Monday, July 5, 2010

Slap Hitter: A's Have No Star Power

By Kibby Kleiman
Mon, Jul 5, 2010 at 8:06 PM

The American League All-Star was announced yesterday, and the Athletics like all big league teams get a guaranteed representative on the team for the July 13th game. But barring a rain-out or another act of God between now and Sunday, the A's anointed, Trevor Cahill will be ineligible to pitch in the mid-summer classic. MLB decided that they were disgusted with All-Star pitchers being too tentative to take part in the glorified exhibition if they had thrown the Sunday before the Tuesday and announced that if a hurler tosses a ball in anger on the Sabbath, they cannot take the mound against the other league. Guess who's scheduled to pitch on Sunday?

It's kind of cool in a way that A's manager Bob Geren announced that Cahill will take his regular turn, and as a result be a non-participant. It's saying to the world, thanks but no thanks.

The fact is that over the past few seasons, the Athletics have had a profile low enough to be invisible on the summer stage. Last year, rookie of the year, Andrew Bailey was present but not used, and before that A's slinger Justin Duchscherer was picked for the team and stayed on the bench all evening.

Perhaps, this is a preemptive strike. We know that the American League manager won't use our A, so we can thumb our noses at Joe Girardi ahead of time by saying, "You can't use our guy anyway." The fact is that the Green and Gold has not done a lot to merit much more attention, but getting slighted year after year deserves some sort of spiteful, passive-aggressive response. Cahill will likely be replaced with a pitcher who can pitch in the Anaheim game, but it need not be an Athletic. A real chance to make history looms: In a sport that guarantees each team an All-Star, the A's have no guarantee and possibly, no All-Star either.

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