When it comes to All-Star games, there are sure to be controversial moments. The 2013 edition was no different in that regard, as AL/Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland failed to use Tampa Bay Rays utility man Ben Zobrist.
Now, most people would shrug this type of thing off. They would say Leyland just wanted to win. And in some cases, I might agree with them.
This isn’t one on those cases, however. Leyland tried to start something by accusing Fernando Rodney of purposely throwing at 2012 Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera‘s head. He then told his pitcher, Rick Porcello, to intentionally hit a Rays player. Oh, and let’s not forget his whining to umpires if his opponents dare to play hard.
As if that wasn’t enough, he initially picked only one Rays player (Zobrist) for the All-Star team. The reasoning was versatility. Zobrist can play second base, right field, even shortstop. He’s also a switch-hitter with the ability to hit both right and left-handers.
Something else to keep in mind is the fact this game is meant for fans. That’s why every team must have at least one representative. Because of this, why would Leyland not give Zobrist even a little playing time?
I think it’s because he’s got a beef with the Rays. They play with an edge and aren’t afraid to attack opposing hitters by pitching up in the strike zone. Either way, one thing’s for sure: Leyland needs to grow up, stop holding grudges and realize this game’s true meaning — entertaining fans.
Like it or not, that includes Rays fans.