Jim Duquette of Baltimore’s Baseball tonight joined the Haynie and Zinno show this afternoon to give his predictions of tonight’s All-Star Game.
It’s custom that the previous year’s World Series managers manage the following year’s All Star squads, but Tony LaRussa went out on top after winning the World Series last year with the Cardinals. LaRussa, however, was invited back to manage this year’s squad, even though he’s retired and out of baseball.
Duquette doesn’t doubt LaRussa’s managing ability, but his take is simple: he’s not in the game, and it’s not right for him to be leading the National League this evening.
“If he wanted to manage it, he could have decided to manage one more year.”
Ron Washington, who managed last year’s World Series runner-up Texas Rangers, has his own coaching decisions facing him this evening. Orioles’ pitcher Jim Johnson leads the MLB with 26 saves, but Duquette thinks Washington will give the nod his own closer Joe Nathan to shut the door if the AL has a lead going into the 9th. Duquette says that despite Nathan’s good season, it’s a little surprising that he even made the team.
“I think the Rangers are a real good ball club. I think they’re one of the best in the Major Leagues. They might be the best, but they don’t deserve to have eight All-Stars on this team. I’m sorry.”
Johnson isn’t the only Oriole who may or may not play tonight. Catcher Matt Weiters is a reserve behind Texas catcher Mike Napoli, along with the Twins’ Joe Mauer. Duquette thinks that Mauer will most likely play second, and that Weiters will probably catch third in case the game goes into extra innings, inferring that Weiters is more of a durable player than Mauer.
The reinstatement rule is in effect in case players get injured, or in the unlikely event that the game goes into extended extra innings like it did in 2002. Written by Intern Dave Andrews