07/10/2003 6:20 PM ET
Scioscia talks All-Star selections
AL manager explains reasons behind choices
All-Star Game managers conf. call
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Mike Scioscia still has a week to go before he takes the field in Chicago as the manager of the American League All-Star team, but already he's getting plenty of media attention.
In a Thursday morning conference call with national media, Scioscia and National League manager Dusty Baker addressed many of the questions raised by the selection of the teams and also discussed their opinions of the changes that make this version of the Midsummer Classic unique.
Scioscia was first asked why he chose Tampa Bay closer Lance Carter over Devil Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli and Tampa Bay designated hitter Aubrey Huff.
Scioscia explained that when it boiled down to the fact that he only had five choices to make and four had to be pitchers, that left him with one position player.
Given the fact that every team must have at least one representative at the game and the fact that none of the pitchers on the Detroit Tigers were deserving of the honor, Scioscia said he felt he was obligated to pick Tigers outfielder Dmitri Young, who was hitting .287 with 17 homers and 48 RBIs after Thursday's games, as his last position player.
That made the decision to pick Carter -- and pitcher C.C. Sabathia of the Cleveland Indians, who made the team over outfielder Milton Bradley -- a no-brainer.
"Aubrey, Rocco and Milton are all incredible players who are having terrific years," Scioscia said. "But I had no choice, really. It had to be Dmitri."
Scioscia also was questioned about Roger Clemens' absence from the team. Clemens was 8-6 with a 3.75 ERA at the time the selections were made, and Scioscia admitted that he wouldn't mind seeing Clemens attend at the invitation of Major League Baseball if such an exemption was made.
But he didn't apologize for not selecting Clemens either.
"Nobody respects Roger more than I do," Scioscia said. "But there were guys that were doing tremendous things that we had to acknowledge. Roger's going to have a tremendous victory lap this season and I don't think not going to the All-Star Game is going to diminish what he's done. He's a perennial All-Star and a Hall of Famer."
"Nobody respects Roger more than I do. But there were guys that were doing
tremendous things that we had to acknowledge. Roger's going to have a tremendous
victory lap this season and I don't think not going to the All-Star Game is
going to diminish what he's done."|
-- Mike Scioscia
Scioscia wouldn't reveal who his starting pitcher will be, but he did say that Esteban Loaiza of the Chicago White Sox has a good chance, as does Mark Mulder of the Oakland A's.
Scioscia also said he had been in touch with Toronto manager Carlos Tosca, who assured him that Roy Halladay will be available to pitch despite starting a game the previous Sunday.
"You have to consider replacing a player who can't perform," Scioscia said. "If a guy's at risk or it's not his desire, it would be a concern. Halladay's having a terrific season and deserves the honor. I'm glad he'll be able to pitch."
The next topic for debate was the new rule that says the winner of the game gets home-field advantage in the World Series. Scioscia's Angels, of course, won the World Series last year, winning the last two games over the San Francisco Giants at Edison Field.
But Scioscia said he didn't think that aspect of the game would make any of the players try any harder.
"As far as the home field being decided, obviously more is riding on the game, but I know what our club did last year, as far as overcoming not having home field in the first two series, and losing the first game in each of those series, means that how you're playing is more important than where you're playing."
"I was fortunate enough to play in two All-Star Games," added Scioscia, who made it in 1989 and 1990 as a catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. "It's an honor to be there when you look around and see the talent around you.
"There's definitely a feeling of confidence when you get to participate as a player, and it's fun. Guys wanted to win. You played hard because you played for the pride of the league. That's all that will matter this year."
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.