image to embiggen.
More than two to one of over 34,000 votes tallied thus far would have preferred to see R.A. Dickey over Matt Cain.
NL manager Tony La Russa had been rumored last week to be on the fence about starting Dickey based on Posey potentially having difficulty handling the knuckleball. Posey will instead catch his regular battery mate Cain to open the game.
Either way though, whoever is catching will have to handle the pitch, since obviously Josh Thole will not be heading to Kansas City. Posey and Carlos Ruiz are the only catchers on the NL roster, so most likely Posey will be catching Dickey anyway.
While we are bound to see Dickey at some point, it’s a shame he’s not getting the start. He’s tied for the NL lead in wins, is second in strikeouts and is fifth in ERA.
Dickey said that he wanted the start since he’s a competitor and any competitor would want to start the game.
So both Mets representatives have now been swindled out of their potential starting roles in the mid-summer classic. David Wright’s fate rested with the fans, so that is not as egregious as the Dickey decision.
You would think that an actual baseball mind in La Russa would be able to make the right choice. I guess not.
This post was updated at 3:30 PM