When Bryce Harper replaced Giancarlo Stanton for the 2012 All-Star game, it left the Miami Marlins without a representative for the event. Each team traditionally sends one All-Star and Marlins president David Samson believes the rule should still apply in his players case.
I just think that all teams are supposed to be represented and if our guy had to have surgery, he had to have surgery," he told Sporting News. "Obviously it has been a disappointing first half.
That said, there are plenty of other teams that have had disappointing first halves and have plenty of All Stars."
Unfortunately for the Marlins, they dont have a clear second All-Star. Stanton is hitting .282 with 19 home runs and 50 RBI. Samson suggested outfielder Justin Ruggiano to be selected but he has only played in 31 games this season.
Harper was picked by N.L. manager Tony La Russa and is the youngest position player to be named an All-Star. His numbers compare favorably to those in the Marlins lineup, aside from Stanton, and there is no rule preventing the manager from excluding a team. Still, Major League Baseball will have its All-Star showcase with one team left out.
In Samsons defense, there are six teams in the National League with worse records than the Marlins who still have players going. The Phillies for instance have three All-Stars this year and they are five games back from Miami in the N.L. East. The problem is, however, the rosters were set before Stanton backed out. When Stanton withdrew, there was only one spot left and team manager Tony La Russa must have determined that Bryce Harper was more deserving than anyone else on the Marlins.
With the division title clinched the night before, it seemed the Nationals were poised for an uneventful series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon.
That wasn't to be, as the two clubs engaged in a benches clearing altercation in the bottom of the third inning. The tension started in the top of the frame, when Bryce Harper was injured while sliding to third base on a triple. The Nats took exception to Pirates third baseman Jung-ho Kang faking a tag on Harper, which may have led to the injury.
So when Nats starter A.J. Cole threw behind Kang in the bottom of the inning, the near-fracas was ignited.
Cole was immediately ejected from the game, benches cleared, and each side exchanged words. The Pirates' Sean Rodriguez was also ejected from the game.
Nats (90-64) vs. Pirates (77-77) at PNC Park
Saturday night was a big party in Pittsburgh as the Nationals clinched their third NL East title in the last five years. On Sunday, they have a quick turnaround with a 1:35 p.m. start to finish off their final homestand.
Rookie A.J. Cole (1-2, 4.68) will get the start as the Nats now turn their sights towards securing home field advantage in the NL Division Series. He's coming off a two-run, four-inning outing against the Marlins.
Right-hander Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 4.11) will pitch for the Pirates. A rookie, Glasnow has never faced the Nationals before.
The Nationals lead the Dodgers, their likely NLDS opponent, by just 1 1/2 games. They need to stay ahead of them to secure home field advantage in the playoffs. If they each finish with the same record, the Dodgers will get the tiebreaker due to their head-to-head record this season.
First pitch: 1:35 p.m.
Radio: 106.7 The Fan
Starting pitchers: Nats - A.J. Cole vs. Pirates - Tyler Glasnow
CF Ben Revere
2B Wilmer Digo
RF Bryce Harper
3B Anthony Rendon
1B Clint Robinson
SS Danny Espinosa
LF Brian Goodwin
C Jose Lobaton
RHP A.J. Cole
RHP Tyler Glasnow
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