Did the Astro's really boycott last night's All-Star Game?
Last updated 7/13/2021 at 8:52pm
Last month the big news about last night's All-Star Game was that the Houston Astros had seven players nominated, which led the major league teams.
After the ballots were compiled a couple of weeks ago, four Astros players were selected for the American League All-Star roster-the entire Astros' infield with Alex Bregman at third, Jose Altuve at second, Yuli Gurriel at first and Carlos Correa at shortstop.
Then the players voted for the game's eight starting position players and NOT ONE member of the Astros was chosen as a starter for last night's classic, not even five-time All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley who was leading the major leagues in hitting at the time.
Brantley, Altuve, Correa and relief pitcher Ryan Pressly were all voted on the team as All-Star reserves. Altuve is leading the Astros with 20 home runs, Correa is rated as one of the best-if not the best-shortstops in the major leagues and Pressley has saved 16 games for Houston out of 17 save situations.
A week ago, Altuve announced he would not be playing in the All-Star Game and wants to rest his left leg, which was injured last month.
However, with the Astros playing 20 games in 20 days recently, Altuve insisted on playing through the injury. It must not have hurt him too badly Sunday when he walloped a walk-off three-run home run that helped turn a 7-2 ninth-inning deficit to an exciting 8-7 come-from behind victory over the mighty New York Yankees.
On the same day, Correa announced that he needed the All-Star break to be with his wife Daniella, pregnant with their first child, to stock a nursery and the break will give him his first extended chance to bond.
Altuve and Correa jointly decided that there is no reason to play in an exhibition game and be booed heavily by the fans at Coors Field in Denver who will never forget the Garbage Can Lid Scandal of 2017.
On Saturday, Brantley and Pressly also pulled out of the All-Star Game, leaving the classic with no Houston representation in this year's classic. Major League Baseball could add an Astros' representative to the American League team, but none of the 10 replacement players announced Saturday play in Houston.
Brantley has been nursing a sore right side and withdrew from the game stating, "It's the right decision for me and my family and this organization." He missed two games in the recent Cleveland series but was not on the American League's Injured List.
Pressly will skip the All-Star Game to be with his wife, Katherine, who is expecting the couple's first child later this month. According to the major league's Collective Bargaining Agreement, players who would justify placement on the paternity list are not mandated to participate in the All-Star Game.
The CBA requires certification from a club physician and medical records to verify the circumstances of why the selected players will miss the game.
"I support my players," Astros' manager Dusty Baker told the Houston Chronicle reporter Saturday. "They're not jiving as to the reason why they are not going. It's been a tough road here where none of these guys are injured-they're hurt but still able to play-but they're not 100 percent."
Now that it no longer determines home-field advantage in the World Series, the All-Star Game affords almost no incentive for attendance.
"The Midsummer Classic isn't what it used to be. The sports world doesn't come to a halt for the All-Star Game like it once did," Friday's Houston Chronicle stated. "Interleague play has erased much of the mystery between the American and National leagues, And, perhaps more importantly, star baseball players aren't the big stars they used to be."
When Dusty Baker made the All-Star Game in 1982, ABC drew a 25 share and more than 34 million viewers. The 2019 game posted a 5.0 share with just 8 million viewers in less than 6 million households.
I really believe the Astros players named to the 2021 All-Star Game are retaliating against the American League players who voted them as reserves and are letting them see if they can win last night's game without major league's highest batting average and fewest strikeouts on the roster.
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