Mariano Rivera among All-Star Game memories Twins players won't forget

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Brandon Kintzlers life might not change much this week in Miami. But his obituary will.
Like an Academy Award winner or a gold-record recording artist, Kintzler will have a new label affixed to his career Tuesday, and it will follow him until that day, hopefully far in the future, that his obit is published: All-Star.
Brian Dozier, Phil Hughes, Jason Castro and Hector Santiago each have it, too, and while they would like someday to become a two-time (or more) All-Star, like six-time teammate Joe Mauer, just having been selected once puts them in an esteemed, and still reasonably elite, class.
I wouldnt say its had any lingering effects on my career, but its something pretty neat to check off on your résumé,said Hughes, a 2010 All-Star representing the Yankees. Theres a little star on my Baseball-Reference page.
Those one-time All-Stars describe their experience like fans would, as if they were invited on the ultimate baseball weekend. Castro, for instance, calls his presence at the 2013 game at Citi Field in New York as an incredible experience. The way youre treated is spectacular.His highlight? It was Mariano Riveras final season, so the whole standing ovation for him, to take part in that was amazing,Castro said of Riveras entrance from the bullpen to an empty field so the sellout crowd could salute him.
Castros favorite moment doesnt really involve him because he didnt get to play. The lone representative of a 111-loss Astros team, he was told by AL manager Jim Leyland that if the game was close, he probably would remain on the bench as insurance in case the game went extra innings. Me and Ben Zobrist were the emergency guys,Castro said. But it was still a lot of fun to be there.
Dozier and Hughes have similar memories, but for separate reasons. Dozier became the third Twin ever to homer in an All-Star Game, blasting a pitch from Mark Melancon in the eighth inning in Cincinnati. Hughes was charged with the loss for his three-batter stint in the 2010 game but has no complaints. Having grown up in Southern California, pitching an All-Star Game in Anaheim made it even more special.
I stayed at my parentshouse, 10 minutes away, so that was pretty neat. Not many All-Stars get to stay at home,Hughes said. The Home Run Derby is the most fun, he said, because players have time to mingle and meet. He spent most of his All-Star bonus on tickets for family and friends, but it was totally worth it. Its something well always remember.
Actually, Hughes couldnt remember who followed Scott Rolens single with another hit off him it was Matt Holliday but both runners scored after Matt Thornton relieved him, and he was charged with the loss. Thats OK,Hughes said. It was still great. Plus, I got a nice swag bag,complete with high-end headphones, an expensive pair of white cleats with a palm-tree logo that he still owns, and a flip phone. They were big back then.
Dozier got some nice gifts, too — “I got a PGA-style, personalized golf bag that I still use,he said, and I have headphones galore.
The home run was even better, though, especially since it was so unlikely. Dozier wasnt originally voted to the team, then didnt win the final-player vote, but he was selected as an injury sub. He hurt his back that Gregory Polanco Kids Jersey morning, and rehabbed it much of the afternoon, but thought he wouldnt play; he was to be a ninth-inning defensive replacement. Jose Altuve and Jason Kipnis were told they would each get two at-bats, and Kipnissecond one came up in the eighth inning.
But Jason went to [Royals/AL manager] Ned Yost and said, Hey, let Brian have an at-bat,’? ” Dozier said. I had to run to the clubhouse to get my bat.
Then Melancon hung a 2-1 curve, and Dozier made history.
Jason and I talked about it the other day. He says he should get creditfor the homer, Dozier said. Ill probably hear about that homer for years.
There was plenty of All-Star related news in the AL Central
Indians: Some Cleveland players complained Carlos Carrasco (10-3, 3.44 ERA) should join his five teammates in Miami, especially since Corey Kluber wont pitch. But the big news is that Terry Francona wont manage, after undergoing a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat. Bench coach Brad Mills replaces him.
Royals: Mike Moustakas is the first Kansas City player invited to participate in the Home Run Derby since 1991. But the third baseman went on to earn a spot in Tuesdays game, too, by winning MLBs final vote. He won the vote in 2015, too, joining Shane Victorino (2009, 2011) as a two-time electee.
Tigers: The biggest news isnt who made the team righthander Michael Fulmer was the lone Detroit player selected, then replaced by Justin Upton because Fulmer pitches Sunday against Kluber but who didnt. Miguel Cabrera, who began his career with the Marlins and is an 11-time All-Star, was left off the AL roster for the first time since 2009.
White Sox: Theres Billy Hamilton Youth Jersey more interest among Sox fans in Sundays Futures Game, where three exciting Chicago prospects will take part, than the midsummer classic. But Avisail Garcia, despite a sore knee and jammed finger, will play on Tuesday, finally fulfilling (with a .313 average and .858 OPS entering Saturday) long-predicted status among elite.
Posted 13 Jul 2017

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