07/14/2003 7:57 PM ET
New rules lead to Clemens' addition
After pitching Sunday, Zito an inactive participant
Rosters: AL | NL
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- In the wake of last year's All-Star Game in Milwaukee, which ended in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings when both teams ran out of pitchers, Major League Baseball made numerous rule changes to avoid a tie occurring again.
Rosters were expanded from 30 to 32 players with staffs mandated to carry at least 12 pitchers, all of whom must be able to pitch if necessary. The new rules resulted in the addition of Yankee right-hander Rogers Clemens to the American League roster on Monday in the place of A's left-hander Barry Zito, who had thrown eight scoreless innings on Sunday.
On Sunday, the Oakland Athletics informed the Commissioner's Office that due to Zito's 108-pitch outing that day, he would not be able to play in Tuesday's All-Star Game.
"What was communicated to us Sunday by the A's front office was that Barry was not available to pitch on Tuesday," said Sandy Alderson, MLB's vice president of baseball operations. "Given the fact that all our pitchers need to be available in order to provide the innings that theoretically could be necessary to decide the game, and clearly understood by everyone in the selection process, he had to be replaced as an active participant.
"The fact that there may have been miscommunication or ambiguous communication is unfortunate."
The miscommunication became apparent when Zito intimated he learned from a reporter during Monday's interview sessions that he had been replaced on the team. Zito said he met with A's manager Ken Macha on Sunday and told him he could pitch.
"I threw (108) pitches, but this is the same thing as last year, when I pitched Sunday and threw Tuesday [in the All-Star Game]," he said. "I told Macha I'd be able to go if they need me."
Macha confirmed the meeting and said there might have been some confusion.
"The last thing Barry said to me on his way out the door was, 'I can go if they want me to,'" Macha said, "but we did tell him that we thought it wouldn't be prudent for him to pitch."
The A's later released a statement confirming that they had told the Commissioner's Office that Zito would not be able to pitch in the game and that the "decision was made in the best interest of Barry Zito and the Oakland Athletics."
Alderson said that as soon as the A's called to remove Zito from the game, he contacted American League manager Mike Scioscia to determine a replacement. Zito was then replaced on the roster by Clemens and was made an inactive participant who can be in uniform, take part in all of the festivities, but not play in the game.
"It then came down to the available candidates and who would fit the typical criteria -- players who had an outstanding first half and have fan appeal that goes beyond the simple statistical analysis that might be involved in a selection," Alderson said.
"Roger clearly fits those categories. He won his 300th game, he struck out his 4,000 hitter. I don't think he was a controversial selection when the opening arose. I don't think it takes any real insight to recognize that that it would be a good thing to have Roger Clemens in the game in the year prior to his potential retirement."
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. National reporter Mychael Urban contributed to this story, which was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.