The non-star game

Published 9:54 am Friday, July 11, 2003

By Staff
Say it isn't Sosa!
I feel like I'm stuck in the movie Major Leagues. You know, the part where the Cleveland Indians executives are looking over a list of potential players with its new owner.
Well no one on the American or National league rosters are dead, but I never heard of most of these guys.
Where have all the All-Stars gone?
No Sammy Sosa. No Roger Clemens? Twelve pitchers on the American League roster and 13 pitchers on the National League Roster. What's up with that?
Then you throw in the fact that the winner gets home field advantage in the World Series. Does anybody really care about that in July?
Once again the baseball owners have tried to fix a product that wasn't broke. This seems to be just a knee-jerk reaction to last year's blunder by Baseball Commissioner Bud Seleg, who let the game end in a tie.
So instead of showcasing the greatest players in the game, the two leagues apparently have adopted an "out with the old, in with the new" attitude.
Now don't get me wrong, eventually you have to weed out the dead wood (older players) and work in the next generation of superstars.
But this is not the year to do it.
Sosa, despite the cork incident, remains one of the most popular players in baseball. His numbers have dipped somewhat this season, but Slammin' Sammy still should have been selected as a reserve when the fans didn't vote him in.
Instead we have the likes of Paul LoDuca, Richie Sexton, Jose Vidro, Mike Lowell, Rafael Furcal and Preston Wilson listed on the National League roster.
I'm sure they are all fine players, but let's get real. Cut off one of those 13 pitchers and get Sammy in the game.
I will plead my case even more passionately for Clemens, who said he is going to retire at the end of the season.
Clemens is not having one of his best seasons, but his numbers are still good and he deserves to not only be on the American League roster as one of their 12 pitchers, but he deserves to start the game.
Like Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan, Clemens deserves a grand send off for all of his accomplishments.
Instead, we will see C.C. Sabathia, Brendan Donnelly, Keith Foulke, Lance Carter, Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Mike MacDougal stroll to the mound next Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
Roy Halliday of Toronto has already made noise about sitting out the All-Star Game despite the fact that he leads the majors in victories with 12.
Speaking of sitting it out.
Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriquez and at least one other top slugger have said they will not compete in the Home Run Derby on Monday.
Again, where have all the stars gone?
Without the likes of these sluggers, the Home Run Derby might turn out to be the warning track derby. What a shame. That was one of the only things I tuned into watch when it comes to the All-Star Game.
Maybe baseball will come to its senses between now and Tuesday. If someone like Halliday opts out of the contest, then Clemens should be added to the roster.
The same goes in the National League should someone come up lame. Add Sosa.
That would be nice, but I am not going to sit here and hold my breath. I have seen baseball cut its own throat too many times to do that.
Scott Novak is sports editor of the Dowagiac Daily News. He can be reached at