Top 5 Storylines Heading Into 2013 MLB All-Star Game
Top Storylines Heading Into 2013 MLB All-Star Game
For some reason, Major League Baseball insists on having the All-Star Game determine home-field advantage in the World Series in an effort to make the game mean something. But if Bud Selig and the powers that be would open their eyes, they would see that there are plenty of things about the 2013 All-Star Game for fans to be intrigued about, even without worrying about which league is going to be opening up the World Series at home several months from now.
The rosters for the game alone create an intriguing matchup. The American League brings to the game a lineup filled with power, both on the mound and in the batter’s box, while the National League has a roster that combines power with speed. The contrasting rosters creates the prototypical American League versus National League matchup, with the AL hoping to sit back and hit home runs, while the NL will look to play small ball and use its speed to get around the bases and put runs on the scoreboard.
Aside from the game itself, there’s a lot going on in baseball right now. There are fresh faces making their way into the spotlight, old friends getting ready to say good bye and numerous debates and scandals that are capturing the attention of baseball fans across the country, all of which will come next Tuesday at Citi Field. With a week to go until the All-Star Game, here are the top five storylines to look out for between now and then.
5. All-Star Snubs
Making the All-Star Team wouldn’t be a big deal unless some deserving players were left out, but that won’t stop everybody and their brother from complaining about the players on their favorite team that got snubbed. For the next week, everybody will be stating their case for the players that didn’t get picked, while secretly hoping that an injury allows their favorite player to earn a last minute spot on the team. It’s an unavoidable part of the All-Star Game, so be prepared to be overwhelmed with talk about all the snubs over the next week, something you’re all probably sick of already.
4. Will Matt Harvey Start
The New York Mets haven’t had a lot to be excited about this season, but the possibility of their young ace Matt Harvey being able to start the All-Star Game in front of the hometown fans at Citi Field is a big deal. There’s definitely a strong argument that can be made for the start, but the same could be said for Adam Wainwright, Cliff Lee, Clayton Kershaw and Patrick Corbin, so it would be understandable if Harvey didn’t get the nod. If Harvey ends up being the National League’s starter, it’d be a great story for all of baseball, especially the game’s hosts, the Mets.
3. Players Linked To The Biogenesis Scandal
There are four players that were named in the Biogenesis Scandal that will be playing in the All-Star Game, and it’ll be interesting to see how the New York crowd treats them. Suspensions could be looming for Everth Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta, but in the meantime, they’ll all be participating in the Midsummer Classic, which has to make everybody wonder if they got an unfair advantage that helped get them there. It’s not exactly the type of storyline that baseball wants, but unless those four players voluntarily pull out of the game, they’re going to be at Citi Field, and it’s going to put the Biogenesis Scandal front and center. Even if the four players pull out, everybody’s going to know why, so unfortunately for MLB, there’s no getting around this issue at the All-Star Game.
2. Last Call For Mariano Rivera
All season long, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has been making the rounds and saying his good byes at every stadium he’s visiting for the last time, and now he’ll be playing in the All-Star Game for the 13th and final time. Rivera stepping on the mound for the final time in the Midsummer Classic in the city where he spent his entire career will be a truly great moment for baseball. No player in this year’s game deserves a bigger ovation than Rivera, and nothing in this year’s game would be more fitting than to see Rivera take the mound in the bottom of the ninth with a chance to save the game for the American League. If that’s the way things play out for Rivera, it would be something special.
1. Yasiel Puig
No player has been more polarizing than Yasiel Puig when it comes to whether or not if he should be included on the All-Star Team. He has taken MLB by storm and put up some incredible numbers in a short period of time, which has many excited to see him on such a big stage like the All-Star Game, but many baseball traditionalists feel as though he hasn’t been around long enough or truly earned a spot on an All-Star Team. Now it’s in the hands of the fans to give him the final roster spot on the National League team. Whether he gets voted in or not, one faction will be thrilled while another will be enraged. Either way, he’ll have everyone talking, as Puig has been the biggest storyline by far leading up to the All-Star Game, which is amazing considering that just two months ago almost nobody knew who he was.