07/11/10 9:45 PM ET
Bailey added to All-Star Game roster
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
That much was made certain Sunday when the A's righty, for the second time in as many seasons, was officially invited back to the Midsummer Classic by American League manager Joe Girardi as a replacement for the Angels' Jered Weaver.
In a strange series of events, Weaver was named to the AL staff after Sunday starter Trevor Cahill -- Oakland's other All-Star -- was formally deemed ineligible to be on the active roster. Weaver, though, also pitched Sunday, thus allowing Girardi to bring Bailey along as the A's lone active player at baseball's storied game on Tuesday.
"I'm happy that we have a late addition in Andrew," A's manager and All-Star staff member Bob Geren said, "so we'll have one who actually gets the chance to go in the game."
That's especially good news for Cahill, whose shy self wasn't too keen on the idea of being the only green and gold member present at such a prestigious event.
"He deserves it," Cahill said. "I'm happy he's able to go. I think the rule is good because there are so many of us that pitched today. That's a huge plus for me, having someone I know go."
The 26-year-old Bailey, who easily picked up his 18th save of the season following a shut-out ninth in an A's win Sunday, boasts a 1.70 ERA, good for eighth lowest among AL relievers. He's also compiled 27 strikeouts in 37 innings, further showing that the sophomore jinx wasn't made for this 2009 Rookie of the Year.
"I had heard if Cahill threw a pitch, Weaver was going to take his spot, and if Weaver threw a pitch, I was going to take his spot," Bailey said. "So I was down there cheering each and every first pitch of each inning. Guys in the bullpen were giving me high fives, and I've never seen so many cheers in the bullpen after the second pitch of the game. It was exciting.
"Trevor obviously deserves to go down there and represent our team, and I'm happy I can accompany him down there. It's a tribute to how hard we work and our team, and it's nice to be able to go down there representing the A's."
Bailey's last-minute selection gives the A's multiple All-Star representatives for the first time since 2004, when hurlers Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson joined forces. He's also the first A's player to earn back-to-back All-Star accolades since Mulder did so in 2003 and '04, and the first A's closer to make the team in consecutive seasons since Dennis Eckersley from 1991-92.
"Guys are already giving me some jokes about it, but it's exciting," Bailey said of already being honored twice in his short career. "It's for the fans and the love of the game. Obviously it means something, so it'd be nice to come out with a win, but it's all about having fun. Last year was an experience I'll never forget, and I'm sure this one will be as well. Hopefully it will go a little slower this time because last year was a whirlwind. It felt like it was all one day."
Bailey is also hoping he'll see some action, as he was left on the sidelines as a rookie last year without getting into the game.
"If I get an opportunity, obviously I'll take full advantage of it," he said. "The representing pitchers probably have a lot more time than me, so if I happen to get in there, it'd be awesome. But it's all about having fun, so either way, it will be a good time."
Bailey's original All-Star break plans just so happened to already include Anaheim. He's taking part in Pepsi's Refresh Project -- an initiative to fund refreshing ideas that change the world -- as a campaign manager and is slated to speak in Southern California on Tuesday about potentially building a "miracle field" for children with disabilities. Also on his schedule was a trip to the ESPY Awards with his agent in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
"I was going down there anyway," he said. "This is just a little better."
Thus, Bailey is perfectly content with Major League Baseball's recent decision to ban All-Star Game participation for pitchers who start the Sunday before the much-anticipated affair.
"I like the rule," he said with a grin. "I guess it is weird, but since the game does mean something, you want as many eligible guys as you can possibly have. I think it's cool that guys who deserve it are still acknowledged with the opportunity to go and every organization is represented. It's great for the game of baseball because, that way, we can go 25 innings with how many pitchers we have.
"It's good -- Trevor and Weaver and those guys can hang out and enjoy the moment, and I'll be nervous as heck in the bullpen."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.